The ranking at Google.com for top searches in January 2004 shows the South Beach Diet is now the No. 1 top searched weight loss program with Weight Watchers coming in second and the Atkins Diet third. Since the South Beach diet is simply a modified Atkins Diet but less restrictive, this isn’t surprising. Both diets are based on the principal that reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein will help you lose weight, and it is true. Reducing carbs is the easiest and quickest way to reduce water weight. In fact, if you need to lose a quick five pounds to get into a party dress, I can’t think of anything short of fasting that would do the trick better than a week of very low carbs.
With either plan, for the greatest weight loss success, the key is the quality of carbs you eat. The following are some ideas for better success with the South Beach or Atkins Diets:
1. Reduce or eliminate fast food – that’s right, all fast food. It is simply not a healthy choice to order a McDonalds or Burger King without the bun. If you want a burger, make one at home – far more healthy, and you’ll save an enormous amount of money to buy the new clothes you’re going to need because you’re losing so much weight!
2. Reduce or eliminate soft drinks. Whether using sugar or artificial sweeteners, by drinking sweetened drinks you are keeping your desire for sugary foods alive. This includes fruit juice. Eat a fresh whole orange instead of orange juice, or a fresh, crisp apple instead of apple juice. Consider who long it takes to down a small glass of juice compared to how long and how enjoyable it is eating a juicy apple? Wean yourself off if necessary, cut back to one less a day than you now have.
3. Question the wisdom of adding so called “low carb” foods back into your eating plan. If you are following a low carb diet and now you think you can add back some carbs by getting the low carb brands, think again. You’ll gain weight as soon as you add carbs (water), any carbs, and you will be getting an unhealthy food in the bargain. Eat whole foods – whole baked potatoes, fresh carrots, salads, vegetable soups, bean dishes. Eat the real thing! Stay away from the modified versions whether low fat, low carb, or low anything.
Think about it. If you want to lose weight and stay reduced, there are a few things that will need to happen. 1) your diet must include healthier foods in greater quantity than unhealthy foods. I’m not talking “good” or “bad” foods. Any food is fine, in moderation. The trick is moderation – I love cake but I don’t eat it every day. I love all kinds of sweets but I don’t eat them every day. If I did I’d gain weight – it’s that simple. My choice is to stay a smaller size by eating them when I want, but that is infrequently because I want more to maintain my size.
So, by eating pancakes, what’s that do for me? It makes me want syrup, and maybe something sweet later that day too. It sets me up for craving sugary sweet foods. Not what I really want right now, is it? Later, when you’ve reached your goal, staying at goal is the most important thing, and it becomes important enough that a breakfast of pancakes is not going to derail you.
What about bread? Wouldn’t I be better off eating the low carb bread? No. Choose a healthy, whole grain bread. The low carb brands are not whole grain, they are white flour, with added corn starch then artificial sweeteners added. Then they reduce the size of the loaf, and slice the pieces teeny tiny, and claim, “Only 4 Net Carbs per Slice” or something equally ridiculous. Check the loaf. Is a sandwich made with two 4-year old sized pieces of bread going to satisfy you or is it going to make you want another sandwich? Eat the real thing, and you’ll feel satisfied from having eaten an adult sized sandwich, and you won’t feel deprived or crave for more.
4. Think high food quality for the money spent. Is your food dollar being spent wisely when you buy a tiny loaf of bread with Barbie Doll sized slices? No. Is your food dollar being wisely spent by Jello that brags of their low net carbs yet they’ve taken a package that used to serve four according to them (who can’t eat all four servings?) and now it suddenly serves six! Yes, they did add a little Cool Whip to stretch the recipe. I don’t know about you but I’m not satisfied eating two ounces of Jello. I want real food!
Just because the package says a low number of “net carbs” read the label. See the serving size and then calculate how much you will really eat. Then, stand back and count to ten while asking yourself, “Is this a good value for my food dollar?” Most likely the answer will be no, then start slowly moving away from the low carb aisle and get yourself down to the fresh produce. You’ll be safer down there.
