Wikipedia: Obesogens may be functionally defined as chemicals that inappropriately alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic setpoints, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity.
I’ve been suspecting for a long time that many chemicals in our life, from those in the modest tomato to the pharmaceutical drugs can fatten us or harm us in other ways.
These are the obesogens, carcinogens and so on…
And now I wonder if I have any chance to avoid them, while living in a big city and shopping at supermarkets.
Yet, as my diet or any other diet doesn’t seem to work too well for me, I’m on a plateau, I have to try everything in my power to minimize the presence of these alien chemicals in my life.
I’m going to start my modest endeavour by taking a closer look at the daily bread.
A long time ago I noticed that if I replace bread with other starches for 3 weeks, I got rid of several pounds, without changing anything else in my daily life. I couldn’t find an explanation then.
And now I wonder if it is the gluten or what else in bread that it’s fattening me?
(Provided of course, I don’t eat too much of it, calories do count).
I haven’t thought until recently there could be something else besides water, flour, salt, bit of sugar, butter or vegetable oil and yeast in the bread I buy from the nearby shop. Well, I was very, very wrong so I’ve started to read labels more carefully.
And..ooops, my daily bread contains:
– Emulsifiers. I don’t even care if a chemical emulsifier is safe or not. For me, it’s a clear sign of a low-quality, industrial product. Egg yolks and milk can act as emulsifiers and provide added nutrition as well.
– Antioxidants I’m not a fan of added antioxidants, I’ll tell you why some other time. I don’t especially like them in my fresh daily bread, I don’t think they improve taste. As long as they’re natural, I might accept them in an industrial bread. But if it’s a nasty chemical, like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), it’s a huge NO, NO!
– Caramel Coloring This I really don’t understand. Bran is not so expensive. But it seems chemical caramel coloring is even cheaper. This is really nasty because bran is healthy, while chemical coloring might include some carcinogens. It’s falsifying a healthy product and, in my opinion should be punished by law.
– Chemical leavening agents Don’t need them, I hate them, they make bread puffy, less tasty. I can’t prove they’re the enemies but I feel I’m becoming puffy too.
– There are for sure other chemicals too, I won’t lose time. Many are mentioned in Wikipedia as obesogens.
It was almost impossible to find a healthy bread in the supermarkets or in the small shops in my area, whatever the price, so there was only one option left:
Buy a bread machine and start making my own bread.
I’m still reading carefully the labels, as many ingredients in my bread recipe might contain unwanted chemicals. I’m also happy that my bread is much less salty than the commercial one,.
There are still huge problems with pesticides and fungicides in the food, including flour. Nothing to do here but to join the chorus asking for healthier products.
It won’t help too much buying bio product
I don’t trust the producers, not in my area, and they cost a lot more.
This set aside, the next problem to tackle is that I’m making such a good bread that I’m eating too much of it.
Too many calories still do fatten me, especially those from too many carbs, with or without chemicals!
I’ve tried to enforce a strict discipline, to stick to my daily portions but the smell is incredible and the taste so good….
Rule of thumb: don’t eat bread freshly baked, don’t even taste it if you can.
It’s healthier eaten after several hours or even the next day. Yeah, I know!
Again, I’ve tried the old strategy of adding instead of subtracting all or too much.
Like adding other tasty starchy foods like pre boiled rice, couscous, pasta, bulgur, oats a.s.o. to my menu. This is kind of working but only if I keep a food journal on www.myfitnesspal.com
I do have a problem, with all carbohydrates, it seems, I have to control the intake. Not to mention calories.
One other good idea has been to share my fresh bread with family and friends.
I’m becoming quite popular, you know?
Bonus, my bread machine makes a nice pizza dough but that’s another story that Sheherazada will tell you some other time.
I don’t always have time to procure ingredients and make bread. I still eat commercial bread from time to time, trying to choose those brands with a tiny-winni list of ingredients.
When eating at a restaurant, I choose some starchy food as side dish and avoid bread.
Fast food? Well, it depends. This needs a lot of thinking as there are some interesting fast food providers in my neighbourhood, Romanian, Turkish, Lebanese a.s.o. Some of them provide at least tasty food, traditional breads a.s.o., even if not exactly healthy when you come to think of the ingredients.
I’m not so sure if my bread strategy will work in time, there are so many parameters when it comes to diets, but it’s worth trying. At least I’ve tickled-tackled one possible cause.
I should mention that I’m on a Mediterranean Diet, adapted to my lifestyle, my traditions, my environment and my needs.
