Food glorious food! Unlike drugs or alcohol food is easy to get and with a fast-food place on every corner just waiting for us to slip. It’s intoxicating, mood altering and delicious. It whispers to us in the dark, it smells heavenly and fills our every needy need. For many of us, it’s our bestest buddy and we have hard-wired memories of it growing up.
Addiction to food is one of the most difficult things to break because our bodies need food and we can’t simply quit eating it. With practice, we can develop a healthy attitude about food and learn how to eat right. With a new relationship toward food, we can nourish our bodies and still celebrate good food without the negative side effects we get locked into.
The good news is it’s totally doable but it takes practice, motivation and time. It took you time to put the weight on and it takes time to take it back off. It took me a year to take off 60 unhealthy pounds eating 1,200 calories a day but it came off and has stayed off for 2 years now.
For the past year, I’ve been on maintenance eating 1,500 calories a day. I don’t have to log my calories anymore, can eyeball my food portions and by exercising daily I enjoy great health benefits without gaining the weight back. Like me, in the first year, you will learn what and how to eat for the rest of your life.
We are already lazy, that’s how we came to the “fat” part and now that we’re crazy about it we have to make a lifestyle change. If you follow my lead you will be losing weight in no time. Remember to check with your doctor before starting this lifestyle change. My doctor has never been happier with me.
I believe in watching portions and counting calories because I’ve seen it work but there’s no need to weigh your food or follow a specific diet. I don’t believe in diets, fads, smoothies, powders or free days. In this case, simplicity is our friend.
We will be logging our food with a free tool that will make this easier. You will fill out a profile that will tell you how many calories a day to eat. You enter how many pounds you want to lose, etc. Anything lower than 1,200 calories isn’t recommended. I’ll cover this and logging in the next post but here are a few things to start now.
Cut Back On Sugar And Starches
Removing sugars and starches (carbs) from your diet will lower your insulin levels, kill your appetite and make you lose weight without hunger.
You will want to stop drinking soda (even diet soda), fruit juices (except OJ), and alcoholic drinks. Black coffee, tea or water (plain or bubbly) is fine. Drink 8, eight-ounce glasses or more a day.
This is extremely important as these types of drinks have plenty of sugar and calories. We’ll talk more about drinks and what carbs to avoid when we cover food logging.
Eat Protein, Healthy Fats And Vegetables
The more healthy fats, fresh fruits, whole foods and vegetables we eat the better. We will be concentrating on calories, nutrients and the macros in our diet.
Macros are the nutrients you need in large amounts, as they provide your body with the calories it needs to function. Watching these numbers are a kind of short-hand when it comes to weight loss making calorie counting much easier.
Our macros will be 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 20% protein per day but no worries as logging will keep track of these numbers for you.
High protein diets can also reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce the desire for late-night snacking by half, and makes you feel full longer. Peanut butter is great after a long bike ride.
We’ll be learning to eat good food and log it in my next post. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek into other things we’ll be doing to get healthier. I know I’m excited and hope you are. I’ll be doing this alongside you maintaining my weight.
Exercise 3 To 4 Days A Week
By exercising, you will burn more calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight. You’ll also experience those feel-good endorphins (runner’s high), ditch your depression and sleep better at night.
I would prefer you ride a bicycle or take a spin class but any cardio like running, jogging, swimming or walking will suffice. Or join a gym and lift weights they have stationary bikes. You must pick something and stick to it.
Working out every other day with a day of rest in between is the way to go. You find yourself working out on a different day each week and it gives you 4 workouts a week depending.
We will be logging our exercise too which will automatically be added or subtracted from your calories for the day using the tools I’ll be introducing in the next post.
I can’t make you exercise but if you’ve become that lazy and crazy enough to keep yourself unhealthy there’s nothing I can say that will change that but please keep an open mind!
7 1/2 to 8 Hours A Night Of Quality Sleep
Sleep is very important and if the quality of your sleep suffers so do you during the daytime hours. We go through different stages of sleep during the night. There are simple things you can do to make sure you get enough of all 3.
If you’re a maniac like me you may want to track your sleep scientifically. There are many kinds of trackers for sale from rings to bands that track sleep in detail and more. I use a Charge 2, Fitbit and will have the new Oura Ring in April. (I provided links to sales of both products with specs if you’re interested.)
You don’t need a tracker to get the best nights sleep. I’d like you to read my post about sleep below. It has tips for a better nights sleep, scientific information on sleep, and I guarantee it will have something to help you get started on your way to a quality night’s sleep. Soon you’ll feel the difference.
I’ll cover more about sleep soon. You can start by practicing good sleep hygiene now.
Here are 10 tips to quick-start your weightloss:
- Eat a high-protein breakfast. Eating a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day. Oatmeal with fruit is great. Breakfast should never be avoided and is the most important meal of the day.
- Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. These are the most fattening things you can put into your body, and avoiding them can help you lose weight.
- Drink water a half hour before meals. One study showed that drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss. Drink 8 glasses or more.
- Choose weight loss-friendly foods (see list). Certain foods are very useful for losing fat. Walnuts and pears are my gotos.
- Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may reduce fat, especially in the belly area.
- Drink coffee or tea. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, then drink as much as you want as the caffeine in them can boost your metabolism. However, no caffeine after 3 pm as it might interfere with sleep.
- Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods. Base most of your diet on whole foods. They are healthier, more filling and much less likely to cause overeating.
- Eat your food slowly. Fast eaters gain more weight over time. Eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones.
- Use smaller plates. Studies show that people automatically eat less when they use smaller plates. Strange, but it works.
- Get a good night’s sleep, every night. Poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for weight gain, so taking care of your sleep is important.
I think this is a good start my aim was to outline things and get us started in a good direction. Food was our main goal and soon we’ll be logging our meals. Don’t worry, it’s easy the application does all of the work.
My next post will give you the links to the applications that we’ll be using and no worries it will be a piece of cake whether you have Android or iPhone.
Beautiful blueberries, apple cubes, with pear pieces, walnuts, and baby spinach drizzled with Trader Joe’s Pear Vinaigrette Dressing. This is perfect food and delicious try it out. More recipes to come later.
Next-Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Logging Your Food