Will somebody please tell me the truth?!?!?!?
The Atkins Diet – Protein & fat w/ low carb veggies.
The Dukan Diet – Protein & NO fat/low carb veggies on alternating days.
The Mediterranean Diet – Plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains & fish.
Vegan – Vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and soy.
The Zone – Combining an exact ratio of protein, fat and carbs at every single meal to control blood sugar.
Vegetarian – Everything except animal protein.
Pescatarian – A vegetarian who eats fish.
Weight Watchers – Anything and everything in reasonable amounts – budgeted as an allowance type of system.
Meal Delivery Systems – Highly processed in very small portions, usually extremely high in sodium.
You are probably familiar with most or all of these. I have fully committed to each and every one of these over the years with results that were all over the map. Some made me sick, some made me feel a whole lot better but didn’t help me lose weight, but taking certain parts from each and every one of them helped me lose 175lbs.
Each approach has devout followers. Each one has many success stories. But what about you? Which one is the one for you?
What is your own personal largest obstacle to achieving weight loss?
If it’s blood sugar related – which is extremely common – then I highly suggest reading The Zone, by Dr. Barry Sears. I’ve kept the principles of that book with me for over the last 10 years and know that no matter what plan I’m following, I use those tools to keep my blood sugar rock solid. Because of that book I kept my hypoglycemia (pre-diabetes) from actually becoming diabetes. The Zone principals are worth their weight in gold.
If it’s portion control related – I would suggest something like Weight Watchers, where you have to pay really close attention to the volume of your food. You learn to take note of calories and serving sizes and what an appropriate amount of food really looks like. There are also all of the pre measured plans that take away all the work on your part, such as Jenny Craig. This feature is nice but you have to be very careful as the more processed the food the less nutrients you are getting. Yes you’ll lose weight, but you may also become a bit malnourished too. If your food has a shelf life of a Twinkie – it’s really not good. Ideal Protein is a plan which originated in France and is a mostly pre measured plan but I think it’s one of the healthiest ones out there if you want to get serious and get those extra lbs off.
After having lived spans of my life on every one of these – I’ve learned how to take the parts from each and customize a plan that works for me (keeping each of them gluten-free, of course). You will learn what makes your body thrive; which types of foods give you energy while making you lean and healthy. You’ll also learn that different parts of your life call for different plans. That’s a good thing! It’s fun to keep fine-tuning your foods to keep reaching better and better levels of health and well-being.
I’m in my first week of my new “Ideal Protein” diet. I’m feeling really energetic! I know I’ve lost several pounds so far and am anxious to see what my first week’s official loss will be. It’s absolutely amazing how different I feel when I get the excess carbs out of my system. Last weekend (higher carb) I slept late, felt groggy and had little energy. This weekend I woke up early and didn’t feel sleepy or tired all day! The doctor who presented the Ideal Protein plan to me summed it up in a way that was so simple and easy to understand:
We have three “gas tanks” our bodies can get fuel from. The first is carbs & sugar. Our bodies always take it’s fuel from there first. So as long as we are eating grains, fruits, bread and pasta that will be what our bodies run off of – even when we’re working out. The second gas tank our body will go to if there aren’t any carbs and sugars in the body is protein & muscle. This of course is bad, as we need to hang onto our precious muscle! But if we’re getting enough protein from the right sources then the body will get all of it’s energy from the third gas tank, the fat. Makes sense, doesn’t it? If we are getting relatively low carbs, almost exclusively from non starchy veggies and enough protein (the exact values are different for each person) then we’ll run off of our stored fat. When you begin running off of your body’s fat you start to feel like a new person!
- More energy
- Require less sleep
- Scale moves down quickly
- Inches lost
- Ability to think more clearly
These are all of my own personal observations but the effects seem to be standard.
I go back to the doctor to weigh in and find out how my body fat % has changed this week. Very excited to see!
After feeling really discouraged from falling off the 800 calorie per day wagon I wasn’t sure in which direction I would go next. The light at the end of the tunnel was illuminated when a friend told me about someone she knew who was losing the last 20lbs she needed to lose on a Dr. supervised diet which advocated eating 500 calories per day and almost no carbs at all. Wow, seriously? I couldn’t handle eating only 800 calories so how in the world would I get through my day on 500? But I’m game to try almost anything so I dove in head first.
For a week I ate 2 eggs fried in a little Earth Balance for breakfast, 5 oz baked turkey breast for lunch (covered in mustard, my new best friend), and a couple Tilapia fish fillets cooked in a little Earth Balance for dinner. I drank tons of Smart Water (extra electrolytes) and several cups of coffee and tea per day sweetened with no carb stevia. I did have the sensation of my stomach being empty quite a bit which is a feeling that I still find unsettling. But I quickly realized that there were no cravings at all! I had tons of energy and my mind was crystal clear. I experienced no sleepiness at all during the day either. So, at the end of the week I’ve lost 7 lbs. I feel great and wish I could follow this plan for the rest of my life. I know it’s a very short term thing, just to get over my weight loss plateau, but I’ve proven to myself yet again how bad carbs can make me feel. Now I’ll add in a variety of non-starchy vegetables to the protein and see what happens. REALLY need to start exercising soon…
I was a bit nervous about putting myself on a 750-800 calorie per day plan. I made a grave mistake by not counting the carbs and thought that since the calories were so low, I could “reward” myself with a few extra carbs. The carbs came from things like raisins, tomato soup, butternut squash soup and LOTS of peanut butter. Now the total carbs were still very low, but for me they were just too high (maybe around 30 grams) . I felt like I was starving to death! I lost 4lbs after getting through the first week but then midway through the second week I couldn’t stand the cravings any longer and started eating everything in sight! I didn’t eat anything I wouldn’t normally eat but ate tons more of the foods I had already been eating.
I absolutely hated being that out of control, it was such a miserable feeling. By the time I came to my senses I had gained the 4 lbs I’d just lost! Back to the drawing board. I still can’t exercise much at all so I need to focus primarily on getting those last 20lbs off via diet. Sigh…
I have never counted calories – ever. I can’t think of anything more tedious because 99% of my food is not processed so there’s no handy listing of nutritional info on a box. I haven’t weighed and measured my food since attending Weight Watchers in the 80’s. That’s why this experiment will be so painful for me, well one of the reasons. But I am willing to take one for the team and devise a pescatarian, low carb, sugar free, gluten free, 1200 calorie a day menu.
I have thirty pounds more to lose and I need to shake things up to get the scale moving again. I’d LOVE to reach my goal by mid-summer. I’ll follow said menu for a week while sticking to my current 2x per day/6 day per week workout schedule to see what effect there is on my weight loss efforts. I’ll decide after the week is completed if I want to continue or revise. Time to head to the kitchen to start calculating!