Nutrition: Weight loss is not easy, but its worth it – News Chief


Posted: February 4, 2020 at 5:49 pm

I know you realize that for effective weight loss its always calories versus exercise. All physical activity uses calories, even turning a page or ironing, but some activities like swimming or tennis obviously uses more calories than others. Even walking keeps muscles working.

Following is a letter sent by Lynn Fischer to a friend.

Dear Sandy,

I am writing to you because as friends, you confided in me about some of your health issues. So I am putting my suggestions on paper for you to look over in privacy. You said what was most important was to lose some weight. Plus, you wanted to have a healthier eating plan. Well, I have a plan for you to lose about 40 pounds in around one year, and its below. Healthier food suggestions are also given as is a simple exercise plan.

I know you realize that for effective weight loss its always calories versus exercise. All physical activity uses calories, even turning a page or ironing, but some activities like swimming or tennis obviously uses more calories than others. Even walking keeps muscles working.

Moving your body is important. It can be housework, gardening, yoga, gentle walking outside or on a treadmill or more highly active jogging, running, tennis, skiing, calisthenics, weightlifting. Just about any vigorous movement uses up more calories than soft working out. Even getting up from your desk every hour to walk your pup for five or 10 minutes is exercise for your body besides getting a break from your desk work.

You can choose to lose weight slowly or quickly simply by changing the serving sizes, types of food or amounts you consume and how much exercise and what kind you choose to do each day.

New way of thinking

First, your decision to becoming healthier may mean a restart in your thinking. Taking care of your own health, before anyone elses, must become first for you. Before family and friends, work or play (unless someone close to you is in crisis) you need to put your own health goals first. You have to understand you are important. After all, you cant do what you want, feel like you want, have the energy you want or take care of those you love if you arent healthy yourself.

Your health can only be managed, and your goals can only be realized, because of your own diet and exercise choices. Even those who love you will agree that only you are the one in charge. Realizing your own health is foremost will keep your goals in focus.

Inflammation is the root cause for most chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Unfortunately, when we are considerably over our optimal weight, our bodies contain inflammation. Because overweight people have inflammation in their bodies, they dont work optimally either.

The National Institute of Healths department of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease says health problems associated with excess weight can include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, several types of cancer, sleep apnea and kidney disease. And these are just a few of the medical problems that too much body fat can cause.

Because inflammation is already in your body, you also may not feel as well as you could. And your energy levels may not be very high. In addition to inflammation, excess fat negatively affects everything; the way we move, our organs, muscles, sight, hearing, taste, digestion and evacuation.

You might also be short of breath, tired or lethargic, depressed or even angry. Extra weight can cause negative mood changes and personal feelings of unworthiness. And this isnt fair to you. You are a wonderful, successful, talented, hard-working, loving person with integrity, but excess weight can make you unhappy.

Because of your age (50+) and because you said you have too much work including stress, it is great that you are willing to make dietary and lifestyle changes to improve your health that improves your life. Regarding reducing stress, consider the pros and cons of retiring earlier or dropping some hours or keeping fewer clients. Lowering ones stress can be the smartest thing one can do for better health. Youre fortunate you have a loving and supportive husband, Rob, whom you adore whos never brought up your weight although he is concerned about your health.

Because you asked, in looking at this in its totality, in my opinion you are in crisis mode. You are at an edge where you can continue as you are and become obese and far unhealthier, or you can take control and put yourself on a healthful trajectory. You may not recognize this. My assessment isnt to scare you, its just what I see and because you asked, and mostly its because I care for you and value your friendship.

Sandy, I do this for a living, and I have a lifetime of studying weight, diet, health and exercise and how each of these affects us. We can have medical issues (and most of us do) that we cant help, but we can make the effort to work around them and have the terrific good health we want for ourselves anyway.

Planning what is right for you to lose weight takes time and you cannot begin too soon. And it takes a lot of time. And effort, especially at first. But soon, eating more wisely fits right into your life. Regarding the time it takes, it might be several months (sometimes years) to get it exactly right for you because some of these are lifetime changes.

But this is an adventure you can win. Eating healthfully becomes a habit quickly. Good food and good exercise decisions right for you soon become second nature, easier each day. This daily planning keeps your health goals in the forefront. Then your diet and exercise plans become almost automatic. All of this takes lots of effort, but youre worth it. Getting yourself to a healthier place can be a struggle. So what? Most good things take time and a struggle.

A pitfall should be noted. Many who lose weight successfully, even for as long as a year, finally becoming trim and strong (some with the help of a lap band or other operation). Unfortunately, studies show 95% go back to overeating and quickly, within a few months, gain all the weight back again. If youre aware of this, you can better take steps to avoid it.

Working toward being healthier is worth it and is much easier and less expensive than trying to manage the serious illnesses that too much extra weight can, and will, bring.

