Get Off the Phone!

Thanks for so many great comments and observations on Monday’s post. I wanted to share a few of the highlights and great suggestions.

Lori mentioned something she’s termed “food creep” –the snacking, nibbling, gradual act of eating more and more and not noticing until it’s too late (i.e. weight gain). 

Beth said she’s also experiencing something similar and is getting “back to basics” (good plan). 

Alex had a GREAT tip for holiday parties: use a small plate. It’s a fantastic suggestion that slipped my mind. My advice would also be in tandem of the small-plate-at-parties-plan and that’s not to stand next to the buffet/snack table during the party. It’s really easy to just mindlessly munch while you’re talking to people and not even notice OR enjoy the food!

You might want to check out this post that is similar to mine in it’s message, Dry December. It’s a great post, timely and I agree with it. The writer is limiting her alcohol intake to once or twice a week instead of every day. I’ve been doing something similar since the day after Thanksgiving. Since then I’ve had 1 beer and that’s it. I didn’t miss it, either.

I’m hoping the plan I’ve been doing for a few weeks now will show some results on the scale. That damn skirt is too tight, yet ironically the jeans I have that are a size 2 (Target vanity sizing, so probably a 4 or 6 in reality) are literally falling off my body. So how is the skirt tight and the jeans are loose?

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Last night I was at the gym doing my physical therapy exercises, elliptical and the weight machines (I try to mix it up with the free weights, machines and kettlebells) and I noticed something:

Almost everyone I walked by in the weight room was simply sitting on the machines, not working out, playing with their phones.


I wanted to say, “Don’t you know you’re just wasting your time in the gym when you could be working out?” and “You aren’t really burning calories sitting there!”

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes do that too–changing the music on Pandora, answer a text here and there, get lost on Twitter while I’m on the elliptical…but I try my hardest not to make that a habit. When I’m in the gym, I want to spend as little time as possible to burn the calorie count I’m looking for. Meaning, I know I can burn between 550-700 calories in 1 hour doing cardio and kettlebell exercises.  So why would I spend 90 minutes doing the same thing but taking lots of breaks to play with my phone?

I don’t mean this to be preachy or judgmental, just a friendly reminder. KEEP YOUR HEART RATE UP!


In related news, I did squats on the bosu ball per my physical therapist. If you’ve never tried it, give it a try the next time you’re at the gym. It’s surprisingly harder than it looks.

My gym session was pretty good. I liked the calorie number and went home famished. Michael made his amazing homemade meatballs and a puttanesca sauce over Barilla shells pasta. Unfortunately, my camera is on the fritz and I had to send it in to be fixed (I’m going through withdrawals not having my Canon DSLR around) but thankfully it’s still under warranty. Anyway, I used my old camera to take photos of the beautiful, picture-perfect dinner and of COURSE the photos didn’t turn out. 🙁

The sauce was fantastic and spicy as hell. He used a jar of Trader Joe’s vodka red sauce as a base and added chopped Kalamata olives and lots of red pepper flakes. It’s an easy sauce to make and tastes so good. It would definitely impress a dinner guest.

I miss my camera. 🙁

QUESTION: How do you feel about the “playing on the phone” topic?


I’m sharing that comment because Daphne made an excellent point and also got me thinking. Can you retrain your tastebuds? Short answer: for sure!

When Daphne described how she weened herself off of putting a lot of sugar in her coffee, it reminded me of just how much I had to ween myself off of sugars, and not just sugars but the way junk food tasted.

That junky food tasted good to me. I was used to drinking regular sodas packed with calories and sugar. Making the change to diet soda was a shock. It was so gross. I hated it and I had to choke it down. Why I didn’t just give up soda entirely is beyond me, but I eventually just got used to the taste of diet soda. Once I got used to the way diet soda tasted, real soda was a sugar shock. Now I drink mostly sparkling water. I got to the point where diet soda made me feel kind of sick (additives and other junk in it) and the sparkling water tasted better.

Same goes for the coffee. I’ve described my go-to coffee dessert many times but for you new readers here it is: white chocolate mocha with caramel syrup and whipped cream. MAN! DELICIOUS! Also a sugar shock and an even bigger calorie shock. Now? I drink black coffee with creamer in it. It’s less than 100 calories and while it’s not quite the same as what I used to get, it does okay. It sounds to me like Daphne has a handle on her coffee and sugar ratio. 🙂 It’s a big change to the taste buds, though, and it definitely takes time to adjust.

You MUST give yourself time to adjust. It may seem weird at first. The food might not taste right. But eventually your body adapts.

When I was trying to lose the weight, I made the switch from high fat, junk food to diet food that was low in calorie. The foods had a lot of fake things in them–so much so that I’d hesitate to call some of it FOOD. Once I got used to how the fake stuff tasted, I didn’t mind it too much. What I did notice, though, is that is wasn’t as satisfying. I think there is a correlation between cravings and hunger with the TYPE of food we eat.

“As fat promotes fullness, if a person is insensitive to fat their body will not send out signals telling them they are full and need to stop eating.” (source)

That quote is from a longer article that has some interesting information is you care to read it. It went on to share some of the results of a study and how people taste fat and what it does to their hunger. It was interesting but inconclusive.

For the last year or so, I’ve been eating more real foods. I have REAL mayonnaise in my fridge instead of the fake stuff that was 40 calories. Sure it’s double the calories, but a little bit of real mayo goes a long way. I don’t need as much. It tastes good and I feel satisfied. I’ve also been adding avocado to meals. I noticed a huge change in my hunger. The avocados are so satisfying and filling, and I don’t need to eat much of it to get that benefit.

Looking into this topic, I found a few articles that were interesting and worth a read:

Adjusting Your Tastebuds, Part One

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Taste Buds

10 Tips To Get Those Taste Buds Working As They Should

So how do you change your tastebuds?

I think the first step is to some sort of cleanse. Get rid of the unhealthy high fats (i.e. junk food) and fast food items and make some small changes today. Buy a bag of apples and eat one for a snack every day. Just get into the habit and even if you don’t crave fruits and vegetables like you do the junk food, give it time for your body and tastebuds to adjust. It won’t happen overnight. (I think it took me about 2 weeks of healthier eating to get used to it.)

Next, try things you’ve never had before. For a really long time I told myself I hated Brussels sprouts and asparagus. I don’t know why I thought that because those two things weren’t something I ever really ate. The veggies in my house growing up were frozen corn, green beans, and peas and carrots. My dad hated anything “green” so our veggie exposure was pretty limited. Guess what? I gave it a try a few years ago and I LOVE asparagus and Brussels sprouts! They are my two favorite vegetables now.

Look at labels when you go grocery shopping. How many ingredients are in that item? Are they things you can pronounce? Is there a bunch of added sugar or MSG? Maybe it’s time to start cooking certain things from scratch to avoid the additives.

QUESTION: Have you noticed your tastebuds changing?