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Herb
February 20th, 2013, 09:22 PM
Are high yardage/slow aerobic swims a good method? Even the best method?

Sorry, I'm sure this topic has been covered numerous times. I've been away from the forums and the pool for a while. And I've packed on some pounds.

I just got back in the pool the other day after a 6-9 month layoff and have no immediate ambition to compete again. I'm thinking a realistic goal is to complete a 5k this summer and just focus on getting back in shape and not worry so much about the clock and sets and such. Figure I will get too frustrated and just want to swim just to swim for now.

When I was training and competing for a few years in Masters I never got too far above 2000 yards but would do hard sets (for me) of 15x100, etc.. Would I actually lose more weight if I instead swam 3-4k yards of just lap swimming?

....Also, I just read in my swimmer that Leslie Livingston has given up weights and dryland. Isn't that a complete 180?

StewartACarroll
February 20th, 2013, 10:03 PM
Herb, I have gone through a 43lb weight loss over a very short period of time and have blogged a few times on the method I used to achieve the loss. In my case, swimming was really important but I don't credit it as the method of loosing the weight. For me swimming faster was the driver for the weight loss, but the major method ofmloosingbthe weight was using myfitnesspal religously and controlling my calorie intake. I adhered to a strict but balanced calorie controlled diet, vitamin and mineral supplements and drank a ton of water. Good luck with the goal.

The Fortress
February 20th, 2013, 10:21 PM
....Also, I just read in my swimmer that Leslie Livingston has given up weights and dryland. Isn't that a complete 180?

That's not correct. I merely reduced my weights/gym time from 3 to 2 days per week and added in one more swim. I also use fins/paddles/chutes/bungees in the pool, which is essentially in water strength training. I did gave up bikram yoga; I gave up running and spinning long ago. I don't have Swimmer in front of me. The gist of what I said is that most cross training doesn't make you swim faster and can prevent you from really punching quality pool workouts.

Don't worry, no one would call me anything but a jacked sprinter. Sadly, I look nothing like the skinny runner I used to be pre masters swimming. :weightlifter:

If you really want to lose weight, run. If you can't run and want to swim, I think high intensity swimming burns more calories overall. Don't do the same workouts at the same speed; vary the intensity so your body doesn't adapt and burn fewer calories.

Allen Stark
February 20th, 2013, 11:06 PM
Long slow swims you will burn more calories during the workout.HIT and you will burn more calories after the workout,probably more overall but YMMV.Do the types of swimming that helps you want to swim more.

Herb
February 20th, 2013, 11:48 PM
That's not correct. I merely reduced my weights/gym time from 3 to 2 days per week and added in one more swim. I also use fins/paddles/chutes/bungees in the pool, which is essentially in water strength training. I did gave up bikram yoga; I gave up running and spinning long ago. I don't have Swimmer in front of me. The gist of what I said is that most cross training doesn't make you swim faster and can prevent you from really punching quality pool workouts.

Don't worry, no one would call me anything but a jacked sprinter. Sadly, I look nothing like the skinny runner I used to be pre masters swimming. :weightlifter:

If you really want to lose weight, run. If you can't run and want to swim, I think high intensity swimming burns more calories overall. Don't do the same workouts at the same speed; vary the intensity so your body doesn't adapt and burn fewer calories.

I can't run with bad legs and I hate it anyway. I enjoy the water. I had always used the competition as the motivation but am looking for a new kind of inspiration. My first workout today was 500 yards in board shorts - no clock, no flip turns, took a couple of rest breaks when I felt like it. And it actually felt pretty good. Tommorow I will go for 750. That is where I am at. My past history shows that if I stick with it I will soon become bored and start doing sets again but I am worried that will make me too frustrated. I was hoping maybe I could justify the slow high yardage angle if the benefits were just as good.

Herb
February 20th, 2013, 11:58 PM
Herb, I have gone through a 43lb weight loss over a very short period of time and have blogged a few times on the method I used to achieve the loss. In my case, swimming was really important but I don't credit it as the method of loosing the weight. For me swimming faster was the driver for the weight loss, but the major method ofmloosingbthe weight was using myfitnesspal religously and controlling my calorie intake. I adhered to a strict but balanced calorie controlled diet, vitamin and mineral supplements and drank a ton of water. Good luck with the goal.

Yeah I know swimming is just part of it. I'm guessing 6 Sierra Nevadas don't help my calorie count.

