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Fighting the Battle of the Bulge
Here are some constructive ideas when planning to lose weight and stay fit.
- Get rid of all refined carbohydrates, primarily all white flour and white sugar products, junk foods, chips, sodas, sugary juice products, etc. Save for occasional treat. This rule is "ground zero" for any lasting success at all.
- Limit high density carbohydrates, eating only good ones: Whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables. Restricted on first phase of a low-carb diet; increase amounts until you meet a level where you can maintain your weight. Eat with, or after protein foods.
- Prepare whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds for increased nutritional value and digestibility by either soaking, sprouting or fermenting.
- Eat a diet aimed at total health, not just for losing weight. This will take into consideration quality ingredients for nutritional value.
- Even on a low or reduced-carb diet, calories still do count. If you find you are not losing weight on a low or reduced carb diet, it may mean you are still eating too many calories. Here is a general guideline: Most women will lose weight at 1200-1300 calories a day. Most men will lose weight at 1500-1800 calories a day. Below 1000 calories a day you will not get all the nutrients you need. If you are unaware of the calories you are putting away, a season of counting will build awareness. Aim at balancing calories over the day (i.e. not top-heavy calorie dinners).
- Keep in mind that fats, even the good ones, have twice the calories per gram of a protein or carb (4 calories per g. carb or protein; 9 calories per g. fat). While being more generous with good fat calories, they do have a sneaky way of adding up before you know it! But please don't use the "lowest fat" everything, because they are not always or by any means the most nutritious choices. Coconut oil actually promotes weight loss.
- After a possible jump start in a first phase low-carb diet in which you can lose up to 8 - 10 lbs. in 2 weeks, a long term slow weight loss on a more generous diet is more likely to succeed and stick. Aim for an average weight loss of 1 - 11/2 lbs. per week. Expect plateaus from time to time. A return to the first phase of a low-carb program can help get over a plateau hump.
- Exercise! Most of us Americans live a sedentary lifestyle and therefore do not need the volume of food, especially the high-density carbs of our forefathers. Get into whatever exercise you enjoy most because that is the only kind you will stick with in the long run.
- Consider fasting, either one day a week or lunch and/or snacks. This is good discipline, physically and spiritually, but also a highly individual matter. Consider what works for your health, stamina, and energy.
- Aim daily at drinking at least 2 quarts non-chlorinated, non-fluoridated water, or half your weight in ounces of water.