So you have finally committed to losing weight and have tons of questions you might want to ask and may feel too embarrassed to ask them publicly. You may or may not have a good idea of how to lose weight, and your expectations may be anywhere from apathetic to grossly exaggerated in your own mind in how your end results will turn out. You may just be simply sick and tired of being sick and tired of your situation in life, you are tired of being overweight and feel the need for change without having a well thought out game plan of how to move forward. All you might know is that you have to change your life to the better. I’m going to outline a few issues I have seen over the years and try to address them in a thoughtful manner. I will likely not answer every question everyone would have, but if I miss something you would like clarification on, let me know in the comments. Either myself, Brenda Sue or the both of us will address your questions. Here goes, and in no certain order I hope to answer a lot of newbie questions.
What is the best diet plan I can use?
Of course, I will tell you that David’s Way, my plan in the best one out there. But I am only one of many others that are truly effective such as Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal.
My plan is really not much of a plan as it is a life style that involves eating healthy and exercising. Coming soon is a redesigned web page and there is going to be an app for your use. In a nut shell, while I am not going to tell you what to eat, I will tell you that you need to give up sugar and processed foods, to buy your groceries from the outer perimeter of your grocery store and to avoid the internal aisles where all the sugary and processed foods are located. I have already written extensively about the ill effects of sugar and processed foods in our Standard American Diet. You will need to figure your individual daily caloric needs based on your basal metabolic rate which is determined by your age, gender, weight and how active you are. You can find this on My Fitness Pal, and this information will be included with my app when it comes out.
I promote a high protein, low complex carb diet to be used with Intermittent Fasting if you want to take your weight loss to another level. This works for everyone who gives it an honest attempt. It works because the protein will keep you satiated longer than carbs while not depriving your body of the carbohydrates required for energy. Complex carbohydrates will not just dump into your blood stream like simple carbs such as refined sugars will. Complex carbs do not cause spikes in blood sugar or with your insulin, therefore there are no crashes after consuming them. Once, you have met your weight loss goals, then I recommend increasing the amount of complex carbs in your diet while still refraining from the simple carbs. At 168 pounds and 9% body fat, I consume 40% of my calories from protein, 35% from complex carbs and 25% from fats.
You owe it to yourself to find a physical fitness activity that you can enjoy and that is sustainable in the long run for you, then stick to getting your exercise done a minimum of 3 times per week for at least a half hour. My exerises of choice are weight training and hiking, but you can pick anything you like as long as it increases your heart rate into the fat burning zone for 30 minutes at a time.
How long will weight loss take?
This depends, it depends simply on how bad do you want to lose it. You can and will notice a rapid loss of weight in your first week or two and then it will slow down, maybe even drastically. The initial rapid weight loss, no matter what dietary plan you are using, usually is a result of your body losing water weight when there is a reduction in carbohydrates, especially simple carbs. For each gram of carbohydrates you consume, your body can and will retain 3 grams of water.
A lot of people get excited about their rapid loss of weight at first and then get depressed when the pounds come off slowly afterwards. While that water weight is good to remove, what you want and need is for your fat to be burned off. Water weight and fat weight are not the same thing. The rate of loss you need while remaining healthy is going to be 1 pound to no more than 2 pounds of fat per week. If you have accurately found what your daily caloric needs are to maintain your current weight, you need to reduce that amount by 500 calories a day in order to burn 1 pound of fat per week.
What do I do when I plateau?
There may be weeks where the scale number has risen, or your weight may not change from the previous week. This happens to almost everyone, it is not unique to you. Your body weight can fluctuate up to about 9 pounds in a day because of water retention. Water retention does not mean you are not burning fat, it simply means you retained water. Really, you can weigh yourself every week and either feel good about the readings, or feel unnecessarily bad about yourself. What matters is the long term, at the end of the month, how much did your weight change from the beginning. This matters more than week to week.
If you plateau, you simply need to truthfully look at the foods you are eating and consider if you actually know how much you are eating of each item. Do you weigh your food, or simply eyeball it and make a guess to the quantity you are consuming. If you are guessing, odds are you are guessing on the low side and are only cheating yourself. This leads to the next topic…
Tracking and measuring, is it really necessary?
Yes, tracking and measuring your food is necessary. How else will you possibly know what your caloric intake may be. You may be assuming that you are only consuming 1600 calories a day while actually eating 2100 or better. How do you possibly know for sure if you are not tracking and measuring? The answer is simple, you don’t. If you are not tracking and measuring, you are a whole lot less likely to bust out of your plateau.
Remember, measurable progress is more satisfying than non-measured.
You say no, when other plans allow me to eat sweet treats.