A properly made soup is a great hack for any diet, because…
It has minerals and vitamins. It hydrates. It has a low calorie density. It has a low Glycemic Index. It’s filling!
It can be a meal in itself. It cools you in Summer, it warms your soul in Winter.
It helps you feel better when you’re ill.
And of course you can have it as a quick lunch, in a Mason jar.
Not any veggie, fish or meat soup will do though.
In my country, we have traditional soups so high in calories that one should run in a marathon to burn all the calories in a generous portion. Like a bean soup, cooked with a huge piece of smoked fat pork ham or a link of pork sausages and served with fried onions. So tasty, yes, but…no… but…yeaaah!
There are millions of soup recipes on the net but beware!
It’s so easy to cook an unhealthy soup. So first of all, here are my “don’ts”:
– Don’t use commercial stock, don’t use any stock if not required by the recipe and not made by yourself
– Don’t add anything that has MSG or other chemicals, you don’t need to
– Don’t add sugar
– Don’t add too much of anything and especially, don’t add too much fat or salt
– Don’t overcook it, you’ll lose precious vitamins.
Is it worth cooking your own soup? Yes, it’s usually healthier and, at least, you know what went in it and how many calories it has. And it can be fun.
If you’re new in the kitchen, I can tell you it’s the easiest recipe in the world to cook.
If the ingredients are fresh and you try at least to follow the recipe, you can’t go wrong Ye’ll swallow it anyway cause it’ll smell and taste so good and it’s made by you.
The nice part is that once you have learned to cook my 12 diet veggie or meat soups, you can “invent” your own, it’s up to your imagination and taste. You can become very creative in your kitchen. I promise I’ll give you some tips and teach you some tricks.
Here are my best “diet hacks”:
1 Veggie Soup à la Grecque
2 A Simple Chicken Soup
3 Red Beetroot Soup
4 Winter White Soup
5 Beans and Tomatoes Soup
6 Springtime Green Soup
7 Fish Soup à la Danube Delta
8 Summer Bortsch
9 Tomato Soup
10 Wax Beans Soup
11 Meatball Soup
12 Lentil Soup
I will add that these soups go perfectly well with the Mediterranean Diet, considered the healthiest diet nowadays. Romanian Cuisine borrowed and is still borrowing such recipes from neighbours, “visitors” and from the Mediterranean cultures all along our history. The result is a delicious, interesting cuisine.
I’ve changed a bit my traditional soup recipes to make them simple and quick to cook and be more suitable for my diet.
I will cook these soups the next months, in a random order.
I’ll start with a nice Beans & Tomatoes Soup, Best for Winter, best for meatless days.
Follow me and let’s see how many pounds we can get rid of.
Holidays are here to stay for a couple of weeks. And they bring lots and lots of goodies.
Who can resist that box of delicious chocolates? Not me.
But then the little voice in my brain is whispering: it’s not healthy to eat sugary things.
You’ll put on, there’s diabetes somewhere lurking a.s.o.
Better have a small nice juicy red apple, ye Snow White.
That little voice isn’t quite mine. It found a place a long time ago among my tired neurons while I’ve been trying desperately and not so successfully to lose some pounds.
I guess by now I’ve read too much media and scientific items so that I simply can’t enjoy a piece of chocolate without feeling guilty.
They say cocoa is so healthy, has antioxidants and other goodies but without sugar, it’s horribly bitter, not quite edible. And sugar is nowadays the number one enemy, isn’t it?
Mmmm, maybe the whole picture is blurred?
Let’s focus on reality, at least my reality. For the last five year I’ve been avoiding sugar as hell. After five years I can tell you some interesting facts.
I’ve stopped putting on after I limited sugar, fat and starch treats aka rich cakes.
I “taste” them only on holidays and special occasions.
However, 100 kcal of certain sweets a day, like three small pieces of dark chocolate, 1 tbsp of homemade jam, 1 tbsp of honey or two small cereal cookies, haven’t harmed me. Didn’t even had any impact on whatever diet I followed.
Three small tablets of chocolate a day are good for my morale but not essential.
There are other ways to deal with stress but when stress is overwhelming, even a bit of chocolate makes the difference between getting nuts and keeping some sanity.
Especially if you’re on a diet.
Problems start when you can’t stop after three small tablets and eat every day lots and lots of sweets. Then, as with alcohol, there’s only one way to go.
No treats, no sugar, no starches, none, for at least three weeks, the necessary time to make your brain and body change habits.
