Weight Loss Principles
First of all (in case you are a woman), if you are longing to be like one of those super skinny Hollywood types, give it up. I will present a philosophy and method leading to health. As it turns out, actual health is also rather attractive, but you must realize Hollywood actresses have starved and/or drugged themselves into freaky skinniness. They are not healthy, they are merely skinny and in this perverted culture we literally pay them to abuse themselves into these strange shapes. With enough makeup and plastic surgery they manage to mimic healthy looks, but under all that veneer many of them are human wrecks. On the count of 3, give it up: 1, 2, 3.
In case you are a man, you are not likely to look like Arnold did at age 20 when he won his first Mr. Grand Multiverse in 1970. Although I do support resistance training, the other things Arnold did to look like that – well, let’s just say he was lucky to live long enough to make all the rest of those mistakes he made.
So what does real health look like? The answer according to recent studies can be characterized in two simple words: “slightly overweight.” People who are a few pounds over what has been til now considered ideal apparently live longer. So brace yourself: five pounds “overweight” is the new ideal.
Surprisingly, philosophy of life provides the critically important context from which healthy habits flow. Personal philosophy is almost never examined and yet it serves as a source and framework for almost all thoughts. As Lake Victoria, source of the Nile river, was undiscovered for centuries, yet the Nile river flowed relentlessly into the Mediterranean so one’s philosophy goes unexamined yet all thoughts and actions flow from it. Here is an example.
We all know that you are supposed to pop out of bed in the morning and have a big hearty breakfast, right? We also know you are supposed to have three meals daily and we know you are not supposed to eat at bedtime. Also you are supposed to consume quantities of “whole grains.” A myth is a story made up out of no evidence. These beliefs constitute a philosophy of health and I assert these beliefs, when examined, are myths.
Search for Truth
Let’s begin by being willing to question everything we “know.” In fact, as an exercise, let’s be willing to believe everything we “know” about weight and nutrition to be dead wrong.
Here is the critical factor in achieving weight loss – habits. Habits flow from what you believe and it also flows from what you have always done. If you have made the same mistake almost every day of your life, you are very likely to keep making that same mistake every day. It is said that what you do does not kill you, but rather what you do every day is what finally kills you.
Most people have lost faith in what they are told by their own bodies. A person hops out of bed in the morning NOT HUNGRY, and nevertheless eats a ton of food. Why? Because of good intentions. One wants to be healthy and one believes a “hearty breakfast” is necessary (an example of philosophy).
Nature has a certain wisdom. If you are not hungry, it is not proper to eat. WAIT. Wait until your body tells you it is time to eat. You will know when it is time to eat – if you wait.
If you are a member of a family you may be confronting another problematic belief first thing in the morning, namely that families are supposed to eat TOGETHER at the same time. There is a certain social pleasure in eating together, so there sits your body throwing down food to be social. Here is what to do: socialize without eating. Put food aside for later when your body tells you “Now is the time.”
Eating is pleasurable, even if you do it alone. This leads most people to continue eating past the time when hunger has been satisfied. Again, you may have lost contact with your body. It tells you “OK, time to stop” and you go on stuffing your face because you have developed a deafness to your body’s signals.
The solution to this is to put small portions on your plate. Let’s face facts: you are going to “clean your plate” whether your parents drilled that into your head or not. So when you finish your small portion, ask yourself if you are finished and if you are, then stop. When you go to a restaurant and out comes that enormous amount of food typical of American restaurants, ask for a take home box immediately and reduce the amount on your plate. You can always put it back if you find yourself still hungry.
By the way, who told you that you should not ever be hungry? While you should not eat until you are hungry does not mean you are required to eat when you are hungry. (Read that again.) It is OK to spend a few hours being hungry. During that time your body is cleansing itself metabolically speaking AND when you are hungry is exactly when you are losing weight. It may hurt a little bit, but while it is hurting you can also celebrate metabolic cleansing and weight loss.
Now, let’s consider what to eat. You are addicted. There, in your face, I said it. You are addicted to certain tastes. You should hear the wailing and whining in my office when I tell people with high blood pressure they have to stop salting their food. The even bigger addiction is to “sweet.” Big babies can’t go a few hours without tasting the sugar.
Here are the big villains for most people: wheat and milk. The immune systems of many if not most people react to the proteins in wheat and milk. These are stealth foods which commonly cause sinus congestion and fatigue and most people seem not to notice the cause / effect relationship. Furthermore, wheat ends up in ridiculously sweet and tasty pastries. Chow down on this stuff and gain weight fast. If you want to see what to avoid, go cruise Starbucks. All that junk you see there is fat on your gut waiting to happen.
