Healthy Eating For Dummies To Achieve A Permanent Weight Loss

There I said it! It may not be what you want to hear and IT’S THE TRUTH! PERIOD! I start this article off with this very important point because many of you are “dieters” and some of you are “lifelong dieters”.  Why do you think you haven’t kept the weight off? Because… diets don’t work. They are temporary fixes that only set you up for re-gain later. You need to learn how to eat, when to eat and how to eat. Let’s talk a little more about diets.
Deprivation SUCKS!
Or maybe I should say DIETS SUCK!
Diets=Deprivation=Suffering=SUCKS! Get it?
Changing your lifestyle is a good thing and doesn’t involve suffering. You need to learn that you CAN have your favourite fatty, sinful foods every once in a while as a reward but not on a daily basis. Learn to make healthful daily choices and exercise and you can have your cake and eat it too!
I remember when my sisters were teenagers. I remember them dieting and talking about staying thin. I recall the all grapefruit diets, boiled egg and popcorn diets. I thought it was pretty funny when they got mouth sores from all the acid in the grapefruit. The things we do to ourselves! WAKE UP FOLKS! If you can’t eat those ways for a lifetime don’t do it at all. You are truly wasting your time with the quick fix, weight loss in a bottle, only protein, no eating; lose weight in 24 hours joke program. Get that way of thinking out of your life and clear your mind for some truly life changing information. Let’s get going.
Obviously exercise is going to help you burn fat and calories but let’s focus on how to eat to burn.
Small meals more often. Get away from the 2-3 large meals every day. You should be teaching your body to be burning machine but eating smaller meal more often. Think about it… most people skip breakfast and slow their metabolism to a crawl, then eat a big lunch (often over eating because they are so starved), hit rock-bottom around mid afternoon and have a soda pick-me-up and go home to eat a big pasta meal with the family. It’s all about deprivation and overload. Not eating breakfast slows the metabolism, big lunch and dinner meals are ways too much food at the wrong times of day and the body can’t burn off all the calories. Especially, the big pasta dinner because you will be going to sleep shortly after that meal when the body burns even fewer calories. The pasta has no where else to go other than your hips and tummy!
You need to learn to eat a moderate sized breakfast, lunch and dinner with small snacks in between. Fuel the body so it burns until you fuel it again. Think about when you have a campfire. You don’t just toss a bunch of logs in the pit and throw a match in. You must nurse the fire by slowly building it up and adding a log when the other burns down. You can’t add many at once or it will smother the fire and if you don’t add a log the fire will burn out. It’s the same with the body and you will burn out and have no energy. Maintain a consistent fuel source for your body and it becomes a burning machine.
You need to have a balanced plate at meals and snacks. What I mean is that every meal needs to have a protein, carbohydrate and fat. Your body needs both protein to repair and build lean muscle and carbs to provide energy. So having a giant bowl of pasta is not a balanced meal but having a small portion of pasta with a chicken breast is better. We are going into about Protein and Carbs a little later.
The Fuel of Life
Ah, the big “P” word. There has been so much talk about protein over the last few years I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with…
What is Protein? Protein is the body’s major building material. The brain, muscles, skin, hair and connective tissue are all composed primarily of protein. Protein is also needed to complete water balance and fight foreign organisms. Protein is needed regardless if you are walking or strength training. Each time a muscle is worked, it develops tiny tears that the body must knit back together; it’s during this mending that the muscle grows bigger and stronger. This also means less jiggly and flabby!
Here is a message from an article titled Snack on This from  French researchers found that high-protein snacks keep you full longer and may reduce the amount you eat at your next meal. “High carbohydrate snacker’s got hungry as quickly as subject who had no snack at all” says author Jeanine Louis-Sylvestre, PhD, “but protein eater, who snacked on chicken, stayed full nearly 40 minutes longer.” Since it takes longer for protein to break down, you stay satisfied longer. So put down the crackers and grab a yogurt instead!
How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:
The RDA recommends of 0.8g/kg to 1.2-1.8g/kg. If you exercise a lot you will want to be in the upper range. Here’s how to calculate your protein needs.
1.   Weight in pounds divided by 2.2=weight in kg
2.   Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8gm/kg=protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary. Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
Example: 154lb male who is a regularly exerciser and lift weights
70kg x 1.8 – 126 gm protein/day
150lb female who walks 1-2 times a week.
