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Going Down In Limits (Weight Limits That Is)

In a post from the not too distant past, I mentioned how I lost about 35 pounds in approximately 5 months. Since writing that post - and based on numerous requests - I've decided to write down the basics of what I did to accomplish the weight loss. I know there are a number of broggers out there looking to lose some weight, so maybe a couple of these ideas will fit in your mix.

If you read the above linked post you'll see, though I started the health kick for the right reasons, I didn't exactly start the right way. Drastically dropping your food and caloric intake is just a bad idea. However, along the way I figured out what wasn't working and what was working and found a medium that made me happy and healthy. I know that the plan worked well (and continues to work well) for me and it may work well for others in a similar situation.

First and foremost, know that when I use the word *diet* in this post, I am not referring to it in the "try this diet and lose weight" sense of the term, but more along the lines of "a sensible diet low (or high) in blah blah blah." As I noted in the earlier post, I did not make this change solely to lose weight or go on a diet. I did it to improve my health and physical condition. Now that I've got that out of the way, shall we begin?


One of the first things that bit the dust in my diet was sweet tea and sodas. I kid you not when I note this may have been the biggest part of my change. I basically eliminated any sugar intake from liquids (except for a few select drinks/smoothies that include juice, which I'll get to in a moment). And for those of you thinking, "That's cool, I'll just drink diet sodas," don't fool yourself. Remember, this can't totally be about the weight loss. It needs to be about improving your health as well. In that right, you have to ditch the diet sodas as well. Just because diet sodas don't have sugar does not make them good for you.

So what am I drinking these days? Well of course I've increased my water intake, but I'm not sitting around stuffing 8 glasses of water down my throat every single day. Instead I find other ways to get liquids that are good for me into my system. For starters, I have a smoothie every single day (usually in the morning, but sometimes for another meal during the day as needed). It is part of my morning routine and I thrive on how unbelievable those fuckers taste. I bought a
Back To Basics Blender from Target, which is the shizzy. Using that mixer, I blend the following:

-1/2 of a medium sized banana
-1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries (frozen or fresh, though I prefer frozen)
-3 or 4 medium strawberries (frozen or fresh, though I prefer frozen)
-Small spoonful of peanut butter (usually either
this kind or a natural peanut butter that is just peanuts and salt)
-1 cup of skim milk
-1/4 cup of orange juice
-Small scoop of
whey protein (I prefer vanilla for fruit smoothies)
-A few pieces of ice

Mix that puppy up and you've got some serious goodness for breakfast. If you have one of those in the morning, it should get you through until a mid-morning snack before lunch. Throughout the morning you should continue to take in fluids, but it doesn't have to be just water. For instance, in my office we have a
Flavia machine that rocks. I don't drink coffee, but every morning, after I get settled in at work, I follow up my earlier smoothie with one of these drinks (usually the Green Tea).

I'm not saying you need to tell your boss that you need on of these machines, but at the very least I think it would be a good idea to go grab yourself some natural green tea bags from the grocery store. This is a great way to get some of your daily water intake, while having a drink that has been found to be good for the body. They are simple to make at work by just running hot water over the tea bags and letting it settle.

During lunch I'll usually either have water with lemon or unsweet tea with lemon. One trick I use to not over do it on the tea, is to have the waiter/waitress make every other refill water. It still tastes like tea, but I'm increasing my water intake and decreasing my caffeine intake. At work, when drinking my green tea, I'll do the same thing. Once the tea starts to get back to room temperature, I'll just go fill the mug back up with hot water. It still tastes like green tea, but I've really just added more water. This is just a simple little trick I use to add more water to my diet every day.

