Firstly, congrats for quitting smoking. That is an awesome achievement. Here are few of my thoughts:
The human body is characterized by the fundamental principle of homeostasis. No matter what we do, the body works to keep its BODY SET WEIGHT. The key to be skinny is to find a way to reset the body set weight and keep it that way for long time until the body LEARNS that the new weight is its right weight.
According to Guyton and Hall Medical Physiology, the metabolism of the body means simply all the chemical reactions in all the cells of the body. Factors that increase the metabolic rate are:
- thyroid hormone
-Male sex hormone -which is related to its anabolic effect to increase skeletal muscle mass (that is where exercise and weight lifting come in handy)
-growth hormone directly stimulates cellular metabolism
-fever/ raising body temperature, regardless of its causes it can increase the metabolic rate by a whooping 120% for every 10 degrees Celsius rise in temperature (hot baths, saunas, anything that makes you sweat might do the trick)
You can try to increase your metabolic rate by interfering in the protocols of any of the pathways of the factors described above.
That said, weight gain and obesity are caused by hormonal imbalances. Out of all hormones human body produces, the only ones that passed the weight gain causality test ( if we inject the hormone into people, they must gain weight) are INSULIN and CORTISOL.
The key to losing weight and get your metabolism to function properly is to lower the insulin and cortisol hormones.
Lowering insulin is done only by not eating refined carbs. When carbs are not used for energy, almost all the energy comes from the metabolism of fats: fats you eat and stored fats in the adipose cells.
I would suggest you
- to read "The Obesity Code" by Dr. Jason Fung., or watch Dr. J. Fung on youtube, or google his name.
-learn food combining rules
-keep carbs under 20 carbs/day mainly from non starch veggies
-get lots of sleep; be in bed by 10 pm= lower cortisol
-don't stress yourself with fitness and workouts if you don't like it. (remember to keep the cortisol level low); I lost weight (20 lb/2 months) without working out at all. However, it is true that if you are working out the weight comes off quickly (working out heats up the body, builds up muscles, stimulates cellular metabolism). But, i'm lazy, so I prefer to do broth, water, simple meals, and fasting 4-5/ days a month.
-learn to enjoy the sound of your tummy rumbling
-say no to refined sugars and sweeteners
-find few dishes you like and stick with them; stick to very simple dishes -veggies (broccoli, celery, lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus, and some white meat-chicken, turkey, fish.; find a dressing that you like and have it with non starch-veggies)
-if hungry, get yourself a cup of clear broth made with 1 cube of soup with or without lemon juice;
-don't bother eating stuff that could speed up your metabolism if you don't like it; Keep it simple means less stress which means lower cortisol.
- learn to like sour foods and bitter foods if you can; If you can't like sour and bitter, don't bother, your body doesn't need it. I like my soups with lemon juice or vinegar.
-I poach eggs in vinegar and eat it with cooked spinach
-I drink diluted vinegar to help digestion
-I eat canned fish with vinegar
-no nuts (they are refined or moldy)
-the only seeds I eat are sesame seeds which are bitter- helps the digestion of fats
-raw green onion with feta cheese and pepper.
-keep your bowl moving (what comes in must come out): try this cold soup/smoothy on an empty stomach - 1 tomato, 2 celery sticks, juice from lemon/lime salt and pepper; it works for my as laxative, or try milk of magnesia or mineral oil.
-keep carbs under 20 g/day
-keep protein to a minimum - around 30-50 g/ day (200 g chicken breast has 60 g protein); if you eat lots of meat, the excess amino acids in the body are degraded and used for energy or are stored mainly as fat or secondarily as glycogen; this means that if you eat too much meat, your body will transform it in glycogen (or worse, stored it as fat) and use it as primary source of energy instead of burning the fat from the adipose cells and thus, helping with the weight loss.
Also acupressure might help as well: I know acupuncture helps with pms, but I haven't tried acupressure for weight loss yet. I will, after I finish this post. LOL Here is a video you might find useful.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
Wow, that's a long odd answer. High protein diets have not been proven to be effective for long-term weight loss. They can work short-term, but the body needs those complex carbs for energy. There are several years-long studies going on studying actual human beings and those who live the longest and have the least obesity live mostly on carbs. So there goes that theory. Calories are not the real key to weight loss, as the long post correctly shows. Metabolism is the key, but what you don't want to do is fiddle with your various forms of energy metabolism because that will probably lead to other problems. Mostly you want to avoid foods you don't digest well is the easiest way to put it. For different people and for different cultures these foods will differ, and allergies, food intolerances, and individual differences make a difference as well. Experimentation generally helps with this. The carbs you want to avoid are simple carbs, such as sugar and white flour -- but remember, all those veggies are carbs too so it's not carbs that are your enemy. Whole grains and whole foods in general will be digested and metabolized more naturally than these highly processed foods. And that long post is right about something else as well -- fat is also important to the diet, but that means you need to eat the right kinds and avoid the wrong kinds to keep up your health and energy. Losing weight gradually but steadily means it will stay off because it means you've permanently changed your diet and lifestyle, but that doesn't mean you won't reach plateaus and we do have a body shape that we're often stuck with unless we start young with strict training, but we can all help with this by doing some resistance training. I think buying some good books on nutrition will help you find what works for you. You're well on your way already, you have the motivation. Good on you.
If you don't know about alkaline diet then this is what you needed. The alkaline diet is basically based around the idea that the foods you eat can alter the pH value of your body. Fresh vegetables and fruits are the great sources of protein, which further results in protecting healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels.
If you can stand lower temperature when you sleep your metabolism will increase a little. Most importantly though, cut out bad things from your diet is what most people get the most benefit from - no soda, candy and so on. I suppose you are eminently aware though. Moving about keeps insulin low. Keep active in your everyday life, not just what you think of as exercise. Love you for the smokes.