Each year Americans spend an
estimated $40 billion on advertised diet plans. Many in Europe
spend similarly. This is in spite of the fact that the diet industry
itself admits that 98% of those that
start a diet will gain the weight back with-in one to three years.
What many in the industry wont tell you is that the most popular diet plans on the market are over 20 years out of date with the current science of weight-loss. This is perhaps good for the industry since nine out of ten people who try one diet plan go on to try an average of three before concluding they are destined to a life of obesity.
As hard as losing weight is, it is not the hardest part of
weight-loss. Keeping it off is the most difficult part of losing
weight. In years past the word diet referred to what you ate on a usual
basis. A binge meant to do something to extreme for a temporary amount
of time. Now we have changed the meanings of these words.
When we go on some radical
new diet with the intention of temporarily eating only grapefruit or
only protein or even only carbohydrates or what ever the latest,
greatest diet craze is... we call it a diet. Then when we slip and go
back to eating our usual foods we call it binging. No wonder we can`t
lose weight and keep it off. We have twisted our understand about food.
Your diet is what you eat most consistently over your lifetime. A binge is anything you do temporarily; whether that is to binge out on a gallon of ice cream or binge on an all protein diet to lose weight. A temporary diet then, is destined to fail because by definition it is temporary and therefore, so are the results.
If you want to lose weight permanently you need a "permanent", healthy diet plan!
focus will need to be on building new habits around a healthy diet plan
rather then around losing weight. While it may be hard to believe, your
body does have the ability to bring you back to a proper weight. My
husbands mother believed for most of her adult life that she just
couldn`t lose weight because when she tried it required such a low
calorie diet that it was just impossible to keep long term results.
She resolved herself to living obese for the rest of her life. After she had a stroke she needed to be taken care of for the next couple of years. Her meals were planned and prepared for her as part of a healthy diet plan and as such were based on nutritional needs. Some consideration was given to her taste in foods, but with-in healthy guidelines.
What happened astonished her. She lost weight, her taste changed
over time so that she liked the more healthy meals as much as she once
like the less healthy ones and she looked better, felt better and had
The stroke certainly was not good and it did do damage to nerves that never reversed, but it was still a good lesson on how we become convinced that we have some genetic code that keeps us fat when in reality it has much more with eating processed, chemically lased foods that cause cravings, induce an over abundance of insulin and other hormones that increase our appetites, inhibit other bodily chemicals that allow our calories to be used for fuel rather than stored into fat and lead us in a cycle of obesity.
When we learn how our bodies work and we take the time and effort to reverse some of the changes we made in our bodies from our diet and lack of exercise choices, we can get our bodies working with us to maintain a healthy body weight instead of working against us as it may be doing now.
To loose weight permanently stop dieting and start a life long healthy diet plan!
As hard as it is to do, your first step is accepting yourself just as you are right now. You are one of God`s creations and you are a magnificent person. As long as you need to change something to be "good".... being that, will always be in the future. You need to understand you are "good" right now.
Expect to have some back sliding. Over eating is like any addiction, you will likely have some relapses along the way. Be prepared for this. When you look and see you have reverted to some old habits, cut off from that behavior quickly and get back on your healthy diet plan. Then be sure to congratulate yourself on not letting that behavior continue too long.
A journal is an absolute must. Studies suggest most of us are unaware of what we eat by up to 75%. When keeping this journal be sure to write down your feelings about why you are eating. Make a note about how much or how little you enjoyed what you are eating. Often we have an experience where we eat something and really enjoy it, but then we begin to indulge in it and eat out of habit, not out of enjoyment. Also keep a record of how you feel each day while following your healthy diet plan.
You don`t have to start training to run a marathon, but exercise is an absolute must as part of your healthy diet plan. Walking 30 minutes a day everyday is one of the best exercises you can do. Be sure to do some resistance training at least twice a week in addition to walking.
When we eat highly processed foods and sugar our body protects us by releasing insulin. Too much sugar in the blood at one time is dangerous so this is an important function of the body. The problem is that insulin inhibits the natural chemical our body produces that converts sugar into fuel and therefore when we have an abundance of insulin in our system our body converts that sugar into fat stores.