For dinner I do another little trick that makes me feel like I'm drinking a soda when I'm not. I usually have a
Perrier or a S. Pellegrino mineral water. I can already hear some of my readers going, "pppfffttt, that is no soda," but to me, just having something that is carbonated does the trick. And the beauty of it is I'm still drinking water. I don't recommend drinking mineral water all day long, but having one ot two a day during meals is certainly an option. It works for me. You can get cases of the above waters pretty cheap at any grocery store, though at a restaurant you might pay a little extra. If anyone knows of a cheaper mineral water option that tastes as good as the above waters, please let me know.

The last thing I usually drink at night as an after dinner snack is a medium size glass of skim milk mixed with whey protein. This usually fills me up for the night and keeps me hydrated until the morning. I never wake up in the middle of the night craving food when I have this drink before bed.

So that's the basics of my liquids throughout the day...smoothies, water (mineral water occasionally), unsweet regular and green teas, and skim milk. Many people dread a change in their basic drinking habits for fear that they will have a downer from losing the sugar or caffeine. Take things in stride. At first I couldn't fathom drinking unsweet tea. It only took a couple of glasses with lemon before I started to enjoy the taste, and I don't even use sweeteners. I prefer the taste of green tea and regular (orange or black tea) plain or with lemon. Just give it time. After a while you won't miss sugary drinks and sodas because you will feel so much better without them. And don't forget the tricks I mentioned with making every other refill just plain water. This really heps increase your water, without feeling like your drinking water.

The Food

Though I really consider the smoothie I mentioned above a food, I listed it in the Liquids section because you do drink it. Still, I consider it a meal and I use it as such. The core of that shake came from a Mens Health article I read more than 10 years ago. I have tweaked it over time, but the basics are still there. Now for the guts of my core diet. A few years back I was reading another article in Mens Health that intrigued me. It was called the AbsDietPower and though it did have the flashy name and guarantee to flatten your stomach quick (initial signs of a fad diet), it also had what seemed to be a healthy and feasible dietary plan. I did some research on it and felt comfortable about the foods they were touting to be the shizzy.

Though I continued to eat items from their list over time after reading the article, I didn't really focus on it until I decided it was time to get serious about my health. Once I did this I saw a dramatic positive change.

Here are the basics of the AbsDietPower foods:

Almonds and other nuts
Beans and other legumes
Spinach and other green vegetables
Dairy Products
Instant Oatmeal
Turkey and other lean meats
Peanut Butter
Olive Oil
Whole Grain Breads and Cereals
Extra Protein-Whey Powder
Raspberries and other berries

From these core foods, I build meals and snacks throughout my day that are meant to condition my body to be a healthy and lean running machine. Do I stray from the core groups? Of course, but when I do, I try to keep my health in mind. These core groups of food are basically all good foods that taste great. Sure some folks won't like spinach or raspberries or whatever, but if you can find the core groups or similarly healthy items that make up the core group, then you are on your way to a healthier you.

Here is what a typical day of eating might be for me:

-Wake up and make smoothie so I can drink it while getting ready for work.
-At work, once I'm settled in, I'll start my day off with a Green Tea or water. I think one cup of coffee would be reasonable here. ONE!
-If I'm drinking Green Tea, I'll continually drink about half, then refill with hot/warm water.
-Around 10:30 or 11:00 I'll have a handful of
Almonds or a couple of multi-grain crackers for a snack.
-At Lunch I'll usually eat a sub, sandwich, or salad from whatever restaurant is around. Sometimes I'll go to Moes or Qdoba and get a naked burrito (no rice, double the black beans, with grilled chicken and salsa). That shit is off the hook.
-Around 3pm I'll usually eat whatever snack I didn't eat earlier in the day. If I had almonds in the morning, I'll have crackers in the afternoon.
-For dinner (usually between 6-7pm), I will usually do some form of meat with vegetables. If I had a sub or salad for lunch, I probably don't do a lot of bread at dinner. But if I had a salad for lunch, I will usually make sure I have some type of meal that includes a whole wheat bread or wrap of some sort.
-Around 8pm I'll usually have a snack. Maybe a small bowl of Go Lean cereal (it's good stuff) with skim milk. Or maybe just the skim milk with whey protein like I mentioned earlier.

