Monday, January 16, 2017

The First Hurdles

The first hurdle to get over is shame.
 You cannot be ashamed of your appearance.  The issue here is how to get healthy.  I know it is an awful thing to be ashamed of your appearance, but you also have something to be really proud of.  You have decided to do something about it!  What could instill more pride, and what could be more inspirational to others than to exhibit the drive, the nerve, the determination to better your lot.  No, I do not like to see enormously fat bodies, but that is my problem and I have no right to judge others for their misfortunes!
When I see someone in a gym or a pool who is obese, I worry about their health, I worry that they will work on their problem the right way, but I first say to myself, "Wow, they are trying to better their health and they deserve applause"!
There is no way to get around the problem of embarrassment but to just dive in, so to speak.  You can begin by losing a lot of weight through water weight loss and dieting to get rid of the worst of it.  Unfortunately, people who diet will often lose their muscle mass before they lose ANY FAT AT ALL, and they will only be in a worse position than they were before, not only fat, but also lacking in the muscle to be active. 
The first thing is to diet very lightly.  Knock out a few calories here and there so that over time...Patience is the watchword here....weight is lost.  The effort to lose weight MUST be accompanied by increased activity...Move...move.... move.  Anything will do!
If you lose weight too quickly with a drastic reduction in calories, this will signal your body that you are starving.  First, you will burn up muscle, and stored fat will remain in an effort to keep alive.
Keep active to increase muscle and reduce calories a bit at a time so as not to signal a problem to your body.
The second big hurdle is to get a better diet. 
You do not have to go into starvation mode if you simply replace the bad calories from fat and heavy carbohydrate consumption with vegetables and very lean meats such as chicken breast.  Do not make gravy from meats...give it to the dog or the sewer system!  Eat smaller portions of Pasta, potato, bread and crackers, rice etc..  Have large portions of green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.  You have to realize that some vegetables, too, have lots of calories. 
You do not have to consume canned vegetables to learn by reading the labels and compare which ones are a good choice over others.  Then make a bee line to the frozen veggies(whose labels are also good, but cold!) and fresh aisle to buy the best choices.
The third big hurdle is misconceptions about labels.
Read labels, but know what they mean.  It may look like a good choice on the surface.  "This has lower calories", you say to yourself, but look at the percentage of fat...30 per cent of calories from fat or less should be your goal.
If it has Hydrogenated anywhere on the label...put it back on the shelf. 
Artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar...put them back as well.
And so it goes.  Do research yourself.  You will understand it more and become more aware of it. 
Start with not buy any sugar or artificial sweeteners...learn to drink your tea can be a real pleasure once you are used to it. Stevia may be an exception here, but do not over use even that.  Soda and diet soda should be a once a week treat.  I drink only seltzer, with a bit of lemon or orange rind, or pre flavored with natural fruit essences or peel.  Fruit juices are real bombs!!!!! They contain a lot of sugar and acid, and none of the fiber.  Both sugar and acids are very harmful in large quantities.  The acid will wear your teeth away and bother your stomach.
Eat the fruit and not the juice!
Good rules of thumb are...the fewer ingredients the better in any food.  Avoid processed in favor of natural.  Make your own dressings for salad, do not buy bottled.  Fewer preservatives and colors. Less salt is better.
You don't really need meat, especially in the quantities that Americans eat it.

Protein is in everything organic, and beans(legumes) and grains combined make adequate protein, but they are typically higher in carbs, and of lower quality.  So, don't drop meat...just moderate it and try for lower fat options, though it is best to search for meats that have no hormones or other additives and salts. 
Just  as a for instance, about carbs in vegetables and legumes, String beans are an excellent food and you can fill up on them, but the other beans removed from and eaten without the pods are higher in calories and may be better used sparingly. This especially true when you prepare beans with bacon, or salt pork, sugars and salts before they are eaten.  Try replacing these with tomato, garlic, olive oil(in moderation), herbs and spices.
Another for-instance....When you see people praising Balsamic not try to use balsamic vinegar dressings in the label...this is another calorie and fat bomb!

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