Chris here and to be clear I am not fat shaming! I may be discipline shaming just a little bit but not fat shaming.
In fact I am not even discipline shaming because I truly think that many of us find ourselves in situations in life that we have no idea how to handle despite trying many different things.
But let’s face it, there are way too many obese people in this country. There! I said it! It is true.
And it is a shame because obesity is not about how you look. It is about your health and your future years. You can be fit and happy for the rest of your life or you can be obese and sick. You can be there when your grandkids are growing up or not. Poor eating habits used to be merely a problem, now they are deadly.
There are several reasons for this modern epidemic of obesity. First off, the quality of our food supply has greatly decreased over the years. The food we buy just doesn’t have the nutrition we need. So called advances in agricultural technology has given us fruits and vegetables with vital enzymes removed. While this does make it less likely to rot on supermarket shelves, those enzymes that break down these food products and aid digestion are now missing.
For this reason alone, many people are lacking the vital enzymes required for digesting and have digestive issues. Have you seen how many acid reflux meds are on the market?
Inadequate digestion leads to deficiencies of vital nutrients and causes seemingly undiagnosable health problems. Things like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia were never as big a problem as they are now. Deficiencies make people chronically tired and cause pain.
Modern medicine is quick to prescribe psych drugs for these problems and has no thought for the breakdown of quality of our food supply and how it relates to overall health.
If you are sick or undernourished, you are depressed. Simple as that.
Additionally we have a huge population of people who are on one hand obese, and on the other hand starving through lack of real nutrition.
So if you are ballooning, your body could be craving vital nutrients even though you are taking in enough calories. If your body is trying to get what it needs it will make you eat. That is why you can eat a meal at McDonald’s which gives you all the calories your body needs for the day, and still be hungry.
Your body is trying to feed itself.
Get your sugar intake under control
For this you have to read labels. High fructose corn syrup has entered our food supply and is now found in many products you would not expect. High Fructose Corn Syrup adds a lot of unnecessary sugar to foods that never used to contain much sugar. Additionally sugar is now an additive to many foods that are not necessarily sweet. Thankfully, labels are now on most products and you can see exactly how much sugar they contain.
According to this article from the Mayo Clinic, women should consume no more than 100 calories or 6 tablespoons of sugar from any source and men should take in no more than 150 calories or 9 tablespoons.
This includes fruits and things like spaghetti sauce or breads which you wouldn’t think contained sugar but actually have added High Fructose Corn Syrup or other sweeteners.
Now, when you are addicted to sugar and yes, it is a serious addiction, it may seem impossible to get it under control but there are effective ways to handle it.
First sit down and work out how much sugar you are taking in daily. This requires you to confront the current situation and be truthful about the amount even if the truth blows you out of your chair.
Second, figure out ways to reduce it little by little. You can’t just eliminate it completely if you are currently eating a lot. Give yourself two weeks (or three or even more) and work out mathematically how many grams of sugar you need to reduce daily to get to the ideal. (One gram of sugar is equal to about 4 calories)
If you are a soda drinker, switch to a stevia sweetened soda like Zevia. There are also several stevia sweetened powdered lemonades and fruit punches in the supermarkets currently so you chose a great time to get fit.
Be aware that a 32 ounce coke contains 2,280 calories and a whopping 329 grams of sugar.
This one soda exceeds the daily calorie requirement for the vast majority of women. I will go into the calorie portion of weight management later but understand that no one has any business drinking a 32 ounce sugary soda and if that is part of your regular food plan, you are probably already obese and having diabetic or related issues.
Sugar is a killer and it is addictive as hell. You do not have to eliminate it entirely but you do have to get it under control.
I have been weight conscious all my life. First I was a dancer and had to show up in a leotard every day. I had to maintain the proper balance of calories with the physical work my body was doing and I admit, I did not do it correctly. I did have health problems later and had to completely revamp my eating habits to get my health back.
The only way I have been able to maintain any control over my weight has been to count calories.
By trial and error I have found that my calorie intake must be around 1600-1700 per day to avoid gaining weight.
Every body is different and you must work this out for yourself. I am 5’7″ and the above works when I am pretty sedentary. As I begin to exercise regularly, the calories can increase but only after I have put on lean muscle mass. Right now I am recovering from an injury that has limited my motion so the above calorie count is working. As I increase my lean muscle mass, I may be able to add a couple hundred calories per day.
