So, we often get asked by individuals how they can lose weight. My question is do you want to diet, or are you ready to make a true lifestyle change? Honestly, if all you want to do is go on a temporary diet, I am probably not the one you want to ask for advice as I do not believe in dieting. A diet is only a temporary measure with a stopping point. If most people who diet never regained their lost weight, we would not have the term “yo-yo dieting” in our lexicon, now would we?
Oh, there are a lot of diets out there where you can and will lose weight, but are you going to do them for the rest of your life? You also need to consider if these temporary diets are even good for your health. What good is it to go on a temporary diet if it is harmful to you? There are many crazy fad diets to be found on the internet. One of the most absurd I have seen involved swallowing cotton balls in order to make yourself full before consuming actual food. I’m not a rocket scientist, but this seems like a good way to jam up your digestive tract and cause an impaction. I can not fathom the thought of explaining to a doctor why the blockage in my colon was largely made of cotton balls. If you try a fad such as this, you might just deserve a very high medical bill in order to make you consider wiser choices in the future. I just hope the experiment does not kill you or cause lasting harm.
If you want to permenently lose weight and to live a healthy life, then it is imperative that you change your lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is what we promote at David’s Way, we are not a diet plan for good reason. Diets do not work for the long term. We want to help you to go forth in life a changed individual with a mindset of being health conscious both nutritionally and physically. The lifestyle we promote is really quite simple in concept and is easy to follow:
- Find out how many calories a day your body needs to either lose weight or to manage it as you see fit, We have a calorie calculator for you to utilize in our menu. Once you know your caloric needs which are based upon your basal metabolic rate, eat all of those calories, or as close as you can go without exceeding them.
- This is the biggie. Quit eating any and all products which contain added refined sugar and also quit processed foods. Only buy foods that you need to prepare from scratch. Processed foods contain far too much sugar, fat, sodium and preservatives that are crappy for your health. Once you have kicked simple sugars, your body will quit craving them after a couple of weeks, unless you find yourself cheating by feeding that sugar habit occasionally. If you are serious about your health and losing weight permenently, you will do this. The good news is we have lots of healthy sugar free dessert recipes here on the blog and you do not have to give up desserts at all. Our tried and true dessert recipes have either been entirely created by myself, or they are recipes I have modiied to cut out all simple carbs. We still enjoy desserts too, only without sugar.
- Eat a diet that is higher in protein and low in complex carbohydrates. Keep your complex carb intake between 20 to 30 percent of your calories, your protein about 45 to 55 percent, and the rest made up of healthy fats. Your body requires protein for a couple reasons, first to build or maintain your lean muscle mass which is important to assist in efficient body fat burning, and it also helps to keep you satiated. The fat is required for proper absorption of vitamins and minerals and besides making your foods taste better, healthy fats also help in keeping you satiated.
- Begin intermittent fasting on the 12:12 protocol, and build your way to the 16:8 protocol. 16:8 is where you fast for 16 hours and then consume all of your calories during your 8 hour feeding window. Having quit added sugars and simple carbs, fasting is quite simple as you will get hungry while never getting bad cravings as you would when still eating sugar. Sugar drives those feelings of being “hangry” where you could eat a bucket of salad and still not be satisfied until you have consumed those sugary foods. The benefits of fasting are; Fasting helps build personal dicipline with your appetite. Fasting initiates cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible for burning. Insulin levels drop. Human Growth Hormone increases. There are several beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease. Fasting will help you lose belly fat. By reducing yur insulin resistance, your risk of type 2 diabetes is also reduced. Fasting can reduce oxidative stress and inflamation in your body. Fasting is good for your brain and helps protect from damage due to strokes.
- Keep your weight loss at a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week. One pound per week is preferrable as slow weight loss is much better for you than quick weight loss. You will find that by not eating sugar or processed foods, you are highly likely to find it difficult to eat all of your daily calories. Weight loss comes easy when you truthfully clean up your diet and comes even easier when you incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.
