Diet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Weight Loss without Anxiety                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Welcome to my diet page, and your first day of losing weight.  Most adults have been on a diet of some form or another at some point in their lives.  Some diets tell you to eat red meat, but no pasta.  Others will tell you the exact opposite.  Still other diets will stress counting calories, and avoiding carbohydrates.  It’s all confusing, and ultimately you don’t know who or what to believe.  The common themes in these diets, however, are denial of some food group or groups tending to place your body in different degrees of starvation.  All the diets will work initially, but all are doomed to fail as we can only deny our cravings for certain foods for so long.  And it seems like the more we are asked to avoid a certain food(s), the more we tend to crave it(them).  And then when we eat what we are asked not to eat, we feel like a failure, and stop the diet in a fit of frustration and depression.  Sound familiar?

                                                                                                         Dieting Debunked

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What if I told you that there is no need to place yourself on stringent diets?  Most, if not all of  you, would scoff at the thought.  Everyone knows that to lose weight, you have to diet.  Right?  Wrong.  I am going to simplify the diet landscape for you.

I am not going to ask you to stop eating anything.  You can eat what you want within reason.  I think I detect a note of skepticism.

Seriously, though, there are some foods that you should eat sparingly.  To start, I advise you to decrease your intake of fried foods which are rich in trans fats.   I didn’t say avoid the fried foods altogether, but I would ask you to limit your intake to once a week.  I would also ask you to decrease your intake of wheat based foods unless you are sure that the wheat has not been genetically modified.  Other genetically modified foods include corn and soybeans. Try to avoid processed foods which often contain high fructose corn syrup which will not only prevent you from losing weight and will increase food cravings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remember when your mother told you to eat your fruits and veggies?  She was largely correct, but she should have mentioned to eat bananas sparingly. Don’t tell her I said that because Mom is always right.  Bananas have a high glycemic index which will cause an insulin spike, and cause your body to actually store fat.  Other fruits without a high glycemic index like apples and oranges are good for you.  I also recommend organic vegetables with carrots and celery being the best.  These two vegetables will give you a feeling of fullness and will cut down on your food cravings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What is Leptin?  What is Ghrelin?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is a hormone named leptin which is secreted by fat cells.  Leptin has been called the lean machine hormone by some and is responsible for decreasing appetite.  Research has shown that starvation will decrease leptin levels by fifty percent after a week.  This leads to decreased fat burning which explains why starvation diets only work for so long.  So don’t starve.  Caloric restriction will also accentuate ghrelin, a hunger hormone which is secreted by the gastrointestinal tract.  So starvation diets are not the answer.  Activities like lack of sleep and stress will increase the ghrelin production.  Protein will decrease ghrelin levels.  So Mom was not only right about the fruits and veggies, but she was also right about insisting that you get enough sleep.  Try to get eight hours of sleep a night if you can, and don’t starve yourself.  I cannot overemphasize not starving.
                                                                                                                                Soft Drinks in a Nutshell                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               group of soft drinks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Avoid soft drinks.  It doesn’t matter whether they are diet or not.  Sometimes people think that if the soda is diet, it is okay since there aren’t any calories.  Wrong.  The artificial sweeteners will actually cause you to not lose weight.  Did you know that Diet Coke has formaldehyde as a preservative?  Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic, but the Food and Drug Administration has determined that it is okay for people to consume the formaldehyde since it won’t cause any problems at such low doses.  Does this make sense?  Like I said, avoid the soft drinks.  A typical soft drink has 150 calories from 39 grams of sugar.  Too much!!  We consume a whopping 185 pounds of sugar a year on the average.  Sugar does not have nutritional value.  Think of how many calories you can avoid by cutting your sugar intake to less than a pound per year.  Plus many of these beverages have high fructose corn syrup which also makes it difficult to lose weight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Booze, Water, or Tea

Drinking a glass of red wine a day is thought to improve your cardiac health.  So, please enjoy your glass of red wine.                                                                                            Also, incorporate teas into your fluid intake (more on this in the sample menu below). Drinking water instead of beer will hydrate you and cut down on the desire for food.  If you are a beer drinker, try to limit your intake to no more than two beers a week.  And think of all the calories you are eliminating.

