Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Show Biz Wiz Weight Loss Tips

OK, this is not really show biz related, but this is what's been on my mind and I can write about whatever I want on my blog, right?

I have been working on establishing a healthier lifestyle in order to lower my risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Also, losing weight will help me to get off some of the medicine I am taking, if not all of it.

I wanted to list some tactics that have worked for me so that others that read this blog might get some good tips. Also, writing things down and telling others about it will help me to stay motivated.

My wife read a book called "The Eat Clean Diet" by Tosca Reno, and we decided to both work on being healthier. The basic principle we follow is trying to eat basic, unprocessed, simple foods that we all know we should eat, but often don't. The cornerstones of the eating plan include the following;

fruits (fresh or frozen are best, with no additives, especially no added sugar)
vegetables (eating these are even more important than fruits, and try to get them fresh or frozen, with no additives, especially added salt)
lean meats such as turkey, chicken, fish and pork provide lots of protein for building muscles, eat red meat sparingly
dairy (skim milk, fat free plain yogurt, cottage cheese-small curd fat free is best, and real cheese, not processed)
whole grains (stay away from white bread and foods made with white flour) these will fill you up so you don't eat as much
a few "no brainer" foods that any nutrition expert would recommend would include; almonds, walnuts, and other nuts (unsalted), flax seed and oatmeal are 2 super healthy foods that can help to lower cholesterol, spinach and any other leafy greens (fresh or frozen with no salt added), and sweet potatoes (as long as they are not in a sugary syrup)
lots and lots of water, plain with no added flavors or sugar

Limit or better yet, eliminate these things from your diet;

diet pop or regular pop, these will spike your sugar levels, leaving you wanting more sweets
coffee with cream or sugar, if you must have it, drink it black
juice, especially with added sugar
eating out, this includes fast food and non-fast food restaurants
baked goods like cookies, donuts, muffins, cake, pie, etc.
ice cream
fried foods such as french fries, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, etc.
hot dogs
creamy soups or sauces
candy/milk chocolate (although some dark chocolate is OK in moderation)
processed foods (read labels and stay away from foods with lots of chemicals, preservatives, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, etc.)

When grocery shopping get most of your food from the perimeter of the store. This includes fresh produce, dairy, meat, cheese, and eggs.

Think about why you are eating. Are you truly hungry or are you eating since you are bored, depressed, lonely or thinking that the fatty food will make you feel good? Dr. Phil McGraw says "You don't fix psychological issues with food." Food is not meant to be used as a form of entertainment. It is a tool we use to nourish our bodies. Spread out your meals so that you eat every 2 to 3 hours. You can have 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. Make a vow not to put unhealthy food in your body. Think of your body as a car. You only want to put the best "fuel" in your body to make it function smoothly. Life is all about choices. Making good choices will give you good results. Look at how you are doing and ask yourself how your current approach is working. Don't see this as a "diet" see it as a lifestyle that you will commit to for the rest of your life. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

One key that people often overlook is examining how many calories you take in through liquids. Soft drinks are loaded with sugar and have no nutritional value. Diet soft drinks are not good either since they contain aspartame, which has been associated with various health problems. Stay away from energy drinks, sports drinks like Gatorade, flavored iced teas or flavored water, alcohol, and milkshakes. If you have the vast majority of your liquid intake as simple, plain water, you will keep your body hydrated and lose weight. Unsweetened ice tea, black coffee or skim milk are fine now and then.

Finally, make it a point to do something active every day, even if it is only 15 minutes of activity. Exercise is important, but 80% of weight loss is eating the right foods in the right quantity. Find activities that you like to do. Little changes can make a big difference. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away from your destination so you need to walk. Joining a gym is fine, but there are many other ways to get exercise. Take a walk, ride your bike, buy dumbells and work out at home, exercise with a workout video or a video game. The Nintendo Wii has lots of great games that will get your heart pumping. A body with strong muscles and a high functioning cardio vascular system will function properly and burn more calories when you are at rest. Slow and steady really does win the race. Take off the weight slowly and make sure to keep it off. Since 2001 I have lost 80 pounds and have kept it off. In 2004 I lost 35 pounds, and from June of 2009 to March of 2010 I also lost 35 pounds. I went from 285 to 205 as of March, 2010. I used to wear XXL shirts, now I wear size L. I used to wear pants with a 44" waist and now my pants have a 34" waist. Get rid of your old, big clothes. Getting back into them and gaining the weight back is not an option. Crash diets or fad diets may work in the short term, but the weight will not stay off since people tend to be on these radical diets only temporarily. Establish a lifestyle you can stay with for the long haul. Don't see it as going on a diet for awhile until you lose weight and then you can go off of it. A "cheat day" is fine occassionally but then get back on track. Living healthy does not mean you can never have sweets or salty foods again. If they are eaten very seldom, then they will be more of a treat.
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