There are three terms that you have to understand in order to take control over your weight, and they are: Fat, Fiber and Carbohydrates. Fat is pretty straight forward. Fiber is anything that grows out of the ground... mainly fruits, veggies, nuts, grains and berries; and the important thing to know about fiber is that the digestive acid in your stomach won’t break it down, so when you eat fiber, it fills you up faster and keeps you feeling full longer. Finally, Carbs are foods that are naturally sweet, or anything made with sugar or flour.
If you ever heard that by eating low-fat or no-fat foods you can lose weight, well in reality, that’s just half the story. Most people, when trying low-fat diets, go to the store and start reading labels and look for zero-fat products. Well, what if you love spaghetti – on the label it says, “zero fat.” So then you start looking at the spaghetti sauce and it has almost no fat... and then there’s the “no-fat” cakes and cookies – and all that other stuff. So then people think, “Great, I can eat all I want.” They eat almost no fat at all – and end up GAINING weight That’s why you need to know the other side of the story.
If you eat only low-fat foods, most of them are low in fiber and also very high in carbs. Because they are low in fiber you have to eat more to feel full. It’s like trying to fill up a sink that has no stopper. Eventually you can get it to fill up – but it takes a lot more water to do it. So. When you eat more, you take in more calories than you need and your body stores the extra carbs and calories as fat. That’s the other side of the low-fat diet. Unless you eat low-fat and high fiber, at the same time, you’re not going to lose weight.
Another big mistake that lots of people make is skipping meals. Our bodies are designed with the idea that we have to expend energy in order to get food. I mean, if you think back a hundred or more years ago, if you wanted to eat something you had to either go hunting or grow your own food. That’s a lot of work (hunting or farming) – a lot of physical activity – and even though we no longer have to do this, it doesn’t change the fact that our bodies are still designed this way. So, when you skip a meal, your body actually thinks that you’re out in the wild, and, for whatever reason, food is hard to come by. This is a survival mechanism that we all have – it’s built in. So, when your body thinks food is hard to find, it does two things to protect you from starving. First, it slows your metabolism causing your body to burn less fat. Second, the meal you eat after skipping a meal will be converted almost entirely to fat and stored.... to protect you from starving. So, if you skip breakfast, for instance, almost all the food you eat for lunch will be converted to fat. We think we’re taking in less food but in reality we’re causing our bodies to store fat. If you want to lose weight you need to eat at least three meals a day, on a regular schedule. You have to let your body know that there is plenty of food available so that your metabolism stays up and meals are not stored as fat, but rather used for energy.
Then, there’s the subject of exercise.... So many people assume that in order to lose weight, they have to constantly do strenuous exercise....And in reality, this isn’t the case either. Now, to understand how exercise effects weight-loss, you have to understand how your body creates energy, and there are only 2 ways it does it. One is by burning fat and the other is by burning blood sugar, or glucose. Even when you’re not doing anything strenuous your body still burns fat. It’s known as “Resting Metabolic Rate.” So, when you’re sitting at a desk, driving a car, watching TV, or even sleeping, your body is still burning fat. But, as soon as you increase your level of activity, like when your heart starts beating faster and you have to breathe heavily, your body will stop burning fat and instantly begin to burn blood sugar – because blood sugar can be converted to energy much faster than fat; so anytime your level of activity suddenly increases your body stops burning fat and burns only blood sugar.
And, when it comes to exercise, most people trying to lose weight make a big mistake of doing the wrong kinds of exercise. Jogging, biking, and aerobics are great for the heart, lungs and circulation, but they do not burn fat or condition the body to burn fat.
Now, the ideal approach is to lose weight without a lot of hard exercising. We still encourage people to exercise – after all, it’s good for you... but it’s not mandatory. Some people find that once they start losing weight quickly and feel great – they actually WANT to exercise.
Now, if that’s the case, what they should do is called Anaerobic exercise, or exercise that increases your heart rate, but not too much... and two of the best kinds of exercise for losing weight are walking (at a nice steady pace) every other day... and weight lifting. These will condition your body to burn fat And when I say”weight-lifting,” I’m talking about getting a couple of small dumbells and working out slowly for 20 minutes every other day (biceps on Monday, triceps on Tuesday and no exercise on Wednesday... Biceps on Thursday, triceps on Friday and nothing on Saturday, etc. This builds lean muscle and muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn.
My approach is No exercise, replace 2 meals a day with a healthy meal-replacement shake and have one colorful meal. (protein snacks in between)
Weight Watchers!!! They also have on-line membership!