How Your Friends Make It Easy to be Healthy: Sleep & Fats

eat sleep train
By deejay2x on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

This is a diary of the healthy lifestyle goals that my son, Chris, and I are making together each month.  Since it takes 21-30 days to develop a new habit, making a goal for the month ahead is an effective strategy.

Chris and I agree that making these monthly goals together and posting our results here for you to see helps us to improve our health.  I’ve always found that if I say out loud to someone what I plan on doing, I’m more likely to do it.  Because if I said I would, I feel responsible to follow through. 

Age doesn’t matter.  It’s never too late.  You can always make progress and actually reverse the signs of aging!

In June, my goal was to keep the fat count down while I was limiting calories to 1200 a day.  Chris had unsuccessfully tried to get enough sleep last month, so he decided to try getting to bed earlier at night to see if that would help.

Buddy’s Pizza

My Experience

My only problem with fats last month was:  PIZZA!

On My Fitness Pal app, I hardly got any red flags about fats.  Rather, I was getting green lights alerting me that my food choices were low in saturated and trans fats.  I was quite surprised to get that feedback, and I’m very happy about it.

But the evil character of pizza became very clear:  pizza is sky-high in calories and full of fats.

The original Buddy’s Pizza is near my house.  My husband and I go there often.  I used to have two slices of Buddy’s Pizza, because how can you stop at one when it’s so unbelievably delicious?  Only with great will power, right?

We also used to get a whole freshly baked combo pizza when we went to Costco.  That was a similar situation.  Fresh out of the oven, it’s so good that I would have at least two slices (although I removed the ground beef because I follow a vegetarian lifestyle).  And then, we would wrap up the rest and Costco’s pizza is so big that I would take it to work for lunch every day for a week.  No wonder I couldn’t lose weight!

Now, you might have told me that, but I was thinking “Oh, what harm is one or two slices of pizza?  It’s only cheese, tomato sauce and vegetables on dough!”  I just kept my serving sizes moderate and stopped when I had enough.  I didn’t pay attention to details or keep a count.

It was too much trouble to look up the numbers on every food package, and at restaurants…forget it!  There aren’t any numbers anyway.  But today’s technology with handy apps of all sorts makes it easy to keep track of exercise and diet details.  Once I found one, it enlightened me.

So now I’m doomed to one serving of pizza for the rest of my life, no matter how delicious it is!

It’s worth it because I’ve slimmed down.  I look and feel lighter and more graceful.  I can wear what I want.  Chris says, “being lighter gives more energy too, because you’re not dragging extra weight around.”

Now when I see that a food has a high amount of calories and fat, I think to myself “Is this worth it?”  Just like when I see a beautiful dress that costs a lot.  Lol!

Next month, on to the carbs!  I’ll be keeping an eye on any carbohydrate red alerts on my fitness app.

Chris’s Experience

no sleep
Insomnia plagues millions of Americans

Chris just said, “It’s hard.”  It’s hard to get enough rest.

He managed to get to sleep earlier more than before and he even got eight hours of sleep more often.  But he was surprised that he was waking up after eight hours of sleep still tired!  He began to realize why he was still tired.

There were times when Chris had a hard time sleeping all night, and he noticed it was when he hadn’t eaten right the day before.  So he decided that it’s not all about getting to sleep at the right time, but it also has to do with not missing meals (that’s when he was the most tired), not noshing late at night, and not getting enough food for energy.

Chris goes to the gym a lot, so he needs to eat enough to support that.  He found that fueling himself up helps with his exercise, his business of the day, and with rest. When he doesn’t get both the exercise and the food, he gets sick.

The other day, he had a big burrito.  Oh, why not have one for once, right?  But since it was too carb-heavy, it made him feel lethargic.  So he concluded he needs more lean meals to expend energy.

I was telling Chris that a relative of ours had said, “But you’ve got to have a cheat day!” Chris answered that a trainer he knows calls cheat day “cheat gains” because it goes to your muscles — only if you eat right the rest of the time, of course.  Otherwise, it goes straight to fat buildup.

Chris was skipping breakfast, and then would have a huge lunch and a meal late at night.  So now he’s thinking that when he’s on the go, which is usual, he should have six smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big ones.

Chris has been meaning to cut down on carbs.  So that’s his goal for next month, as well as mine. Stay tuned!

Do you use a fitness app?  How do you like it?  Do you get enough sleep?  Does food interfere?  And how about pizza?  Is it getting to you?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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