Friday, July 27, 2012

Losing Weight

Hello everyone, and happy Friday.

Today I’d like to talk about something that I have wanted to talk about for a while. That is how to lose weight. People think that you need fancy pills or a gym membership to lose weight. I simply do not think that. There are, however, a few things that I think the public should know about when it comes to weight loss and eating lifestyle choices in general.

Eating things that are low in calorie are good. BUT! Does that mean you should drink a diet soda along with your super large cheeseburger and extra fries? No. Diet soda has a chemical called aspartame in it. Aspartame is a chemical that is used as a non-calorie sweetener for things like gum and diet soda. It breaks down to residual chemicals in the body. These chemicals are: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. It can then be further broken down into formaldehyde (you know, that stuff they put dead bodies in so they won’t break down). The carbonation in the soda also causes dehydration and bloating. So you want to drink more, which make you even more bloated and dehydrated. Funny how that works, huh?

Not to mention, you are still eating over a thousand calories of food in one sitting!

A similar thought process would be using all “light” or “low/no fat” items. The issues with these are that they are full of chemicals. They have things that the average person has no idea what it is (for example, “calcium disodium EDTA” in my roommate’s light Caesar dressing. By the way, calcium disodium EDTA is a chemical that removes heavy metals in the body and is toxic in high doses.) My personal rule of thumb is to never eat anything that advertises that it is lower in fat than it used to be or the same brand in regular fat. This really just means loaded with chemicals and doesn’t taste as good. Just buy the regular kind and use less, or eliminate it all together.

Another diet some people adhere to be a vegetarian or a vegan to lose weight. I have much love for vegetarians and vegans, but I have my issues with it. First, just because it does not have meat does not mean it is low in calories. You can eat a pound of pasta with a stick of butter and still have it be vegetarian. But that will not help you lose weight. Humans require protein. There are ways to combine the various incomplete proteins to make a whole protein (an example being rice and beans). There are also non-animal examples of perfect proteins like quinoa and soy. I would not recommend this as a way to lose weight. I would, however, suggest this if you are a person who does not like the taste of meat or the knowledge of eating flesh. Just make sure you are getting enough protein and getting good quality food in you.

There’s another diet that I am very interested in. It’s called the Paleo diet. It’s a diet that is designed to be like the diet of human ancestors of the Paleolithic era. The diet is very meat heavy. It eliminates the consumption of corn, potato, grains and diary. So pretty much the diet is eating a steak and fresh, organic veggies. I love the diet, I think it’s delicious and does wonders for people’s bodies when done correctly. But, there are a few issues that come along with it. It’s expensive. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to find food. With out the proper exercise plan, you can gain weight. This diet was originally designed to accompany a strict, and brutal, work out routine. But honestly, if you don’t exercise with any diet, you can gain weight.

Whatever you eat, eat well and remember that calories in needs to equal calories out in order to maintain weight. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. There are easy ways to do this that do not involve a gym. Walk around the neighborhood, tend to your garden, take the stairs more often, park at the back of the parking lot, get an at-home work out video, or play with your kids or dog. Easy, fun and have many benefits.

Being active is the key to losing weight. You can do it even while doing things you would already do. When you’re relaxing and watching TV after a long day at work, do some crunches or jumping jacks during the commercial break. They do not last for more than 4 minutes (and let’s be real, no one likes to watch commercials anyways). It’s the little things that count! Every calorie counts! There are 3500 calories per pound of fat in the body. That’s a lot of jumping jacks! But we can do it!

Have a lovely night and I’ll have another post tomorrow!

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