Reducing - the sequel. Last week’s column on losing weight seemed to need a little more information than I could get in one article.
Women have a harder time with weight loss than men – it’s just not fair – and mid-life hormonal changes make it even less fair.
Part of the challenge with weight loss, particularly for women is keeping muscle mass. This requires eating protein and doing some kind of weight bearing exercise.
As far as I am concerned, this is flat out un-natural; however, my middle-aged body responds very well to this kind of treatment, so I am stuck with this kind of approach.
I have read and tried many weight loss theories – from my years of personal research, here are my best tips.
1. To get any weight loss plan started, there has to be a period of high protein, low fat and no starchy carbohydrates. This means no bread, pasta, potatoes, corn, etc. This is necessary to get metabolism "jump started". It takes about 4-7 days.
2. If after 4 days, you have lots of energy, feel good, but just slightly hungry, keep on. Keep raw veggies on hand to snack on. Boiled eggs are good too and an occasional piece of string cheese. However, if after 4 days, you are running out of energy and are really,
really tired, you need good carbohydrates. Portion size for the carbohydrate is 20 grams or less – this is about 1 slice of Ezekial bread or 1/3 cup of oatmeal. Eat no more than 2 portions per day.
3. A clue that you need carbohydrates as part of your diet regimen is that your weight loss continues when you add them. If your weight loss stops, then go back to protein and non-starchy vegetables.
4. Most diets just keep a 1-2 week phase of no starches just to get weight loss results. They also have a phase 2 that is limited starches with just certain ones being acceptable. I am excited about a new plan I and reading – the 17 Day Diet. This one has a unique phase 2 in that it alternates days of no carb and days of limited carbs. This might work – stay tuned.
5. Stay alkaline. Fat is very acid and as you burn fat, your body gets acid. You can measure this with pH tape (urine test), but the best sign is that your urine burns or seems hot. Another sign that acid pH has gone on too long is that your hair starts falling out.
Things that help with alkalinity are lots of vegetables, club soda and coral calcium.
6. Fat burning foods help keep metabolism high. These are grapefruit, lemon and lime juice, unsweetened cranberry juice, green tea and celery. One of my favorite diet plans requires drinking unsweetened cranberry juice 5 times per day because it also helps cleans out the lymphatic system and cellulite.
7. I like having lots of drinks during the day – plain water is the best, but I love no calorie drinks made with flavored stevia because they help add variety. The English toffee is good in just about anything – it makes club soda taste like cream soda. The berry flavored stevia is also very good in lots of things. It makes berry limeade and it makes unsweetened cranberry juice taste great. There are several popular flavors.
The main trick with dieting is finding what works for you and staying motivated. I hope these tips help you.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com