After deciding which approach you want to take, and several are listed below, you will start looking carefully at food nutritional labels, counting calories, looking at the fat, sodium, fiber and protein levels. Consulting with your doctor about your plan, seeing a weight specialist, a registered nutritionist or dietitian, a clinical counselor or a psychiatrist (who as an MD can prescribe medication if needed) or a psychologist (who may also have a deep understanding, training and experience in excessive eating and can help with emotional problems sometimes associated with overeating) is always recommended.

Other health choices

There are ancillary health choices too, like limiting time with negative people and being around those who are more health-conscious, because it rubs off. And, of course, making sure you have all your medically suggested inoculations for flu, pneumonia, shingles etc. There is nothing more discouraging than having your health goals interrupted by having to stay in bed with the flu if it could be avoided.

Although herbal or homeopathic remedies may work for some, they arent medically advised, especially when tackling something as important as a weight-loss program. Because it is so difficult, medical or dietary specialists can be important, not anecdotal dietary advice or untested remedies, some of which can be counterproductive.

You already drink plenty of liquids which is great! Water, coffee and flavored waters, tea, calorie-free flavored or sparkling drinks, diet sodas, soups, sherbets, flavored ices and all other liquid-based foods count as liquids, so keep that up. Note that caffeine products are a diuretic, which means you may have to urinate more often and at night, that can interrupt your sleep.

I noticed after dinner you had a cup of coffee. Although you said you have no problem getting to sleep or staying asleep, coffee at night can cause other problems, says sleep researcher Kenneth Wright Jr. a professor with the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Besides enlarging your veins and arteries, he says, late afternoon or night caffeine does not let you get the natural, total body relaxation and sleep support your brain and body needs. Caffeine is known to disrupt quality sleep in ways you may not be aware of, and that can affect you the following day.

Dr. Wright says that coffee, as the worlds most widely consumed psychoactive drug, when taken at night disrupts the bodys internal clock as caffeine appears to push or boost your internal clock. This means the best or most relaxing sleep comes an hour later than normal. This seemingly minor time alteration of a one-hour delay of your most restful sleep can make you feel sluggish in the morning and during the day.

Dr. Wright adds, Even chocolate at night, especially dark chocolate after 5 p.m. if you eat several pieces can also affect sleep as can any caffeine-boosted drink including colas, iced or hot tea that isnt decaffeinated.

These unusual sleep-timing effects were again found in a recent additional small study. Sleep researcher Jamie Zeitzer, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, praised the study by Dr. Wright because researchers found that consumption of evening or night-time coffee, the bodys circadian clock (which sets biological rhythms such as your sleeps natural sleep/wake cycles) is disrupted. Every cell in the body apparently has its own clock and caffeine is shown to affect and disrupt each cells internal clock. With this information you might consider switching to decaffeinated coffee after dinner.

Coffee, however, has lots of benefits nearly all experts and studies show. Coffee keeps one alert, students do better on testing, its shown to help with weight loss, and athletes use it to get better workouts. The Archives of Internal Medicine reports that a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink four or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression. So, coffee for most people isnt usually a problem, but since one cup of coffee stays in your body for eight hours, switching to decaf after 2 p.m. might help with more ideal sleep.

One decaf cup still contains 4 milligrams of caffeine, which isnt much compared to the 40 milligrams in a cup of coffee. No study indicates that decaf causes sleep problems.

Diet choices

It is suggested by most cardiologists and weight loss specialists to greatly reduce red meat consumption depending, of course, upon how often you eat it. Heart doctors suggest 3 ounces of red meat just once a week at most, not twice a day, which is usual. Weight specialist indicate that by cutting red meat consumption youll most likely begin to drop weight quickly. It usually isnt difficult to substitute meat with 3 ounces of lean fish, shellfish or poultry (skinless and not batter fried). People who lessen meat consumption say anecdotally they have more energy.

However, the January 2020 Cleveland Clinics Heart Advisor Newsletter (vol. 23/ No. 1) cites five articles in the annals of Internal Medicine that contradict cutting down on meat parenthetically saying that red meat consumption is just fine. But the Cleveland Clinic cardiologists (and nearly all other cardiologists) disagree with the meat is okay study. Some strongly.

When researchers at Harvards T. H. Chan School of Public Health crunched the exact same number as the meat is okay group they concluded that even a moderate reduction in red meat in America alone might prevent 200,000 (premature) deaths per year.

Eating most types of red meat also causes antibiotic resistance says University of California, Berkeleys February 2020 Wellness Letter. According to a report from six major consumer and health organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council Consumer Reports and the Center for Food Safety, of the 25 largest fast-food chains and fast-casual restaurants, 21 (of the fast-food chains), have a troubling overuse of antibiotics in their beef. Fifteen of them received a grade F for still not having a meaningful and transparent policy in place to reduce or eliminate meat antibiotics

Only two chains, Panera and Chipotle, earned A grades for their strict antibiotic policies.

