Tuesday, April 3, 2012

5 Suggestions for Weight Loss

So I keep seeing all the weight loss commercials on television - Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig... and food commercials touting their ability to aid weight loss.  There is going to be quite a lot of overlap here on the five suggestions from prior posts about five suggestions.  If you've seen these, or heard them here before, take that as a sign of how vitally important they are to health.

Suggestion #1: Water.  Drinking adequate amounts of water is essential on many fronts.  Water before meals can help fill your stomach so you can more easily hit the "I'm full" state, thereby cutting down portion sizes.  Water aids in flushing toxins from your body.  Toxins can leave you feeling lethargic and tired - two emotions that fire up the need for more comfort eating.  Water keeps you moving; trips you have to take to the bathroom qualify as exercise.  Finally, just try it; I have seen a third of your body weight (or more) in fluid ounces in water intake drop a pound or two.

Suggestion #2: Exercise.  The FIRST step in exercise is simply making up your mind to keep your body upright and moving whenever possible.  If your body is in any kind of motion, you are exercising.  There are so many ways we get JPL (just plain lazy.)  Hollering for someone to bring you something =JPL.  Deciding you're too tired to get up for something you want = JPL.  Parking as close to a door as you can = JPL.  Laying down when you could be sitting = JPL.  Sitting down when you could be standing = JPL.  Standing when you could be doing tiptoe stretches, or walking = JPL.  The second step is get a pedometer; it counts your steps.  There is no lying to a hard and fast instrument.  10,000 steps a day is making very good progress!  7,000 is fair progress.  The third tier of exercise then is getting to a gym, or taking on a 3-7 day a week commitment to aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes; with some weight training thrown in for good measure.

Suggestion #3: Food Allergies:  Food sensitivities and allergies are a common, but hidden, cause of weight gain.  The exact mechanism that causes this to happen is not known precisely, but it has been pretty firmly established that removing the offending foods can take pounds off.

Suggestion #4: Fats.  Do not be afraid of foods with GOOD fats.  You will use calories digesting and metabolizing good fats and they are instrumental in so many different biochemical pathways producing hormones and regulating inflammation/histamine, just to name two.  What's a good fat?  Good fats have a significant portion of their fatty acid content made up of omega-3 fats.  Nuts and nut butters; fish and seafood; and flax, hemp and other seeds.  Avoid trans-fats as if they're the plague.  Coconut oil is a good saturated fat.  I would cook with either olive oil or coconut oil.  I would restrict animal fats and most vegetable cooking oils.  

Suggestion #5: Eliminate sugar.  Sugar creates addiction.  Like any addiction, your body will adjust to the dose and you will need more of it to give the same high.  The excess calories volumes of sugar add pile on the weight, in addition to creating damage to your blood vessels and genetic integrity of your cells.

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