And do stop for good adding sugar in everything you swallow and it’s not desert, salads, soups, coffee. Don’t buy any, stay away of it. It’s difficult to do this but it works.
Keep in mind, though. If you don’t indulge in sugary foods and you’re still getting fat, other foods might be your enemy. Like more than enough fat, saturated or not or too many starches. Or maybe, just too much food, healthy or not, and too little exercise.
Like it or not, we still have to count calories.
My diet best friend is the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Definitely, not what most Spanish, Italian, Greeks eat nowadays. Not so sure about Turkish people or Israeli or North of Africa people.
It’s what the peasants and fishermen around Mediterranean Sea and farther North, in the Balkans, used to eat long time ago.
So, wanna be a Mediterranean?
Eat plenty of veggies and pulses, a handful of nuts and a few fruits every day.
Eat some fish, seafood, poultry, cheese, eggs.
Have yogurt, kefir or cottage cheese.
Cook with vegetable oil.
Have several times a week sofrito (that delicious tomato sauce cooked with plenty of olive oil and onions or garlic).
Have some pasta, polenta, couscous, rice or whole grain bread but not too much.
Eat fresh food, straight from the Peasant market.
Have a treat from time to time, on Sundays or Holidays, but make sure it’s a good one, not junk.
Don’t forget, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet. You need to exercise also but not to torture yourself. You should meet with friends, drink a glass of wine, red or white, tell stories.
Relax, take a stroll in fresh air, play with the children and pets of your tribe.
Quite difficult to follow such a lifestyle nowadays, almost impossible but it’s worth trying. Even if you follow it partially, it’s a win.
Whatever you do, don’t be too much on the left side or right side.
Moderation is the keyword.
Don’t exclude foods you like just because they’re not “Mediterranean” and some people say they’re not healthy. In winter, I follow the traditions in my country and eat some pork or beef, fresh or cured. It helps one dealing with the harsh cold outside and the winter viruses.
And I also eat potatoes, baked, fried or boiled. They’re so healthy and tasty if properly cooked, provided of course you don’t eat too much.
Holidays are coming and there are so many goodies ….
And you know what, I’m going to enjoy my cake and chocolate and some of the traditional Winter meals while eating my salads, fruits, yogurt, sofrito, fish, soups a.s.o.
Not to mention that nice glass of good wine. Cheers! Happy Holidays!
Sometimes it’s a good idea to look back. Once I had 2 very successful weeks when I got rid of 6 pounds while eating and drinking to my satisfaction.
Fortunately I’ve kept a journal.
I see some interesting points and I want to share them with people like me, with of lots of pounds more than needed and health issues.
Bit boring and quite a long blog article, but there’s no short path to a healthier you, is it?
Here’s my “shopping list”:
– I ate mostly home cooked food, three meals and 1-2 healthy snacks a day. Fresh veggies and fruits, straight from the Peasant Market.
– less calories than I eat nowadays but not every day. In some days I ate more (2000- 2100) but for 3 – 4 days a week I ate between 1300 – 1600 calories.
– I had 2-3 fruit portions, 2-4 starch portions (mainly rolled oats, homemade bread and new potatoes), 2-3 diary portions per day. A protein and veggies at each main meal. Beans and nuts 5 times a week. Beer counted as starch.
– as for calories distribution, I had something like 41% carbs, 38% fats and 21% protein.
– a lot more low and medium glycemic index fruits than nowadays. I ate more than 10 pounds of raspberries, strawberries and apricots in 2 weeks.
– lots of dairies, mainly simple natural yogurt (20 portions in 2 weeks), low fat. And a couple of milk cups a week.
– no sugar, no sweets, no treats except a couple of 3 dark chocolate tablets in 2 weeks. How on earth did I survived?
– around a pound of peanuts and walnuts.
– some 20 pounds of veggies, mainly tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, summer squash, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, celeriac.
– 3 pounds of cooked white beans, chickpeas and spring peas.
– just 2 pounds of cereals in 2 weeks, mainly wholewheat bread, new potatoes and rolled oats.
– for protein: 4 pounds of poultry and Canadian ham, 10 eggs , 2 pounds of fish fresh and canned, a pound of cheese. Not much saturated fat.
– 1-2 tbsp of olive oil a day
– a glass of beer or wine daily. The good life.
Here’s one of the low calorie day menus, just to give an idea on my diet.