__steve__
February 21st, 2013, 05:46 AM
Diet, just remove any rifined sugar. You can continue to enjoy your six pack of SN's, but if you do, just go for a walk after. It's all in the diet. I'm kind of on the other side of the fence, I can't seem to gain weight, I've been stuck at 162 for years and I feel like I have to force food down at times.

sunruh
February 21st, 2013, 09:17 AM
Herb,
i have a very very hard time losing any weight while swimming.

as a very fast friend of mine said, "don't we swim so we can eat?"

it seems that the more/harder i swim the more i eat.
and i can really woof it down.
as far as refined surgar goes, i'll take mine in the form of 4 scoops of blue bell mocha almond fudge ice cream.
hmmm, maybe that's my problem.
ok, make it 5 scoops.

according to the bmi table that jim posted for his 50 free chart, i'm over weight.
heck it says i've been overweight since i was 20 (which i can barely remember).

weight loss will always be about calories in vs calories burnt.

sok454
February 21st, 2013, 10:49 AM
I've wondered the same things about HIIT vs LSD type swimming. I myself prefer short sprints and keeping the heart rate at a spike... probably my track sprinting background. For me in the last 7 weeks I have seen my body composition change as my belly has been reduced. I've probably lost 6-8 lbs so far. The big key as you guys mentioned is the diet. I've all but eliminated soda from my diet... down from drinking 30-45 oz a day of sugared pop to averaging 20 oz a week total. (That is in the last 2 weeks). I've also stopped eating my usual candy bar in the morning. Now I will say I drink a lot more black coffee w no sweetner now and that has kept the withdrawals from the cokes at bay... I also feel like I have a lot more energy at work and when I get home. I hope to get down to 240 by March (from over 255) and then by May be about 220. It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference that makes in terms of how I feel in the pool and speed.

Herb
February 21st, 2013, 11:13 AM
There are a few women I have seen at the pool that do countless laps. While I always thought it looked incredibly boring, they are very thin.

ande
February 21st, 2013, 11:15 AM
Are high yardage/slow aerobic swims a good method? Even the best method?
Sorry, I'm sure this topic has been covered numerous times. I've been away from the forums and the pool for a while. And I've packed on some pounds.
I just got back in the pool the other day after a 6-9 month layoff and have no immediate ambition to compete again. I'm thinking a realistic goal is to complete a 5k this summer and just focus on getting back in shape and not worry so much about the clock and sets and such. Figure I will get too frustrated and just want to swim just to swim for now.
When I was training and competing for a few years in Masters I never got too far above 2000 yards but would do hard sets (for me) of 15x100, etc.. Would I actually lose more weight if I instead swam 3-4k yards of just lap swimming?
....Also, I just read in my swimmer that Leslie Livingston has given up weights and dryland. Isn't that a complete 180?

Losing weight is a challenge for me, the only way it happens is by eating less. Consuming fewer calories.

mlabresh
February 21st, 2013, 11:20 AM
I've been working on losing weight for a few years now with very little success. I started out with some workout videos (kick boxing was my preference), moved on to swimming, and then (hearing it was 'the best way to lose weight') started running. The most success I've had at any given time period in the past 3-4 years was last summer. During the summer swim season (late May through late July) I lost about 10lb. What did I do differently? I was swimming about 2.5hrs a day, doing doubles, 5 days a week (I did often miss the Masters practice, but swam at least once a day 5 days a week, averaging 7-9 swims a week). I swam long course with my Masters group in the early AM and then later on swam with my kids' age group in the intermediate group.

Sadly, when swim season ended, I had nowhere to swim for a while. I had to go back to running (which I hate and am really no good at). I ended up breaking my elbow doing that (see?). Luckily, it was healed in time for the fall/winter swim season to start up. Unfortunately, I regained the 10lb in the time I was unable to run OR swim (UGH). I dropped a little weight at the beginning of fall season and then held steady until the last couple months when I was able to start swimming 5-6 days a week again.

I've had times when I was just running, times when I was just swimming, and times when I was running and swimming. The most successful thing for me is to swim 5-6 days a week for 60-90min at a time.

