On Gaming and Fitness

As I sit here digesting my lunch I can’t help but think about things like how much is to much, or will I or won’t I go to the gym tonight (the answer to that is yes I’m going tonight). But I also think about my diet and how I need to lose weight and how to go about doing that.

Personally I think the word “diet” is evil and I don’t like using it. I’m not on a diet so much as I’m trying to shift my eating habits so that I can lose weight. I’m not a small guy, I’m 6 foot 4 and I have some broad shoulders. The problem is I like to eat, and for a very long time I didn’t care about what I ate or how I looked. So a few years ago I decided to better manage what I eat, which I’ve had varying amounts of success with. There are still plenty of days I eat more than I need to, but I’m more conscious about it and don’t normally do it deliberately.

My problems come from a couple of factors:

First off I don’t really like to cook, and my skills are limited. I’m trying to change this though, having bought plenty of cookbooks to try and find easy things that I like to eat. You don’t have to be a master chef to eat healthy. I think if I cooked more often I would enjoy it, but living in an apartment I feel slightly limited in what I can make. This is because I really don’t want to set off the smoke alarm in my apartment. Recently I purchased an indoor electric grill, which doesn’t seem to smoke too much, and does allow me to make some things I couldn’t before like grilled chicken or steak. Now I know you don’t need to have a grill to make either of those, but I think they taste better that way. If I cook chicken in the oven it is usually covered with some form of shake ‘n bake.

Second, I often use the excuse of not having enough time to cook. Now, I at least recognized this as an excuse, I could easily make time to cook. People have been juggling work and cooking long before I was born and will long after I’m dead and gone. I just don’t like spending a long time in the kitchen. I prefer recipes that involve sticking something in the oven, or something that is easy and only takes like 20 minutes.

My main issue is snacking. I have come to realize over the years that I tend to snack a lot in the evenings or on weekends when I am bored, or if I’m really stressed out. My brain will often start off with the “you aren’t hungry don’t eat” argument but then the rest of me beats that part of my brain up and I grab a snack. I’ve been trying to combat this in two ways, healthier snacks or not buying any so there’s none to have.

That all being said, the question comes up of how do you really manage to stay healthy, lose weight and still maintain the lifestyle I want, namely sitting in front of the computer or tv playing video games? Personally I think it is a hard thing to juggle, but I’m trying to make an effort to balance these out, even if I wind up sacrificing game time. I love games, but I also want to be alive to play them. Right now I’m trying to keep track of my calories using an app/website and going to the gym at least twice a week (I need to start going more often again). Currently I can bench press 300 lbs and the two regular times a week I go to the gym it is lifting weights. I need to get back on my regiment of cardio on the non weight lifting days.

I know a few people have had varying amounts of success with this, and I read one blog post by someone in my guild that said she a considerable amount of weight (resulting photos are amazing too). I’d like to reach that kind of goal, even if it takes longer than I want.

This is where I ask for input. What do you guy/gals do to overcome snack cravings? I tend to always want to have something sugary or caffeinated. I don’t know of any alternatives to soda other than tea or coffee which I’m not a fan of. Any helpful websites for easy/quick meals for 1?

6 thoughts on “On Gaming and Fitness”

  1. It’s not for everyone, but I had good results with stopping cravings by mindfully limiting the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates (rice, noodles, bread, anything white and starchy) I ate and replacing them with healthy vegetable carbohydrates.

    Throw in palm-sized or two portions of meat/protein per meal and I hit satiation very quickly and didn’t get hungry or need to snack. I think it basically controlled blood sugar levels rising and dropping.

    Drink plenty of water if you get a tinge of hunger – sometimes it’s just thirst.

    It can take a bit of getting used to. I used to have a period in my life where I would drink soda and get ridiculously fat on the sugar it contained, and drank tea and coffee all sugared up. Now I’m used to everything with no sugar (though I will have the occasional indulgence) and even the slightest bit of sugar in my drinks feel too sweet.

    A big motivating factor for me was a number of older family members getting diagnosed with diabetes, and me starting to feel early prediabetes symptoms like getting very thirsty, blurred vision, increased urination and tiredness. I kinda panicked and decided I better make some healthy diet changes voluntarily before getting forced to.

    • Yeah my family is fairly pre-disposed to that as well so it is one of the things that concerns me. I’ll need to see about cutting back on the carbs & sugars. I think if I can find a good alternative I could stick with it.

    • i don’t think i could ever just give up sugar, I just love it waaaaaaaaay too much. I do try and limit how much though. Personally I think it’s still good to have those little treats, I find with the diets i would have to cut out the nice stuff I quickly break them anyway. I’d much rather just try for a balanced diet rather than cut something out

      It’s kind of good being tall for this though, I’m close to 6 ft myself and you tend to be able to accommodate extra weight a lot better.

  2. This is a tough thing to answer because if there is one thing I’ve learned in this process, it’s that it is different for everyone. Also until I was sure that I had my problem under control, I basically quit gaming. I’m not saying that quitting gaming is right for everyone, but I had such a bad problem that I needed to make drastic changes.
    I refuse to keep anything in my house that will tempt me, first of all. I, too, would sit and game.. and eat. Chips, cookies, crackers, pizza.. you name it, I’d eat it. This was the same thing when I ate out.. I’d have appetizers, bread, salad, entree, dessert… you get the picture.
    For a long time I blamed everyone but myself. “It’s the restaurants that overfeed you” or “it’s the companies that package this stuff to be more than one serving”.. but in the end, it was me.
    I don’t call it a diet anymore. I’ve been on a diet – my whole life. Starting at 13 (that I can remember), I was on fen-phen, dexatrim, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem.. you name it. Long story short to answer your questions…
    My snacks are pre-planned. I do three 100 calorie snacks per day. One at 10, one at 3, and one after dinner. My meals are preplanned, 3 per day, 300-400 calories per day. One at 7, one at 12, and one at 6. I do not eat later than 7 at night. This however was a result of a lot of testing. It’s what works best for me and keeps my cravings down. I need to eat – a lot – many times a day.
    And honestly as far as making meals go – I find that (although boring) repetitive is your friend. Every week I do baked chicken w/ veggies, salmon with rice, spaghetti squash with meat sauce, etc. On the weekends I will fix some different things because I have more time and energy.
    I could go on and on, haha. If there is ANYTHING I can do or if you just wanna talk about it, hit me up anytime :)

    • I’ll probably take you up on that offer since you’ve had a great deal of success with your own weight loss. I’ll probably contact you through email since it is not limited to 140 characters or less.

  3. For me, snacks are a crucial part of healthy eating. The idea of large fixed meals gives us false expectations of our eating habits.

    I’m very mobile most of the day. So its just not practical to plan 3 sitting meals. Even on the days when I’m sitting around, snacks are preferrable. They are quick and easy, while making managing my food intake a breeze.

    I have a special diet due to a health condition I suffer, but my eating habits overall have the same expectations as the average person. I’d say if you’re a snacker, embrace it. Just change up your snacks so that you’re getting the kinds of food you need.

    Things I changed in my snacking:

    – Added peanut butter packets (stick-em in your pocket, put them on whatever you’re snacking on or eat it alone!)
    – Added more nuts and dried fruits
    – Added more fruit overall (it’s just too easy to grab and go)
    – Added breads to my snacks (of varying flavors and styles, from loaves to crackers to cookies)
    – Added water enhancers

    And more, but I think you get the idea. I don’t think I ever want to stop snacking :) So I just make it a point to surround myself with healthy snacks that satisfy my nutritional needs.

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