If you want to follow a low carb lifestyle, you’ll want to learn to eat less of the white bread, crackers, chips, and packaged cookies, not simply switch to the low carb brands. Incorporate any of these suggestions, even just a little and you’ll get a better result from your efforts at slimming down or reducing your body weight. Small changes add up to big results.
Isn’t it curious how we place the blame for things like clothes that won’t fit on someone or something else? It’s never our fault. Not that our body has expanded. Oh, no. That couldn’t be. The denial regarding our own habits is astonishing.
The Clean Clothes Diet
Slowly, without thinking about it, I melted off those extra pounds and inches, and now the pants fit again. Wonder of wonders, isn’t the magic of laundry fantastic? I call it the clean clothes diet. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Now that we’re into February those excuses blaming holiday eating are done. If you gained a little weight (or failed to lose any) over the holidays, get over it. It’s done. Today is a new day. Don’t waste one moment thinking about why or what you should have done – the “blame game” gets you nowhere fast.
Instead, use what you’ve learned (that is, what didn’t work) to go forward with your new plan and find what does work. Plan to start today, and work on today only. It’s great to have long-term goals but they are always accomplished by taking little pieces and working on them one at a time. By creating a strategic plan, and working it, step-by-step things get done. That’s how the U.S. built the Mars Rover. We reached the stars by taking it one day at a time, and that’s how you’ll reach your weight loss goals.
One Day at a Time: One Bite at a Time
I wore those green jeans yesterday and they still fit so I wasn’t dreaming. (This isn’t Mr. Green Jean’s jeans, but plain old green jeans). It’s the magic of healthier habits. Some years I don’t gain weight during the holidays and others I do. You are not like the Mars Rover being guided through life with someone else at the controls. You are holding the controller. It’s your choice what you eat every day.
Does it make sense to eat low carb cakes, puddings, pies, crackers? Low carb cookies, breads, everything high carb suddenly turned low carb by the magic of chemistry and funny math?
If you want to succeed on the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet for that matter steer clear of these modified food products. They won’t help you lose the desire to eat cookies, cakes and pies, but rather will keep you in the habit of eating them. Break that habit now and use EFT to lose the cravings for carbs.
Steer clear of low carb versions and if you want a piece of bread, eat good quality whole grain bread. A real piece of bread will satisfy your cravings. Just like with the low fat versions, you’ll be more likely to overeat the modified foods than if you just ate the regular version. Plus, it’s ridiculously expensive!
If you’re dying for a piece of fruit, for God’s sake, eat a piece of fruit. It’s idiotic to think an apple or an orange is fattening. I eat two or three pieces of fruit nearly every day, and I still get teenagers ogling me until I turn around and they recoil in horror since I’m nearly 50-years old! Now that’s funny, and I love it, so eat real food and you’ll be better off.
Experts have blamed the “low fat” diet for the current rates of obesity but that’s not true. It was the “low fat” version of high fat foods, low fat cookies, cakes and donuts, that hurt. People bought these and thought, “Hey, it’s low fat, I can eat a whole package!” without paying any attention to the overall calories, and the same thing is happening with the low carb products. “Hey, it’s low carb, I can eat the whole thing!” Don’t fool yourself, and don’t waste your money.
Something has gone horribly wrong when people will eat deep fried pig’s skin (pork rinds) but shun a fresh, crisp juicy apple.
The Atkins grocery is also a pet peeve. How is it helpful to provide tons of “low carb” cookies, cakes, pies, breads, cereals? It’s helpful to the Atkins Corporation’s bottom line but not your bottom. Those products are not a whole lot different than the real thing except they’re expensive.
Choose Good Carbs
If you are convinced you need more protein and less carbs, that is fine, but choose good carbs and avoid the heavily processed foods and you’ll be ahead of the game. Go through your cupboards today and see how many boxes you have of foods that started out wholesome but are now … dead. Check your grocery receipts next time you shop and see how many whole foods you buy compared to how many processed? Your grocery costs will drop substantially when you buy more produce, less boxed, pre-made foods.