With regards to calories - I definitely eat MORE with all that swimming! But remember the most important thing about calories is that it's not nearly so much about quantity as it is about quality - especially when swimming. You can eat all the fresh fruits and veggies you want and still be losing weight. Make sure you're cutting back on as much processed food as possible and focus on eating fresh foods. Cutting back on desserts, refined sugars, and not over-doing it on alcohol will help too. There are websites/apps that can help you find the right balance for how many calories burned versus consumed to follow. But, I found, that I still had to maintain a pretty high level of activity in order for any of it to work. I'm not a big eater. I often only eat 1200-1500 calories a day, less when I'm not swimming, and I'm still overweight. I have to be really active in order to shed any pounds. We are all different and it can take some work to find what works for you.

There are some vitamin/mineral type supplements you can take to aid with metabolism as well. Not diet pills, just nutritional supplements. Like CoQ10, Omegas, etc. Also, some people find protein shakes to be helpful.

As far as what kind of swimming work outs to do - just keep it varied! Muscle confusion is important. Doing the same type of workouts over and over won't get you very far. Work in some drills, work in some speed sets, work in some long slow swims. Variety is the best way to go for just about everyone.

Anyway, sorry this is so super long. :blush: Hopefully it was at least helpful! Good luck!

tigerchik
February 21st, 2013, 04:26 PM
Weight loss is really related to your caloric intake. Swimming helps burn calories, but you can only swim say, an hour or two a day, which gives you 23 hours a day or so to stuff your face. Look at what you're eating and what you can cut out. Alcohol? Dessert? Afternoon candy?
While doing this, make sure you eat well around your workouts. Eat before and after, and when it's after eating, make sure you have carbs + protein/fat. The protein/fat will keep you full.
Eggs, peanut butter, plain yogurt - all great weight loss foods.
Dried fruit, alcohol, desserts, lots of carbs (bagels pasta etc) - not great weight loss foods.

Celestial
February 21st, 2013, 06:34 PM
Swimming helps burn calories, but you can only swim say, an hour or two a day, which gives you 23 hours a day or so to stuff your face. :rofl:

Frankly during my (USA) team's Christmas training, I was putting in super ridiculous (for me) amounts of yardage - we're talking 6-7000 yards a day, up from my usual 4500 or so. I was so exhausted, I didn't have the energy to eat! And I lost about 10lbs. Put it back on of course with egg nog & Valentines Candy!! I really think it's easy to try and justify how much you eat after you have a hard workout - whether a HIT or long distance. I know I do, anyway. My favorite trick: Diet Greek Yogurt (Dannon Light & Fit) - I swim at 5:30 in the morning & have two of them for breakfast. Total of about 160 calories, but 22gms protein. I'm shapin' up. . . .
ALSO - I'm mixing it up - started lifting (light) weights again & I try to play tennis at least once a week - if you get tired enough you fall asleep & forget to eat dessert! :D

StewartACarroll
February 21st, 2013, 08:07 PM
It's not for everyone, but during my weight loss period I ate glutinous amounts of oatmeal. When plain oatmeal got boring I would measure out and add dried fruit such as raisins, or apricots. Another low calorie filling food. I also removed cheese, dressings of all kinds and the big one, alcohol. It was tough at first but I never went hungry and simply made food choices based on calories. I got to the point where if it was a food choice Between something I wanted and something I could eat but not want as much I compared how much swimming I would have to do to offset the food and would typically make the lower calorie choice.

Bobinator
February 21st, 2013, 08:38 PM
The best way to lose weight is to couple physical exercise with caloric reduction. In order to maintain your physical exertion you will need proper nutrition. Google Myplate.gov and design meal plans around fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean protein. It's not rocket science, it's a lifestyle. I'm not being a smart _ss, I just get tired of watching people spend lots of $$$$$ to obtain something which should be a simple balance of lifestyle.

sok454
February 21st, 2013, 09:26 PM
Body by vi. Only hope. Just ask them

ElaineK
February 21st, 2013, 10:03 PM
The best way to lose weight is to couple physical exercise with caloric reduction. In order to maintain your physical exertion you will need proper nutrition. Google Myplate.gov and design meal plans around fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean protein. It's not rocket science, it's a lifestyle. I'm not being a smart _ss, I just get tired of watching people spend lots of $$$$$ to obtain something which should be a simple balance of lifestyle.

