I’m Tired of This!
I wish I had a dollar for every time that I heard that when I worked for a major weight loss company. People commit to programs that allow added sugars and alcohol which keep them doing the same things that got them unhealthy to begin with, and very quickly, weight loss stalls. Although some programs promise easy or fast weight loss, neither can be an effective strategy for getting to your healthiest body fat percentage and staying there. As weight loss stalls, discouragement sets in and you are very likely to just ditch the whole idea of losing weight. There are ways to keep the number on the scale going down with just a little planning.
Photo from Pexels by Olya Kobruseva
Gung Ho, No Mo’
I used to swim endless hours in a YMCA pool. I paid a lot for that membership and used it most days of the week. Whenever January rolled around with all of the New Year’s Resolutions to get in shape, the pool would fill up with all those zealous new gym goers. It was so frustrating! It made it very hard to get a swim lane and seriously interfered with those of us who were somewhat fanatical about swimming. After the second year of watching those numbers plummet between the third and fourth weeks of January, I quit letting it bother me. I had figured out that these newly enthusiastic athletes would soon play out. Are you feeling like giving up on the whole idea of losing weight yet? Most people already have. Weight loss is just like everything else, the more you know, the better your chances of success.
The main reason that I write on this website is that I had a weight problem my entire life until coming to David’s Way to Health and Fitness. I know how it feels to be unable to find clothes that I like, that look good on me. I know what Hell swimsuit season can be when you drag another four swimsuits into the dressing room, under fluorescent lights, only to decide that this is just not the day for swimsuit shopping. I know what it’s like to swelter in full length jeans all summer because I couldn’t bear to face myself in the mirror in summer clothes. Since I have discovered the answer to all that, I want to share. So believe me when I tell you these things. They have been tried in the fire.
The Beginning of The Descent
Many times when I have been at my goal weight, I would decide that I just didn’t feel like cooking one night and went to the drive-thru window. Since I was at my goal weight, I might be a little slack about my order. Sugary, salty foods have an addictive quality and very soon after eating salty fries or a syrupy sweet milkshake, I would want to repeat that behavior. Salt builds serotonin which is your party neurotransmitter and sugar activates dopamine which is your reward center in your brain, so these foods are truly addictive. When we return to these quick “fixes”, the descent into nutrition Hell has begun.
DON’T SKIP MEALS!!!
Our brains and bodies need a steady supply of energy to perform at optimum levels and if you do not provide it in the form of good nutrition, you will succumb to the dessert buffet or it’s equivalent. It doesn’t matter what you intend. It doesn’t matter how “strong” you think you are or how accomplished you are at your healthy eating program, when your neurochemistry begins to suffer, you will cave.
Eat Protein and Fiber
Every time that I reduced my calories after a long period of not counting them, I would get RAVENOUS! Regardless of how much I wanted to lose weight, the hunger was maddening. Many years ago I discovered that if I ate protein and fiber together, the fiber would bind the protein in my stomach and I would stay full for a long time. I ran experiments with other food and the hands down winner every time to slay hunger was this power combo. I usually carried cheese sticks and an apple with me wherever I went and I was never caught hungry. Which brings us to…
Always Carry Snacks
Even if you think that you have eaten plenty and you will be home before you need to eat again, carry healthy snacks! You never know when you will get stuck in traffic, remember an extra errand to run or have an emotional meltdown in traffic, all of which will exacerbate hunger. It’s all too easy to whip into a convenience store for a Honey Bun and a cup of coffee flavored sugar and non-dairy coffee creamer to see you home. If you are a coffee drinker, carry coffee. Stopping “for just a cup of coffee” can be disastrous. Have you ever noticed all the cakes and cookies close to the coffee in a convenience store? If you go to the drive-thru for coffee, you just opened the gates of destruction. Individual servings of nuts and seeds and plain full-fat Greek yogurt and apples will see you through anything. Carry your sweetener of choice with you. I also carry a little something extra to add to the yogurt such as water enhancer drops. It works great and can transform a plain cup of yogurt into a culinary delight. My current crush is Tang mixed with vanilla extract added to yogurt for an Orange Dreamsicle Delight that will keep you satisfied for a couple of hours.
Carry Healthy Food to Events
It doesn’t matter if it’s a family dinner, a church event or a party, carry healthy food. If you go to an outing believing that you will just avoid the trigger foods, guess again. The social atmosphere, traditions, habits and not-so-well-meaning “friends” and family will sway you until you crash. If you have a favorite healthy recipe with you, successfully navigating this nutritional nightmare is much more likely. We have many healthy recipes and if you want something special, just let us know. We have everything from pizza to Low Carb Bacon Stuffing to a Sugar Free Maple Walnut Muffins right here on these links.
Whenever we reach a goal that please us, the temptation is to skip our workout whenever we feel like it. One missed workout will turn into two and then the downward spiral is on. After losing a significant amount of weight our metabolism will naturally be a little slower so rather than slack up on our workouts we need to turn it up a few notches! A lighter weight body requires fewer calories to maintain so after your medical doctor approves, turn up the burn.
Eat Your Protein
Many times whenever we are asked to look at someone’s nutrition, we are appalled at what we see. I have a family member who was eating a mere 20-30 grams of protein a day and was wondering why she wasn’t healing good after surgery. It takes protein to build the tissues of the human body. However you like it, make sure to get it. Read David’s article Protein Supplements for guidelines. Protein will stoke your metabolic fire and keep you satisfied between meals.
Eat moderate amounts of complex carbs in the form of beans and other legumes, whole wheat, brown and wild rice, oats, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Carbs are your brain’s main source of fuel and if you try to do without them, you will have terrible brain fog and NO energy. Avoid simple carbohydrates like added sugar, white breads, white rice and white pastas. They quickly degrade into glucose in your body and cause unwanted insulin spikes.
This is not a diet. There is no stopping point. This is simply eating healthy for the rest of your life so don’t get overly emotional if every day is not perfect. The important thing is to actually do the best that you can do each day. That won’t be the same every day, necessarily, because we are not the same every day. Allowing yourself to get upset sets the stage for trouble because it sets off our stress hormones which cause cravings and feelings of self-loathing that make us feel justified to binge. It’s a journey, not a race. Remember what David says, “You don’t own your level of fitness, you are merely paying rent.” which means that it has to be tended to every day, for the rest of your life, so settle down and learn how to be the very best that you can be. We’re here for you, free!