Healthy Man Journal

Loosing Weight, Fitness, Organic Foods, Men's Lifestyle, and Product Reviews

How to keep healthy during divorce

I haven’t written in a while.  The reason being is that I was going through a divorce.  I’m not going to go into the personal reasons of the divorce however I would like to discuss how i stayed healthy during the divorce process and even after the divorce.  Much of staying healthy after the divorce is a mental game.  It wasn’t easy.  Right after the divorce I thought I was fine and thought, its all behind me.  I was wrong.   There was still issues with my ex wife and issues internally that I was dealing with that I didn’t expect.  It made staying healthy and making healthy choices harder.  I found myself wanting to drink more, eat more and in some cases just finding alone time.  Its a hard emotional time.  As much as you know that your marriage wasn’t working, you feel a loss of a family.  I also have two children so it also was a loss of a family unit.  I took it hard.  Some people when they are sad or depressed, they don’t eat.  While that may be good for some weight loss, you should see a doctor If you feel that you loose your appetite for a long period of time.



First of all I am happy to say that I didn’t gain any of the weight that I originally lost back in 2016 or early 2017 however the weight loss was minimal for most of 2017.  I am now down to 202 pounds.  You say, that’s it?  Hey, I never said I was perfect.  Just human.  Well at least I didn’t gain weight.  I am still loosing pounds, and I was doing it during one of the most stressful periods of my life.  It could of been worse I could have gained back all the weight I lost in 2016.

Here is one of the main things that I did that helped me keep the weight off.  I cut back on the drinking.  I didn’t quit completely but I don’t drink that much anymore.  I very quickly realized that it was very important that i do this.   During the marriage, I got into a habit of having a few beers every now and then after work to unwind.   It also served a purpose of taking the edge off of being in an unhappy marriage.  For me and I  think for many men, drinking is one of the main culprits of gaining weight.  If your drinking on an empty stomach, the alcohol turns right to fat also. Not only is the alcohol highly caloric, but after you drink, your appetite increases and you eat more.    Not only do you eat more after you drink, but your eating usually more at night which is worse than eating earlier.  That will be a topic for another post.



Also, after a divorce, if you are sad or depressed, alcohol is the last thing that you need.  It hard.  So much changes.  Your dealing with your new identity being single.  Especially if you were married for a long time.  A big part of your identity is being a spouse.  After the divorce, that all changes and you have to adjust.  Doing that on alcohol is harder.  Trust me.  Also, Your paternal instincts are challenged.  Although initially you may feel like the freedom is great, after a few weeks you start to miss the kids.  It can get sad and you don’t want to drink if you are sad. I believe that if you are going to have a drink only do it on happy occasions with other people.

Just allow yourself to grieve.   Go get some exercise.   Spend some time with good friends.  Get outdoors.  Keep Healthy,  mentally and physically.



Update for 2017 – Still loosing weight.

I realized that it has been a few months since I wrote and I am glad to say that I am still loosing weight.  Today I am 195 pounds.  Now you may think from September till today I am only down 2 pounds.  This may not seem like much and I have to admit I am disappointed.  However at least I didn’t gain any weight.  You have to keep in mind that your health is a long term commitment.  On the positive note I am down 12 pounds since last August.  I kept off all the weight I lost and lost 2 more pounds.  This should be the mindset.   Not bad however I need to pick the pace back up again.  In the last few months I did get my weight down to as low as 191 pounds but put on a few of those pounds back.  I have 31 pounds to go to reach my goal.



Golf to Loose Weight

It’s been awhile since I wrote.  Honestly my weight loss has slowed down.  In fact I am now down to 197.  Less than a pound down in the last month.  Hey at least it is something.  Quite frankly I really have kinda went back to my old ways a bit, I haven’t been going to the gym that often.  At least I kept off the weight and didn’t gain any back.  Even though I haven’t been working out much I have been playing Golf more.  I just got into playing Golf a few months ago and I really love it.  It just relaxes me.  I love being out on the green and taking in all the fresh air.  Playing for a few hours and swinging that club really burns calories.  More than you think.  The moral is.  If you don’t feel like going to the gym do any activity that you like.  It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you are moving.



Setbacks when trying to Loose Weight. Do Not get Discouraged.

Do not get Discouraged.  At times you will gain some of the weight that you have lost but if you stick to a healthy lifestyle and diet you will get back on track quickly.

