I have been researching weight loss for a couple of years now. Over and over, from what I read, certain aspects present themselves. Just like all ideas and theories, they must be evaluated for validity. These three basic tenets are what I have determined from my research, and are pretty simple. But, so far, everything fits. My goal is to make eating and losing weight as simple as possible. If you have to worry about a lot of rules, you will be less likely to succeed. You can indeed make this WOE complicated, but if you do, that is on you. Follow along, do the basics, and you will be successful.
The three rules for successful weight loss and maintenance.
1) What you eat.
2) How much you eat.
3) When you eat.
This article covers the first rule, “What you eat”. Part two and three cover “How much you eat”, and “When you eat”. I will link those up when they become active.
Rule One: What You Eat
We have a lot of food choices out there. We also have a lot of information about the food choices out there. Most of the information about food and the nutrition our bodies need is crap. Many books have been written, presented as fact, based on opinion. Information on the Internet abounds with people just spouting off opinion. Even what you are reading here is based on what I have read from others and research I follow – and is my opinion. However, I’m right.
So, when it comes to information about food, and how to best evaluate each food, you must evaluate each food. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t decide how a food is based on how you think that food should be. Don’t go down the road of “because you wish something were so, it must so be”. Chemicals and compounds don’t care about your opinion. Your body reacts to the components of food, regardless of if we like the taste or not of a food, or our political perspectives on a food choice.
When we eat, our body processes that food. There are many aspects to this, but the primary one is how these foods impact our body with regards to fat storage. The science of how this works gets real technical, and I will cover the basics of this in another series. If we eat foods that have a high enough glycemic index, our blood sugar rises dramatically. Our bodies work as quickly and diligently as possible to reduce this high sugar so we stay alive.
What kinds of foods cause this reaction in our bodies? Well, unfortunately, most of that stuff that has been promoted for so many years as good for us. For example, Orange Juice. A 12-ounce glass of Orange Juice contains 9 teaspoons of sugar, about the same as a 12-ounce can of coke. See: http://www.drperlmutter.com/avoid-orange-juice/. The grams of carbohydrates in Orange Juice is about 26 grams. This is already more carbs than you should eat in a single day. Eating an orange whole, is way, way better, but still very high. A standard medium Orange has 12 grams of sugar and 15g of carbohydrates. But an important distinction is that eating the orange whole includes the fiber. Fiber slows the rate of absorption, reducing the Glycemic index. This is dramatic. On the Glycemic index, a whole orange is at 4. This is low. Orange juice, on the other hand, is at 50 – halfway to the highest of 100.
Sugary foods will spike your glucose quickly. But pure sugar isn’t even the worst. Sugar comes in at 68 on the Glycemic index, white bread is worse at 73. Cornflakes come in at 81. Even puffed rice cakes are at 78. A food we all enjoy in the summer, Watermelon, is at 72. Put those down in the “just say no” column.
The easiest and simplest way to determine what to eat is merely to look at the sugar and carbohydrates on the label. You will need to know this, in order to make progress. Keep in mind, that if you want to lose fat, you need to utilize the fat that is currently on your body, not keep storing or even adding more. Set your goal to have no more than 20 grams of carbs a day, and then simply eat foods that meet that number. When you first are losing weight, it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than this. Example foods you can quickly eliminate for weight loss success:
Soda (even diet sodas)
Chips (any kind)
Wheat ANYTHING (wheat is carbs and sugar)
Obviously, the list of foods that would be on the DO NOT EAT list is long and extensive. If you are still eating those foods, and you are not losing weight, the problem is obvious.
Here are foods you can indeed eat. If you eat these foods (and foods like them) and stay under 20 grams of carbs per day, you will lose weight. Even if you are getting full. Don’t stuff yourself, but eat what you want. And, if you think that you will just have a small piece of candy, or a sugary latte from Starbucks – you will completely undermine yourself.
List of foods I recommend:
Summer Sausage (these vary, check label)
Eggs (eat all you want!)
Fish (in general)
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Butter (real butter)
Sweeteners I recommend: Stevia and Swerve.
Carbonated Mineral Water (no sweeteners, artificial or otherwise)
Two carbonated sparkling water products I enjoy are “La Croix”, and “Talking Rain”.
In the beginning, this WOE is new. It takes some time to get acclimated. It goes against much of what you have been taught or heard all your life. There is hard scientific evidence, and also all the success stories. I want you to be a success story. In order to become a success story, you will need to change the way you think of food. You will need to change why you think of food. And most definitely, you will need to change WHAT food you put in your mouth.
I realize you still have questions. But, baby steps, baby steps.
My tasks for you today are as follows:
1) Of the foods listed above, go buy enough to last you for a couple of days. This might be three packages of Chicken Thighs and a couple dozen eggs and some Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
2) Get rid of all the bad foods in your home. Look at the food labels of EVERYTHING you have in the house, and toss anything that you should not be eating. Get rid of the chips, the crackers, the sodas, the milk, the sugar, etc. If you are going to fix your health and lose weight, eating the crap is only going to continue to hurt you.
3) Enjoy eating healthy food. Enjoy the taste, the texture, and feel the satisfaction of making good changes for your health.
4) Learn. Check the resources page on this site, and start learning. There is an incredible amount of good information available for free.
This article is not intended to be an exhaustive list or micromanage your eating. The information here is plenty to get you started, now it is up to you. You can do this, only you can put this into practice. If you want to make a change, you will.
I have two more articles in this three-part series. I’ll be covering “How much you eat” and “When you eat”. I’d like to stay in touch with you, and I’d like to hear from you. You can reach me via the Contact Form, or you can email me directly.
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