Metabolism is complex business, so this is a simplification (although accurate): carbs are converted to and stored as fat. Your addiction to bread, even “whole grain” bread needs to go in the trash. Fat on the other hand is burned for energy.
So, what to eat? Answer: protein and colored vegetables. Vegetables are mainly carbohydrates, and the body needs carbs – but not carbs that come from grains which convert to simple sugars almost immediately and are then converted to fat and stored as fat.
So what about not eating at bedtime? Listen up. The two big areas of the body which require a robust blood supply are the digestive track and the brain. That is why you may feel sleepy after a meal – your gut is hogging the blood supply. So, a time of day when you don’t need your brain would be a good time to eat. Oops, that would be bedtime. So while you sleep your gut does a great job of digestion and you wake up with that task behind you. Make sense to you? Does to me. You can forget about the old wive’s tale that food at bedtime provokes nightmares. As far as I can see, that is just more BS mythology.
Now about exercise. You will not have a healthy metabolism without exercise. Some say two or three times each week. I say every day, without fail. What exercise? That will need to be tailored to your age, your abilities and your constitution and to be safe you should be evaluated by a cardiologist to be sure that your choice of exercise is safe for you. Let me repeat: you will NOT have a healthy metabolism without exercise. And by exercise I do not mean activity. Walking is activity. Pulling the weeds out of the garden is activity. Leisure riding of your bike is activity. Activity is important, in fact without it you die. Do not lie around in bed all day every day because after a few months you die of renal failure. But activity is not exercise. Exercise demands extreme effort to gain the short and long term benefits.
Weight Loss Principles
1. Eat only when hungry and preferably at least one hour after you are hungry.
2. Eat Slowly and stop eating when satisfied. If there is a question, stop for 5 minutes and see if you are still hungry. Do not hesitate to not “clean your plate.” You can easily save it for later to avoid wasting food.
3. Exercise: After the evaluation by a cardiologist , exercise daily. Heart rate and respiration should make it difficult but not totally impossible to carry on a simply back and forth conversation. There should be heavy breathing involved or it is not a real work out. Choose the best time for exercise and make it so much a part of your routine that it feels very strange if you leave it out. You may benefit by tying it to some activity you always do – for example if you always brush your teeth in the morning you can tie that to immediately going for exercise.
Follow these dietary principles:
1. Avoid trans-fatty acids and partly hydrogenated fats (“bad fats”).
2. Consume some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids every day (good fats). The proportion of these two is in hot debate, so I have no recommendations on that subject. Good source is humus – read the labels. I recommend you avoid sea food of all kinds due to mercury content.
3. Eliminate simple sugar. Consume nothing which tastes overtly sweet. If you crave sweets, simply do not buy them and do not keep them around you. This may be difficult at first, but you will eventually have an aversion for candy and other sweets.
4. Eliminate flour. This means no pasta and no breads. These items convert directly to simple sugars. You can think of a plate of pasta or a slice of bread as being made of sugar because soon after you consume it, it becomes exactly that. Here is the secret even doctors forget: appropriate amounts of fat in the diet are used for energy and excess sugar is stored first as glycogen in the liver and any further excess is stored as fat in the abdomen and under the skin.
5. Do not snack. If you need food, then have a meal and follow the principles outlined here.
6, Eat when you are seriously hungry. Do not eat because it is “time to eat” or other people are eating or because someone offers you something.
7. Rely on complex carbs (colored veggies) for your carbohydrate needs.
8. Do not gorge on fruit and avoid fruit juices. If you consume fruit, consume the whole fruit. This will slow the flow of simple sugars into your system.
9. Go light on potatoes and rice. These are quickly converted to simple sugar.
6. Eat only what you need to satisfy hunger. Get used to stopping when satisfied.
7, The recommended meat source is chicken or turkey.
8. Eliminate superfluous salt (do not salt your food) and foods which are processed and already salted. This will help keep your blood pressure normal.
10. Your water source should be distilled water. Don’t buy the propaganda about water. The purpose of water is cleansing and hydrating, not delivering dissolved dirt even if there are minerals in the dirt. You can order distilled water from the water companies or buy your own distiller (perhaps at Sears). Do not buy the distilled water at the supermarket. That is stored in white plastic and bleeds plasticizers.
11. Choose organic whenever you can.
12. Choose quality over quantity.
14. Read the labels of whatever processed foods you consume, whether organic or not.