How to Calculate Net Carbs
Today’s Advice: Eat More Fruit
Choose fresh fruit over juice, and real juice over soda pop. Avoid artificial sweeteners – eat a piece of fruit if you want a sweet. Drink more water. Wean yourself off sugary drinks. Even artificially sweetened drinks still cause you to crave sweets – get off them. If you drink four diet drinks a day, switch to three and one tall glass of water. Add a squeeze of lime if you absolutely must have flavor, but remember, if you lived in the forest, with no stores nearby, and you had a fresh stream of clear running water, it would be enormously pleasurable to take a nice, cold drink from that stream. We are meant to have pure water, and fresh food – let’s get back to basics.
Use EFT to get past the sticking points, especially if you have trouble with the idea of eating more fresh foods and less processed.
“Even though I hate drinking water, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I can’t stand drinks that aren’t sweet, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Think about what you eat that is artificial and what you eat that is real.
If only you’d get up a half hour earlier, think of what could be done? A quick early morning workout perhaps, or time for a real breakfast? I eat breakfast every day, and have long credited that habit with being instrumental in getting me off the nighttime snacking habit and into the eating for health habit. If only I was consistent with my exercise – I was once in very fit shape and the secret? Regular, consistent exercise.
I saw a TV program yesterday about a girl who’d lost a lot of weight and she’d done it by playing a video game. Yup, a video game. The game is called DDR, Dance, Dance, Revolution and it involves a vinyl platform on the floor in front of you with squares, X’s and Triangles, and by following the game you move your feet and/or arms in the direction indicated, effectively causing you to dance. She danced away about 90 pounds before she even realized what was happening. Find something you enjoy and do it consistently, and it can work for you too.
If you’re like me, you start every January with the same hope and promise. This year it’s going to be different – this is going to be the year I (fill in the blank). This year my goal is to adopt a clean diet habit – the same eating style I used to create a healthy frame with 14% body fat many years ago. It wasn’t difficult but it took effort – effort to give up some of my less than healthy habits like eating junk food for instance.
I’d like to invite you on my journey. I’m starting a blog to keep a journal of my progress which will enable you to see my techniques using NLP and EFT in action. I will write my thoughts, my failures and successes as I go through the next few weeks, so you can see exactly how I overcome issues such as not wanting to get up earlier, not wanting to take the time to cook, not wanting to do what I say I want to do. I face these same issues as you, every day, but I have methods to overcome them, and I put my methods into action.
Do you take action? Do you have methods that would work, if only (fill in the blank).
If only is something to strike from your vocabulary this year. My resolution? To stop saying “if only” and to start saying, “now that I.”
Now that I get up earlier I can get more done.
Now that I eat a clean diet I feel so much better.
Now that I exercise every day…
Get the idea? Join me this year, in finding your way to effectively put into action all your plans. Let’s make 2004 a year to remember!
Avoiding The Dreaded Plateau
We’ve all been there; that dreaded plateau, where despite our best efforts, nothing seems to be happening. That can be difficult to accept with our”instant breakfast” mentality, and it is exactly where many decide their efforts aren’t working. Wrong! That is exactly when things are working, inside, where they count. Think day-to-day, rather than minute-to-minute. Think long-term rather than short. Keep doing what you know is working, and you’ll reap the benefits.
Best Steps to Permanent Weight Loss
Keeping a tally or score on your weekly efforts is the best way to track your progress. Just like the stock market, the line will go down, then up, then down, then down, then up, while over time, if losing weight is your goal, then you will eventually reach your goal, if you are doing the things that support your efforts on a daily basis. Tracking daily may cause insanity due to the ups and down attributed to the foods you eat, the liquids you drink, whether you sweat, etc.
I don’t generally dictate what people should eat, but there are guidelines which depending on your size, if followed, will lead to less fat, more muscle, and better health overall.