150 lbs/2.2 = 68kg
68kg x 1.0 = 68gm protein/day
Protein counts
Food                              Protein Size               Protein (grams)
Milk                                   1 cup                         8
Cottage Cheese                    cup                      12
Cheddar Cheese                  1 ounce                     8
Yogurt                               1 cup                         9
Egg/egg white                     2 Large                      7
Tofu                                  4 ounces                    8
Fish                                   3 ounces*                  21
Chicken                             3 ounces*                  25
Turkey                               3 ounces*                  24
Pork                                  3 ounces*                  23
Beef                                  3 ounces*                  25
Pasta                                1 cup                         4
Rice                                  1 cup                         4
Corn                                  1 cup                        3
Beans                                1 cup                        5
Bread                                1 slice                       3
Peanut Butter                     1 table Spoon             4
This is not a four letter word! Everything you read, hear and watch nowadays says that carbs lead to obesity.
Ughh, noooooo:
·         That Big Mac and fries leads to obesity…
·         The fact that we sit on our butts too much leads to obesity…
Let’s break it down to the ridiculous here:
Carbohydrates in the correct form are the fuel that the body needs to burn and function. Think of them as the logs for your fire. Problem is that we overeat carbs in all the wrong forms and essentially overload our bodies with too much fuel. We need to be eating fiber rich carbs in whole grains and vegetables in the correct proteins.
Good News! Everything you eat doesn’t have to be fat free! Bad news is the fat you can have isn’t what you think… or want.
You don’t drink enough! However much you’re drinking…DOUBLE IT! No TRIPLE IT!
You don’t get enough! I don’t even know you or your eating habits but I can almost guarantee you don’t get enough fibre in your diet. Fiber is essential to a healthy functioning body and is important in weight loss. Fibre is the stuff that washed away the bad stuff. It’s like Roto-Rooter for your body. Your target daily fibre intake should be around 25-35 grams. Replace refined carbs with whole grain and you will be half way there. Eat bread with 2 grams or more fibre per slice and add a bowl of a “bran-type” cereal and you could add up to 8 more grams. Rye crackers (try Wasa brand) have six times the fibre than saltines.
·    Super Size/Super Value packaging. These are usually too large in portion, contain more calories and encourage overeating. The only exception I can think of is lean meats, nuts and water.
·         Buy single serve items such as individual fruit ice pops opposed to a gallon of ice cream. You are way more likely to overeat ice cream when you are scooping the portion vs an individual fruit pop that is already controlled.
·         Shop the walls! Grocery stores often keep lean meats, dairy, whole grains (bread), fruit and vegetables on the walls of the store.
·         Stay away from the inside isles. The insides isles are full of pre-packaged, over processed and nutritionally void foods. Some examples are flavoured rice and noodles, frozen meals, canned foods, pizza, junk food, snack foods and chips, snack crackers. Try eating fresh fruits and veggies, make your own pizza with fresh ingredients and load up on fresh salads.
·         Have a list and stick with it! Make your list at home (don’t forget it!) and don’t add to it while you are there. It will keep you from throwing in stuff you shouldn’t and keep you from overspending.
·         Beware of the deli! Pre-made salads and sides are always made with high fat mayo and contain crazy amounts of sodium. Take a little time to make your own and you can eliminate tons of fats, calories and sodium from your diet. Deli meats can be just as frightful. If you must have lunchmeat go with lean cuts and stick with brands you trust like Healthy Choice. They are usually lower in sodium and fat than the others. If you like sandwiches I suggest you cook your own turkey or chicken, slice the meat and freeze it. You will have yummy lean meat for salads and sandwiches for weeks.
We are a super-sized nation. Our portions are twice if not three times the amount they should be. I’m a firm believer that we can eat well and not fell deprived if we just eat the right portions. Here are a few tips when eating out:
·         Ask for a To Go box to be delivered with your meal. Before you even take the first bite put half of your food in the To Go box. You will have a well portioned meal to eat now and another one for tomorrow. Remember, as your stomach expands, so does your appetite.
·         Gain an edge on your hunger by starting with a broth-based soup, fruit, small salad (watch what you put on it!) or raw vegetables (no dip).
·         Always be in control of your order. Ask for all sauces and dressing to be the side. Opt out of buttered “white” starch and ask for double vegetables. Also ask for the vegetables to be without sauce and butter. You may have to wait a little longer for them to prepare it but it will save you many calories and fat grams in the end.
·         Slow down and chew! Eating slowly will help you to feel and satisfied.
·         If you are eating at a fast-food restaurant go for the leanest, grilled or baked item. You can also choose a kids meal. It will be a smaller portion and they now offer sliced apples and juice instead of fries and soda.
·         Skip the buffet PERIOD!  If you must go to one of these “feeding troughs” I suggest you go for lean grilled or baked meat and a green salad. Make only one visit, eat slowly. My secret weapon at the buffet is to wear tight clothing! Maybe you will stop eating when you feel your belly busting out over your belt. Works for me!
