When I was a kid I would insist that my parents purchase these specific shoes that I believed would make me run faster and jump higher. In my adolescence I wanted to wear certain clothes that would make me part of the in crowd. Presently, some adults believe that driving a certain car will in fact make them more popular and increase their chances of dating the right person. As an adult I realize that many of us are using these same types of media driven magical/wishful thinking when choosing how to go about losing weight. We somehow believe that there is a quick fix to years of inactivity and careless eating habits.
I have been in the Health and Fitness industry for over 20 years, and I continue to be amazed at how easily many of us are led into the profit driven hype the media feeds us. Telling us how using philosophy ‘X’ or product ‘Y’ will lead to quick and satisfying weight loss. Drawing from my experiences in high school wrestling; to National level Powerlifting; presently practicing Mixed Martial Arts, as well as having been a practicing psychotherapist, I know what works and what doesn’t, as well as the struggles it takes to get there. I have witnessed the frustration of 100’s, if not 1,000’s of clients who came to me after trying the latest diet trend and having little to no results. I know what works in the real world. I know how to help you get there because I’ve assisted 100’s if not 1,000’s of clients achieve their weight loss goals. And there is no magic involved.
The process is rather simple, eat more calories than you burn and you will gain weight. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. The trick of course is not to deprive yourself so much that you feel hungry while having fewer calories.
There have been numerous approaches to weight loss ranging from philosophies that encourage certain foods be eaten together, to cabbage soup diets, to eating foods specific to your blood type, to eating all the fat and protein you want. Yet through all of these trends, the same fact remains. Take in fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. There are no quick fixes and at the same time there is no need for undue suffering while modifying your nutritional intake.
So what does work, you must be asking yourself by now? What can I eat and how can I lose these unwanted pounds that are not only unattractive to me, but are inhibiting the quality of my life? The answer is rather simple.
Let me tell you why.
The unfortunate truth is that most of us don’t really know what we eat day to day. We get hungry and put something in our mouths. Part of any successful weight loss program is to first keep track of what you eat. I have my clients keep a 5 day food journal to start the process off. This gives us each an idea of what modifications need to be made to get them from point A to point B. I rely on real-life, scientifically based, age old truths about how the body works and what gets results for my clients.
In June 2002 Consumer Reports published an article, called the The Truth About Dieting. In it, they effectively and accurately lay out the guides/strategy that I have been espousing to my clientele for years for successful weight loss. Consumer Reports conducted the largest survey ever on long-term maintenance of weight loss, 32,213 respondents. From this group they found 5 key points necessary to successful long-term weight loss. And in August 2002, L.A. Health News published a piece that utilized information reviewed by the website iVillage.com, where several of the leading diets plans were reviewed for their hunger (if they left the user feeling hungry), health (do you get the nutrients you need), ease (is it easy to follow), and expense (will this diet break your bank).
I could go on listing volumes of references of all the information that is out there to guide you to your success, but the key elements are rather simple. And probably not so different from the ideas your mother used to tell you. Simply put, unless informed differently by a physician, you should have a protein, a carbohydrate, and a fat at each meal. Meals should be spaced approximately every two and a half to three and a half hours apart. This could be three typical meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, with two snacks (one mid-morning snack and one late afternoon snack), or five small meals throughout the day. Why? Because your body needs consistent nutrition throughout the day in order to remain alert, maintain energy levels, and keep your body burning fat rather than storing it.
1) Carbohydrates: Consistent with Consumer Reports article, The Zone by Barry Sears, and numerous other diet plans. One of the biggest keys to a successful weight loss program is taming your blood sugar. The body’s use of carbohydrates is the key to success and is a regular part of diets. There are essentially two types of carbohydrates: Low Glycemic such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes and food rich in fiber, and High Glycemic, which include foods such as white rice, pasta, refined flour, bread, potatoes, and sugar. During digestion carbohydrates are broken down into sugar (glucose) molecules. When they reach your blood stream the pancreas releases insulin, which is the only way cells can uptake the glucose and hence use the glucose for energy. However, fasting-acting, high-glycemic carbohydrates create an upsurge of blood sugar that is uncomfortable to the body (not to mention being stored as triglycerides (an indicator of heart disease risk)). In response the body unleashes a surge of insulin that often drives blood sugar levels below normal and thereby increases the craving for more (often high glycemic) carbohydrates. It is of importance to note that your brain is the second largest consumer of carbohydrates in the body, so drastically reducing or worse yet, skipping carbs altogether is an easy way to impair your clear thinking, not to mention your energy levels.
The key is to minimize the amount of high glycemic carbohydrates you take in at each meal. If you have a high glycemic carb in your meal make sure to include approximately double that amount of low glycemic carb. In that way you are able to control your insulin levels and hence your energy levels.
2) Protein: Other than the Atkins Diet, many traditional reducing diets restrict protein intake. However, recent research has shown that protein actually aids in the slowing of food absorption. For instance if you have a serving of fish with some white rice, though I suggest brown, your blood sugar will rise more slowly than if you consume the same number of calories of white rice alone. So protein can aid in a low-glycemic diet, as well as helping you control your insulin. Protein also serves the purpose of feeding your muscles. Without the amino acids present in protein, your muscles would starve. Maintaining your muscle (often referred to as lean mass) is what allows you to keep your metabolism up and hence burn more calories.
The key is to choose lean protein such as lean cuts of beef, pork, egg whites, fish, chicken, turkey, and reduced fat dairy.
3) Fat: Though for some time we have been lead to believe that fat is bad, recent research encourages the use of fats towards weight loss and maintaining good health. Fats such as mono- and poly-unsaturated vegetable oils, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish oil seem to protect people against heart disease. In addition adding fat to your meal slows the absorption rate of food allowing you to feel fuller longer. Further, this slowed absorption rate decreases the blood sugar surge that would occur if fat were not included in the meals containing high glycemic carbohydrates.
The key is to utilize healthy fats to maintain well-rounded nutrition and health.
4) Consistency: It appears that it is not so much what you do in your weight loss strategy as much as it is how often. Those that have the most success in weight loss and keeping the weight off, do so by making consistently better choices in food and adding exercise regularly.
Again, the idea is to meet your nutritional requirements while decreasing your overall calories and not feeling starved. One of the best ways to do this is to choose foods rich in fiber and water. The idea is to get your body to feel full before you’ve consumed too many calories. The easiest way to do this is to choose foods that are rich in fiber and water such as vegetables, grains, and lean meats. Merely drinking water after a meal, while helpful, does not create the same feeling of fullness as when water is a part of the food. An example used by Consumer Reports is of having chicken noodle soup versus having chicken and noodles side by side on a plate.
To summarize, eat every three and a half to four hours, include a protein, high glycemic and approximately double the low glycemic carbohydrate, and make sure to include fat in every meal. Exercise regularly and POW watch the unwanted pounds leave and stay gone!
Now if this all still sounds too complicated to get you results AND If you’re ready to have the body you always wanted contact me at [email protected] and I can help create a nutrition schedule that won’t break your bank and will get you results fast! Call me now at (310) 397-0089.
In the Spring of 2000, the U.S. Public Health Services’ Centers for Disease Control declared obesity an epidemic among all segments of the population, in all regions of the country. By 2001 the CDC officially recognized obesity as the No. 1 epidemic in America. According to the CDC, one in five American adults is obese, which is defined as being 30 percent above the ideal weight for one’s height. Obesity has increased among American adults by nearly 60 percent in the last decade and approximately half of Americans are overweight.
These extra pounds have been known to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure as well as being associated with several types of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, liver, pancreatic, and rectal.