Are you fucking nuts? You finally arrived at the goal weight you have worked so hard to achieve, and now, you no longer have the intestinal fortitude to carry through with the next chapter of your journey. The life journey where you absolutely insisted you were committed to this time round. Where you swore to family and friends you were going to take charge of your very health and wellness. And now, you are just going to fucking give up after all those battles with your mind and rumbling stomach. Are you for real?
You have fought your way valiantly through all the sick mind fucks where it seems you can never win the war with food. Yet you persevered through all those late night cravings, where you might have had the urge to flop your ass down on the kitchen floor armed with a spoon and a jar of Nutella. Shoveling spoonful after spoonful of chocolate hazel nut deliciousness down your gaping pie hole. You battled through hunger pains which come from an insatiable desire to have a taste of anything sweet, fatty or laden with salt to provide an instant pleasure in your mouth, a mental orgasm from a momentary release of dopamine by your brain. A pleasure sensation that only lasts a quick moment until you have gazed into a mirror with tears streaming down your face because once again you have let yourself down. You fought those hard won battles and finally reached goal and now discover you do not know how to proceed any further. God, it is sick the things we will do in order to get this quick high…
Does this sound like your story once you met your goal weight? I know I have read this scenario many times on Weight Watchers Connect. Folks will do a phenomenal job of losing weight just to lose their shit once meeting goal. I do not have the answers to why this happens other than sometimes it almost appears to me that people are more enamored with the idea of being thin than actually being so. I concede I could be wrong, but I do know it does not have to be this way if you do a few things which will absolutely make a difference.
First, I recommend you bite the bullet and stop eating anything with refined sugar. I know some think it is open for debate whether sugar has an addictive nature like a drug, but the reality is there is at a minimum, a mental addiction even if not a physical addiction. As long as you eat sugar, you are going to get cravings for sweets. Once you have given it up and got through the first couple weeks to a month, then the cravings go away providing you also limit your complex carbohydrates and begin consuming a diet high in protein. I am not saying to give up complex carbs, only to limit them while in weight loss mode and then you can think about increasing your consumption once you are at or under goal. Complex carbs will provide you with energy without giving insulin spikes or causing your blood sugar to travel all over the map. But, I would still limit them to about 100g per day until your sugar cravings have completely subsided and you are at your goal weight.
Know too that once the refined sugar is completely out of your system you will feel better mentally and physically. Sugar causes inflammation in your body that not only causes you to gain weight and feel like crap, but it also can cause you to feel sluggish and or melancholy if you have consumed too much. Not to mention feeling ill. Inflammation caused by the sugary Standard American Diet is the leading cause of all preventable ailments in America.
Besides eating a high protein low complex carbohydrate diet, I also recommend intermittent fasting. You could begin on the 12:12 protocol and work your way up to the 16:8 protocol. Essentially, you will fast for 12 to 16 hours and have a window to eat for 12 to 8 hours. During the feeding window, you need to eat all your points that Weight Watchers gives you, or if you know your Base Metabolic Rate, you need to eat all of your calories needed to either lose or maintain body fat. Remember to lose body fat, you need to cut your caloric consumption by 500 calories a day under your needs established by your BMR. During your fasting period, your body will expend all its glycogen stores and you will become ketogenic where your fat stores will become your bodies source of fuel even when you eat all of your points or daily caloric needs.
In addition to eating high protein and low carb, quit eating any processed foods and learn to cook nothing but whole foods if you do not already do so. In previous blog posts I have addressed how it is actually cheaper and quicker to do this in the long run. I will continue to provide recipes and dollar figures for healthy meals in the future. Know that when you cut out sugar and processed foods for healthy whole foods it is difficult to consume your caloric requirements for the day. My caloric requirement is 2300 calories a day and even with heavy weight training and running, I usually have a hard time eating this much without feeling stuffed to my gills before I have reached my daily needs.
I always recommend intermittent fasting for a few reasons. First there are many known qualities which are good for your health and wellness. But there are a couple other reasons. First, learning to fast is a quality way to exercise your personal discipline. Personal discipline is a must in weight loss and or management and in order to keep your health and wellness in tip top shape. Personal discipline will carry you through your life’s ups and downs in a stronger way than you will get through with a weak constitution.
Next, intermittent fasting is nothing new. It is the way many of us over the age of fifty grew up. It is the way our mothers and grandmothers fed us. We got up and had a good breakfast, lunch at noon and dinner in the early evening with no more eating until you got out of bed the next morning. It is just the way life used to be when being obese was the exception and not the rule as it is in today,s modern society.
If you are not already engaged in meaningful exercise, get your ass a moving at something. My exercises of choice are weight training and running. These are not necessary, but what is necessary is to get your heart rate elevated for at least thirty minutes per day. Make your exercise count. Take a dance class or anything that will get you moving. Or if moving is not your thing, check out a yoga class. Just do something productive for yourself. Know that if you are obese and your activity amounts to cleaning house and it has not helped you, then do not count cleaning your damn house as exercise no matter how many steps you got in. If your heart rate does not get elevated, you have done little to nothing for yourself. Good vigorous exercise will recenter your mind. It will get you focused on the important things in life instead of the superfluous bullshit that weighs good people down. There is something about getting oxygenated blood flowing through your system that is as good for the soul as for the rest of your body.
When all else has failed you, say the Serenity Prayer until you have it burned into your mind permanently. Learn to live your life by the principles of the prayer even if you do not believe in God above.
Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept that which I can not change. The Courage to change that which I can. And the Wisdom to know the difference.