Coffee, rolled oats 1 tbsp, 2 eggs, Canadian Ham 1 slice
Morning Snack 10:30
Yogurt and strawberries
Beans and tomato soup, poultry 1 portion, salad, 1 glass of beer
Afternoon snack 17:00
2 large apricots
Canadian Ham, 1 raw tomato, yogurt, mineral water
How about exercising? Not much. Half an hour of walking a day, house chores and swimming 2 hours.
I think the key was …. simply eating less. But …with a but, of course.
Eating mostly low Glycemic Index foods was a good idea, it helped fight hunger.
Eating lots of fruit (less sweet) and veggies also helped, no doubt.
And it seems that diary is a good friend in any diet.
I’m not sure about eating less starches but one thing is sure. Too much bread is not good for me, especially when it’s not home made.
But as I remember, I had not much energy while on this diet and this is a serious problem to deal with. Only I do need a diet, obesity is a serious illness and there’s no simple cure for now. Only drastic changes in your lifestyle seem to help.
I’ll experiment a bit this July and see what happens.
I’m going to repeat my 2 weeks diet with some changes.
– I do a lot more exercising nowadays so I do need more carbs. I think I can have some treats like a bit more dark chocolate, some high fiber cookies or a special honey with medium GI (acacia).
– Whole fat dairy but also some non-fat yogurt (’cause I like it!).
– More cheese, less meat. Just because…I prefer cheese to meats.
– One day a week with only beans, cereals, veggies and fruits.
– Less Canadian ham, more seafood
– Bulgur, pasta, new potatoes (or sweet potatoes) or rice instead of bread in some days.
– 2 tbsp of olive or rapeseed oil a day.
– I’ll try a new distribution of calorie, something like 50% carbs, 30% fats and 20% protein.
A bit healthier, more Mediterranean like diet, with some tips and tricks.
Keep an eye on calories, don’t need more than you need, and have 1600 calories a day three times a week.
One essential diet trick is to start any meal with a protein. This, according to my own tests, is meant to keep your blood sugar low.
Also, eat only if you’re hungry and eat slowly.
Eat low Glycemic Index snacks, if needed, to keep hunger at bay.
Keep a journal, easier on myfitnesspal.com
I can do this for at least a month but I need it for life!
Diet tips. I love them. Where would I be without them? Yeap …
Ask yourself: “What is the worst diet tip I’ve had so far?”
I guess mine came from one of my best friends, a physiotherapist.
“Intensive exercising won’t help you, you’ll get hungry for sure but nothing else. In all my career I haven’t seen anyone to lose weight a.s.o”
It took me quite a while to get over this tip and discover the benefits of both moderate and intensive exercising. For one, my heart is happy. My brain works better.
Then, there’s this long term effect. Just have patience. Keep exercising and you’ll build some muscle which will burn more calories. Slowly you’ll start to see some difference.
Of course, you can’t just exercise and not change your fattening diet.
While all physical activity counts, nothing beats a sport you really enjoy. Like swimming, for example.
What has helped me most:
– a pedometer. I’m not advertising but I do like my fitbit ionic. I don’t have an explanation, it just works, it keeps me moving like a personal trainer.
– walking in fresh air, at least half an hour a day, often with my camera.
– fitness snacks (I’m still working on this)
“Adopt the Dissociated Diet”. This nasty tip came from a diabetes doctor and actually is a “favorite” of many Romanian doctors and nutritionists. I see it’s still popular on Internet too
Obesity is a disease and a strange one. It might not hurt you, kill you immediately but for sure, it’ll make your life miserable. I myself don’t know a quick treatment or a diet to “cure” it once and for all. Until some magic pill will be discovered, the diet you adopt is for life and no diet suits all. The Dissociated Diet, like any other fad diet, is an unrealistic and unhealthy plan to maintain over the long-term.
Like exercising, the diet you ultimately build yourself requires time, effort and patience.
It helped me a lot to start with a healthy diet like Mediterranean Diet combined with the South Beach Diet and traditional Romanian diet. But I’ve changed some of the rules to suit my lifestyle, my health problems and my body.
For example, I can’t eat daily 4 tbsp of olive oil, like I’m supposed to do in the Mediterranean Diet, Predimed version, it’s way too much. I can’t afford 500 kcal only from the vegetable oil and it seems it’s not good for my joints. I like fish and poultry but I eat also a lot of pork (lean meats mainly), especially in winter. I live in a temperate climate after all, not in a warm Mediterranean country.
I can’t have 25% of calories from protein like I’m supposed to in The South Beach Diet, I simply don’t feel well eating so much protein, either meats or beans.
