Questions this week about fat burners, jenny craig, loose skin and getting in that water!

With advertising that says women who drink Crystal Light drink 40% more water, what’s your take on it? I only usually have one of those little packets a day in a 16oz of water, but I know they talk about the aspartame in them being bad… so what say you?

I hate to do this.. but I’m not big on the Crystal Light fare. I like bare basics. I like things where, if I could no longer afford to purchase [insert product], I wouldn’t feel as if I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. So if I went completely flat broke (like I’m about to do with grad school) and couldn’t afford Crystal Light anymore, would I no longer drink water? Call it paranoia, whatever.

I also don’t like artificial sweeteners. At all. I’ll stick to organic cane sugar or basic table sugar for cooking, and rarely do I actually need either (I may bake occasionally, but that’s about it.)

I wrote about this in another post, but if you need something to sweeten your water, try actual fruits and veggies. Freeze grapes, blueberries, orange slices, strawberries, whatever and use them as ice cubes. Squeeze them in little containers and use the juice to give a little flavor to your water. I just… feel like artificial sweeteners present an unnecessary risk that can easily be avoided, and you’d do better to try natural means, anyhow.

I do believe that number about the amount of “water” women drink increasing… some locations simply have awkward/poor tasting tap water supply and can’t stomach it, so the flavor helps. This just offers a different/better way to get that flavoring. πŸ™‚

As your body transitioned how did you make sure your skin stayed tight without being flabby or sagging?

I’m going to do an update about myself and my progress next week but drinking water, weight lifting, keeping activities like yoga and running on deck and staying moisturized has been a huge help. If I’m not mistaken, the skin serves the purpose of protecting our vital organs from the outside. It can’t do that if it’s saggy and limp and not clinging to the very organs it’s supposed to protect, so once there is nothing left to cling to (meaning, once all the fat is gone) the skin will do it’s proper job in clinging to the new body.

Here’s my story.Β  I am currently a little over 200 pounds.Β  I’m a grad student, working on a phd in math so my stress levels are usually through the roof and my lifestyle is mostly sedentary.Β  I love to cook and would do so more often if I only had TIME…Β  Anyway, I don’t think I eat particularly unhealthy, what gets me in trouble are portion sizes and eating at all hours of the day and night.Β  I’ve been wanting to shed at least 40 pounds for a while now, but weight loss has been like trying to get in the jump ropes: a lot of watching, a lot of false starts, a lot of getting tripped up.

I was interested in your thoughts on programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.Β  I am drawn to try for their strict discipline but I have my reservations, like the supplied food being processed, and the reliance on external sources to get started.Β  What’s your take on these programs?Β  Ever use them or know someone who did/does?

Firstly, here’s to making it through grad school (at least this far) alive! That’s major!

Secondly, skip the programs. They ARE portion control. I know what it’s like to have broke-college-student status. Even if you’re not broke-college-livin’, it’s still a recession, LOL. With your own planning and preparation and figuring out how to create your own system, you can make it work. Again, affordability – if you couldn’t afford to do it forever, doing it NOW just to “get there” isn’t ideal for everyone. What happens when it’s gone? You know? To me, the risk is too high.

There’s nothing wrong with eating “at all hours of the night.” There’s LOTS wrong with eating back-to-back-to-back at all hours of the day AND night, though. To me, that’s a sign that you’re not eating the right things after all. My days usually run from 4AM to midnight… please believe I eat at 7, 10, 12, 3, 6, andΒ  9. I’m not eating full course meals.. I’m just making sure that I have the energy in my system to keep going without falling asleep.

As a side note… because I apparently don’t blog enough and still really wanna talk about it.. I think this op-ed is kind of pertinent to the question of anyone’s need for Jenny Craig or similar programs. A culture that has enough rules about eating doesn’t “need” a program that imposes more rules. The “a culture that has enough rules about eating” part is of great interest to me, though. Create your own eating rules one by one, and stick to ’em.

If I were in your shoes, I’d probably focus on drinking much more water, eating less but eating more often and trying to eat less of foods in packages and boxes. Do that and barring any other outstanding medical issues, I’m almost positive you’ll see results.

What are your thoughts on supplements like vitamins and fat burners?

My thoughts when it comes to fat burners? If you feel like throwing your money away, you can always donate it to the site. πŸ™‚

Vitamins, though… meh. In In Defense Of Food, the author discusses supplements and basically says you should be the kind of person who takes vitamins… because these people are usually well educated, very health-conscious, picky eaters and are (unfortunately) more likely to spend a little more on “better” foods. Meaning, they’re probably already getting all the vitamins they need from their daily diet… not the vitamins. So… if you take vitamins, cool… but strive to be that person who doesn’t need them. πŸ™‚

Keep the questions coming!