Healthy Thursday: Losing Weight
There are so many articles, blogs, conversations, news stories going on about ‘the best, most healthy way to lose weight’. There are, literally, hundreds of new ideas, opinions and ultimatums on weight loss. Sure, some people claim they ‘just can’t lose weight, no matter what they do’, that one can’t help roll their eyes.
Weight loss isn’t confusing, difficult or mysterious. The best, scientifically proven way to lose weight is eating low-carb, low-calorie foods, cardiovascular exercise AND strength training. Healthy weight is a lifestyle choice-you must choose to consciously add healthy vegetables, healthy grains and healthy meats to your diet. You must consciously choose to add aerobic activity to your day. You must consciously choose to lift weights, do resistance band exercises or some form of strength training to your day.
There are so many bad foods bombarding us ever second of every day, no one is immune. Easy, empty carb/calorie foods are cheap, but they also are bad for our hearts, cause diabetes, dementia and other health issues. If you start off eating healthy vegetables, avoid the high carb, high starchy foods, like corn, peas, potatoes, summer squash. These are the worst foods for your body. Do include foods like beets, carrots, celery, green beans, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, zucchini, winter squash. Add leafy greens to other dishes, like spinach, kale, radish greens, turnip greens, beet greens.
Other foods to avoid are any foods made with/from white flour, white sugar, white rices. These turn into sugar and pack on the pounds. I don’t have to tell you, avoid any processed foods, any pre-made/pre-boxed/pre-bagged foods. Food you make yourself you know what went in it. You know how many steps removed from nature the food is. A rule of thumb: the closer to natural, the healthier it is.
Grains are your best friend. Switch to healthier grains, like barley, brown/wide rice mix, bulgar, farro. These don’t necessarily have lower carb/calorie counts, but they do have higher fiber counts, which removes fat from your body! That is also the reason you hear “eat more leafy greens”: they remove fat from your body as well!
Portion control is a really big issue with dieters. Pay attention to how much you eat; if you don’t know what portion a food is, start using measuring cups and measuring spoons. A serving of vegetable is, roughly, 1/3 a cup per serving. If you eat 2-3 meals per day, get your daily servings (roughly 5-8 per day), divide them between your mid-day and evening meals, so you get a cup of vegetable per meal. Take only one serving of meat per meal, the human body only needs a palm-sized serving per day for nutritional needs. Anything more, is adding bulk to your stomach, hips, butt and thighs. Measure your grains, dressings, butters and so on.
The biggest issue with living healthy is exercising. You don’t know how many memes i’ve seen on social media decrying exercising. The less you exercise, the more harm you do to your body. Walking is the best start to exercise I know. Do what you can; when I started back in 2005 or so, all i could do is 100 feet at first. I added a few feet each week until I could walk around the block. You don’t like to walk by yourself? Feel everyone is watching, pointing and laughing? Really, people have better things to do than watch you walk. Get out there!
Strength training is another big issue with healthy living. The number one issue women tell me is they don’t want to get bulky. Relax, women don’t have enough testosterone in their body to get bulky. Only if you were taking male hormone supplements, shots or pills would you bulk up like a wrestler. Women need a tiny bit of naturally occurring testosterone to firm up muscles, so you have that hourglass figure. Like Marilyn Monroe had.
You can easily start using canned foods (shame on you for having them in your cupboard!), books on your shelves, laundry bottles filled with water, anything in your house. There are so many strength training/body weight/weight lifting videos on the internet, a simple browser search will help you find beginner videos.
Is healthy living easy? No, I will be the first to tell you getting started is difficult and will challenge you in ways you can’t imagine. But, I will also be the first to tell you the rewards will be better than you can imagine.