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Note: We are doing this article with the intent of helping someone out there who wants to get healthy. It's kind of an "if this guy can do it, so can I."

The products we mention are real and are our choice-- no one is paying us to endorse them.

 Good luck to all who read this. We are presenting this information to help that person who has just had it with their eating patterns and has decided it's time to make a change. If that's you-- your life is about to change for the better! You can do it!

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STLSportsPage.com is a "breaking sports news" website in its sixth year. Rob Rains is the editor-in-chief. He has been covering sports for more than 30 years and that requires a lot of meals on the road and many dinners spent at a ballpark or arena with limited food choices. Another aspect of the job is working a lot of late nights. Just like in your own life, there are a million excuses. In the the life of a sports writer or many other professions--  there are deadlines, the occasional loss of job or being away from family. Stress and bad eating habits can take a toll and if you are not careful you can quietly pack on the pounds, as he did, without really realizing it. 

His cholesterol numbers were high and he finally decided to do something. Maybe you are thinking the same thing. Maybe you know you want to lose weight and you know you would feel better if you did, but you just can't get yourself to do it. 

People who had not seen Rob  in a while were surprised when he lost weight several years ago and asked how he did it. We decided to write it down in an article that can hopefully help someone who is searching for a way to lose weight and start living a healthy lifestyle. 

Rob initially lost 60 pounds. Shortly after he lost the weight he got sick and underwent some medical tests and procedures. During that period much time was spent going to doctors and figuring out what was wrong. He gained back about 15 pounds during the next few months, and came to a weight that was easier to maintain and he felt healthy at.  That was in 2014 and today in 2018 he is still at that weight. 

He generally eats healthy, but when he goes to his Baseball Writers Meetings which are held at Lombardo's he eats what he wants. Forty five pounds is a lot of weight to lose and keep off, but if he can do it, you can do it, and that is why we are bringing this information back out again.

Rob is the typical sports fan, the typical guy who before this did not ever drink a green smoothie, and he loved hamburgers, french fries and soda. If you ask him he can't tell you the last time he went to a fast food restaurant that was not for special occasion. If you decide to lose weight you should allow yourself days you eat whatever you want, but get right back on your eating plan. You should not feel sorry for yourself, eat what you want on occasion. If you start eating healthy you will surprise yourself at seeing that you really don't crave that type of food any more.

So four years ago Rob decided to lose weight, but the next problem was how would he do it.  All around him were celebrity endorsements where a colleague would either be compensated for trying a certain diet or trainer --or they would get the supplies or training for free in exchange for telling the world about it. It seemed to work for them-- for a time at least. Think about some of the celebrity weight loss commercials you have seen. Some of those people are making money on losing weight and gaining it and then losing it again.

There were the companies such as Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem or the "nutrition" companies-- and over the years, he did try those, but they all seemed to be temporary because his problem was he would go back to his previous lifestyle after he lost the weight. You lose weight, then go back to your previous life. You never realize you will start gaining it back until you do-- and then if you are smart you get a grip on it and stop.

Finally one day he and his wife, Sally decided to try a healthy low carb lifestyle. Now we eat what we consider to be a healthy diet and our trips to the supermarket consist of mostly healthy groceries, like those shown left..

Once he made the decision to get healthy, he decided "I'll give it a year," he said. "I'll give up sodas on a regular basis and come up with a plan and give it a year and if nothing happens then at least I won't have gained any more weight that year, and I gave up sodas for a year."

He ended up losing the 60 pounds in the first year and except for that small weight gain, he kept most of it off the second year. Now he does drink an occasional soda and definitely eats pizzas or desserts once in a while. That's the great thing about a lifestyle change as opposed to a diet. 

When making his plans he took into account his own lifestyle-- his likes, dislikes, and what he thought he could logically do. Often people sign up for the gym and work out very hard. Then when they stop, guess what? The weight comes back and sometimes even increases. If working out is something you know you will do for the rest of your life, then it's a good thing. It's actually a great thing. But Rob knew if he lost his weight primarily by burning the calories, then when life got busy and he didn't have time to go to the gym, he would put the weight back on .

So he had to figure out, "what is it that I can do that fits my lifestyle-- that I will continue doing." He came up with walking the dog. The dog needs to be walked and it's a nice walk around the block and it costs nothing, so that was the "exercise" of choice. That doesn't sound like much, but it was a lot more than he had been doing. His lifestyle had become fairly sedentary as his job consists of sitting at a computer and writing stories after you sit for several hours at a ballgame. 

There are those who will tell you you need 30 minutes of breaking a sweat and that's great for those who can keep that up, but he was making a lifestyle change-- not going on a diet-- so he chose a more attainable goal for himself.You have to decide what will work for you. We are just telling you what worked for Rob.

