The more you are able to avoid white flour and white sugar, the easier it will be to obtain, and maintain a healthy weight. Another reason to avoid white flour/sugar, is that after you eat it, it artificially increases your desire to eat again. It’s a rebound effect. It’s like the drug heroine in a way–by hitting all your pleasure centers quickly, and then releasing just as quickly–leading you to want more. This is why white flour/sugar is a double whammy. I can’t think of any other type of food that will do this to you–Causing weight gain both ways from the actual calories consumed and from the calories you are yet to consume later on due to it’s influence on you to continue eating more white flour/sugar.
This is also why I never use the word “carbs” when talking to patients about food. Some of the very best foods we can eat to lose and maintain healthy weight are “carbs”. We may consider being very careful about that word. Some examples of healthy “carbs” include: Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, onion, kale, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, apples, oranges, blueberries, etc. etc. You get the point. There are also very bad “carbs” out there as well, like bread (yes, bread), cake, cookies, croutons (in your healthy salad), crackers, snacks, sodas (yes, even the so-called diet sodas), even all those “healthy” yogurts and granola bars that are loaded with sugar.
While exercise is a great idea to maintain a healthy heart, it is actually not the best way to lose a lot of weight. Think about it–you go to the gym and get on a treadmill for 30 minutes and burn off 400 calories. Then on the way home you stop at the coffee shot for a latte that’s 400 calories as a reward for working out. Good and healthy weight loss is dependent on good and healthy knowledge. You need to know that about 90% of your weight loss will occur by controlling what you put in your mouth. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate anything with a label. If sugar is in the top 3 ingredients listed, don’t eat it.
Stop eating bread. You will not lose weight if you don’t stop eating bread. Yes, even the whole-grain stuff. A lot of people eat a heavy meat (Atkins or Paleo) diet to lose weight. While this is indeed effective at weight loss, it is not a very good long term solution for heart disease and cancer prevention. If you’re going to start with a heavy meat diet for weight loss, I wouldn’t advise it for more than 3 months. You can get plenty of protein from plant based foods, including beans, lentils, quinoa, and nuts.
Learn how to hydrate yourself without flavoring. I can not tell you how many people I see who think that drinking “diet soda” will help them with their weight loss. It won’t. You know, water tastes fantastic after you’re able to wean yourself off all the sweeteners, flavors, and additives. If you need something, get some lemon (not lemonade, LOL) to spruce it up a little. Eat between a 10 and 12 hour window every day. So if you eat breakfast at 8am, eat no later than 8pm. Night time snacks are a big no-no. Never do night time snacks. It will steal your success like a thief in the night.
Eating healthy is a lifetime of choices, made every single day of our lives. It is so deeply personal to us, so deeply rooted in our culture, our identity. That’s why it’s such a darn sensitive topic to discuss! I tell you just like I tell all my patients who want to lose weight, “I care about you. I want to help you. I am not trying to offend you. I want to be on your team”. It takes making intentional, conscious choices each and every time we reach for food or drink. If you are snacking between your meals, next time ask yourself “Do I really want to be doing this? Do I really need this?” Then find another way to distract your attention. Medications like phentermine and Qsymia or Plenity can help, but they are only crutches. Crutches aren’t intended to be used forever. Neither are these. Until next time, peace and love to all!