Thursday, January 28, 2010

Calorie Counter

One more thing. I am not a calorie counter. However, I have found a website here that you can just type in a recipe and it will estimate the calories. I just like the idea of knowing about how many calories are in my fav recipes. Interesting I thought. You don't have to sign up for anything either unless you want it to save your recipes.

By the way, one of those pizza sliders (below) has about 130 calories and 3 grams of fat. Unless of course you use enormous rolls or tons of filling.
Pizza Sliders

This is what we had for dinner last night. Well, this is what I had, BJ had more and the girls' were deconstructed. Anyhoo, it was yummy. I am always looking for different ways to make "pizza" as everyone around here looooves it and this came from a Pizza Joes recipe (a variation on sloppy joes) but I just made them mini (portion control, you know) with some delicious and very light wheat rolls and roasted green beans.

It's pretty healthy too so I thought I'd share for any interested parties.

Pizza Sliders
  • 1 baggie of frozen ground turkey (or you could use lean ground beef)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cans tomato sauce or about 2 cups already prepared spaghetti sauce
  • about 30 slices turkey pepperoni, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • couple shakes red pepper flakes
  • mini whole wheat rolls
  • Parmesan cheese
Spray pan with PAM, brown turkey till no more pink remains, add onion and g. pepper and cook till softened a bit. Add everything else except cheese and rolls and simmer till nice and thick.

Slice rolls in half, sprinkle with parm and broil till nice and toasty. Spread with filling and enjoy!

Here's the recipe for the yummy rolls. I just subbed 3 cups wheat flour for 3 of the all purpose. Don't whine about the cottage cheese either, you can't taste it. It just made the rolls wonderfully light.

And just in case you cared, the g. beans are just a bag of frozen ones that I dumped on a sheet pan, tossed with a bit of olive oil, salt, and a lot of pepper and roasted at 500 for 15-20 min. till well browned (shake a couple times for even cooking). Then I squoze a bit of fresh lemon juice on top. They are delicious! Much better with fresh green beans when they are in season but we all love them. Be sure to eat them with your fingers too, it's much more fun that way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Song #1 is dedicated to this week's Biggest NON-Loser, ME!!!!! :)

Song #2 is dedicated to my hubby, Jason, who never weighed in last week so has no idea whether he gained or lost. And, who, annoyingly enough, will lose 5 pounds just by skipping lunch today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Drumroll please....

and the winner for this week is our dearest Mother!

She tops us all with an incredible 1.64%!!! Congrats MOM! And nice work!

May she inspire us all to work a bit harder this week, so we can beat her...ok, I'm kidding but doesn't this make you feel a little more competitive? I don't know about you guys but seeing that % up there in print for all to see makes me want to work my hiney off this week...literally!

Good luck this week!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just a weigh yourself at the same time in the same circumstances (am, post-drained, in your b-day suit, etc.) as you did a week ago sometime tomorrow. Take the lbs. lost/original weight to find the %. I know everyone knows how to find a % but it was just a reminder.

Yeah, I'm not looking forward to it either. But I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of success the rest of you are having!!!

Good luck!

And if anyone has higher than a 3% expect a big batch of cookies in the mail sometime this week. It will probably be anonymous.

Either get with the program or you will be re-arranging............

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meal Frequency, Metabolism and Weight Management

You have to eat every few hours or your metabolism will slow down. If you miss a meal, you'll lose muscle. The more often you eat, the faster your metabolism will be. Do any of these statements sound familiar? Are they true? We'll take a look at these questions in brief today.
Eating more often is associated with decreased weight

One reason small, frequent meals are recommended, is in some studies, higher meal frequency has been associated with lower body weights. Oftentimes, those who eat small, frequent meals also eat more nutrient-dense, less calorie-dense foods. In this case, the type of food people select may play a larger role in their reduced body weight, rather than the fact that they ate every few hours. Some cottage cheese with fruit, or a high-protein meal replacement shake, is a much different situation than eating a couple of servings of crackers or a handful of candy. Without considering the type of food consumed every few hours, it would be easy to gain the wrong kind of weight by eating more often than normal.

Another likely reason people who eat more often tend to weigh less is a reduced level of hunger. Because they eat often, they may not get to the point of extreme hunger. It's easy to eat 1500-2000 calories in a single meal of fast food or take-out. If someone doesn't eat all day long, there's a good chance they'll eat whatever sounds the best and is most convenient at the end of the day, which is often a very high-calorie meal.