As the years went by he increased his walking and started counting his steps, aiming for 10,000, which was a lofty goal for him, but at least he tried.

He may not have seen the results as quickly as the guy who runs three miles on the treadmill but quick results was not the goal: good health and well-being was. You have to decide what is really important to you. Do you want to be a person who feels good about yourself, who has the energy to do what you want-- and to finally get off that proverbial roller coaster of never-ending dieting?

You have to be willing to do this for yourself, but it helps to have a partner or a pal who will keep you straight. It's hard to tell yourself it's a lifestyle change because the rest of your life is a long time-- you hope. The most important time is the second year-- after you are happy you lost weight-- when you need to remind yourself you don't want to go back to that dark place you worked so hard to come out of.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, we are not experts, we are not advocating any of this. We are only telling you what Rob did that has helped him lose weight and keep it off for two years.

Here’s what happened:
Rob had high cholesterol and takes medicine for it. At a trip to the doctor he found out it had gone up. When the doctor told him losing weight might help it go down, he made his decision right then and there.

We are not going to show the “before” and “after” photos, because this is not about him. It is about helping you become the best YOU you can be. If even one person makes a positive lifestyle change because of this website then it will be worth it. 

No one can tell you when the time is right for you to lose weight, you have to decide it on your own. When you make that decision own it. Don’t feel sorry for yourself; embrace your new lifestyle with enthusiasm. You should be doing it for you: for your health.

Rob decided to go with ”almost no-carbs” the first two weeks and quickly dropped some pounds. After that, he just started making little changes which turned out to be big changes.

First thing he did: cut these things out of his daily diet
Soda (including diet soda)
Sugar (sweets) (includes sweetners-- if he ever uses a sweetner, it is Stevia in the Raw)
Fried Foods
White Bread and Pasta

*Weight came right off with those simple changes.

Foods he tries to avoid:
Processed Foods  

Fried Foods

Sugar

White Flour

What we aim for: Low carb and “Clean” Food.
What is Clean Food? It is defined by Fitness Magazine: Clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. So to us “clean” would be: fruits, vegetables, meats that aren’t processed (though we do eat bratwursts and all-beef hot dogs on occasion). Anything in casserole form would not be clean and sorry to say this to pasta lovers, but we chose to stay away from pasta dishes too—except on special occasions.

Foods shown in the bowls in this picture are basically "clean."---------------->

Clean food shown are the fruit (oranges and bananas) onions, green peppers and tomatoes which we use in cooking and the "Super Foods Salad" which is a  favorite of ours.

You have to do what works for you, and we chose the "low carb" and "clean" foods-- but often fruits are not low carb. That is where we make our exception. We don't eat the bad carbs like a lot of bread, cookies, donuts, fried foods, etc. but we do eat fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, even if not low carb.

What helped Rob stay with the plan: He cheats.
Yes you read that right. He picks at least once a week and eat what he wants. If he eats two “bad” meals, that’s usually ok—but that’s all. So he will eat healthy all week and maybe order a pizza on Sunday. And if it’s someone’s birthday, he’ll have a piece of cake, but get right back to the healthy eating. Life's no fun if you don't eat fun food once in a while. The difference in a "diet" and "lifestyle change" is once you mess up on a diet, you feel like a failure and it's easy to go downhill from there. With a lifestyle change you say to yourself, "ok, that was fun, now back to the regular eating plan."

On a recent trip to a minor league ballpark, we tried some of their unique (and fattening) foods. It was fun, but with our new lifestyle we will not go back to the bad ballpark eating, we think ahead and try to eat healthy as a general rule.

Continue reading for more on how Rob lost the weight and sample menus.


Exercise:
Rob downloaded a pedometer app on his phone and aims at getting in 10,000 steps a day. For some this would be easy, they might be runners or go to the gym and use the treadmill, but if exercise has not been a big part of a person's life having the pedometer is a good way to monitor it. 

It is fun to have the pedometer app and challenge a partner. At the end of each day, Rob and Sally compare their "steps" and see who has the most. Knowing they will be showing each other the amount of steps they took that day makes them want to get in a few extra steps just for bragging rights.

The only way a person will stay with a program is to make it easy enough to stick with-- and adding fun isn't a bad idea either. Walking around the block a couple of times is something he knew he could stick with.

If you are going to try any of this talk to your doctor about if a low-carb lifestyle is good for you. 

We would love to hear from any of our readers. Let us know if you have success or if you need some encouragement.  Email: STLSportsPage@gmail.com

 

In a Nutshell: The Secret to Rob Rains'  weight loss

Low Carb lifestyle--- Cut down on sodas---Cut down on white flour bread---Cut down on sugar & Desserts---cut down on pasta---cut down on fried foods

(Note: We say "cut down on..." He actually cut those things OUT of his regular daily diet but since it is a "lifestyle" not a "diet," he will occasionally have those things, and not feel guilty. The key for him is "occasionally.")

