Rules That Will Keep You Slim & Healthy
“I hardly eat anything, and I’m STILL gaining weight!” Angela, a 24-year-old overweight woman is in tears. “I’ve tried EVERYTHING!” She has been on diet pills, as well as all sorts of diets. She has had some success, at times, but just gains it all back soon after losing it. She exercises regularly and tries to eat good food, but continues to gain weight. Her experience is not unusual; it’s very discouraging for many people.
Considering that the history of mankind has been fraught with periodic famine, it’s no wonder that our bodies are made to be very efficient with energy. We absorb it very well, convert it to its various forms (mechanical, heat, electrical, chemical) efficiently, and store anything that isn’t used immediately. Today, we will consider the storage of energy in the body, specifically fat.
The body is made for feast and famine. During times of plenty, the body stores energy, and then during times of famine the energy can be used. Today, though, we have a continual feast, with no famine. This is why there is a weight-control problem in the first place. Most of my patients have never gone a single day without eating. Every study with animals, including monkeys, cats, rats, spiders, worms and even yeast, live longer and better when given fewer calories. Maintaining a healthy body requires limiting calories. Every external method for losing weight, including bariatric surgery (stomach-stapling, Lap-band), medications, diets and so forth, work only because fewer calories are consumed.
One huge misconception is that you could lose weight through more exercise. If this worked, then Sumo wrestlers would be skinny. On the other hand, exercise has many other benefits and should be continued throughout life. For example, it’s the best way to stay out of a nursing home. Exercise won’t make you thin – only eating fewer calories does. The amount of fat stored on our bodies has everything to do with what, when and how much we eat.
RULE #1: WHAT TO EAT
We now find even young children with “insulin resistance,” or diabetes type 2. Simple sugars without fiber increase insulin. Insulin signals the body to store fat and shuts down the use of fat for energy. This is why people get “hypoglycemic,” so they eat constantly to keep their blood sugar up, and become insulin resistant. The cycle goes on as people get fatter.
Here are 5 simple tips to keeping low insulin levels:
1. Increase your carbohydrates by eating more fiber.
The more fiber, the lower the insulin. Don’t fall into the trap of using fiber bars or supplements; just eat the foods that contain fiber: vegetables, whole grain, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit.
2. Avoid simple sugars and starches, especially all processed foods.
Cold cereal should be avoided – even whole grain. Those who are very sensitive to sugar should even limit fruit to 1 or 2 servings per day.
3. Don’t use artificial sweeteners.
4. Don’t drink with a meal.
People eat 30% more calories if they have any liquid with a meal. Only drink water between meals. Avoid all flavored drinks, including juice.
5. Fast one day per month.
Eat a regular dinner on Friday night, for example, only drink water on Saturday, and then eat a normal breakfast on Sunday morning.
RULE #2: WHEN TO EAT
I most often find the obese people I work with skip breakfast. Research shows this is a common trend. Food consumed in the morning is used during the day, whereas food consumed in the evening is stored as fat. An old German proverb best describes when to eat:
Eat breakfast like a king,
Lunch like a prince,
And dinner like a pauper.
If you aren’t hungry in the morning, skip dinner; the next morning you will be hungry. If that doesn’t work, fast for a whole day. Breakfast will be welcome!
Also, it’s best to avoid snacks between meals. Drink water between meals. It’s important for good digestion to have the stomach empty completely before starting the next meal.
RULE #3: HOW MUCH TO EAT
Since the body is extremely efficient, very few calories are needed to maintain health and energy. Our moms may have told us to finish our plates, and insisted we eat when we weren’t hungry. It’s important to listen carefully to your body and stop as soon as the end is reached. Just stop. Leave the rest. It takes very little food to sustain a person. VERY LITTLE. Less is more. Animal studies indicate eating about half the calories you would normally consume is a good place to start.
Here’s how you judge: if you have too much fat on your body, you are eating too much.
Fasting is very good for the body. In fact, our best research indicates there isn’t one single thing more healthy than fasting. It’s better than all the vitamins, energy drinks, longevity potions, diets, age-defying creams, and weight-loss products on the market! Plus, it’s FREE! Most of my patients choose to fast one day per month. But, some have chosen a weekly fast, and others do three days in a row every month.