Last Friday I got my weight down to 197.8.  The weight just came off quick last week. (Maybe too quick)  On the weekend I kinda veered off my healthy lifestyle a bit.  I had some beers on Friday night and ate some chips and junk food.  On Saturday I had my cousins engagement party to go to.  I had a few more drinks and party food at the party.  I really didn’t watch what I was eating too carefully but probably more carefully than when I wasn’t dieting.  On Sunday I took the family to eat out for lunch and had a barbecue for dinner.  I was more careful with the food selection but still ate too much and some of the wrong foods.  I even had a slice of chocolate cake for dessert.

Well on Monday I paid for it at the scale.  I gained back all the weight that I lost the previous week.  I was back up to 201 pounds.  That was a little bit depressing.

In the past when this happened I would just give up and tell myself I just can’t do this.  This time I didn’t do that.  On Monday I was extra careful.  I watched portion size, ate nutritionally dense foods with low sugar and hit the gym at the end of the day.  When I weighed myself on Tuesday I was pleasantly surprised.  I got my weight down to where I was last Friday.  So while the weekend was a bit of a setback, my weight is still down overall.  Moreover I am still on track of my goal of getting my weight down to 197 by the end of the month.  Hooray!

In the next post I will  talk about setting short term and  long term weight loss and fitness goals.



Green Tea is a weight loss booster

I actually just learned about this myself fairly recently and it works.  By Drinking Green Tea which contains EGCG you can speed up your metabolism and in turn make your body burn fat faster.  I was skeptical but when I tried it I found that it works.  I recommend using organic green tea if you can find it because of the pesticides on the tea.  If you can get loose green tea that is even better.  Studies found that the loose green tea has the most EGCG in it.  Also make sure you let the tea steep for 4 to 5 minutes to get the most EGCG from the tea.  Before you add the water to the bag ensure the water is boiling hot.  The hotter the water the more EGCG you get from the tea.  I have a cup made with two tea bags almost every night and the pounds seem to be coming off faster than when I wasn’t having the tea. I have it with nothing in it.  If you put sugar or honey in it, the calories from that would probably negate any of the benefits of the EGCG.   Also I find that by drinking the tea, it substitutes the time thinking about putting something else in my mouth or drinking beer.

Since yesterday I have lost another pound.  Now I am down to 200 pounds even for a total of 7 pounds lost.  The weight has been coming off pretty fast, but this is just the beginning.



Exercise for Weight Loss

In the many years that I have tried to loose weight,  I have learned the hard way that you can’t lose weight by dieting alone.  You can loose weight in the sort term without exercise but your will gain it back and more.

I can remember many weeks where I started my diet on a Monday lost 2.5 pounds by Friday only to gain it all back by the following Monday because I ate out with the family or went to a party and had a few beers on the weekend.  However when I include exercise in my weight loss program, you accelerate the fat burn so that if you have a cheat day or two the damage won’t be so bad.

There are several other reasons why a good workout program is so important when you want to loose weight.  When you are just dieting and not getting exercise, as you loose fat you may also loose muscle. Muscle is important for many reasons but for one, it helps speed up your metabolism.   So if you are loosing muscle, your body will need even less food before it stores it into fat and you will get fat easier.  That is why when so many people get off their diets they get fatter than they were before.  If you exercise and build muscle your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) will increase which means that your body will burn more calories even at rest.  I’ll discuss the BMR in greater detail in a later post.



Also, by exercising you are not just burning calories while your are exercising.  Your metabolism gets a boost for the day and burns more calories even after your workout.  This is like an extra bonus and will accelerate your weight loss.

Another reason why exercise is so important to include into your lifestyle is that medical researchers have determined that people who exercise regularly have much less of a chance of getting many chronic illness.

So what type of work out is best for loosing weight?  This is a topic that will get discussed over and over through out this weight loss journey.  I recommend doing something that: 1) You like 2) Gets your heart beating and makes you sweat.  Yes the evening brisk walk will definitely help you loose weight but if you really want to accelerate the weight loss you have to sweat.  Also, make it fun and do it at least 4 days a week.

So about my progress:  It has been about a week since I cut out sugar, watched my portion sizes and started exercising.  Since  the last post I am down 2 more pounds to 201 pounds for total of 6 pounds lost.  Still very overweight but off to a great start!



Portion Size. Too much of a good thing is bad for Weight Loss.