McDonalds improved from an F grade in 2018 to a C in 2019, but that is still too high. So, reducing red meat in your diet may have other beneficial health benefits besides weight loss. Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, Co-Section Head of Preventive Cardiology with Dennis Bruemmer, Md, PhD says, There is a reduction in mortality risk with lower red meat consumption. Its one more reason people are switching to meatless products such as Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat.

Its easy to fill your plate with the thousands of other foods available that you will like, and there are many ways to improve meals nutritionally. For example, plain pasta can spike your blood sugar levels without giving you many nutrients. But pasta with a sauce of heavily laden vegetables like sauted onions, garlic, tomatoes, sweet basil, dried oregano, fennel seeds and ground turkey, makes it a satisfying dish that blunts raising your blood sugar.

When eating starchy foods such as white potatoes, white bread, corn, peas and rice, make sure you combine it with numerous other non-starchy fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, tomato, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. One example is having rice with lots of Asian vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables can all be enjoyed because they are very healthy and wont cause spikes in your blood sugar. Bread such as Daves Killer Bread is often whole wheat and has lots of grains that diminish spikes.

High fat butter on your bread, rolls or vegetables can easily be substituted with any of the very low saturated fat tub margarines (7 grams saturated fat versus 1 gram) such as Benecol and I Cant Believe Its Not Butter, and many other good choices.

We all love cheese, but its interesting to note that a cows highest production of female hormones is when shes lactating. Lactating milk from mammals such as cows or goats is what our whole milk, 2% or skim milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, gelato, cottage cheese and cream are made from. This high level of consuming a female animals hormones may be problematic for some boys and men, especially if they consume lots of dairy as they could be getting too many female hormones.

Daily eating plan

If you stick to around 750 calories a day, you can lose about 40 pounds in a year (depending upon exercise).

BREAKFAST:

1 small sausage of turkey or chicken OR 1 egg (hard cooked, scrambled, or soft boiled) for morning protein

cup fresh mixed berries.

OR

cup cooked or cold cereal with soy milk.

If protein is left out at breakfast, add it at lunch. Any beverage; coffee, tea, water-diluted low sugar juice by half, coffee without sugar (use artificial sweeteners such as Stevia, Equal or Truvia). Coffee with a low-fat creamer. Make a note of the calories.

LUNCH:

Green, light or dark lettuce salad, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, green beans and a very low-fat dressing, as much as you like.

OR

A large plate of cooked seasonal vegetables as much as you like. Add a slim half slice piece of high-grain bread. Ezekiel is also a good brand. Make a note of the calories.

DINNER:

Three ounces skinless poultry, shellfish or fish. A large helping of several interesting cooked (or raw) vegetables, and perhaps cup of brown rice. Any water-based beverage such as iced or hot decaffeinated tea, decaffeinated coffee, diet caffeine-free soda. Make a note of the calories.

Keep the daily total under 750 calories. Yes, you will be hungry and it isnt easy. Figure out ways to combat the hunger with calorie-free drinks, sparkling water or having on hand crisp raw vegetables as snacks. Waiting 20 minutes alleviates the discomfort of hunger pangs for nearly everyone.

Enjoy a dessert you love just once or twice a week but make it small and special. Why waste your weight loss and health goals on a horrible cookie?

A snack daily of a small handful of nuts or peanut butter on a half slice of bread and any single fruit at any time of the day is great but add them up so you dont exceed your daily calorie goal of 750 calories. You can also eat fresh berries, pears, kiwi, or apples that are lower in sugar and higher in fiber. Fruits with peanut or almond butter is a great dessert. Once you know about how many calories are in several items, such as about 100 calories in a slice of bread, these numbers stay with you.

You are on a journey and it isnt easy. This is your health, your life, your goals, your very being alive. Your own journey says so much about you and youve succeeded already in so many ways.

My friend and weight loss expert Dr. Susan Forward says that weight loss is difficult and sometimes more easily accomplished when trying one or more of the following: diet books, low fat recipe books, healthy eating magazines, single or group therapy, hypnosis, walking with friends on a regular time period, or joining a good weight loss program like Weight Watchers. Please remember these should be done along with consistent exercise such as weight lifting (easier if you have a trainer to push you), walking daily on a treadmill or outside, and jogging for a few feet or even a few hundred feet. If you bring light weights during your walk, you can do arm exercises such as bicep curls as you walk. You can then move on to bigger weights when you strengthen your muscles.

Please remember that I am here to support you and I am a free source of information for you to use!

Lynn Fischer (Kryger) is the author of seven best-selling cookbooks and the host of The Discovery

Channels The Low Cholesterol Gourmet and Public Broadcastings Lynn Fischers Healthy Indulgences

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Nutrition: Weight loss is not easy, but its worth it - News Chief

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