Eating more often does not raise metabolic rate

Some additional research showed that those who ate more often burned more calories throughout the day. These study results have led to a diet industry that consistently says "eating more often raises your metabolic rate." Again, this is correct to a point, but there are some qualifications involved. Every time you eat, your body burns calories to digest the food you ate. On average, your body burns about 2-3% of the calories you eat from fat, 5-8% from carbohydrates, and 23-28% from protein. This is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) or Diet Induced Thremogenesis (DET). In studies on meal frequency, when the source of calories and the total calories are kept the same, individuals burn the same number of calories over the course of the day.

Let's say an individual eats one meal of 2000 calories, which comes from:

- 55% carbohydrate (275 g)

- 25% fat (56 g)

- 20% protein (100 g)

Obviously, this is a pretty filling meal, and more than most people would eat in a single sitting. In a typical mixed diet, the total effect of TEF is about 10%, meaning in this meal, about 200 calories would be burned in digesting the food. If the same foods were split up equally over five meals, each meal would be 400 calories, which would be:

-55% carbohydrate (55 g)

-25% fat (11 g)

-20% protein (20 g)

It would require about 40 calories to be burned for digestion each meal. For the day, the total calories burned would be exactly the same. Research has shown that as long as the food is exactly the same, it doesn't matter whether it is eaten over the course of one meal or six meals. The effect on metabolism is exactly the same.

Now, let's say that someone is only focused on eating frequently and does not consider where the foods are coming from. They only eat a reasonable amount of protein at dinner. The rest of the meals and snacks during the day are composed of mostly carbohydrate and some fat. Even though they're eating often, because of the foods selected, they actually burn less calories because they come more from carbs and fat. In this case, the increased number of meals could be a disadvantage to weight management. If the calories are the same, but they come from less protein and more fat or carbohydrate, it would have a negative effect on TEF.

In another example, some people who make a point of eating every few hours also make a point of eating a larger amount of protein with each meal. It they eat the same number of calories, but a higher percentage of the total calories come from protein, they will burn more calories in digestion. Basically, any advantage in increasing metabolic rate would come from a higher consumption of dietary protein than from the fact that meals are eaten more frequently. Does that mean there's no reason to eat every few hours. Absolutely not. Eating 20-40 grams of protein every few hours is much easier to eat than trying to eat the same amount in one or two meals. It also allows for more variety in the foods eaten during the day.

Eating every few hours does not prevent "starvation mode"

Another misconception is the idea that the body starts to slow down its metabolism just a few hours after eating. It's possible this idea stemmed from the fact that within a few hours after eating, the body is no longer burning extra calories from digestion. The perception is that the metabolic rate has fallen. In reality, it's back to normal, where it would be without having eaten. It would be possible to raise the metabolic rate again with another meal, but the calories consumed will always exceed the calories burned in digestion, so that would not make sense.

Will your metabolic rate slow down without eating? Yes, but research shows it takes about 72 hours of fasting before metabolic rate begins to slow. In fact, during the first 36 hours of fasting, metabolic rate can increase and then plateau for another 36 hours. Yes, that's correct. Resting metabolic rate tends to stay the same or increase during the first day and a half of a fast. The important point here is that if you're planning to eat something that fits within your nutrient needs for the day, there can be many benefits to eating every few hours. However, if you're not prepared for a meal and feel it's time to eat again, choosing the wrong type of food, like a high-carb, low-protein snack bar, may provide less benefit that eating nothing at all.

In order to control cravings, calorie intake, and ensure enough protein is consumed during the day, eating every few hours is still a good idea. That's why meal replacement powders can work so well for weight management. A 2003 research review in the International Journal of Obesity showed that the regular use of a meal replacement powder led to greater weight loss. It isn't because a meal replacement will increase metabolism by itself. The reason MRPs can work so well for weight management is to control calories and cravings, and increase daily protein intake, which can increase the thremic effect of food and thereby increase total calories burned for the day.


To ensure your diet consists of an appropriate balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat, it's probably best to split up your food intake over several meals. While there is not a metabolic advantage to eating every few hours, there are other reasons to do so. Eating every few hours makes it easier to eat enough protein over the course of the day, which can increase the calories burned over the course of a day compared to a diet of the same number of calories with less protein. Eating ever few hours also helps control cravings, which can actually reduce daily calorie intake. Rather than gorging on an excessively high-calorie meal at the end of the day, many people may eat less total calories by eating smaller meals throughout the day. Aim for at least three whole-food meals, and try to include a couple of smaller meals or snacks. If on occasion you miss a meal though, don't worry. You're not slowing down your metabolism and you're not losing muscle.

