Do you look in the mirror and see fat? Do you sigh? Have you figured out that diets don’t work? Have you found that only 5% of people who even lose weight will keep it off? Now what?!?!
First I want to dispel some myths. It is not a linear relationship between thinness and health; this means thin does not equal health.
Second, terms such as overweight are misleading. It implies that you have a perfect weight, based on your height and age, that you are not achieving. Obesity means grossly overweight. All of this judgement is based on a chart made in 1942, when the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company combined age, weight, and mortality numbers from policy holders to create “desirable” height and weight charts. Can any good thing come out of an insurance company ? 😉
These are red herrings. Health is the goal not a weight. Making weight a goal, can bring connotations of moral implications. Having a hearty frame is not sin. Having a willowy frame is not holy. Put down your arrows that you aim at others and yourself. Everyone is doing the best they can. Be generous in your thoughts.
Now that being said, one healthy action that can be attended to that can stabilize a healthy weight is balancing blood sugar. I know many women who are quite heavy that are exceptionally disciplined. They are chronic under-eaters, or they have health issues. Be very careful before you judge. So let’s go over the steps to eat healthy – in a way that builds health.
When it comes to hitting home runs in baseball, batters find the sweet spot. When it comes to blood sugar, it’s the same thing. Too much blood sugar causes the body to store the excess as fat. Too little blood sugar causes the body to burn muscle – which is a double play, as it slows metabolisms and makes fat-muscle ratio worse.
How on earth do you do that?!? Here ya go:
1. Eat every 3 hours
If you don’t “graze,” your body will go into a famine mode and start storing your calories. I cannot emphasize this enough. The avoidance of food is self-destruction disguised as will-power. Will-power is found in moderation, not starvation. Unbalanced insulin levels cause the body to store calories, not burn them. Then let’s mention that insulin has impact on our female hormones, our thyroid hormones, our adrenal hormones…hormonal systems have huge effects. Smaller frequent meals are better for us on multiple levels, but in the mere fact that they balance insulin, they are invaluable.
2. How much do I eat?
I like Barry Sears’ explanation of food portions. He wrote the Zone, but the idea is that you eat protein, carbs and fat. Not huge amounts, but about an amount the size of your hand. I also like the simple idea of dividing your plate into thirds and have protein, carbs and fat divided. (I don’t do this one, but simplicity helps with consistency, which is critical.) This is going to require you to plan ahead; don’t get caught flat-footed. Also, as your fat to muscle ratio improves (losing fat and gaining muscle, you can eat more, as muscle burns more calories), you can eat more at each meal.
3. What you eat is important
Obviously, buy the best quality you can afford. Eat protein, fat and carbs. Limit your sugar, or, shudder, cut it out. We try to not eat GMO’s and eat organic, but I have consumed my share of GMO, “I don’t know what is in this” type food, and I am sure I will again. It is more important to eat; this is your first priority. Proper portions and proportions are your next priority. Quality of food is important, but give yourself a learning curve. As your healthy habits are established and you don’t feel overwhelmed, focus on quality also.
Drink water. Let’s explain what is not water. Soda, tea, coffee, lemonade, punch, alcohol, Gatorade, and all others are NOT water. Drink water. If your body is going to balance blood sugar, it needs 6 water molecules to flush 1 sugar molecule. The basic formula is to multiply your weight by 2/3 and that is how many ounces you need to drink a day. Do you exercise? You need more; this is additional water. One to two hours before you exercise, drink 15 to 20 ounces. 15 minutes before you should drink 8 to 10 ounces, and then eight ounces during every 15 minutes of exercise. Do your math. Are you actually hydrated?
When exercising, your heart beats faster and breathe harder. Your muscles use more sugar, and your insulin works better. Just as love covers a multitude of sin, exercise corrects a multitude of diet error. Regardless, you can’t out-exercise the fork, but you need to exercise. Chronically.
Since most statistics claim 95-97% of all people who diet or lose weight gain it back, dieting and weight loss is a poor choice for focus. If you plan on controlling your weight, balancing your blood sugar is necessary, and you want to think of eating correctly. It is eating correctly, not calorie restriction, that makes lasting changes. Learn as you go, and be aware that there will be times you blow it. Lifestyle is for life. Get in there and keep trying.