Here is one of the biggest tricks in loosing weight.  Watch your portion size.  The key is moderation.  Yes certain foods are good for you and you can eat more of them.  But too much of a good thing is bad for loosing weight.  This is just one of the things I have learned over the years from actually going through many different diets.  For example, the Weight Watcher Diet has a Points program.  What the points program really is, is a way to calculate calories.  What they do is just kinda adjust the point for fiber and/or fat.  So if the food has more fiber which is filling it would go down on the point scale.  If it has more fat it would go up on the point scale.  Regardless, the core of the points are calories.  It is approximately 50 calories per point.  The thing is, if you are going to be running around with a point calculator or even counting calories all day long, you are not going to stay with the diet.  I recommend initially figuring out how many calories you need to take to loose weight.  Figure out your foods, meals and portion sizes early on and stick with it. Make these meals part of your lifestyle.  If your eating habits become more of a lifestyle than a diet you will stick with it and not only loose the weight, but keep it off in the long run.  When I did keep weight off for several years, it was because I incorporated healthy living into my lifestyle.



Ultimately, if you are going to loose weight, you will have to eat less.  Yes, there are certain foods that have high nutritional value, which are also high in fiber and low in fat that you can eat more of, however again, the key is moderation.

Now about my progress.  Just by cutting out sugar and watching my calories and portion size I have lost 2 pounds in just 4 days.  I am now down to 203 lbs.   Still very heavy for my height, but it is a good start.   What I have learned however, you can’t sustain a steady weight loss by diet alone.  If I screw up on one weekend at a party or by eating out, I can easily gain back all the weight I lost during the prior week.

What I learned is that in order to truly be successful at loosing weight you can’t just diet.  You also need to exercise to loose weight and keep the weight off.  I will discuss exercise for weight loss in my next post.



Stop eating foods with added Sugar to Accelerate Weight Loss

One of the things I have learned over the years is  that sugar is your enemy.  Not only is sugar bad for you because it can cause chronic illness like diabetes or heart disease but it will sabotage any effort in you trying to loose any weight.  You will be surprised how many so called “healthy” foods you eat may have way too much sugar in them already.

Some obvious foods should be on your “no” list because they have way too much  sugar and have very little nutritional value:

  • Soda
  • Ice Cream
  • Cakes / Cookies / Pastries

Some foods marketed as “healthy” have added sugar.  You should stop eating these:

  • Granola Bars
  • Cereal with added sugar
  • Yogurt with added sugar
  • Any type of low fat product that is sweet (low fat cookies)
  • Fruit Juices.

If you have a craving for something sweet, moderation is key however when you are trying to loose weight especially in the beginning, it is best to eliminate as much sugar from your diet as possible.

The goal is to try and eat foods that are nutrient dense.  I call these foods, “Superfoods”.  They actually make you healthier and are filled with nutrition.  The calories or sugar they have in them will be worth eating because you are nourishing your body.  For example if you must have something sweet.  Have a bowl of blueberries over a small cookie.  Blueberries I’ll talk about “Superfoods” in depth in a later post.



Calculating your BMI

This is the beginning of this blog and journey.   I am 207 pounds and 5’8″.  I am clearly overweight.  How do I know I am overweight?  Well when I look in the mirror I could tell.  Many people however may think that they are not overweight, but they really are.  A good way in finding out how over weight you are is calculating your BMI or Body Mass Index.  You can find out your BMI easily by plugging in your weight and height into a BMI Calculator.  A great BMI calculator that I use is by the CDC.   Ideally your BMI should be under 25 however many doctors will be fine with a BMI slightly higher.  My BMI is 31.5 which puts me in the borderline obese category.  I don’t really feel obese but I am just on the borderline.  When your are overweight or obese, you have a higher chance of getting chronic illnesses and getting sick.

Here is a list of diseases that you can get by having a high BMI, taken from the CDC:

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning

So yes it is scary.  Many people loose weight earlier in life to look good, but as you get older the health factor becomes more important.

Some doctors believe that other measurements like Hip to waist Ratio is a better indicator of health.  (I will discuss this in a later post)  BMI sometimes will be inaccurate if you are an athlete with a high proportion of muscle on your body.  For most people the BMI is a good gauge on how healthy you are and how much weight you need to loose.  In my case I need to loose 43 pounds.

So, this is just Day 1. I hope you stay with me and hopefully are also inspired to get healthy along with me and have some fun along the way.



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