NutritionData’s Nutrition Facts and Calorie Counter

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

When I first started trying to lose weight on my own, I was trying to follow the food pyramid and keep my calories under 1200 a day. I would look online for caloric information and it was hard to find anything. Now, there are so many companies trying to compete for the nutrition facts top listing on Google, that it’s hard to wade through the slime. Fortunately, the site that is on the top of Google’s list seems to be the best for accurate information.

I like that you can change the size of the serving. It’s not perfect, but I’m not stuck with knowing the nutrition facts for a cup of peanut butter and having to calculate the amount for a two tablespoon serving (or vice versa). Additionally, the nutrition facts are displayed in the goverment sanctioned nutrition facts format. It makes it so easy for me to read because I know exactly where the fat, calories and fiber will be listed each time.

The Caloric Ration PyramidThere is so much good stuff to read on this site. Each food is rated on the Caloric Ratio Pyramid, which provides a visual evaluation of the food. I have no idea where the “perfect food” would reside on that pyramid, but it shows the percentages of fat, carbohydrates and protein in a very visually pleasing format.

Next time you are unsure of the nutritional information of certain foods, give NutritionData a try. I’ve found it to be very helpful.


Creatine Supplementation

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I’ve been reading Mary’s Fitness Blog for a long time. She talks about what it’s really like to keep fit. She has had trouble with her back, was grateful that she didn’t have to have surgery, and she knows which exercises aggravate her problem. I enjoy reading her ideas because she has kept a calm head about her.

I was kind of surprised when she posted this entry:

I have categorized all health supplements as “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” That means, the companies that sell them, tend to make promises that they haven’t backed up with scientific proof. They haven’t bothered to pay for the clinical trials, so I’m not going to bother to pay for their product. It’s a simple equation for me.

This time, my philosophy has protected me from wasting my money on creatine. Quackwatch has a detailed article on the failed promises of creatine.

There are thousands of companies out there trying to convince you that you can’t grow muscle on your own without the benefits of their products. Don’t let them get you. Humans were growing muscles long before creatine was ever conceived of. Don’t spend money on a product that hasn’t been proven to do anything beneficial. With persistence and dedication, you will grow stronger on your own.


7-11: What to Avoid and Your Best Bets

By Laura Moncur @ 6:00 pm — Filed under:

I talked about my devotion to The Cult of the Convenience Store on my weblog, Pick Me! July 11th was always considered a religious holiday for the cult. In honor of it, I send you to this:

I find myself at 7-11 (and other convenience stores) quite often, so finding something healthy that feels like a treat is a difficulty for me. This guide is pretty good at warning you about the pitfalls of convenience store devotion.

More Phony Diet Pills

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

More companies are coming under the gun from the FTC for making false claims.

FTC slams more phony diet pill marketers – Consumer Health Digest, July 5, 2005

Products and Companies to Avoid based on past advertising:

There are so many companies out there that are trying to take your money. Don’t let them get you.


How Many Calories Should I Eat?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The New Food PyramidThis entry from About.com gives you the science and the formulas to calculate how many calories you should eat in order to maintain weight and then tells you how many to cut out in order to lose weight.

The new food pyramid will calculate those calories for you. Of course, it is only an estimate based on your age, sex and activity level with a huge caveat, “This calorie level is only an estimate of your needs. Monitor your body weight to see if you need to adjust your calorie intake.”

Nutritionists tell us that weight loss is just a science. It’s physics:
Calories In < Calories Out= Weight Loss
Calories In > Calories Out= Weight Gain
I would like to believe it’s as simple as that, but I’ve found that weight loss has more to do with what’s in my head than what’s in my lunch box.


Atkins Was Partly Right: Protein Makes Me Feel Full

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

ProteinIt took me a long time to get past my anger at the Atkins Diet for betraying me. Protein took the brunt of that resentment. After years of healthy eating, I’ve found that protein provides me with the benefit of satiety. It’s the reason some people lost weight on the Atkins Diet.

It doesn’t take much. Only about 4-8 grams of protein are enough to make me feel full. That’s one tablespoon of peanut butter. That’s 12 pistachios. That’s less than one ounce of beef. Protein has a lot of calories packed into a compact package. It’s the reason a lot of people had trouble losing weight on the Atkins Diet.

I make sure that I have a miniscule amount of protein with my breakfast, lunch, and snacks (dinner always takes care of itself). There are tons of ways to add a little bit of protein into your diet. I try to limit my protein intake to approximately 50 calories for a snack and 100 calories for a meal. That makes for tiny servings, but I don’t need a lot to get that feeling of fullness.