:applaud: Exactly! Thanks for stating what I was thinking as I read through this thread, as well as other threads on the topic.

mlabresh
February 22nd, 2013, 09:58 AM
The best way to lose weight is to couple physical exercise with caloric reduction. In order to maintain your physical exertion you will need proper nutrition. Google Myplate.gov and design meal plans around fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean protein. It's not rocket science, it's a lifestyle. I'm not being a smart _ss, I just get tired of watching people spend lots of $$$$$ to obtain something which should be a simple balance of lifestyle.

I completely agree. But (also not trying to be a smart _ss) sometimes it's not that simple. I've followed all the recommendations/instructions what-have-you and still not been successful at losing weight. I've counted calories, modified what and how much I eat, been very active, and had no luck. I don't know if it's just genetics, but that's how it is. I'm in much better shape and am very strong and have great muscle tone, but in 4 years I've only lost about 15lb (and that's been up and down and all over the place). By protocol, with the information I've followed, what I do *should* have yielded a 1-2lb loss per week. Not quite!

Anyway, not really trying to argue or anything. I've had some very disheartening and disappointing times these past few years and got really tired of a lot of people telling me "Losing weight isn't hard at all! Just adjust your diet and activity level and off it goes!". I've since given up on the idea of losing weight. I'm just swimming because I love it and I want to get better at it and be able to compete. Sometimes I get bummed that I'm not lighter/thinner so that I can be faster as a result, but I just use that as fuel for my fire to make me work harder. ;)

jim thornton
February 22nd, 2013, 10:14 AM
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. Some people respond to exercise; some to diet; some to both; some to neither. Almost everybody has a range of maybe 7-12 lb. that our internal systems of weight regulation defends with a remarkable degree of vigor. Increase your activity loads dramatically, and your appetite will go up to compensate. Decrease your food intake, and your metabolism will slow down to compensate for that. Unlike desire and willpower, these internal mechanisms are relentless and work 24/7 to keep you in your range. That's why the stats on recidivism--i.e., people successfully lose weight, only to regain it all back--are so grim. The best studies on intensive lifestyle intervention have shown that only about 30 percent of people can maintain a 5% decrease in body weight over two years.

Obviously, there are people like Stewart who respond exceptionally well to the combination of swimming and a healthier diet. But it's also quite likely that he is being helped in his quest by genetic factors that allow him to respond so well. Not everyone has these. There are a host of other putative contributors to weight gain that are largely out of a person's control--for instance, if you were either a very low or very high birth weight baby, or your mother was obese when she had you, the odds of you being heavy as an adult go up significantly. (Interestingly, if your formerly obese mother has bariatric surgery and loses weight before she has your sibling, that child is not so likely to become obese.)

It's all a bewilderingly complex business, and regardless of its impact on your weight, swimming is going to be good for you in a multitude of ways. I know it's hard advice to accept, but if you can focus more on how you feel than how you look, you will realize swimming is its own reward!

jim thornton
February 22nd, 2013, 10:23 AM
Yikes, I just realized I spoke too soon!

Even the enjoyment people derive from exercise seems to have a strong genetic component. In my previous post, I made the same logical fallacy I suggested many others do: projecting ones personal experience to the greater human condition. The truth is that swimming makes me feel quite good--it dejangles my nerves, relaxes me, clears my mind, and usually leaves me feeling happier than before the workout started. In this I realize that I am the beneficiary of genetic influences that perhaps allow me to sop up excess adrenaline, or release endorphins, or benefit from some other biochemical byproduct of exercise that not everyone derives. We've all known people who get nothing pleasant from exercise, or whose state of contentment is such that they do not require it for psychological balming purposes.

I guess people who are naturally lean should accept with humility their good fortune in the genetic lottery (though this could change if the world economy collapses and the threat of famine once again raises its head in our land!) Likewise we who like exercise should not assume everyone gets the same enjoyment from it, and judge them harshly for avoiding it, but rather just consider ourselves fortunate that our physiology, for whatever reason, provides us a motivating reward that makes it easy to keep coming back to the pool, year after year after year.

mlabresh
February 22nd, 2013, 10:29 AM
Haha! Yes, I guess we are all different both in the realm of weight loss success and pleasure derived from exercise.

The latter is actually a much bigger reason for my swimming. I've battled severe depression most of my life and swimming is my alternative to being on anti-depressants. And in saying that, I remember that 'Hey! My depression affects my ability to lose weight!', so there's another factor. That plus genetics are really working against me. But the fact that my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother all had hypertension, and diabetes runs on both sides of my family, leads me to believe that regardless of whether I EVER shed those extra pounds, I NEED to keep swimming in order to stay healthy.

