Archive | July 2015

The health benefits of not drinking milk

From an early age, I was taught that milk is an almost perfect food and that the calcium in it makes our bones stronger. Almost every night, before I sleep, I would drink a glass of refrigerated fresh milk or a glass of hot milk. It comforts me knowing that, while I was sleeping, the calcium in the milk gets working and builds and strengthens my bones. It also made me doze off faster than when I don’t drink it.  Or so I thought.

Sometime ago, in August of 2014, while I was doing my usual grocery shopping, I bumped into my Indian boss from the Indian tech company I used to work for. He noticed the liter of milk in my grocery cart and the conversation about milk was opened up. I told him how milk helped me with my health  by allowing me to sleep better and by making my bones stronger.

He smiled at me and in his customary calm demeanor, and he said “Did you know that the human adult body does not process the calcium in the milk and therefore, milk does not really make your bones stronger? I don’t drink milk.” I was stunned.

That information just contradicted the years and years of belief I had for milk.  That was enough for me to ask myself “If milk does not help me with my calcium needs and if milk is high in calorie, then why am I drinking it?” He may be right that the calcium in milk does not really get used up by the adult body.

2af06bdf-d37f-4dd3-be65-6b546fd462f2

Bear Brand powdered milk Swakto pack.  This has 33g of powdered milk, 153 calories.

Whether what my previous boss told me is true or not,  1 glass of milk (33g of pasteurized powdered milk dissolved in water) contains about 153 calories. That’s almost about 150% more calories than a glass of coffee without sugar which contains only around 2 calories.  Even more than is the whopping 815 calories of 1 glass of pasteurized fresh milk. Whoa! That’s already equivalent to 2 full meal worth of calorie intake for just 250 ml of liquid.

I weighed about 168 lbs during that time and I know that every calorie that I save means a big help in my weight loss journey.  I stopped drinking milk and eating cheese since then.  I figured that if cheese comes from milk and it has high calorie content, I might as well not eat cheese anymore.

A little research into the nutritional value of milk led me to learn that that pasteurization of milk causes the calcium contained in raw milk to be insoluble which could cause serious problems to the bones. I also learned that our bones are comprised of at least a dozen of minerals and saturating it with calcium will only cause imbalance to the bone structure consequently weakening our bones. This imbalance can also lead to other health risks such as type 2 diabetes and kidney stones.  Therefore, drinking milk is riskier to the health than not drinking it at all.

I noticed that after about a month or so of excluding milk and cheese in my diet, my allergic rhinitis stopped.  My headaches and bad sinusitis attacks also stopped. My nightly heartburn also stopped. Having bad fever became became a thing in the past. I am not certain if this was the result of not eating dairy products anymore but I am certainly happy about the progress of my health when I stopped drinking milk and stopped eating cheese.

I’m glad that I ditched milk and cheese and replaced it with coffee with 10 g of anchor unsalted butter from grass-fed cows. I also replaced cheese with peanut butter for my sandwich.  I lost a total of 52 lbs since I started my healthy weight loss journey in June 2014 when I was obese at 180 lbs.

Here are some links explaining why money spent on milk is money misspent and why milk is not healthy.

  1. http://www.pcrm.org/milk.  This talks about Health Concerns about Dairy Products.
  2. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/18/the-milk-myth-what-your-body-really-needs.aspx.   This talks about The Milk Myth: What Your Body Really Needs.
Advertisements

Why eating real food is better than exercising when shedding unwanted weight

It all boils down to burning calories, the amount of energy present in food. Our body can only do two things to calories. Either it burns it or store it. Not so fortunately for us, calories that are not burned are stored in our body’s storage system called fat.

To lose weight, we only need to use up more calories than what our body stores. If you intake more calories than what your body burns, you will gain weight. This is the plain, high-level formula of keeping your weight at the level you desire.

Exercise can speed up burning the calories, however, when you eat more than what you burn, you still end up growing bigger. The secret is to healthy weight loss is in eating real food with low calories and with the right nutrition.

The power of eating real food.  Unprocessed food, untainted with processed sugars, salt, and other chemicals — these are real food. Real food are filling, high in nutrition, but low in calorie. You eat a ton but for a small amount of calorie. That’s a total bargain.