Protein that has helped me feel full:

  • Peanut Butter

  • Tuna fish

  • Nuts and Seeds (My favorites are almonds, pistachios, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds)

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Eggs

  • Refried Beans

Protein that I haven’t had good luck with:

  • Dairy Products: I know they have protein in them, but I’m hungry a couple hours after eating them, unlike other protein sources. I don’t understand it, but I’ve noticed the effect.

  • Egg Whites (like Egg Beaters, etc.): I know they have 10 grams of protein for those 47 calories, but I feel hungry very quickly after a serving of Egg Beaters. I don’t have the same effect with whole eggs.

  • Protein Fortified Cereals: I like the taste of Kashi cereal and Quaker Oatmeal Squares. I love the high fiber content, but the protein that they add to their cereal doesn’t get me as full. Their cereals say they have anywhere between 3-9 grams of protein, but I haven’t noticed any additional fullness.

  • Protein Shakes or Powders: I’m hungry within an hour of drinking these, especially if the shake is really sugary. I know a lot of people swear by this stuff, but they just don’t last for me.

  • Protein Bars: I might as well eat a candy bar. I get the same rebound sugar effect from these as a chocolate bar.

Be careful! It’s easy to overdo it on the protein. Make sure you measure consistently because I noticed that my portion sizes were creeping up, but I was still counting them as 100 calories. Make sure you weigh, count out or measure these items because they are so calorie-dense that a small miscalculation could result in large number of unexpected calories. If you accidentally eat a whole bag of carrots, the extra calories are negligible, but a whole bag of almonds can blow your allotment for the day.


A handy online pedometer

By Michael Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

GMaps Pedometer If you’re planning a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood, you might find this useful. Gmaps Pedometer uses Google Maps to measure a route you enter on the map.

It defaults to Hoboken, New Jersey, so you’ll need to start with the “if you don’t live in Hoboken” link, or just start here. Use the zoom control and drag and drop to find your location—for example, here’s Salt Lake City. Click Start Recording and double-click several points along the route, and the total mileage of the entire route is displayed.

With a bit of practice you can get a pretty complicated route onto the map. Use the Permalink feature to save your route to your favorites or email it to someone. There is other software out there for this purpose, but this one’s free, and you can’t beat the accuracy of Google Maps.


FDA Clears Syneron VelaSmooth for Cellulite Treatment

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:


The FDA has approved a machine that is supposed to provide a “temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite.” They tout it as a safer alternative to liposuction.

It all sounds like hype to me. I don’t want to pay my doctor for anything that is temporary and only changes the appearance of my legs. My biggest problem is getting to my ideal weight. When I’m there, if I still have cellulite, I’m not going to care. The goal is to be healthy. If I am at a healthy weight and I still have cellulite, then I’ve achieved my goal.

So many companies are trying to profit from our insecurities. There are creams and machines, loofahs and exercise balls. While these things might make you feel better about the situation, they are just placebos. A good massage could make you feel just as beautiful and empowered.

I hope that the FDA will be watching this company and the doctors who use them very closely, just waiting for them to do something illegal. Don’t be a victim. Let them experiment on someone else.

Via: Really Useful Fitness Blog – Velasmooth: A safe cellulite treatment that actually works?


Lance Armstrong’s Lessons in Endurance

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Newsday talks about Lance Armstrong’s lessons on fitness.

Here is a condensed list of what he said:

  • Planning is important.
  • Think strong. Get Strong.
  • Mix up your intensity.
  • Take your fitness seriously.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • It’s not about your bike.

I guess it doesn’t matter whether I ride the Cruiser or the Mountain Bike to work. It’s all about me, baby!

Via: Really Useful Fitness Blog – Fitness Tips from Lance Armstrong



By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Steve Pavlina has a great entry about mentoring. When you are trying to change your life drastically, it helps to have someone who has been there before to answer your questions personally. I’m not talking about websites like mine; I’m talking about a real live person who you can talk to face to face (or cry on their shoulder, as the case may be).

He doesn’t have too many ideas on how to find a mentor and it’s even harder when you’re looking for someone who has lost a lot of weight. Most of us don’t want to announce to the world our past. Those before pictures don’t even feel like they are part of us anymore because we had to change so much to get where we are today.

Here are some ideas on how to find a mentor:


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