Tags: Fat loss, Nutrition, Weight loss, Wellness
The following article was written by my daughter-in-law, Heather Anderson. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to you. To good health!
The world of weight loss can be a confusing place to navigate. Totally conflicting theories such as high protein, low carbohydrate diets and Pritikin, low fat and low protein diets abound, with hundreds of variations on each theory. Combine that with hectic lifestyles and emotional issues and defeat is assured even before beginning. There is HOPE! The hope lies not in the “perfect” diet, but in making the decision to take ownership of the situation. You are not bound by your weight. You are not bound by your lifestyle. You are not bound by the emotions that affect your weight and lifestyle.
Without a doubt, it takes work to lose weight and keep it off. But the work begins in your mind and not your body. The first step to victory comes through taking responsibility for the condition you find yourself in. This is not to bring condemnation or self belittlement, but to break free from being a victim of circumstances. If you are a victim, then there is nothing you can do to change, but if you are responsible, the decision is in your hands. So…if you are ready to take responsibility for your own life, there are some simple steps to getting started.
- Begin to educate yourself. There are some great books to help you on your journey. I have included a recommended reading list at the end of this article. Many of these books can easily be found at your local library or purchased online.
- Get moving! Anyone who tells you that you can lose weight and keep it off without exercise of some sort is not worth listening to. Any weight that you manage to lose will quickly reappear and then some. The goal should be to actively move for at least thirty minutes a day, five days a week. Don’t sell yourself short. This is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. Walking is a great way to get started, especially for those intimidated by the thought of exercise. Some are more motivated by going to the gym. Whatever works for you, commit to it, do it, and don’t quit!
- Begin to make dietary changes that are really lifestyle changes. If you are just trying out another diet, you will eventually go off the diet. If you make permanent lifestyle changes, you will change your life forever. Making changes gradually can often help you adjust. Begin by cutting out your worst habits. These habits might include eating out at fast food places daily, eating heaping bowls of ice cream in the evening, or loads of potato or corn chips. Next, it would be wise to begin replacing white, or refined foods with whole food options such as whole grains instead of refined white flour and white rice. Eliminating white sugar and corn syrups and all the packaged products that include them will dramatically increase your chances of success. As much as possible eat whole foods in their whole state. They are usually more nutritious and more filling. Take a balanced approach. Your body needs healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Neglecting any one of these categories can throw your body out of balance. So, eat a small portion of protein with each meal. Focus on fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, emphasizing plenty of vegetables. And don’t forget that to function properly, your body needs some healthy fats from things like raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and extra virgin olive. Just remember moderation.
- Be aware of caloric intake. No, you don’t need to become a calorie expert, but it would be wise to have a general knowledge of the calories you are putting in your body. Excessive intake of calories will make it difficult to lose weight. It’s that simple. With the internet, it is fairly simple to get an idea of how many calories you are eating. Look up the calories of the foods you eat most often and keep a list handy – on the fridge, and in your purse or wallet. If you eat out at restaurants often, especially larger chain restaurants, you can often find calories for various meals on the internet. Some people think that they can lose weight by starving themselves. All that this will accomplish is slowing your metabolism and cause you to lose muscle and water. You must keep your caloric intake above 1200 calories. The ideal intake is about 1400 to 1600 calories for women and 1600 to 1800 calories for men.
- Understand the glycemic index of foods. This sounds complicated, but again, the internet makes it easy. The glycemic index was first designed for diabetics, to help them keep their blood sugars level. The rating relates to how foods are absorbed and used in the body. The lower the index rating, the slower the food is absorbed into the body and released into the blood stream. This helps keep blood sugars level, making binging less likely. Higher glycemic foods also turn to fat very easily when they are not used for fuel.
- Lastly, use appropriate supplementation. Your body requires and craves nutrients. If you are not being properly nourished, your body will tell you it’s hungry even when you have eaten plenty of food. Look for a good quality, all natural, non-synthetic multi-vitamin and mineral, from real food sources. Make sure it contains natural vitamin complexes, plant-sourced minerals and standardized phytonutrients as research suggests it may be absorbed and used more efficiently by the body. Also, a low-glycemic meal replacement drink can help keep your calories down, especially when you are on the run. Now I want to differentiate between these low-glycemic meal replacement drink and the typical protein drink or smoothie. These have a their own place.
Most of all, be encouraged. Get started today and educate yourself along the way. It’s never too late to begin, and tomorrow is never better than today. We haven’t exhausted the topic of weight loss, so look forward to future blogs with specific topics such as the place of protein in losing weight, suggested meal planning, and what types of exercise will bring the most benefit. Feel better, live longer, and look great!