At the beginning of every year, everyone feels a jolt of fresh air and get hype about their goals. Most goals have something to do with health and weight loss. Unfortunately, by the time spring comes around, most of us have abandoned our weight loss goals. Well, I’m here to help, just in case you’re thinking about quitting.
Before I explain how to lose weight and maintain your weight loss, I need to every so briefly explain how we get fat and stay fat. Most people aren’t away of the mechanism behind weight gain. If more of us were to understand the mechanism behind it, a lot of us would be able to sleep better at night.
We’re Gaining Weight and Keeping it There
Weight gain and loss is all about energy. The common theory is that if we eat more energy than we burn, we lose weight, but if we use more energy than we eat, we lose weight. The better way to look at it is by replacing the word “eat” with the word “use”. The reason is because there are triggers in our body that decide whether to release stored energy or hold onto it that we can’t control.
Imagine if we have stored energy (food) in a fridge for us to use when food is scarce, but we don’t have the key for that fridge. That’s how our fat cells are in our bodies. As long as we have some energy (sugar) in our blood stream, the hormone insulin keeps our fat cells from releasing energy. Once we reduce our carbohydrate intake, insulin levels will drop and our bodies will begin using the extra energy stored up.
Insulin is an important hormone because it is a storage hormone. It’s primary job is to lower blood sugar, since blood sugar is toxic in high levels. If we eat too much sugar or carbohydrates (converts to glucose at digestion), our bodies are too busy storing energy to worry about releasing any of it. If we eat a little bit of sugar, our body can manage and use it properly. The rate of digesting and release into the blood stream from the glucose source is also an important factor too. For example, a potato will digest many times faster than some broccoli would.
Let’s lose Weight and Keeping it Off
Losing weight is easier than it seems, but our western diet has a ton of ammo against us. Bread, pasta, cereal, soda and a number of other fast acting sugars/carbohydrates are abundant and normal to our American diet. Without properly preparing our own foods and picking out selective fast food/restaurant options, we can quickly be out numbered and resort to an inconsistent diet. If you are avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar, what’s left to eat?
Chances are, if you’re looking to lose weight, you’re overweight which means you’re sensitive to sugar. With that being said, I’ll recommend avoiding fruit for the most part. Stick to meat and vegetables. Dairy and fat are good to go, but be mindful of dairy, not everyone takes on dairy too well. If you’re still afraid of fat or red meat, take a look at these two links that will clear everything up.
Come up with three recipes that are low in carb and high in fat. Maybe steak and sauteed vegetables, bacon and eggs and maybe a slow cooker recipe like braised ribs, etc. A reoccurring shopping list is the next step. Set up a shopping list that you can use weekly for your three recipes of choice. Eventually, you can add some more to the shopping list. Tuna fish, canned oysters, chicken wings, butter, are all things you can slowly add to your shopping list.
The last thing is to make sure you have an abundance of readily available food. This way you don’t snack on nuts excessively or any other risky foods. Have pre-made egg or tuna salad or maybe a chicken salad doused with olive oil in the fridge.
Remember these important steps.
- Make bad foods scarce in the house
- Pick a few simple recipes to repeat
- Create a weekly, repeat shopping list
- Add one new recipe a month
- Make simple, ready available meals
If you can follow these rules, you’ll be on your way to weight loss in no time! The best part is that this time, you’ll have a system. A system will keep you consistent and on track.