When we eat unprocessed foods those foods break down into glucose much more slowly so insulin is not necessary and the body then releases the chemical that converts calories into energy rather than fat. If you want to be a healthy weight, you have to greatly increase the natural whole foods you are eating and decrease or eliminate the processed foods as part of your healthy diet plan.
Every meal should include some whole grain and some natural fruit and/or vegetables. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables should be the main things you are eating at each meal as part of your healthy diet plan. Every day you should get a little fat, ( a healthy fat such as cold pressed olive oil or the fat found naturally in nuts and seeds). Everyday you should get some protein, ( beans, nuts, tofu and other soy products, fish, eggs, chicken breast and wings and turkey are all healthy sources of protein).
Many of those in the industrialized nations are getting as little as 8 - 10 grams of the 40 grams of fiber recommended as part of a healthy diet plan. If you want to kick start your weight loss eat 50 grams of fiber for the first 30 days and then drop down to the recommended 40 grams a day. Fiber will remove toxins from the body which will help your body get back to a more healthy state. It will slow down digestion so that you don`t get spikes of insulin which will cause the body to convert food to fat by inhibiting the hormone that converts it to energy and at the time it will aid the body in better absorbing nutrients which will make the body work better.
Often as we age we loose some of the digestive acids that help us break down food for conversion into energy. We can add some of that back by drinking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 8oz`s of water 10 minutes before a meal. This will not only make us less hungry before the meal so that we eat less, but will also help the body break the food we do eat down so it can be used for energy and nutrition.All of us have eaten and later felt bloated because we ate too much. This is because the chemical that lets us know we are full takes about 20 minutes before it enters our system. Most of us eat so fast that we have stuffed twice or more the we need before that 20 minutes is up. As part of a healthy diet plan you must slow down and start chewing your food. This lets your brain know you`re eating and the saliva helps start breaking down your food so you can get its nutrition. In addition to eating slower, try eating a small handful of walnuts or almonds 20 minutes before your meal. The healthy fat in these nuts will signal the body you have eaten and will release the chemical that lets you know you are full. If you do this consistently you will find yourself eating less.
Add red pepper to your morning meal. Natural chemicals in red peppers will help reduce appetite while raising metabolism.
You must drink enough water. Often our hunger is really dehydration. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Also drink a full glass of cold water as soon as you get up. The cold water will lower body temperature making the body turn on its thermostat getting your metabolism going first thing in the morning.
Practice deep breathing. Most of us breath short, shallow breaths which makes the body think we are in a state of panic. This raises stress and stress related hormones. Stress is one of the biggest contributors to today's preventable diseases and that includes obesity. Sit straight in a comfortable chair, put your hands on your lap, close your eyes and breath in through your nose on the count of 4, hold 4 and breath out through your mouth on the count of 8. Do this for 10 minutes everyday. It will help every system in your body.
As already stated stress is a big contributor to obesity. Learn simple meditation and practice 15 - 20 minutes a day. Harvard studies have clinically shown that meditation creates the relaxation response.
As part of a healthy diet plan as well as a healthy lifestyle find a spiritual practice to actively involve yourself in. You will find there is no separation of body, mind and spirit. All three have to be healthy if you want to maintain health and a good weight.
Learn to focus on your healthy diet plan and not so much on losing weight. If you eat right, exercise, deep breath and meditate you will see results. Many popular diets suggest losing 2 - 5 pounds per week. These are not healthy diets and in our opinion are destined to fail. Your fat cells have expanded along with your waistline. You need slower weight loss to give your fat cells time to adjust. If you cut too many calories you will lower your metabolism which will guarantee weight gain. As impatient as you may be to lose weight we encourage you to slow down.
An average of 1/2lb - 1lb is all you should be losing. To lose 1 pound you will need to cut or use an extra 3500 calories. This can be accomplished by cutting your usual calories by only 200 calories a day. Add daily walking and weekly weight resistance training to burn another 300 calories a day. Total is 500 calories a day or 3500 a week which equals 1 pound weight loss.
If you stick to this strategy, it will take longer, but when you get there you can maintain the loss because the body will have adjusted with the loss.
Remember that all illness is an imbalance in the body, mind and spirit connection. As part of a life time healthy diet plan eat more fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Practice daily deep breathing, exercise, meditate and find a spiritual faith of your choosing to actively pursue.