- With your doctors approval, begin some kind of exercise regimen on a regular basis. Make exercise a habit. Get outside and walk, move your body in some manner which is going to raise your heart rate into your aerobic fat burning zone for at least 30 minutes. Build up to 30 minutes if that is too much for you begin with. Take it up a notch and begin resistance exercise in order to increase your lean muscle mass. Not only will you look better, your body will burn fat more efficiently which means you will also look better.
There are some weight loss programs out there who will tell you to not deprive yourself of any foods. Just make sure you track them by points or macros and life will be just golden. This works in theory much better than in the real world when it comes to foods that contain sugar. As long as you keep sugar in your diet, the odds are that you will always turn to it at some point for any of a variety of reasons. Maybe you blew it by going out with friends and could not resist that sharable dessert your bestie just had to order for you to share together. Of course, a little cake is not going to hurt on a special occasion. Then the next day some tragedy strikes your life and you find yourself eating ice cream straight from the carton or maybe you have just finished a half package or more of your favorite cookies. Soon you realize its a good thing you have not thrown away your fat clothes as you have regained all of those pounds you had fought so hard to lose. I promise, you can go to Weight Watchers social media “Connect” and the social medias of My Fitness Pal, Spark People and others on any given day and find multiple examples of just what I am writing about. Like anyone with a substance abuse problem, if you do not completely quit that which got you fat and unhealthy in the first place, you are bound to return to those old habits. If you had no control over your consumption of sugar in the past, what makes you believe you will have control over it now? Be honest with yourself.
When you clean up your diet with healthy foods and incorpororate exercise as a permenent lifestyle and not a temporary means to temporary results, life will become leaps and bounds better with the improvements you experience with your health. Make healthy eating and exercise a habit that is not tied to a number on your bathroom scale, aim for a healthy body fat level. Stand your ground when others try to derail you from your healthy choices. If your health and well being means little to them, then you mean little to them as a person.
Once you have made healthy eating and exercise your habit, your lifestyle, you will find it comes with little to no stress and is just something you do both on good days and on bad. For a couple of examples from my personal life; We have a family member with severe health issues which are now complicated by liver cancer. It is a tough situation, but in order for me to do my part in taking care if this family member, it is paramount that I also take care of myself. Clean eating and exercise has been my lifestyle long enough that being derailed by junk food never enters my mind. I do not eat sugar or processed foods for any reason, and therefore I do not get the cravings associated with these foods when I am stressed. In fact, by not eating these foods and keeping on top of regular exercise, my levels of stress are much less than they could be otherwise. Currently I cannot exercise as I usually do because of a large kidney stone which I have to have surgically removed this coming Monday morning. Yet, despite constant pain and stress, I have reduced my caloric intake to compensate for the temporary lack of exercise. By not eating sugary or processed foods, this is not even an issue even though I have reduced my calories by 400 per day. I have not weight trained nor have I hiked since the stone began causing me problems a week ago, and I have managed to actually lose a couple of pounds this week with no effort. Since it is my lifestyle, fasting still comes easy and I actually have to make a conscious decision to ensure I do get in all of my calories for the day.
You have a personal choice to make. You can choose to clean up your diet and begin exercising as a permenent lifestyle change, or you can go on a temporary diet and experience temporary results. You can give up added sugar entirely, or you can keep it in your diet and then suffer the consequences of always derailing your own efforts when you are stressed, happy, melancholy, sad and or outright grieving. You can think I am too hardcore in this topic, that is fine. However, if you choose to go on a plan such as Weight Watchers where you are told you can continue to eat sweet treats in order to not deprive yourself, do yourself a huge favor and take the time to persue their social media “Connect”. I do not care if you look at new posts, trending posts, or posts of those you may begin to follow, you will be able to find multiple stories any day and or time of the week where people have been doing great, life happens, and all of a sudden thay have ate too much of the wrong foods and they are upset becuase their weight has gone back up. They fall back on those bad foods because they never truly gave them up. Like an alcoholic having an occasional beer, a junkie hitting a bump of dope, or an ex-smoker puffing on a smoke. We all know this does not work. Why would it work with an addictive food that also causes health problems and obesity?
The choice is yours to make, diet or lifestyle. Choose wisely my friends.