I eat potatoes, not recommended in the South Beach Diet, but cooked in a way to make them healthy and the results are good.
I had to outlaw the bacon and simplify a lot my rich traditional Romanian recipes.
And so on, it’s an ongoing process. Eat, exercise, control your weight, adjust.
If something works, keep it.
“Drink water, lot’s of”. This “nice tip” came to me from everywhere, including a smart nutritionist woman working for some huge diet supplements company. She actually recommended me 3.5 l of plain water, besides whatever other liquids I had like tea, coffee, soup a.s.o. I was supposed to have some 5-6 l of water daily, which obviously, it’s closer to water poisoning. Not even funny.
I gave up long time ago counting water glasses. It’s no use, it didn’t help me, added only some more stress.
A nice veggie or meat soup is a perfect way to start lunch, fills you quicker and keeps blood sugar quite low. I have my morning coffee and some mineral water or herbal tea when I’m thirsty.
I might drink also a glass of tomato juice, kefir or sugarless lemonade. A beer or a glass of wine now and then. The rest of the necessary liquid comes from veggies and fruits, plenty of.
However, I take care to have a small bottle with mineral water or warm herbal or green tea with me when it’s very hot outside.
“Eat 5 meals a day, at the same time of the day. Healthy snacks will help you not to feel hungry. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast.”
Most diets nowadays include these tips in their recommendations. Well, I hate eating if I’m not hungry. I hate being hungry. I’m not always home for a mealtime. I’m not always hungry in the morning a.s.o. What’s to be done?
First of all, from my experience, at least for me it’s of no importance if once in a while I skip a meal or more.
Then, being hungry once in a while it’s not the worst thing. Food tastes better when you’re hungry. Just don’t rush like a wolf, eat slowly, give your brain time to “digest”.
Snacking all day long seems to be quite a bad idea. Your blood sugar will fluctuate all day long and this is a no-no.
I’ve given up the mid-morning snack, it was a nuisance. Besides, there’s no need to see my sugar blood going up and down all morning.
I do have a healthy light after-lunch snack, around 5 o’clock and most of the times, a very light dinner (cup of milk with a cookie for example).
I somehow keep with the old saying: “Eat your breakfast, share your lunch with a friend and give your dinner to your enemy”.
But, once again, it all depends on your lifestyle and preferences.
Just take care of the quality of food (what) and the daily calories (how much).
Take care especially when eating out or when there’s some special event or a barbecue or whatever could make you easily eat more than enough.
Let me ask you a question: Can you resist a favorite plate when you’re hungry like a wolf?
Well, I honestly don’t and my problem is that I do like to eat, I have lots of favorite foods.
But is hunger such a bad sensation?
Some obese people complain of being hungry all the time. Maybe, but not me.
And, I do like to eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m told to eat because it’s meal time.
Food is tastier, you feel more satisfied.
When I started my diet trails, I was having a hunger problem. I went to a nutritionist, actually the bully kind and, that not so nice lady gave me a strict menu and other strict rules to follow.
After eating my not so nice healthy meals, I was still hungry. I was hungry day and night. I simply couldn’t follow her diet.
Than I made some interesting discoveries, while trying to build my own diet and following for a very short time a low carb diet. I’ve found out that there are delicious friendly healthy foods which cut your appetite.
My favorite ones: hummus or bean mash, raspberries, cottage cheese with a tomato or scallion or celery, a tomato with a bit of cheese, an apple or pear with a whole grain cookie, a tomato juice with a small slice of whole wheat or rye bread, a yogurt with some blueberries or strawberries, fried zucchini or eggplant salad, summer squash or cauliflower puree, eggs with avocado. Or just a tbsp of olive oil and a couple of olives with a bit of rye bread. Quite a long list and delicious too, yumi.
There are a few other tricks I’d like to share with you but keep in mind this:
Except maybe for short periods of time, you have to eat enough to cover your body energy and nutrient needs. Diets too restrictive can make you sick.
If you eat less than your daily necessary calories or nutrients, don’t be amazed that you’re hungry all the time or have some strange cravings.
So, here’s what I’m doing to keep things under control:
– I’m paying special attention whenever I’m stressed or go to a party. It’s so easy to indulge in goodies whenever you feel depressed, or, on the contrary, you’re “happy”. Crunch a fruit or a handful of popcorn if you’re stressed. Taste everything you want at a party, don’t eat more than you usually do at that time of day.
