Part One of this topic was posted just a few days ago. I guess I’ve been loath to post the promised Part Two, probably because (1) you might think that I think this is the balance of all wisdom regarding weight loss, and (2) as soon as I publish it, I’ll come across more that I ought to have said.
Yes, there’s bound to be a lot more to be said — and a lot of rules, equipment and supplements that would help. I did say this post would deal primarily with FOOD.
I’ve found there are two battle zones: not only (1) doing what you learn you need to do, but also (2) STOPPING DOING the BAD things you’d been accustomed to do! Therein is the problem. Since Christmas I’ve run a daily tally of all the good, healthy and sociable things I’ve done (to mention only two areas that need improvement) and given myself 1 point for every exercise session, glass of water, salad meal etc. I’ve had some good tallies. But I’ve not been scoring minus points for any biscuits, buns or chocolate. That would be too discouraging — and too revealing. You can only burden yourself with so much at a time, I tell myself…
And the scales in the bathroom know. They refuse to lie, darnit — though some clothing is easier to get on now!
Talking bathroom, I can add to the list of what boosts metabolism: finishing a shower by turning the temperature gradually down to COLD for several minutes. Currently we’re experiencing a hot, humid summer and I’d been having such trouble dressing after a shower — clammy skin! Now it’s so much easier after a cold rinse — pores are closed and the clothes don’t drag.
Also to speed up metabolism: take GLA (gamma linolenic acid).
Talking exercise, I read that resistance training and cardio mobilizes fat from the fat cells so that it can then be burned off by energy consumption. My PowerFit machine has some resistance capabilities built in (I hope my scales recognise that — soon!).
If you take time to look on Internet for advice on healthy eating, you’re bound to discover those who give reasons why certain foods are best eaten at certain times of the day. Bearing in mind that a body that needs detoxing isn’t going to lose fat as efficiently, I noted advice that since the body regularly detoxes to a degree, between 4am and midday, we ought only eat fruit during those hours in order to aid that process. Others swear on cereals or omelettes eaten for breakfast. There’ll be some things you’re willing to believe, and some you’re not.
You’ll also discover there are strong opinions on food combinations. I try to follow this one: only ever combine protein plus vegetables, or carbohydrates plus vegetables (never protein plus carbs). UH-OH — there goes the typical meat-and-potato combination! The reason given, is that protein and carbs are digested at different stages/places in the gut, and it’s better to eat combinations of food that share common patterns for digestion.
So, for lunchtime I might be likely to produce the oven fries or the sweet-potato bake (with veggies) as a separate meal to the meat and greens for dinner at the end of the day. Since that might also reduce the usage of bread, that can only be good (I’ve been throwing it out to the birds lately). And make your own “fries” with fresh potatoes, cut thinly and tossed in olive oil, sea-salt, garlic and chili powder before cooking in the oven.
Those small bench-top ovens now seem like a good idea, with less being cooked at a time! And by the way, “eating raw food” would be as a good an aim for losing weight as it is for losing cancer. As much as you want, whenever you want. Sounds good!
Place a blanket ban on all processed food, and on sugar and any chemical replacements thereof. Canned food, handy as it is, has BPA content in some can linings. Some plastics contain obesogens which interfere with the normal feeling of fullness or satiety — and therefore one eats more than necessary.
Packet food started sounding good when they gave it healthy names and labelled it “fat reduced” or “sugar reduced” — but we need to observe what has replaced those very ingredients that used to make the items so tasty! Instead of fat, in came sugar in various forms (especially high-fructose corn syrup which hides under a variety of names) and instead of sugar came chemical sweeteners that are associated with many conditions or degenerative diseases. Do you really want to consume a chemical which, once consumed, produces formaldehyde in reaction to human body heat?
Read the ingredient list of all products, and reject additives, soy or hydrolysed proteins (I’d love to supply these ‘E’ numbers, but another area of my life I need to work on, is “A place for everything, and everything in its place”). Suitable topic for another blog, I guess….
In New Zealand, there’s a refreshing move to ensure packaged goods contain no additives or artificial colourings etc. and these are labelled accordingly. Hurrah! Just change your brand! And note that the fewer the ingredients listed on an item, the better: it will have been processed less. Processing removes so much goodness, and one reason for food additives is to replace what’s been processed out (other reasons being shelf longevity, visual appeal, and other factors that have nothing to do with nutrition whatsoever).