Let’s take for example my favorite fruit, mango.  Ripe mango in its unprocessed form contains 26 calories only per 40g. Compare that with dried mangoes you can buy in the market which has 160 calories per 40 g. Drying the mangoes and processing it with food-grade chemicals increased the calories 6 times. Whoa! That’s a ton of calories in there, yet 40g of will not fill you. Plus the high concentration of sugar triggers craving for more food. More food, more calories, more calories that you need to burn.

You can eat 2 cups of fresh ripe mango which is about 200g and you consume only 130calories, 30 calories lesser than what you consume in a 40g dried mango. You enjoy a filling meal without the fear of taking in too much calories.

The right amount of calorie.  Your body needs the right amount of calorie to keep itself functioning optimally.  The amount of calorie that your body burns to support itself is called the basal metabolic rate. The right amount of calorie must be supplied and burned in order for the body to function properly and keep itself healthy. Therefore, you must not take less calories than what your body burns to function properly.

The crackers and water diet. Some dieters believe that eating only 1 pack of 3-pc crackers in substution of one or more of their meals will help them lose weight. What they didn’t realize is that 3 pieces (90g) of this crackers already contain 120 calories. This is 120 calories of food that will not make them feel full. In just a few hours, they will already starve and in need of more food. This would typically cause them to binge and eat more than what they need during their next meal.

Contrast that with the boiled sweet potato diet. You can eat 133g of boiled sweet potato for the same calorie value of 120. You eat more for less calories and you get good fiber and more nutrients. That’s a crazy calorie bargain.

Processed food increases the calorie value of real food 3x on average and decreases its fiber content plus, the nutritional content is typically replaced with synthetic nutrients. You have to eat more of these in-order to fill full and consequently, you shoot up your calorie intake more than what your body can burn.

It pays to eat real food.  You can eat more, feel full, take in just enough calories for you to keep healthy.

Determine your calorie needs. It is important to understand your calorie needs. There are a lot of calorie calculators available in the internet.  This one is what helped me cut down 52lbs in the 11 months of my healthy weight loss journey. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I reached 128 lbs in May 2015:  http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html

In general. Exercise burns calories. But to make your healthy weight loss efficient, you have to eat food that makes you full, nutritious, and with low calorie. Eating real food surely helped me with my healthy weight loss journey. It will help you too.

Stay healthy.  🙂

The benefits of walking

I’m back to my walking and jogging.

I found this photo in FB and it reminded me not to stop walking.

11401300_10152795198851512_713370834462942141_n

I am 3 lbs heavier now than my lowest weight when I was still following my sweet potato, vegetables, and fruit-based diet together with my 3x a week of walking and jogging plus gym visits.  Currently at 131 lbs, my goal is to be at 125 lbs by September 30, 2015. For my 5 ft and 3 inches frame, I just need to work out 6 lbs of unwanted weight in 3 months.  It certainly is very achievable.

In June 2014, when I started following a healthy lifestyle, I weighed 180 lbs (81.81 kg). I successfully got rid of a total of 52 lbs within 11 month. In that 11 month journey,  I made it to the 128 lbs mark. I surprised my friends, my family, my colleagues, and even my coaches in the gym.

I’ve cut my gym membership already since the month of June. The overwhelming traffic in Manila and the distance of Makati to Eastwood has prevented me from going to the gym regularly.  For the last 2 months of my membership, I was only able to go there twice. It was time to stop.

May and June proved to be difficult for me in terms of following my 3x a week of walking and jogging routine. I also started going back to eating rice. Wow. Dinorado rice is just so good. The smell of freshly cooked dinorado rice is too much of a temptation.  Working at the graveyard shift also contributed to the change of my eating habits. I’ve started eating spaghetti and fried chicken again from the house of the big fat bee. And add to that my love for the neighborhood doughnuts and cheese bread. Wow! I gained 3 lbs for the last 2 months.

It’s time to go back to good shape.  Last week I completed my 3x-a week of walking and jogging. It felt good. I went out to Pasig Mega Market and bought yellow fin tuna, maya-maya fish, apples, pears, and pineapples. I also bought vegetables in our neighborhood market.

No more junk food from the house of the big fat bee. No more rice. Ah, the smell of dinorado. 🙂  I have to say good bye to the neigborhood bakeshop’s doughnuts and cheese bread. It’s time to eat good food again. Fruits, vegetables, sweet potato, and fish.

I’m gonna make it. Onward to 125 lbs. Onward  to staying fit and healthy.

Let’s do this! 🙂