We all have them. "I'm too tired" "I don't have time" "The kids are underfoot" . . . I use all three of these as to why I'm not working out on the Wii, doing an exercise tape, taking a walk, or riding the stationary bike. I've spent dollar after dollar on exercise equipment, workout clothes, DVD's . . . And I just don't use it. Why? Well, in reality, I HAVE no excuse. I'm sitting on the couch "taking a break" while the boy naps. I could very well be working out at this time. I am up at 5:30 am. I could just as easily get up 15 minutes earlier.
So . . . What's YOUR excuse?
Friday, March 19, 2010
Weight loss is a journey. Like alcoholism and drug addiction, food addiction takes "one day at a time" to overcome. Sadly, we can sabotage our own weight loss by doing TOO MUCH research. This confuses us and inundates us with information that we probably would have been better off without ever knowing.
Recently I got on a kick to eat only "all natural" foods and to cut out sugar substitutes from my diet. The first week, I lost five pounds. Every week hear after, however, I have steadily gained a pound a week. This tells me that the "all natural" route isn't necessarily the right one for me.
I also began doing in-depth research on sugar substitutes and sugar and sweeteners itself. I have found so many conflicting reports from people saying "everything's okay in moderation" to other people saying it's a conspiracy theory and it's all going to kill us. Mind reeling, I began to, quite literally, freak out. Then I realized something. FOR ME, it can't necessarily be about what to eat, what not to eat, or weather or not to have Splenda in my coffee tomorrow. It's about the fact that I have 120 pounds to lose - that's a whole person!! I have to figure out what CONSISTENTLY works for me, and KEEP WITH IT. It's about getting the weight off. Period.
So what works for me? Well, as much as I've tried to fight it, fact is, calorie counting is what works. Not weight watcher's points systems - to tell you the truth, I don't much trust anything I'm not counting myself. But pure writing down everything I put in my mouth and the calorie count for each thing. Right now, my calorie count should be around 1900-2100 a day. Over the past few weeks I have far surpassed that just by thinking the title "all natural" is going to make it okay. But it doesn't necessarily. Granted, I should still try to stick with all natural ingredients. But I need to count their calories. And truth be told, I personally FEEL BETTER and lose more weight using Splenda and aspartame (perhaps I'm pre-diabetic and didn't realize it?). So, I guess the point of this long-winded tirade is this: Find what works for YOU and JUST DO IT. Worry about getting the weight off FIRST, and let everything else come later. Don't do too much research either - sometimes too much information can sabotage everything you're trying to do.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
On my journey, I have done so much research - web sites, books, labels . . . I am a veritable library of information about healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss. And some of what I have learned has been, well, surprising to say the least. And some of it has been down right astonishing!
Calories, Fat, and Carbs. I am slowly learning that, although EXCESSIVE calories (above 3000 a day) DO lead to weight gain, calories themselves are not what really make you fat. It is the saturated fat and refined carbohydrates that do that to you. If you were to cut out high-fat and high- (unrefined) carbs, you would naturally be eating less calories too - if that kind of thing worries you. But what happens is this - lean protein and un refined carbs (high-fiber carbs) work to fuel your body - this fuel lasts for HOURS at a time (until your next meal/snack). Refined (white) carbs also fuel your body - but for short bursts of time - maybe an hour or so - then you crash and burn - BIG time. And saturated fat? While it does hold SOME importance (in small amounts) in your body, eating large amounts of it does absolutely nothing for you - it DOES however cause sluggishness, tiredness, bloating, and (in some cases) bowl-related issues.
Speaking of fat - Above all else, the one you want to stay away from more than any other is TRANS FAT. This is one of the absolute worst things you can put into your body. And guess what? That light margarine you just spread on your toast this morning? Yeah, the one that claims is "trans fat free"? Read the label. If it says "hydrogenated" anything on it? It has trans fat. Your very best bet it so eliminate ALL of that and invest (b/c it's a bit more expensive) in TRULY trans-fat free margarine. Better yet, ditch it altogether and use the real thing! Butter (in small amounts) is FAR better for you (and cheaper). Even better still, use olive oil! Cooking sprays are also a great alternative - but be careful b/c these have propellants added.
And sugar - okay, yes, sugar is not the best thing you can put into your body. That being said - if you are NOT diabetic, then sugar substitutes are worse for you than the real thing! You would be better off using the real deal than items like Splenda, Sweet and Low, and Equal. These contain chemicals in them that actually INHIBIT weight loss. I know, I had a hard time believing it too until I cut out all artificial sweeteners for a week. I didn't change anything else, just that. I lost five pounds in ONE WEEK after months of struggling to lose even two or three. I'm just saying . . . Better yet - replace white sugar with raw sugar, honey, and agave necter - which is my new obsession (my goodness this stuff is SO GOOD!)
Food labels. There is this amazing web site : http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/labels.html . This site gives some great information on those pesky labels. And YES you NEED to read them! They are important! Serving size vs. fat content and carbs, calories (when needed), and (above all else) INGREDIENTS. Some the stuff they put into our food would shock you. Let's just say the rule still applies - if you CAN'T say it / pronounce it DON'T EAT IT. Find good alternatives that are all-natural (read labels here too - sometimes they can be tricky!). Better yet - make your own! You know what's going into it, you can make smaller batches, and there are some WONDERFUL resources out there with amazing recipes for everything from bread to crackers and even cheese crackers (like cheez-its and gold fish)! Don't know where to look? Ask me - trust me, I can find it for you!
Organic. Is it REALLY better? Nope. Why? Some stuff labeled "organic" can STILL use pesticides. The only rule here is that their pesticide be "all natural" and not chemical in nature. But guess what. Those "all natural" "non chemical" pesticides are JUST as carcinogenic and poisonous as the chemical ones! Best bet, buy whatever's cheaper for you, then wash and/or peel your fresh fruits and veggies.