Realizations I had to learn
Thursday, May 31, 2012
• All cravings are a form of emotional eating. I know I’m not hungry when I want something specific. So I have to figure out what’s causing me to reach for food (e.g. stress, boredom, routine, sadness, etc). Hunger builds up slowly. Cravings hit suddenly.
• This is a long process. I made a decision to change my lifestyle in January 2011. It’s only noticeable now because I finally let go of my old clothes that were a safety blanket in case I failed. Only recently, I have decided there is no going back. Although I have set goals for myself, I don’t stop if I don’t reach them when I thought I would. Moreover, I reward myself when I do reach my goal (not with food).
• Change one thing at a time. Trying to do all this at once is overwhelming. So I change 1 thing at a time. Once it becomes a part of my routine and feels natural, I move onto something else and make a new change.
• I had no clue how my body worked. I am still learning how certain foods and activities affect my weight, mood and health.
• Diet matters more than exercise. Working out does not burn that many calories. I would prefer to work out and eat whatever I want. But when I do all my hard work is sabotaged. I had to realize that a sacrifice had to be made. Either I eat what I want and sacrifice my health and body Or I sacrifice my fries and have a better quality of life.
• Pills don’t work. No weight loss, fat blocker, metabolism booster pill is natural. They all risk your health. Even FDA approved diet pills and ingredients that are cleared as safe can turn out to cause great harm later on:
o Alli – Liver problems
o Ephedrine – depression and central nervous diseases
o Phentermine – chemical dependence, high blood pressure and heart disease.
o Phenylpropanolamine – stroke
o Sibutramine – digestive, respiratory, skin and neurological problems
o Guar Gum – GI tract problems
o Bitter Orange – fast heart beat leading to heart attack and stroke
o Fenproporex – chest pains, headaches and suicidal thoughts
o Bumetanide - rapid heart rate and increases the risk for stroke or heart attack
o Rimonabant – increases the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts
o Phenolphthalein – causes cancer
o Grapefruit Extracts – high blood pressure and kidney problems
Just to name a few ingredients and a few of the problems they cause. Stay away from these things. It’s about being healthy and these aren’t healthy.
• There are many online resources. I’ve signed up for all types of weight loss groups and websites. My favorite is sparkpeople.com. They have online communities to socialize with other people, great articles, extensive tools, help setting up a tailored diet and exercise plan, ability to track your success and a reward system for participation and reaching your goals.
• All Calories are not Equal. This is more than an energy imbalance- I eat too many calories and burn too few calories. Foods that contain refined sugar and grains affect the pancreas causing it to create a metabolic syndrome and effect insulin production, which regulates fat accumulation. These foods also change the way the brain operates by increasing the production of ghrelin and decrease the production of leptin. So the body feels hungrier and is never satisfied. I stopped looking at fat and started looking at the sugar or carbohydrate content and ingredients in the foods I buy. This includes the biggest offender soda, including diet soda. The other simple thing is to stop buying packaged food or fast food.
• Staying Motivated. I take every little change as a success to keep myself motivated. Pictures over time (like months not weeks), loose-fitting clothes, feeling less hungry, being able to exercise more and making good choices easily are way better indicators of improvement than a scale. The scale is deceptive because your weight will go up after a meal, down after working out and up if you trade muscle for fat. Yes watch the scale, but don’t put much stock into it. I lost 50lbs between January and August of last year. Since August 2011, I’ve only lost 10lbs but look completely different. Health isn’t only about weight.