·         Always cut off the fat and remove the skin of the chicken before eating.
·         Stay away from thick, rich sauces. The thin sauces are more broth based and probably don’t have the added fat and cream. Avoid hollandaise, béarnaise, beurre blanc, or anything that resembles gravy. Red sauces are better than white.
·         Order dressings on the side and use them sparingly. I like to order the dressing on the side and ask for a separate, empty bowel or cup. I pour the proper portion in the empty container and then use it on my salad. Other ideas are lemon juice, vinegar and oil or buy the little portioned packages and stick them in your purse.
At home
Just like in restaurants portions are way too big at home also!
·         Start with using smaller plates, bowels and glasses. You will be less likely to eat as much on a smaller plate.
·         Never pile your plate high.
·         Measure food so you know what a portion looks like. Try measuring out a portion of chips and compare it to what you really eat. Oh and CEREAL…geeeze…we really blow it there! Measure it! Amazing how easy it is to overeat when you are not in control!
Miscellaneous Must-Know in Planning Your Weight-Loss Programme
Scale Weight and Weight Loss
I feel the need to stop for a minute to talk about scale weight. Ahhh, the precious scale! How can an object that sits on one of the dirties surfaces in our home, the bathroom floor, be the holder of all great knowledge. You laugh – but some of you step on it every morning to worship “the great deceiver” and you need to STOP
Scale weight is made up of three elements:
·         Water
·         Muscles and tissues (or lean weight)
·         Fat
Those of you who jump on the scale every morning to worship “the de-motivating wonder” are setting yourselves up for failure. Weight can shift dramatically overnight due to PMS and even the chips you had the night before programme and lost several pounds in the first few days or even week. That was your body shedding its water due to the extreme nature of the diet. You shed the water weight tricking you into thinking you lost fat weight only to regain the entire pound (and then some) when you return to your regular diet and stopped taking the pills.
Water weight
The slight shifts in weight within a day or two is not enough to set weight loss/gain into stone. It is losses over weeks and months that are the true measure of success. We are talking about breaking bad habits that have been bring us down for most of our lives. Scale worship is definitely one of those things that can ruin your weight loss efforts. I have seen many a client have their entire day ruined by the all mighty scale telling them they are up three pounds. Stop worshipping the scale every morning and pick one day a week to step on the scale. Don’t let an object from the bathroom floor have power in your life!
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding water retention:
·         Caffeine is a diuretic that rids the body of water. For every glass of caffeine try and drink a glass of water.
·         PMS can really mess with your mind. I would recommend not getting on the scale during this week.
·         Supplements can make you gain or lose water. I’m not a big supporter of weight loss supplements for this very reason. You don’t want temporary weight loss! These products tend to help you get a quick fix weight loss rather than keeping it off. Usually as soon as you stop taking the product you will immediately start to gain weight back as your body replenishes its water needs. Why go through that let down. Do it right the first time.
·         Stop over-salting your food!  Most people salt out of habit. You have learned to do this and might actually enjoy tasting the food more if you backed off the salt. I don’t know how many times I have watched people at restaurants talking to their family and just be shaking that salt over their food the whole time. Most food we get at restaurants and most pre-packaged items already have tons of salt added in. Be aware and be in control!
During the weight loss process sometimes the body will take a break, this is called reaching a plateau. If this happens you need to kick things up a notch and get the weight loss train back on its tracks. Change your workout routine, push yourself, take a fitness class that push you out of your comfort zone, hire a trainer, get a little more strict with your meal plan, cut back calories a little more. You don’t need to do all these at once but try a couple and see if you can shock your system into losing again.
Oh, do people like to throw this word around!
“I have slow metabolism and that’s why I can’t lose weight”
I hear that one all the time. Truth is many people hide behind statement like this so that they can find an excuse to give why they aren’t losing weight or trying to lose weight. Let’s start by defining metabolism.
The American Council on Exercise defines metabolism as “The chemical and physical processes in the body that provide energy for the maintenance of life”.
Encarta® World English Dictionary, North American Edition Defines metabolism as “life-sustaining chemical activity: the series of processes by which food is converted into the energy and products needed to sustain life”
Food and Exercise = Energy burned to LIVE!
Metabolism is controlled by staying active, eating healthfully and LIVING WELL. So if you’re sitting around and eating poorly you most likely do have messed up metabolism. So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to be one of the “blame gamers” or are you going to start making that metabolism of yours turn into a burning machine? All I can say is BURN BABY BURN!
Some people cut out dairy foods because they think they are too high in fat and calories but this is just not true. Studies have shown women and men have lost significant more weight when they include 1200 milligrams of calcium from dairy products and a reduced calorie eating plan.
