So, I am going to dedicate this blog to the meat and potatoes (pun, lol) of how to lose weight.
Before I do, I need to say a few things. First off, if weight loss were easy then everyone would be thin! It's not, it's very difficult and most people need a little help and guidance to get to their goals, and even more support and guidance to keep them there. That is actually one of the problems, that everyone can diet like crazy and then what, where is the help then, what happens then? Well, I know what happens to most, they go right back up, plus some, because they did not learn why! Why they went up in the first place, why it was so hard to lose it, and why they can never keep it off!!! I can tell you one thing, no matter who you are, if you are over 30 lbs overweight it was NOT because you were just very hungry for the last couple of years! It was NOT because you are weak and worthless; it is NOT because you haven’t tried with all that you know and all that you have within yourself to achieve it! Then what is there to do about it? You can try to accept yourself for the person you are, and that’s great and you should, but will you be happy? Will you be content every time you look in the mirror or try on some clothes? If you say yes, then go for it, it’s a wonderful thing to love oneself. But, if you won't, if you can’t, then hang in there and I will try my best to help you to understand what is really going on. I will tell you the truth, always.
Now, one more thing. After I tell you this next part, you will know exactly how to lose weight, I promise you. And if you finally get this “aha” moment and find yourself at your goal weight, finally, and don’t need any more help at all, well I personally would not be happier. But, I have found that very few of us can do that, very few of us can hang in there and get to our goals, and it's not because you are weak it's because you are inundated with so much crap out there in the world about how to lose weight and what you should do that you fly from one thing to another hoping that perhaps this time you can achieve your goals and stay there. I will break it down for you and then when it gets hard and you feel like you can't make it, I want you to come back to these blogs, the ones that I have already written and the ones that I will continue to write and you will see how they then make so much more sense that it is not just in the food and the practicality of it but it's in the emotional, and for many of us, it's very deeply embedded. But I will help!
Here it is…
You must, must, must, be consistent. Your body needs it to be as consistent as possible. If you think for a moment about what it is you eat every day you will see that it is pretty much the same foods every day with very little diversity, and now you are going to get started on losing weight and you need diversity? It's boring unless you can have variety. Well, that’s great but we are all busy, and losing weight is hard! Easy, but really hard! So don’t let the “what should I make tonight?” get in the way of your goals. (there are many things that stand in the way of your goals but food is actually not one of them, I will continue to explain).
So, I believe in a high fiber, low-fat diet. Period! This is the way our bodies function the best, period! I am going to tell you the most common sense stuff that you won't believe, you are going to be surprised that it was right in front of you all of the time. Ahh, if it were only that easy, well then we would all be thin.
Quick anecdote: when I was in my early 20s and I was about 40 pounds overweight at the time and had no idea how to lose it. At the time I remember I was trying the only eat grapefruit, bananas, and egg diet (what genius comes up with that nonsense, and what a sad girl I was to have been any belief in the working of it). So, while my mother and I are boiling all the eggs and buying all the grapefruits and bananas there were in the store, my brother Cal, says to me, “What the hell is the matter with you, just shut your mouth and stop eating so much and go for a run!” I thought, “What a jerk, he clearly doesn’t understand anything”, well he wasn’t so far off the mark, a little bit but not far. The problem was that I didn’t believe him, I had a special problem and….. I wanted a quick fix, I wanted to lose 10 lbs in a week just like everyone else did, at least that’s what “they” said. (I am hoping that NONE or you are thinking of trying that crazy egg diet!!!!!!) The truth is simple and you may not want to hear it but its true, most all of the things you have been doing are not the way we are supposed to eat, most of it is not healthy, most of the prepared foods are loaded with salt (that inhibits weight loss, no let me say it this way, it STOPS us from losing weight, and in another blog I will explain to you how and why. Oieee, so much to say, and well, I guess I have all the time in the world to say it, just be patient.
So, be consistent with your eating! Basically, I want you to eat just about the same thing for breakfast, with some variations. The same thing for lunch, again will vary slightly, and the same for dinner. I want you to eat the same portion size every day!!! No matter what! No matter if you are hungrier one day than the next. You must be consistent. You will be eating very healthy, nutritious, well-balanced foods! You will be eating healthier than you may have eaten in a long time, what is happening and what will be happening is that you will be losing weight and sometimes you will be hungry! By the way, please check out some of my earlier blogs on both consistency, longevity, and hunger, since I go into them in-depth and will only touch upon them briefly here.
This is how you do it:
Breakfast choices: just chose one per day and it's more than ok not to change it.
Oatmeal, a decent size bowl (cereal bowl not the platter-sized one), please put some fruit in here, any kind, and yes even a banana if you like. Berries are really the best because of their antioxidants.
A bowl of high-fiber cereal. Look for something in the healthier section, with low sugar content. The Kashi cereals are great, but honestly, if you don’t like them, the whole-grain Cheerios does the trick too. Add fruit to this!
Fruit by the way is always fine to add to anything, many people stop eating some fruits because they feel they are high in sugar, fruit is natural and the body knows how to process it, and….no one is overweight because they have been eating too much fruit!!!