Other plans will tell you that it is perfectly fine to eat sweet treats as long as you track them in order to not exceed your daily points or as long as It Fits Your Macros (IFYM). Here is the deal, you can do what ever in the world you want to do, no one is going to stop you. It is true, you can eat sweets while on a points or IFYM plan, and still lose weight. What they do not say, especially the Points Plan is that sugar is addictive which causes you to crave it. The science does back that you can eat sweets and be within your points and or macros while still losing weight. But ask yourself this; If you are reading this and have a weight problem, what caused your weight problem in the first place? If you had little control over your appetite in the past with sweet treats, what makes you believe that you can control it now? No offense, but this is no different than an alcoholic thinking an occasional beer or shot of liquor is alright. If in the past you had a problem with sweet treats containing sugar and manage to lose weight, it is a huge roll of the dice, a serious gamble, that you might end up putting weight back on. This happens to good people every day.
Should I eat my exercise calories or Fit Points?
Yes, by all means if you are truthfully getting your heart rate up for at least a half hour, then by all means eat that extra food. Just make sure it is high protein and/or low carb. However, you had best be careful in eating those calories, or rather, you need to be extra careful in how much you eat in regards to lets say Fit Points. For example, if you get in 7,000 steps a day, track that activity if it was truly a heart rate raising exercise. If you are doing the same activity level as you were before getting obese, then tracking those 7,000 steps is meaningless as nothing has changed which will cause you to lose weight. If they did not cause you to lose before, it is not reasonable to expect they are going to help much with added calories in your diet.
Will my family and friends like the new me?
Maybe, maybe not. This will depend on a few factors. Some folks will be ecstatic about your success, some will be jealous. Another point is, your social life could actually drop off because you always only eat healthy nowadays. A lot of family and friends who want you to go for pizza and beer are not going to want to accommodate your special wants or needs while out eating. They may question why you are filling up on that healthy salad when there is so much pizza and hot wings to be ate. They will tell you that one night of eating bad is not going to hurt you. Well, maybe it won’t, or maybe there is a strong possibility that one night off the rails will totally trash your path. A lot of this depends on your personality.
How do I resist cake at a party?
This being a continuation of the above paragraph, there will be family celebrations where cake is thrust upon you. Someone is bound to get upset that you do not want a piece of their kids 5th birthday cake or whatever. If sweet treats got you into a mess with obesity, then you are gambling if you succumb to someone’s pushing cake on you. Do you want to gamble to appease someone who is not showing they respect what you have done for yourself, or do you stick to your guns and politely decline the cake. After a while, they will quit pestering you. Maybe…
My sabotage almost always comes from my family.
Will I have loose skin or stretch marks?
Possibly you will, maybe you will not. This is all going to depend on how old you are, how long and how much you were over weight, and how rapidly did you lose your weight. Rapid weight loss is going to be a huge factor in loose skin, and if you are young with more elasticity to your skin, there is less likelihood that loose skin will be an issue. There are no easy answers to loose skin, some have to have it surgically removed. I recommend if loose skin or stretch marks may be a problem for you, then try the different skin treatments used by women during pregnancy.
Can I boost my metabolism with cheat days?
Can I sell you some beach front real estate in western Kansas? No, you can not boost your metabolism with cheat meals or cheat days, there is no scientific evidence to back up claims to the contrary, although you will read of this nonsense. Some people claim that you can eat like crap for a day or two and boost your metabolism in order to bust thorough a plateau. If you look at the foods you ate when doing this, you are doing something which either causes you to lose more water weight, or you have actually reduced your total caloric intake for the week despite increasing it for a day or two. Boosting your metabolism comes from getting proper nutrients through a clean diet and losing body fat while increasing lean muscle mass. Lean muscle causes your body to more efficiently burn fat, cheat meals do not.
Can I boost my metabolism with diet pills?
No, you can not and will not. Diet pills work by increasing your heart rate artificially which in turn reduces your appetite, therefore you eat less calories. This is not a healthy means of weight loss for anyone. Eat clean and exercise!
Can I get all my daily nutrient needs from supplements?
You may be able to get some, but not all, in the manner your body requires. Supplements are just that, supplements. You use supplements only in order to increase some nutrients that you might be lacking from your diet. If you use supplements, you still must get most of your nutritional needs taken care of through a solid diet, period.
I heard that Joey Bogofdonuts lost weight on the latest Fartogenic Cabbage Soup with Croutons diet?
Friends, steer yourselves quickly away from anyone who ever tries to get you on the latest fad diet. Fad diets do not work for the long run, and can cause you serious health issues in some instances. We see infomercials and television advertisements daily regarding fad diets and diet pills. Please, keep your money in your pocket or if you really want to blow it, then donate to a legitimate charity instead. It will do at least someone a little good going to a charity instead of some business dreamed up by someone who does not have your best interest at heart.
I know there are many more issues which can and should be addressed. Please, if you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate. All comments and questions will be answered, that is my promise to you.
And thank you for reading, especially my loyal followers. This blog has grown leaps and bounds beyond my wildest imaginations. Plans are in work to make navigating easier and there will soon be capabilities where you can figure your caloric needs, track your food intakes, and a forum. This will all be available on an app as well.