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?
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 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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing about your success! And remember to consult your physician before embarking on any diet(food modification) or exercise regimen.