In health,

Tom Nikkola


Heilbronn L, Smit S, Martin C, Anton S, Ravussin. Alternate-day fasting in nonobese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:69-73

Heymsfield SB, van Mierlo CAJ, van der Knaap HCM, Heo M, Frier HI. Weight management using a meal replacement strategy: meta and pooling analysis from six studies. International Journal of Obesity (2003) 27, 537-549

Bellisle F, McDevitt R, Prentice A. Meal frequency and energy balance. British Journal of Nutrition (1997), 77 (Suppl. 1), S57-S70

Webber J, MacDonald IA. The cardiovascular, metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying acute starvation in men and women. British Journal of Nutrition (1994), 71, 437-447

McDonald L. Meal Frequency and Energy Balance. Body Recomposition

FYI---don't let your husband make REALLY yummy cinnamon rolls when you are trying to lose weight!!! They were soooo good, especially fresh out of the oven! (I only ate one with frosting. . . I like them better without!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

And we're off. Just weigh yourself today and keep track of the #. Next Monday, weigh yourself again and then take your % lost. That's what you email to me so I can post/keep track of it.

Good luck.

PS, I'll have you all know last night was absolutely horribly tough for me. Since my college days, baking some sort of chocolatey dessert was just something we did on Sunday nights. But with some encouragement from the skinny hubby, I was satisfied with some sugar free hot chocolate and kicking his trash in Upwards. HA!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

So we all (well most of us) want to shed a few pounds and competition is in the air. Can you Utahans smell it through all that inversion? We've competed in various fantasy sports, why not in a Biggest Loser challenge? Doesn't matter if you watch the show, although I recommend it as Jillian and Bob (not to mention all the contestants) are very motivating.

Participation is optional. This is just an idea to make it easier to keep track of progress as well as some serious motivation. Thinking about how you are going to have to report back to everyone should and might help with those late night jelly donut cravings. I just joined another Biggest Loser competition with some ladies in our ward and I thought we could just use their rules and tweak them as needed. Here are some things to keep in mind though: none of us ever needs to know your real weight, now or later, the only # you'll be reporting is the % of weight you lost. Here's the other thing, I think that it is completely normal to have a week or 2 that you might not see any change at all so a 0% change in weight is ok.

Another thing we need to decide on is a time line. With the church losers we're doing a 3 month time span that started last Monday so our dates would be different from the ones below. I think that unless you are 400 pounds (like the guys on the show) weight loss takes a bit longer. So I thought we could do 6 months and maybe do 2 separate competitions or even 3 4-month competitions over the course of the year with a separate winner (or loser, depending on how you want to look at it) each time.

Finally, the prize. No one has extra cash, this we know. But I was thinking the winner of the first ever Meyers Biggest Loser competition deserves something, aside from bragging rights of course. What about dinner? The non-losers contribute and buy the BIG LOSER dinner at his or her choice of restaurant (and no, I'm not paying for anyone's already skinny spouse as a date so don't ask).

What do you think? Suggestions?

So here are the rules:


a. Use the same scale and weigh yourself at the same time of day in the same conditions. If your initial weigh-in was done naked first thing in the morning with an empty bladder, then it should always be done that way.

b. As part of this, we would encourage you to “get a witness.” It can be a spouse, sibling, friend, or anyone you would like to stand on a scale with once at the beginning and once at the end. It helps to have a “buddy” to stay motivated!

2. You CAN:

a. Do anything to lose weight through diet and exercise. You can join Weight Watchers, eat cabbage soup for six weeks, sweat it out in a sauna, hire a personal trainer/chef (ha! I wish!).

3. You CANNOT:

a. Use diet pills or weight loss medications! The whole point of this challenge is to learn the most successful way for you to lose weight in the long-term. Diet pills and metabolism enhancing drugs can only be used for so long, so what’s the point?


1. First Weigh-In: Monday, January 11, 2009.

a. Weigh yourself and keep track of this number because this number will be used in all calculations. You don't need to share this number with the group.

2. Each Monday for 12 weeks is weigh-in day. Email your percentage lost to me on Monday (I’ll forward it to everyone else) using this calculation:

a. Pounds lost / Start weight = Percentage Lost

b. Ex: If you weighed 150 and lost 3 lbs., you would take 3/150 = .02 or 2%

c. Round longer number to two decimals (Ex. 2.4429 would be 2.44%)

3. Final Weigh-in is Monday, April 5th, 2009.

a. Calculate your final percentage of weight lost and email it to me. I will send out the final email with the winners…can you just hear the drum roll? ;)