You can also have some eggs (unless you have a cholesterol issue then skip it or just do the egg whites. But eggs on their own I feel are benign so add some fiber to them, like some spinach or broccoli.
Another great idea is chia seed pudding! If you don’t know what this is please check my e-zine from (date). You can find older e=-zines archived on the blogs. These are high fiber and loaded with omega 3’s and a great protein.
That should just about do it for your breakfast. Remember that every morning regardless of how you feel, do not double up. Eat the same amount every day, if you are particularly hungry one morning just know that it is because you are about to lose weight and your body wants you to eat so it won't have to do that. You want to eat for the weight you want to be not for the weight that you are now. Hang in there and let your body adjust, it will by dropping weight.
Please make sure you have at least 4 to 5 hours between your meals. You want to feel as if you are looking forward to the next meal but not starving! And try not to use the word starving, your not, you just ate 4 hours ago and you are purposefully doing this so that you can lose weight. It is not a punishment, it’s a choice.
So now for lunch. To make this easy I like to suggest having something that was left over from your dinner the night before. So when you make dinner try to make enough to bring it to work with you the next day or keep in the fridge for lunch.
Or, you can have a really green salad with plenty of veggies. The darker the green the better. Add some beans for a little protein or some fish or tofu (for those that like it) organic chicken, or tuna fish to make things easy. Other kinds of protein could be chickpeas. Use your imagination. Oil and vinegar are your best choice of dressing but to be honest, if you wont eat it because it doesn't have blue cheese dressing on it then add some, I want you to enjoy your food.
Another choice is a veggie wrap on whole wheat bread. Similar to your salad just wrapped up. Add a little humus for a spread.
Try to stay away from restaurants or pre-made soups!!!! That goes for all prepared frozen foods! Even Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisines and the rest of them. They are all loaded with sodium and like I mentioned earlier it is so hard to lose weight when you have that much sodium in your diet. I will discuss this more in the following e-zines, trust me on this one.
Also, if you're doing sushi, great. The problem with it is the soy sauce, so if you can have it without that then enjoy if not just skip it because again the sodium will do you in. That goes for miso soup and pretty much all soups unless you make it yourself with a low sodium broth (under 250mg) Trader Joe's has a good one. It’s a low-sodium vegetable broth.
For dinner, Very similar to lunch. This should be the lightest of all the meals you have had. Because at the end of the night what you have not burned off you will store. How will you know if you burned off enough to lose weight? Well, are you a little bit hungry? Not starving, would mean you skipped a meal somewhere but are just a little bit hungry. Well, that’s your body telling you that you are right on track.
So for dinner, some steamed veggies. Try to use green veggies or a good variety of them. And try some fish or chicken. Keep this simple and on the smaller side. Watch for too many side dishes! You don’t need a salad, appetizer, or main course with more veggies and protein. This is too much food!! And the last thing you want to feel is full after a meal. You want to feel as if you are just satisfied, just. No need for starches especially before you go to bed, you won't be burning anything off so remember to keep this light.
Also, use a small plate for a serving so you don’t feel deprived.
So, this is where you begin. Same size meals, every day. Similar types of food. Stay away from sodium!!!!! Not just put it on your food but watch processed foods because they are loaded with it.
What I omit: I omit a few things. There is a misconception that switching to healthier food will make you go down in weight. Perhaps initially but too much food is still too much food. Your internal fats may go down and that’s great, and I always want you to eat healthy, but it's not enough to just switch to that. It still has to be about the portion sizes and more importantly how you feel. Once again, please check out my blog on hunger, it breaks this whole idea down for you.
I omit – Red meat!! Dairy!!! Soda and yes diet soda as well!!! Cheese (dairy) even cottage cheese! I omit, bread!! (please don’t cry) I omit pasta, even the brown kind. Again, healthy choice but not a weight loss choice. Try spaghetti squash instead. Look at this week's recipe.
Of course all kinds of sweets and sugar food! ( I will discuss sugar in an upcoming e-zine as to why its one of the most addictive foods we can eat)
Salty foods – crackers, saltines, pretzels, chips. I would rather you have a cookie than a chip, really! The salt will stop you from losing weight, the cookie, if you can really just have one will not.
There is so much more info to give you as to why I omit these foods and why I don’t omit others but I will have to give that info to you in subsequent issues. Meanwhile, take my word for it, do this and you will lose weight. Snacks? If you must, because perhaps there are more than 5 hours between meals, then have a piece of fruit. I don’t care about the kind and only one. A snack is just that, it gets you from one meal to the next. If it fills you up then that was dinner. You may have some veggies, celery, carrots perhaps with some hummus. Nuts are ok but only a hand full and only!!! The unsalted ones!! Almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts are some of your better choices.
Drink 4 to 5 bottles of water. Drink drink drink!! Please check out the e-zine on beverages!
Weekends are not free spaces!! You must be consistent throughout the week, no kidding, no excuses!
Well, that’s how you do it. Simple? Yes and no. If you take out all of the emotional reasons why you have a hard time sticking to a program then it's easy. But…. that's the catch. So get started with this, ask me questions along the way, read my past e-zines and blogs, and also, journal your food. That’s right, write it down. It keeps you aware of what is going into your mouth.
So, for the people that didn’t know how to start, this is how.