I'm always switching things up. I'll often having breakfast for dinner, just so i can get some of the other core foods into my diet. I might make a turkey and cheese omelet (use 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites) with some whole wheat toast or maybe a Spicy Black Bean soup for dinner. The meal options are endless.


I'm not going to tell you to go to the gym every day or even every other day, cause it probably won't happen. However, when you can, get your lass (lard ass) off the couch and do some physical activity. I don't care if it is walking around the block with your spouse or kids or just taking a quick walk around the neighborhood alone. Just get your ass off the couch and do something. And if you so desire, head on to the gym and talk to someone about a work out regimen that fits your wants and needs.


-Sugary drinks (sodas, sports drinks, enegry drinks, etc).
-Fried foods (this is a tough one, but a must for the most part)
-Too much red meat
-Foods too high in saturated fat (don't be afraid of fat, just know the good and bad).
-Trans Fats (avoid at all costs).

Now I'm not saying don't ever eat these things, but when you can, opt for healthier items. Trust me, I eat a nice big burger when I get the urge. But it is not as often as I used to. And when I do have one I no longer have the large fries and a coke with it. Most fast foods are offering healthier fare, so when you can, opt for a side that is better for you, especially if you are having a burger.


-Try and eat 6 meals (3 smaller meals and 3 snacks) instead of 2 or 3 big honking meals a day.
-When given the option, go for grilled instead of fried.
-Every once in a while (say once a week), eat whatever the hell you want (for one of your meals in a particular day). Treat it like a free pass just for that one meal.
-Find what works for you. If you are allergic to peanuts, then maybe almonds work for you. If you hate spinach, but love Kale, well rock on.
-Read more about the 12 power foods and other cool shit regarding this meal plan by visiting
here and here.
-Eat small portions of dark chocolate whenever you need a sugar or chocolate fix. I keep a stash of dark chocolate hersheys kisses in my desk at work and pop one or two every day in between meals. Just don't over do it.
-Keep all the snacks and drinks that fit in your diet readily available at work and home. Don't give yourself any reason to go to the snack machine when you have everything you need at your fingertips.

-When cooking, use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter/margarine. It tastes great and is good for you.

Honestly, most of the things I've mentioned above are common sense and it's really nothing new. Here is the thing though. You have to truly want to improve before it will happen. Believe me when I tell you this. You have to truly want to make a change. Over the last 3 years I always bitched about needing to "hit the gym more often" and "chill out on the fried foods," but at the time I was just kidding myself. I didn't truly want it and it showed. Then one day, something changed in me and I decided I wanted to change. My wife did not deserve the man I was becoming and I was truly disappointed in myself and the way I felt. I have changed and I don't plan on looking back.

I tend to ramble and lose focus when writing, so if you have questions or want clarification on anything, let me know. Like I mentioned, this works for me, but may not work for you.

Ubergay Before and After:

Before (About 205 lbs in May 2006).

Somewhere in the middle (probably around 180 lbs).

Somewhere in the mid to high 170's (and drunk).

I don't currently have a picture of me at 170, but I've stayed steady there for quite a while now and it is a weight I feel comfortable with. I don't want to lose anymore weight, but could stand to even gain some back with some muscle gain hopefully. So that's ubergay offering for how I lost some weight. If I help one person...awesome. If not...well fuggoff!

Until next, may the felt be with you.


It took me a while to write this last night and as I awoke this morning I started thinking about some things I left out. Just generalities, but let me go a little bit further. I know some people have their vices. Some folks love their pasta, or pizza, or alcohol, or whatever. In no way am I saying you have to ditch everything you love to be happy and healthy. A key word I failed to mention earlier is moderation. I try to do everything in moderation. I don't always succeed, but I try.