That's interesting about birth weight and maternal weight having an impact on the child's projected weight later in life.

Bobinator
February 22nd, 2013, 10:30 AM
I will mention that some medications make it more difficult, if not impossible to lose weight. Until I started taking Beta Blockers I had to work to keep weight on. The Beta's seem to have put a target on my mid-section for the fat to pack on. I hate it but at the same time I want to live so I guess I'll just be paunchy. I'm still eating very nutritiously however!

ekw
February 22nd, 2013, 11:50 AM
I will mention that some medications make it more difficult, if not impossible to lose weight. Until I started taking Beta Blockers I had to work to keep weight on. The Beta's seem to have put a target on my mid-section for the fat to pack on. I hate it but at the same time I want to live so I guess I'll just be paunchy. I'm still eating very nutritiously however!

Seconded. I have at times had to take medications that made it really easy to gain weight and very, very hard to lose it. While this obviously wasn't ideal, it was better than my being un-medicated in terms of overall health and general quality of life. I absolutely hate when people use weight as the only measure of health.

That said, I could definitely do a better job of eating well. I am genetically predisposed towards disliking cooking. :agree:

More on Jim's point about genetics and exercise: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578304250252788528.html

MickYoung
February 22nd, 2013, 12:05 PM
That's why the stats on recidivism--i.e., people successfully lose weight, only to regain it all back--are so grim.


When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there is a short-term, easy part and a long-term, hard part. People often get confused about that. People say things like "The last five pounds are the hardest!" or other seriously destructive nonsense.

I'm convinced that slow weight loss is the way to go. Why make the short, easy part faster at the expense of the truly difficult part?

I reviewed the medical literature on weight loss. All I found was utter trash.

Typical weight loss studies last 6 months -that isn't weight loss, that's just doing tricks with your body. "Long term" weight loss studies are usually one year long - not quite long enough for me to consider it temporary weight loss.

If you need evidence that American physicians are money-grubbing hacks with no concern for your health, the medical journal weight loss articles are good place to find it. Right up there with elective cosmetic surgery literature. (I don't believe that about physicians, but the evidence is there.)

I'm within a pound or two of my 2 year weight loss goals.

Attitude? ATTITUDE??? I don't have any ATTITUDE, punk. Why do you ask?

orca1946
February 22nd, 2013, 12:34 PM
As a "big guy" I need to do more of everything! At the top of the list is eat less & better.
Adding gym & pool workouts till I start to lose --- then try to keep it off !!

sok454
February 22nd, 2013, 12:52 PM
I'm with you! I'm trying to get down to 240 by my first meet next weekend. (down from 255 at 6-1 1/2). As the guy from the gym told me 2 days ago... you are a husky guy... wow...thanks.

tigerchik
February 22nd, 2013, 01:43 PM
I completely agree. But (also not trying to be a smart _ss) sometimes it's not that simple. I've followed all the recommendations/instructions what-have-you and still not been successful at losing weight. I've counted calories, modified what and how much I eat, been very active, and had no luck. I don't know if it's just genetics, but that's how it is. I'm in much better shape and am very strong and have great muscle tone, but in 4 years I've only lost about 15lb (and that's been up and down and all over the place). By protocol, with the information I've followed, what I do *should* have yielded a 1-2lb loss per week. Not quite!

Anyway, not really trying to argue or anything. I've had some very disheartening and disappointing times these past few years and got really tired of a lot of people telling me "Losing weight isn't hard at all! Just adjust your diet and activity level and off it goes!". I've since given up on the idea of losing weight. I'm just swimming because I love it and I want to get better at it and be able to compete. Sometimes I get bummed that I'm not lighter/thinner so that I can be faster as a result, but I just use that as fuel for my fire to make me work harder. ;)


I think higher fat/protein and lower carb than what is standardly recommended helps most people who can't lose weight "conventionally." Like 50% cho instead of 65%

jim thornton
February 23rd, 2013, 11:32 AM
I think higher fat/protein and lower carb than what is standardly recommended helps most people who can't lose weight "conventionally." Like 50% cho instead of 65%

Again, whether you respond better to the high protein, low carbs--Atkins-y approach, or the low fat, high carbs Ornish approach, may have more to do with your specific genes that most people realize:


Dozens of other genes and polygenes have been discovered that strongly influence an individualís response to diet and exercise interventions. FTO, arguably the most common gene associated with fat mass and obesity, comes in a variety of subtypes known as alleles. Last November, researchers reported in the journal Diabetes that those with one FTO--the rs1558902 variant!--are much more likely than other people to benefit from a high protein dietógiving hope, at least, that diet prescriptions tailored to individual genetics will one day work better than todayís one-size-fits-all approach.