We think we’re being so kind to our kids when we supply them with bottled fruit juice. Not so!! Fruit contains natural sugar fructose, and should be eaten as several portions scattered throughout the day, and not concentrated in extracted form as juice, thus supplying far too much sugar. We need the fibre of the real thing anyhow. So replace juice with whole fruit.
I was horrified recently when a television program stated “Human bodies do not NEED sugar. It is toxic!” Today’s newspaper headline is “Is sugar the new tobacco?” YES! It needs to be regarded as an enemy.
So, sugar serves no purpose except to excite our taste buds? That, if taken to heart, will make necessary huge changes to our eating habits, and re-training of our taste buds. Knowing that it feeds any cancer present is another good reason! I once had a cancer battle and for 15 months ate no biscuits, icecream etc. and I remember how, surprisingly, I didn’t miss sugar and felt so much more fit.
Funny how it’s so much harder to deny sugar now that battle is over. Bring on the retraining!
Whoever buys the groceries: eat before you shop. Shop the perimeter of the store first: this is where the fresh food is. Spend your money there. Packaged foods are on shelves deeper inside. You might not even have to lurk in those dangerous depths.
Daily weight-loss snacking tricks: take 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed, perhaps mixed with cranberry juice with no added sugar. Snack on almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds. Allow yourself chocolate if it’s over 70% cocao content. Drink a green tea with a squeeze of lemon. And don’t ignore the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (in water) daily — it’s not too foul.
To reduce what you think your body needs, consider this trick using essential oils. It is based on how a person’s sense of fullness is strengthened by the sense of smell. For a month at a time, sniff the oil five minutes prior to a snack or meal. Do 18 sniffs thus: close one nostril and sniff three times with the other, then reverse, then do the sequence twice more. For months 1 and 4 use peppermint essential oil, months 2 and 5 banana essential oil, months 3 and 6 use green apple.
Worth a try? I’ve not got onto that yet, so let me know if it works!
For meals: Eat the sort of carbs that take longer to digest (so consult the Glycaemic Index). Eat natural fats: we need to have these in our bloodstream and muscle cells. Make stir-fries with brown rice. And salad, salad, salad.
If you like smoothies, here’s a simple enough recipe: berries (red and black), dark leafy greens, maca, chia seeds, cocoa and vanilla.
Don’t drink immediately after a meal. But do drink 1 ounce of water per kilo of body weight, daily. Take a probiotic supplement, and you might choose to use an appetite suppressant cum metabolism-booster such as garcinia cambogia — though you might find it as hard as I do, to remember to take it at the appropriate time.
The easiest part, I found, was the Plan. Write down what you want to achieve, including emotional aims eg. “I want to not mind when I look in the mirror”, “I want to get my Body Mass Index below….[whatever]”, “I want to be healthier and like being healthier”, “I want to reduce my weight to [whatever] by [whenever] so I can wear last season’s clothes, and then reduce further to [whatever] so I can fit old favourites”, and “I want to be able to walk right past the Plus Sizes and buy whatever clothing takes my fancy”.
Write little signs to pop in appropriate places, eg. inside the pantry “REMEMBER! Drink water with lemon juice and then sniff the peppermint oil!” and on the dining table “One decision at a time does it — if it’s the right decision”. Have you got a computer program that will let you photo-shop your side view, to print a poster “This is only possible if…..”. Create a poster of HELPFUL vs ENEMY food, cutting and gluing pictures from magazines.
I purchased a colourful poster that said DO YOU WALK YOUR TALK? which question of course can apply in any area of life, but I’m letting that sit around the house where it catches my eye. Every time I spot it, I feel guilty as charged.
I find second-hand books on Amazon a good buy. See what advice you can find there. I purchased “The Starch Blocker Diet” by Rosenblatt and Stauth, and “The Maker’s Diet for Weight Loss” by Jordan Rubin. To my dismay, the former has a marker halfway through, and as for the other — sadly, I read the chapters about the relationship of obesity to various diseases, got to a chapter called “Get on Board” and then must have baled out from the reading. So it was never Full Steam Ahead.
My next step, I suspect, is to finish those books, glean what I can, and blog a Part Three at some stage. By then I might have some claims I can make, rather than just passing on what others have said. Meantime this is posted as another way to try to keep myself committed.
Let’s see if that works!