Rob chose a "lifestyle change" rather than a crash diet. He did not use any specific products to lose weight, but rather he made the decision to do it and he did it.

Note: The "more athletic person" could do great by hiring a personal trainer. The key with anything is stick with it. Even when you lose the weight-- continue sticking with your new lifestyle change. Our son B.J. is a runner, so if he opts to run, he will continue it. We know we won't, so we opt with walking and general exercising.

You can still go out to lunch or dinner and lose or maintain your weight. 

We often have lunch meetings and they enjoy going out to dinner.  One of our favorite meals out is an omelette (shown left.)

When choosing a restaurant we think ahead of time what we will be able to eat. We love going to Denny's or restaurants that serve breakfast. The biggest thing to remember is while an omelette is good and scrambled eggs and bacon are even good-- fried hashbrowns, pancakes, biscuits are not part of Rob's eating plan. He orders what he wants and then tells the waitress, "no bread, no potatoes." They will often substitute sliced tomatoes or even cottage cheese. 

If we go to Red Lobster we are going to eat a cheese biscuit, just sayin'.

It's fun to go out to eat, so just plan what you will eat and don't feel sorry for yourself-- be enthusiastic about how great you will feel (and look.)


Healthy Smoothies Are A Big Part of Our Lifestyle

They include spinach or kale in every smoothie they drink and use smoothies as meal replacement for lunch. They also use green smoothies in addition to dinner sometimes.

According to MedicalNewsToday.com "One cup of raw spinach contains 27 calories, 0.86 grams of protein, 30 milligrams of calcium, 0.81 grams of iron, 24 milligrams of magnesium, 167 milligrams of potassium, 2813 IUs of Vitamin A and 58 micrograms of folate." 

The benefits of spinach and kale span everything from helping avoid some types of cancer, helping lower blood pressure and providing fiber to help avoid constipation. Think of all the ways spinach or other dark leafy greens can be helping, but if you don't eat it you won't get the benefits. This is one of the biggest reasons to add smoothies to your diet. Green smoothie just basically means spinach or kale is added.

Rob has been adding smoothies to his life for the past year and has been able to drop some pounds and keep them off. If you do add smoothies try not to let the color of the drink influence whether you think it will taste good or not. Most smoothies are delicious and fresh tasting-- but they often don't look like they would be.

We generally make fruit smoothies for lunch and sometimes include green smoothies (our green smoothies have all veggies) with dinner. We have discovered Smoothie King and love going there for lunch. Make no mistake here, we are not promoting Smoothie King to get their sponsorship. We have been going to Smoothie King the whole time and we order the Strawberry/Blueberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie and have them add kale. You can't taste the kale and it makes it more healthy. We use smoothies only as a meal replacement (or for us it IS a meal.)  We generally don't get hungry after eating that particular smoothie so we always get the same thing. Sometimes you just need something to crunch and we will eat a few almonds-- which they do sell at Smoothie King.


Smoothie Recipes

Our Fruit Smoothie:

Layer in the juicer: (We just use a blender- and this is for two people)

Raw Chopped fresh spinach
Strawberries
Blueberries
¼ c juice (we use V-8 Fusion Energy- peach mango)
Some low-fat Greek Yogurt (We use Oikos)
One scoop chocolate protein powder
Some ice
(We love to add in different fruits with the above mentioned fruits such as bananas, pineapple chunks or peaches)

Note: The protein and yogurt makes it so you won’t be hungry. It adds some calories, so just look on the labels and adjust accordingly. If you want to make a snack smoothie later in the night for a snack, just leave these two ingredients out. Also for more nutrients add carrots. You can’t taste them. We also read about a fun idea which we have tried for a breakfast smoothie. Buy “Maple flavoring” with the spices. Trade out the chocolate for maple flavoring and it smells like you are having pancakes with syrup. We usually use the more milder fruits like bananas, apples, and peaches with the maple flavoring.

For more info on smoothies and for more of our recipes click here http://www.stlsportspage.com/GetHealthy/tabid/132/entryid/1793/smoothies-are-a-good-way-to-lose-weight-but-use-caution.aspx

For what Rob ate to lose the weight and keep it off and sample menus click here: http://www.stlsportspage.com/GetHealthy/tabid/132/entryid/2673/sample-meals-for-healthy-weight-loss-and-maintenance.aspx

For another weight-loss perspective. How Chelsea lost 80 pounds click here: http://www.stlsportspage.com/GetHealthy/tabid/132/entryid/2409/how-chelsea-lost-80-pounds-and-you-can-too.aspx