Herb
February 23rd, 2013, 05:29 PM
I really was only interested in the swimming only angle.

My diet and alcoholism is a whole nother battle that I agree if I won would be more beneficial to my weight loss. I've basically been on a 25-year binge. I think my body would respond positively to dietary changes but I don't really have the sample set to see how far it could take me. I was able to drop 20 pounds from 235 to 215 in about a year with some small changes. I was already swimming but started eating salads for lunch during the week and tried to avoid fast food, fried food, and my pizza and burrito binges. I still drank all the time but tried to cut down the microbeers in favor of light beer and Crown Royal.

I think a serious devotion to calorie counting and quitting drinking might have brought me all the way to 200 which I haven't seen since I started college.

But then I stopped swimming and now I have blown up to 240 pounds in less than a year.

For me excercise is the far easier battle to win. And I agree it has other benefits as far as just making me feel good. It also I think it has a side benefit on my diet as well. There is a salad bar at the pool I swim at. Further, when I make a point of getting my swim in I try not to drink or eat so much that I can't physically get my workout in.

...So at least I am swimming again. 4 straight days after my layoff. Went 500 yards, then 750, 1000, and today 1250. I am going to try to add 10 lengths a day, perhaps all the way to 3000 before looking at the clock or doing flip turns. The clock and the meets are what used to motivate me but I don't even want to know what the clock is telling me now. There is a certain satisfaction in just swimming. I wondered if this lap swimming approach could possibly even more beneficial. When doing hard sets I would get too burned by 2000 yards so I am curious if slowing down and doing 3k or 4k would actually allow me to lose more weight anyway, as that would be great justification for my current approach. If nothing else, I think this approach might work really well for a rebound rather than jumping back into interval training too quickly.

__steve__
February 24th, 2013, 09:11 AM
Herb, have you considered replacing your beverage of choice with wine? For me it seems to fit right in with a balanced diet

Herb
February 25th, 2013, 06:20 PM
Herb, have you considered replacing your beverage of choice with wine? For me it seems to fit right in with a balanced diet

Lol, I am drinking a glass of red wine right now. :wine:


Unfortunately for me glasses turn into bottles. But it might still be the best bet calorie wise - a whole bottle has I think about 600 calories?

tigerchik
February 25th, 2013, 11:08 PM
if it's truly just for weight loss, do whatever gets you the most yards. Add intervals when you want to. Intervals burn more calories per minute, but if it's 1000 yds of intervals vs 3000 yds of LSD you'll burn more total calories in the second. Additinoally. the more intense the workout the higher the % of CHO burned.

biestieboy58
February 27th, 2013, 10:24 AM
I am definitely no expert, but I've gone from 228 to 203 since I started swimming. I usually do a 500 moderate tempo warm-up, and end with an easy 200 cool down. In between I do 5x100, 5x60, 5x40, and then about a dozen or so all out 20 sprints (the pool is 20 yards), with short rest. I try to do 12 laps of breaststroke kicking also. All this is done at anywhere from 80 to 100 % of maximum effort.

While I have not "dieted," I definitely try to control my eating. However, I'm no fanatic. While I still love my bagel and cream cheese or my egg sandwich in the morning (I skip the cheese now, except for Fridays, when I will also occasionally add bacon), I eat a lot more fruit, and I avoid sweets, except for rare occasions. I drink seltzer with lemon instead of cola or ginger ale. Most importantly, I try to eat a big lunch at about 2-2:30, and then for dinner, I don't have full meal, but something lite and healthy (last night, I had a Starbucks fruitbox....a few small pieces of cheese, apple wedges, cranberry raisins, and 4 or 5 multigrain crackers...before I taught my night class).

While I can't recommend this as medically sound, I also drink 4-6 strong cups of coffee per day, and I find it helps suppress my appetite to some extent.

Finally, when I am hit with hunger pangs at any point in the day, I try to reach for something like a handful of blackberries, rather than a bag of potato chips.