Almost 70 percent of Americans are overweight. About one in three adults are obese and about one in twenty adults are extremely obese. So it is no surprise that most people include losing weight and getting in shape as their number one New Year's resolution. Unfortunately, most will fail these goals by the end of January. One of the main reasons for failure include too strict of a diet or an exercise program that is hard to maintain because of time or difficulty.
If you do not want to be of those failures, you need to start with a program you know you can stick to. Everyone like to see the pounds drop fast. It gives them motivation. The problem with losing weight quickly is the metabolism. The heavier you are, the faster your metabolism slows when reducing food. The reason this happens is genetics. If your body is used to a certain amount of food, cutting a significant amount pushes it into "survival" mode. Your body doesn't know you are going to eat later so it conserves energy and burns less calories. If you are hungry, you are not eating enough. So you might tell me that your hungry all the time now and you weigh 300 hundred pounds. How can you eat less and not be hungry? It's not how much you are eating in volume. The problem is WHAT you are eating.
To make this simple, for January these are the rules you need to follow. I will add more rules at the beginning of each month, so by the end of the year, you will not know what hit you but you will weigh less and be much healthier. The three components of your program will include nutritional, supplement, and movement changes. We will stay away from the words diet and exercise. They even sound painful and depressing.
January Nutritional Changes
1. Eliminate modern wheat. No, I am not crazy. Modern wheat or frankenwheat as I like to call it is very high in gluten, herbicides, and pesticides. It destroys the gut. If you gut isn't working properly, you are not getting absorbing nutrients properly. If you are not absorbing nutrients properly, you will always feel hungry. Now, I didn't say eliminate grains. Just wheat. Substitute wheat with spelt (a low gluten wheat). You can make anything from spelt that you made from wheat. You can buy spelt products if you don't have time to bake. However, spelt products taste so much better freshly baked and cost significantly less money. You will find the taste of spelt so much nicer and nuttier than frankenwheat. If you purchase Bob's Red Mill spelt flour, there is a great muffin recipe on the back. For tortillas, you can make your own. I really like Trader Joe's brown rice tortillas. They sell for $2.69 for 6 large in my local store.
2. Eat eggs for breakfast. Protein is important in the morning. Eggs are a complete protein. Depending on how much you currently weigh, you can eat two to four eggs in the morning. If you weigh 150 or less, 151-200, or over 200 pounds, eat two, three, or four eggs to start, respectively. You can have a spelt muffin or spelt toast with butter. If you are a vegan, have oatmeal with walnuts or almonds. Stevia or honey can be used as sweeteners.
3. Eliminate artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. Both of these products mess with insulin and make you hungrier. Check labels carefully.
4. Lastly, make batches of soup with lots of vegetables and consume every day for at least one meal. See my vegetarian soup recipe at the RECIPES tab above. I make this soup all winter. It is inexpensive and tastes great.
5. Limit calories to 1500, 2000, or 2500 if you currently weight 150 or less, 151-200, or over 200 pounds, respectively. Under no circumstances should you consume less than 1200 calories a day. Otherwise, for this month, you can eat what you want but you must stick to the above 4 changes. Try to stay away from fast food, highly processed foods, and diet processed foods. Most contain HFCS or artificial sweeteners. Eat fruit, nuts, or seeds for snacks, if possible. Dairy is fine as long as it is organic or is cheese aged six months or longer. Regular diary is loaded with artificial hormones.
January Supplement Changes
1. Take probiotics and digestive enzymes. Probiotics help repair the gut. These are especially important if you have any digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel. Digestive enzymes help digestive fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. These are especially critical for those who've had their gall bladder remove, those over 40, and those with stomach problems (acid reflux, ulcers, heartburn).
2. Take a good multi-vitamin with minerals. Stay away from vitamins with iron if you are male or if you are female who is not menstruating. If you are anemic, a doctor should be monitoring your intake. Otherwise, the extra iron is not needed and can cause problems.
3. Add at least 1000 mg of vitamin D and 400 mg of magnesium. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin D and magnesium. If you are deficient in vitamin D, a higher dosage (usually 2000-5000 mg per day) is recommended to start. You need to work with a healthcare practitioner for proper dosage. If you are in the sun every day, you probably don't need more vitamin D than what is in a multi-vitamin but you still need the magnesium.
January Movement Changes
1. Walk 30 minutes per day for five days. If you can't walk because you live at the North Pole, then get a mini trampoline and use it for ten minutes before each meal. Or put on your favorite music and dance for ten minutes before each meal. Or purchase an aerobic DVD like Denise Austin's with 7-12 minute workouts.
Good luck and see you next month.
Note: Before starting any exercise or diet program, get your healthcare practitioner's or primary-care physician's prior approval.
Photo credit: “Yippee I Lost Few Kgs Last Week” by stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.com