In a restaurant one evening, I noticed a shapely woman approach a table near us. After greetings, they invited her to sit and eat with them, but the woman said, “No, thank you. I Don’t eat after 6:00.” Everyone who maintains a healthy body has rules. Using the principles outlined above you can now make your own rules for eating. These rules should:
- Fit your lifestyle
- Be something you can continue for a lifetime
- Be simple
- Be yours
So, this is the secret weight loss program that my patients pay thousands of dollars to learn. I help them over months and years to write their own diet book. They make their own diet rules that must work for them in every way so they can continue for life. If it works, they will lose weight and keep it off. If it isn’t working, we change the rules. They keep a record of daily weight and a food diary. On the top of each page is their rule. Some even write recipes.
1. Martin is in his thirties and has been gradually gaining weight. He’s very active physically, both in his job and sports, but he was drinking almost 100 ounces of soda every day. He decided his rule would be to drink water only. He was easily able to reach his ideal size around his waist within three months.
2. Carol has been overweight all her life. She tried all kinds of diets, but was never able to stay with them. Her rule was to eat a salad before each meal, then serve her meal on the 6-inch salad plate, and have no between-meal snacks. For the first time in her life she was able to lose sixty pounds and keep it off for years.
3. Kirsten wasn’t overweight, but she always had to work hard to maintain her figure. Her rule was a vegan diet. Her chronic arthritis went away, which only returns when she breaks her rule.
4. John had chronic constipation, which caused hemorrhoids. He decided a good rule for him would be to eat fiber. His high-fiber diet keeps him regular and fills him enough to maintain a healthy body size.
5. Victoria has been very obese since childhood. She lives at home and isn’t in control of the food that’s available. She tried several different rules, but they never worked for her. Finally, she decided that there was one thing she could control. She fasted, only drinking water, every Monday and gradually started losing weight for the first time.
6. Rosanne found that most of her calories were consumed in the evening so she made a rule not to eat after dinner and has been able to maintain her ideal size.
7. After discussing Leanna’s long struggle with her weight, she decided the only thing that ever worked was the Slim- Fast plan. She makes her own 300 Calorie shakes at home for breakfast and lunch, eats no between-meal snacks, and then eats a regular dinner with her family.
8. Michelle has been counting calories since high school. She did the Weight Watchers program successfully in the past, but easily fell into old habits. She decided on a rule of numbers, successfully maintaining a 1200 Calorie per day average.
9. John made it his rule to eat only home-cooked food. He quit going to restaurants, except for once a month. He started bringing his lunch to work. On this program he quickly lost the weight he had gained.
10. Mark was very concerned about unhealthy processing of foods. He made it his rule to eat only whole foods. He could eat anywhere, as long as it was whole, unprocessed food.
11. Suzanne read a book about pre-packaged food, which scared her. She wanted to avoid anything that came in a box or bag that required a list of ingredients. Her rule was that she would only eat things that she could identify all ingredients on sight, and as a result, easily maintains a healthy body size.
12. Alise published her book about weight loss because it was different from all the-other diet books. She realized that adding things worked better than subtracting, so she denied herself nothing, instead adding low-calorie, high-nutrient foods that she enjoyed. She first added a serving of broccoli every day, then an apple, then celery for snacks, all of which replaced her high-calorie snacks and foods, allowing her to lose weight and keep it off easily.
13. Scott tried many different diets over the years. He was trying to keep from getting the “fat belly” of old men, but nothing seemed to be working. He decided that he wanted natural foods. So, he got a book on fiber and eats 35 grams of fiber per day in his food. This gives him a substantial amount of food to eat, and he can still go to restaurants and enjoy good food; he just orders high-fiber meals.
14. It was discovered that Angela (above) had Poly- Cystic Ovary Syndrome and had very high insulin levels. She made a rule to eat only raw vegetables, beans, meat, and a small amount of whole grain wheat or rice. She was able to reach her ideal size. This will prevent her from other health problems such as diabetes and infertility in the future.
Investing even a little time to keep a food journal can definitely be worth the benefits.
You may be surprised by what you’re eating and find lots of areas for improvement.
It’ll help you “see” what you are eating and what emotions are attached to your food choices.
After studying the above examples, you could make rules that would fit your lifestyle and work for you. While it is helpful to have a person to report to, you should still write in your book or journal, including daily weights, a food diary, and your thoughts. Weigh yourself every day to monitor your progress and assess your rules. You should lose 2-4 lbs of fat per week – and no more. If it isn’t working, try something different until you find rules that work for you. When you reach your ideal size and weight, just continue to live your rules. You may be surprised how easy it really is!