The most exciting report showed people who added low fat calcium to their diets lost more inches in the stomach and hips. So grab a low fat yogurt and enjoy!
Ladies check this out!
Researchers at Columbia University found that women who took 1,200mg of calcium per day notice a 48% decrease in PMS symptoms.
How does calcium do this?
Calcium helps to slow the production of calcitriol, which directs fat cells and the fat burning process. In other words, calcium decreases calcitriol = less fat = more fat burned for energy.
Can I take a calcium supplement?
Supplements work but better results have been shown to come from those who ate dairy products.
Experts recommend consuming 1200 milligrams of calcium daily or 3 servings of dairy. Please make note that the body cannot absorb more than 500-600 milligrams of calcium at one time. Here is a quick reference chart to help you get started:
Food                                                   Calcium (mg)      Calories            Fat
Quaker Oatmeal for women (1pkt)         500                   160           2.5
8oz. non fat yogurt                              345                   213           0
Kraft 2% Cheese (1oz)                         400                   70             4
2% Milk (1/2c)                                    148                   65             2.5
Dannon Light and Fit Smoothie              150                   80             0
Other benefits of calcium:
·         Reduces risk of cancer.
·         Helps in blood clotting, muscle concentration, never transmission and formation of bones and teeth.
·         Fights Osteoporosis.
·         Aids in lowering blood pressure.
·         Builds strong bones.
Do you know? Calcium is found in dairy but did you know it is also in kale, broccoli and Chinese cabbage.
Smokers who increased the amount of time they exercised by 30 minutes a week while trying to quit were 30% MORE likely to be successful than those who didn’t exercise, report a Brown Medical School study of 109 people. They average 4 hours of exercise a week.
Obviously I don’t think anyone should smoke cigarettes but if you do I have a special place in my heart for those of you who do. You see my entire family (except my mother) has smoked at one time or another. Mom, dad, sisters, nephew, grand parents, aunts and uncles all currently smoke or did so for many years, I spent most of my days at my grandparent’s house while my parents worked their fingers to the bone at their factory-type jobs. My grandparents didn’t have much but always found money for their beloved cigarettes. I loved grandma and grandpa with all my heart but I can honestly look back and say they were adding to my health problems with every puff. I had horrible allergies and asthmatic problems my entire childhood and I truly believe being surrounded by the second hand smoke made a profound impact on my health. I might also add both my grandparents died of smoking related illness and disease. The only good that came out of their deaths from this dangerous habit was that my dad stopped smoking almost immediately after their passing.
If you want to keep smoking and have no intention of stopping please be careful not to smoke around children. The smallest amount of second hand smoke can make a huge impact in the small lungs of a child. If you have the desire to quit please seek assistance. There are many medications and aids that can help you in this journey. I also recommend looking into programmes online, at local churches and community centers.
Smoking stats per American Heart Association
·         30% of cancer deaths and 87% of lung cancer deaths can be attributed to tobacco.
·         Smokers who quit can expect to live approximately 10 years longer than those who continue to smoke.
·         2004-38,000 deaths to non-smokers from second hand smoke.
I’m not here to lecture you but this is really a no-brainer. The studies go back in forth about red wine but for the most part you need to skip the alcoholic beverages. Not only does it slow your metabolism by changing the rate in which your body burns calories but it puts you in a position to make poor food choices. Alcohol de-motivates and messes with your body and kills workouts!
Many studies show that 16oz glass red wine can have heart healthy benefits. In my opinion, it is better to improve your heart through better eating and exercise than banking your heart on a glass of wine. Again, don’t let yourself make excuses and try to justify your unhealthy habits.
Happy Hours can kill your diet…really!
Rum and Diet Cola (3.5oz)            97 calories
Pina Colada (4.5oz)                      245 cal
Gin and Tonic (3.5oz)                   131 cal
Wine (3.5oz)                               79 cal
Martini (3oz)                               207 cal
Light Beer (12oz)                         103 cal
Now you are ready to dive into your personal exercise and nutrition plan. Yeeehhhaaawwww! And YES, I said plan. You must have a plan of attack and KNOW without a shadow of doubt that you are eating and burning to lose. Both exercise and proper eating must be in picture in order to achieve better health and weight loss. You cannot do one and not the other. If you think you are only going to change your diet and not exercise or vice versa you will not be changing your lifestyle. All you are doing is putting a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. You are still in the diet, quick-fix mentality. No one said you have to go run a marathon or never eat again. We are talking baby steps and gradual change that is “do-able” and realistic.
Whatever you decide to do from this point on will determine if you spent another day felling bad about your health and weight OR if you finally break through the wall that has kept you from the lifestyle and body you truly want. Good luck to you on this journey.
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