Some food and nutrition researchers are recommending avoiding dairy products like cheese, ice cream, unsweetened yogurt, and milk due to the high content of saturated fat.  Again, everything in moderation.  Notice that yogurt is one of the foods that I recommend for snacking.

Let me give you an example of what a healthy diet (I prefer to call this regimen a food modification instead of a diet, but I will use diet since this term is universally understood) which promotes weight loss looks like.  Remember to eat slowly in order for your appetite center in your hypothalamus to register the fact that you have eaten, and drink tea or water about a half hour prior to your meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For breakfast:                  Egg omelette using two eggs (or egg whites)  with your choice of vegetables as much as you would like to eat (organic if possible).  I realize that organic food is more expensive, but definitely worth the investment.  According to the USDA, about 37 different types of pesticides have been found in non organic potatoes.  This is just one example of why you should eat organic.  Fruit of your choice, as much as you want, but no bananas (no sugar), and no watermelon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A cup of coffee (no sugar) or tea (tea will actually help with weight loss if you drink white tea or green tea which helps lipolysis which is elimination of fat cells, barberry tea which helps inhibit

insulin resistance which is a cause of Type II diabetes mellitus, rooibos tea which inhibits formation of new fat cells, or pu-erh a Chinese tea which helps lower

triglycerides)apple and measuring tape

Mid-morning snack:          Sugar free yogurt or fruit (but no banana) or vegetables (celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, jicama)

Lunch:                                  Enjoy a large salad of every vegetable you desire.  Remember that the salad dressing is what makes the salad unhealthy.

6 ounce portion of red meat or fish of your choice (remember that some fish like tuna may have higher concentration of mercury due to the mercury contamination in the sea.  There is also the issue of the plastic debris in our oceans which is increasingly consumed by fish and finds its way to our food table.  I mention this because your diet should not consist entirely of fish.)

Mid-afternoon snack:        Fruit, vegetable (any of the mentioned above) or sugar free yogurt of your choice

Dinner:                                  Red meat or fish of your choice, vegetables as large a portion as you like, potatoes (it’s the sour cream and butter which makes the potato unhealthy, but feel free to

use nonfat sour cream or sugar free yogurt to “load” your potato (again buy organic if possible).  Try to avoid eating fish all the time (twice a week is reasonable) as there is the issue of mercury contamination, and also the issue of the continued plastic particulate ingestion by the fish due to the floating islands of plastic garbage in the sea.  Recently, there was a comment posted by a visitor that asked about substituting chicken or pork for red meat.  This is perfectly acceptable.  I suggest eating chicken without the skin as the skin is full of fat.  If you wish to eat the chicken skin, remember to eat the skin sparingly.

lady preparing food

                                                                                                                           You are ready to Begin!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you get the idea.  You can prepare your dishes in different ways like grilling, baking or sauteing in order to vary the menu.  Once a week you can splurge on something decadent like macaroni and cheese or pasta.  You will still lose weight with the once a week splurging.  Remember that you can drink as much of the above teas as you like.  Some of you may be worried about the cholesterol in eggs.  Don’t be.  Our bodies need cholesterol to manufacture our naturally occurring steroids.  Studies have shown that a prolonged low cholesterol diet will place you at added risk for hepatoma which is a primary cancer of the liver.

Losing weight does not need to be painful.  Lifestyle modification is the key.  Diet works better with exercise so please visit my exercise page on this site.  For completeness sake, I have also included pages on surgery and medications.  I was a practicing physician for thirty two years, and I learned what worked and didn’t work for weight loss during this time.  If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line at weightlossbootcamp@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing about your success!  And remember to consult your physician before embarking on any diet(food modification) or exercise regimen.

9 Comments Add yours
  1. Hello Pablo,

    This looks very wise and balanced. I like that you don’t say “no” to everything and advocate moderation! I am curious if there is a reason you only mention red meat and fish for protein (other than the eggs etc.). What are your thoughts on chicken, turkey and pork for example? I would guess you would probably recommend organic to avoid growth hormones, antibiotics etc. Do you eat poultry?