Yeap, I know, easy to say … It takes time but it’s possible. Just don’t give up because at some point of time you’ve stepped out of the trail.
– I try to eat 3 main meals and if necessary one snack but if I’m not hungry, I might skip a meal or two.
If I’m hungry between meals, I’ll have a healthy snack like a bit of a low/ medium glycemic index (GI) fruit with a small portion of cheese, a hummus sandwich, a tomato with some cold meat a.s.o.
On short, a small portion of protein and a veggie or a low/ medium GI fruit will do the trick.
– I do plan my menus and try to stick to my plan. If however, after I finish my meals, I’m still hungry, I’ll wait for 10 minutes before eating something else.
You have to let your brain enough time to receive all signals from your body and decide weather you need more food.
If I’m still hungry, I’ll try the protein & veggie or low/ medium GI fruit trick or a bit of dark chocolate or a handful of nuts.
Be advised that dark chocolate isn’t for everyone. If you have a tendency to eat chocolate or other sweet things uncontrolled, better stick to nuts, cheese, veggies and low GI fruits.
– If you’ve followed my blog, you might remember my experiments on blood sugar. If you start your meal with a consistent portion of high GI carbs, your blood sugar might spike and soon enough you’ll be hungry again.
Always start your meals with a protein or a salad or a veggie and/ or beans or meat soup.
Don’t eat a high GI snack (like a pretzel or a cake) on empty stomach, you’ll get hungry again in no time.
And maybe here is one reason why some obese people are feeling hungry all the time. A diet rich in high GI foods can make you feel constantly hungry and can lead to diabetes or whatever other nasty illness.
Finally, I’m so curious: what do you do to keep hunger at bay?
ps. You might like this item on hunger hormones:
“Hunger Hormones” Are a Thing, and Yes, You Can Control Them
I confess I hate jogging, long and strenuous exercises, static cycling or the like.
I find them terrible boring. I’ve tried listening to music, I’ve told myself how well I’ll be a.s.o. Nothing, I just can’t.
Swimming is a different story. Maybe I was a duck in a previous life, I’d spend my life floating on water. But … I can swim only in my vacation and once or twice a week in a health club pool.
Also, I will never refuse a nice walk in fresh air, in a park or a wood. Especially if there’ a chance to do some nice photos or pick some wild berries or mushrooms.
But swimming like a duck and strolling through a nice garden are by far not enough to get rid of the old surplus pounds, my scale tells me.
I need to strengthen my muscles a lot more.
Maybe, this limited physical exercising is the reason I don’t get rid of surplus pounds, although I’m quite a conscious dieter.
I’ve got to find quickly some new ideas as Spring is knocking at my door.
I’ve stumbled on a very interesting blog article on MyFitnessPal http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/lift-weights-lose-weight/
I cite “As our muscles get bigger, they trigger protein synthesis, which requires calories. The result is a sustained burning of calories and an increased metabolic rate”
And one other interesting idea from this blog is the “workout snacks”, quick-and-easy mini workouts you can do throughout your day.
Let’s see what I can do.
A few minutes of isometric exercises is the first “fitness snack” that comes to my mind.
In an usual exercise you tense your muscles while shortening or lengthening it.
In an isometric exercise you just tense you muscle without changing its length. Like a pose in body building or pushing against an immovable object such as a wall.
You have to do this, like all exercises, correctly. The following article has been most helpful for me, to understand the issues and benefits:
According to the author recommendations, I’ll start with three six-second contractions for each exercise and add a rep per week. No more than 10 minutes per session, finally. In between reps I’ll perform some breathing exercises or anything else that will shake off the muscle tension.
Another short exercises that comes into my old mind are dumbbells weight exercises. Easy to do at home. I just need to browse youtube and make myself a five-minute exercise collection. Like some of these ones
Then I have to do some neck exercises. This article is most helpful
Taichi might be useful for my arthritis. I’ll start modestly, once or twice a week, 10 minutes and see how it goes. Quite tricky, I don’t know if my new taichi video pack will do, maybe I’ll need some guru to teach me.
Finally, although it’ll be boring, I’ll try static bicycle but only a four minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine. I’ll use a common formula: a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of slow cycling. I’ll have to add to this a 2 minutes warm-up and a 3 minutes cool-down. This is more than a “fitness snack”, it’s “breakfast”.
Let’s wrap it all.
This is the plan, it’s so nice to make plans!
I’ll tell you in a month what I’ve been able to actually do.
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-showing-woman-in-blue-sport-bra-carrying-gray-dumbbell-867453/