Weight Loss Guidelines
Calories: How many? That depends on many variables including your muscle mass (requires more calories to be maintained) whether you exercise, and your basic resting metabolism. I eat close to 2,000 a day, so don’t think you have to eat 1,000 calories a day to drop weight. It’s simply not true. I’m active, and the more active I get, the more I can eat and still maintain my weight. I don’t count calories so much as I’m aware. If something I want to eat has a ton of calories (cheese fries?) then I’ll decide whether it’s worth it first.
Think of Day’s Calories as Bank Account
I won’t waste my calories on crummy food choices – such as I won’t nibble a stale cookie just because I see it sitting there as I walk by. I won’t grab a handful of peanuts out of the bowl that’s on the counter, even if it beckons because until I saw it, I didn’t want it. Stop mindlessly putting things in your mouth. Everything counts – make good choices. If you want it, have it, but make sure you want it, and there isn’t something else you’d rather have. My motto? I’d rather have cheesecake. If I see something, I first think, “Do I want it more than something else I could have” If yes, okay fine, I’ll have it. If not, I’ll wait for something better, go get something better, or just let it go, this time. There’s always a next time.
Eat Your Veggies
Three to four vegetable servings can be accomplished by eating a big salad with some non-fat dressing (Don’t waste your “fat” calories on salad dressings.) Frozen vegetables are great. Nature made them sweet, no need to add sauces, etc. Learn to eat a raw carrot, freshly pulled out of the ground is really great!
Eat Plenty Protein but Don’t go Overboard
Bacon is a treat, not a staple (way too fatty). Choose lean meats, and start eating wild fish. Tuna mixed with salsa, wrapped in a tortilla. Think outside the box.
Eat Fruit Everyday
. At least one piece, more is better. I know it’s got sugar. It’s supposed to be sweet. We crave sweet, nature set it up so we’d want to eat fruit – so surprise! We want to eat sweet. Big deal. Satisfy your sweet tooth naturally, and you’re less likely to be driven to eat junk.
Drink Plenty of Water
. Make an effort to drink six to eight glasses a day. Every day. Yes, that seems like a lot. Do you drink soft drinks? Start substituting water every few soft drinks. Consider how much money you’d save, if you need an incentive.
Movement and Exercise: Track your Movement
If you get five minutes of exercise, write that down. Five minutes every day is far better than no minutes every day. Start from the beginning and you can slowly build to more minutes. Find exercise you enjoy – it’s not supposed to be torture. If you don’t like it, you won’t continue.
More often is better than less, never less than three times a day, even six is fine. Every time you eat you stoke the metabolic fires – your furnace heats up, and you burn more calories just by being alive. Fuel the fire. If you are afraid to eat, that may be the biggest problem – you aren’t fueling your fire and so the fire is burning as little fuel as it can just to get by (slow calorie burn means sluggish metabolism). Hunger is not the enemy.
Don’t be afraid that if you eat more, or exercise more, that you’ll gain weight. That’s folly. Athletes tend to eat an enormous amount, but they only get fat when they stop exercising and don’t adjust their eating accordingly.
If you eat a clean diet (mostly), move your body (exercise), and get plenty of quality sleep, you’ll be healthy, happy, and your weight will fall in line with what is healthy for you. I know you want the end result now. We all want it now, but wouldn’t it be great if you could drop some weight and know it’s gone for good? Wouldn’t you like to stop the “losing it, only to gain it back” cycle?
Start Today: Notice Quantity Of What You Eat
I eat cereal most mornings, but now I measure it, because if I use my eye to judge, I’ll eat about twice as much. Why is that? I’ve grown accustom to a certain amount of food on my plate or in my bowl, and that plate is large. I’m used to the huge portions served in restaurants – I expect it. Some people actually share a dinner -would you consider doing that? Or take some home for tomorrow’s lunch. It makes the meal out a much better value too.
Remember, skip the bread unless it’s special. Dress your salads, don’t drown them, and don’t waste money and calories on beverages (drink water instead).
Just start noticing what you’re doing every day and you may find some places where small changes can produce the results you want. Don’t fear weight loss plateaus! Embrace them instead and enjoy the view. Give it a go and post me a comment to let me know what happens for you.