Nowadays everyone has a calorie counter via Google. You can find out on the fly exactly how many calories are in anything. Make sure you are correct with the portion sizes and again eliminate calories a little at a time until you are losing weight if that is what you want, or maintaining.
Track everything you eat for a few weeks and soon you will get into the habit. This has been by far, the most successful method of keeping weight under control long term.
Weigh yourself daily. Yes there are fluctuations in weight but if, after a day or so your weight is up, you need to dial back a few cals.
This is related to calorie counting. The portions you get in restaurants are huge and if you eat out a lot and eat everything they give you, you will get fat. There are several websites that give you a visual of what 100 calories looks like. You can do the math and estimate based on what you see there if you don’t want to weigh everything.
Get the body moving!
In my last point, I mentioned lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is the Holy Grail of weight loss or maintenance. A body that has more lean muscle mass will burn more calories even when it is at rest.
Knowing this, you can get your body to burn calories just by working the areas of your body that have more muscle. Legs and butt have a lot of muscle so working them regularly will up your calorie burning. Abs are also a good area to build whereas eyelids might not give you as much calorie burning momentum.
A general overall body workout done for two to three weeks can make a huge difference not only in calorie burning but also in the way you look and the way your clothes fit.
Muscle weighs more than fat so a muscular body that weighs the same as a flaccid body will look thinner and more compact.
Add to that the fact that you have more energy, more flexibility and more strength and you can see that one of the best health changes you can make is to get the body moving.
I have been all over Youtube looking for a good beginner’s workout and ran across this one. I like it because it starts out at a pace that will not make you so sore you cannot keep it up. Plus, a little bit every day adds up and you will see results in a few weeks.
As I said earlier, our food supply is pretty sad as far as necessary nutrients are concerned. Everyone in America unless they grow their own food, is nutritionally deficient in some area.
A simple handling for that is to take a good vitamin supplement every day. I have researched and tried many but the best is Daily Vites from Dr. Price. I take these and I feel the difference right away, If I go off them for a few days, I start feeling tired and listless.
If you have trouble sleeping, Dr. Price also has Sleep Vites which give your body what it needs to relax and allow it to sleep. A malnourished body will not sleep well. It knows it is in danger. These vites give it the fuel it needs to stop worrying about its own survival.
Another nutrient that can be overlooked is the protein requirement. Many people have gone vegetarian and vegan. While this can be a healthy way to go you must research how to get the COMPLETE proteins that your body needs.
A complete protein is one that contains all the necessary amino acids that your body requires. If you are not eating meat, you have to learn to combine the vegetables and legumes in such a way as to provide these vital nutrients.
Additionally you may have mineral imbalances. If you live in a hot environment you may need salt and potassium as well as electrolytes. You can find these at Dr. Price’s site as well.
If you do not want to do your own research, see a qualified nutritionist who can help you set up meal plans that will give your body what it needs.
Have your hormones checked.
With a poor food supply, certain glands in the body stop working. If the body is struggling, your adrenal glands can start working overtime and burn out. Many women have thyroid problems that are under diagnosed or mistreated. These can make you gain weight even if you are eating very few calories.
I have an under-active thyroid and although I was taking thyroid meds, it was not helping. The reason was that I was not deficient in the thyroid hormone but that my body was not assimilating it. I needed to go with a thyroid supplement that provided the T3 and T4 hormones which allow the body to absorb the thyroid stimulating hormone in order to correct the situation. Sometimes it takes finding the right doctor too. I went to several before one of them found the correct solution.
If a doctor tries to convince you that your fatigue is all in your head and suggests psych meds, immediately find another doctor.
Women especially have radical hormone changes throughout their lives. It is good to have them checked and any deficiencies addressed.
The body is a delicate balance between vitamins, minerals and hormones. Care must be taken to maintain this balance.
Eliminate fast food completely
I will not bore you with how bad fast food is for you. I will let the amazing Jamie Oliver fill you in. He has been on a mission to educate parents and kids about the dangers of poor eating habits and makes a great case for avoiding fast food.
The burger meat used in most fast food has been processed and toxic chemicals have been added to the point where it is harmful to eat it.
The fat content in fried foods are out the roof and the calories counts are extremely high. One Big Mac has over 500 calories. When you start adding fries and sodas in you have eaten your entire allotment of calories for the day in one meal! And since this food gives very little nutrition to your body, you will be hungry soon after eating it.
If you must have a hamburger, cook one at home. If you don’t know how to cook, find some youtube videos and learn. It could save your life and make the life you have way more worth living.