    Thanks,
    Jessica

    1. Hi Jessica. Thank you for visiting this site, and for your comments. The sample menu on this page is a sample guide to eating healthy. The menu is meant to be used as a starting point as opposed to being all inclusive.
      Chicken, turkey, and pork are excellent sources of protein, and they can definitely be substituted for red meat and fish. You are correct in that I would recommend organic meats. Free range chicken is a good example. Yes, I do eat poultry in addition to red meat and fish. I also eat pork. As you point out, moderation in one’s diet is important. It’s okay to splurge on a diet which is not so healthy every now and again as long as the splurging is not continuous.

  2. I continue to be impressed by the number of quick fix weight loss products that are constantly advertised in the media. Remember that the only long lasting solution to weight loss and maintenance is a change in lifestyle. This means diet and exercise. There is no quick fix. Like any solution in life, you have to work at achieving your goal. Pablo

  3. I agree the only real solution is a healthy lifestyle. I think diet or exercise can be used to a certain extent to lose weight without the other though both is definitely best! Both together will get us to a healthy weight and also give us all the other benefits along the way. I have chronic inflammation and have to be careful of what I eat. It also results in problems such as bursitis and tendonitis that make exercise very difficult. It is very easy for me to overdue it and cause more problems. I also have loose tendons and can pull and sprain things easily. Therefore, I have to be extra careful about diet since I cannot exercise as much as I would like!

    Recently, my husband and I had to move on fairly short notice. It was a huge undertaking and meant a ton of extra exercise! The new place is also 3 stories up with no elevator! So, during this time my exercise portion of a healthy lifestyle has increased. I am losing weight…even though we have been living off of things including fast food! I am sick of fast food and can’t wait to get the kitchen set up so I can cook real food again! So, you can lose weight on junk food if you get enough exercise…it doesn’t mean it is healthy though! Your body will really suffer and you will shorten your lifespan I believe!

  4. It’s okay to splurge on unhealthy food on occasion as long as it’s not a habit. You hit the nail on the head, however, when you mentioned moderation on one of your previous comments. Everything in moderation. Exercise combined with a healthy diet is definitely the best. Congratulations on your weight loss. Keep up the good work. Pablo

  5. Hi Pablo,

    I really appreciate all the great information you have shared on your website.

    I am one of those people who has tried all the fads. None of the fads worked for me.

    I was fortunate to have been slender, without working at it, for most of my life. I gave birth to four children and went back to my normal weight each time.

    During menopause everything changed. At first, when I gained a few pounds, I thought that was novel and I did not really concern myself. As I continued to gain weight, I began to exercise more thinking that would help. I gained twenty pounds! I tried everything to lose that weight! Nothing worked.

    I carried that extra weight for a couple of years.

    Having fat on me, that I could not get rid of, was extremely frustrating, embarrassing, uncomfortable. I had a whole new appreciation for people who had weight issues all their lives!

    I KNEW there was a thin Susan inside my body.

    I thought about how hard it must have been for a person who had never been thin, to believe that they could ever be anything else but large.

    I knew menopause was over for me when I started losing weight and I returned to my normal weight, without doing much to adjust my lifestyle.

    During my thin years, I ate whatever I wanted to eat. My weight did not fluctuate.

    During menopause and after menopause that completely changed. I have to watch everything I eat now because I gain weight so quickly.

    I currently need to drop 10 pounds. Those 10 pounds just climbed onto my body and decided they love being with me.

    I tried to make a 10 pound donation with Jenny Craig, Ideal Protein, Weight Watchers, etc., but no one wants to take my donation!

    I know I have to break old eating habits, old cravings, and old patterns in order to be the size I want to be.

    I am going to look into your Bootcamp and hopefully re-train my patterns so I can get back to my “set point”.

    Thank you for your honest look at dieting, diet fads and eating patterns.

    I am ready to make my 10 pound donation!

    Susan

    1. Susan, thank you so much for sharing your moving and honest experience with unwanted weight. Modification of lifestyle is the ultimate answer for weight management. I know that this is easier said than done. One of the issues that may be derailing our attempts to lose weight is the Genetically Modified food that we are fed. Organic is better, but more expensive which makes the food inaccessible at times to some people. I have not met you, but I get the feeling from your narrative that you are a determined person. For this reason, you will succeed with your goal to shed 10 pounds. Please visit my site. The information is free, and I think that the site will give you some helpful tips. Please keep in touch, and I mean this sincerely, and let me know how things went for you. I am interested in finding out about your journey. Wishing you success, Pablo.

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