On occasion I will go out with the family and rip apart some pizza. I don't do it often, but I do it because I enjoy it. Once every week or two I will have many more than the recommended 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks. MANY MORE. But when I do it, I'm enjoying myself and doing something with friends that makes me happy.

Take all these things into account when you are planning your healthier eating habits. If you absolutely love pasta, then eat it on occasion, but don't eat it at every meal. If you have pasta for dinner, try and make it a whole grain pasta. If you have a sub for lunch try and have it on whole wheat instead of white, and go for the leaner cuts of meat (and on occassion just skip the cheese or take off half of what they gave you).

Going to lunch at Wendys? Try a plain baked potato and small chili (pour some of the chili on the baked potato instead of using butter or sour cream). Having bread with dinner? Make it whole wheat and put olive oil on it instead of butter. It's the little changes over time that can go a long way towards being a healthier person. Eventually, you will begin to see where and why the weight was staying on just by seeing what you are no longer putting in your body.

*end edit*

posted by TripJax @ 3:41 AM,


At 1:11 AM, Anonymous dbirider said...

Good advise. Similar, but much better then what I usually tell overweight people, "Stop eating so much".

At 8:35 AM, Blogger GaryC said...

Go grilled intead of fried? Bahahahahaha. Sorry, sir, that is NOT an option in Oklahoma.

Congrats on the healthiness!


At 8:40 AM, Blogger Shep said...

I see no mention of adult beverages, did you remove them from you diet or just once in a while.
it was nice seeing you again

At 9:38 AM, Blogger TripJax said... skinny bastard!

G...yeah you got it tough my man...but remember i'm in the south and have it pretty tough as well...somehow I find a way to avoid them whenever possible.

Shep...nah, I still partake in the adult beverages...I just don't do it as often. I'd say moderation is a good thing, but on occasion, I throw moderation in the toilet. I do the same thing with food as well though. If it's poker night, I may eat and drink whatever the hell I want that night, but I know the rest of the week I'm eating healthy. I think you have to give yourself the occasional cheat days, whether it's food or alcohol, or you might go crazy. Having drinks with friends is an important and enjoyable part of my life so I have no plans on giving that up. As a good example, on New Years Day I didn't drink, not only cause I had a long drive ahead, but because I drank more than my fair share the night before and needed a break.

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read/heard somewhere once that eliminating soda and sugary beverages from your diet will remove 20lbs a year. Of course, when people give up sugary beverages they usually supplement with other sugary items, so they never see that much improvement.

What kind of whey protein are you using. Is it a WPC (concentrate) or WPI (isolate)? If it's a WPC you may want to look into getting an Isolate as the concentrates usually have a small percentage of lactose (sugar oh noes!) and the other fatty portion of milk in them. Isolates are pure whey proteins (and they certainly show it in the price). I can recommend some excellent proteins in great flavors if you were interested.

Great post, btw. Hope it helps some people.

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous tripjax said...

JL514...I'm interested...let me know details if you don't mind. I can't recall exactly which one I am currently drinking, but I did a close look at the nutrional facts and felt comfortable with them. Still, if I can improve in that arena, more the better. When you have a moment, shoot me a comment or details of what you recommend...

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh - when you drink, moderation isn't the only thing you throw in the toilet, Jax! Good to see you New Year's, buddy.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like the yummiest and healthiest way to get healthy and take off weight - I am actually going to try some of your ideas! Especially cutting sweet drinks.

Happy new year! factually,

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of great tips there Trips. I need to cut down on some of the stuff you have mentioned there for sure.

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, first stop would be reading this article:

This is a review of a bunch of quality whey products:

I'm currently using ErgoPharm GF Pro, but its ridiculously expensive. (super tasty though)

I also have a tub of Sytrax nectar which also got great reviews but I haven't opened it yet. When I do i'll let you know how it is.

HOw's that blender by the way? I need one for my APT in FL.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Special K said...

So I'm dunking my TripJax inspired teabag, and I feel like I should be sending you a dial-a-shot. Oh, well.


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