Thursday, February 19, 2009
A Slice of My Life - Fighting Fat After Forty
At this time in my life I'm trying to do better with my health. I have put on a few pounds slowly over time and haven't been exercising as much as I did at one time.
I've thought and thought about how to lose some pounds and get back into shape. In the past I've read many books and tried many different things, some of which did not work at all, some of which I really think did work for me. For one thing, I CANNOT do low carb! Maybe I'm a carb addict, but I'm not going back to that plan again.
I decided to combine all the things that worked for me in the past. Here's a list:
1. Fiber. Eating a high fiber diet helps me to lose weight. I think this is because it makes me feel fuller and more satisfied. The diet I eat when I'm not paying attention is very low fiber. I think if I can get 25 grams of fiber each day, that would be helpful for not only controlling my appetite, but also for my digestive system!
2. Stop eating when you are full. There are a couple of older books out there about the Weigh Down Diet, by Gwen Shamblins. I do not agree with a lot of what's in the book, but the basic idea is that you stop eating as SOON as you start to feel the least bit full. You eat slowly. For many people this cuts the amount of food they eat down by half. Only eat when you are really hungry. She doesn't worry about what you are eating at all, just the amount. The reasoning behind this is: 1. You are eating less of the bad food this way. 2. God didn't make chocolate for us to do without it. LOL. All foods are meant for our enjoyment, just not too much of it at one time!
3. Accumulate exercise. I am currently reading a book called, "Fight Fat Over Forty". The author states that all your exercise does not have to be in one session. You can accumulate it throughout the day. For instance, this morning I walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes. I will walk to the courthouse at work 2 or 3 times today which is not a lot, but adds up to about 10 minutes total. At lunch I plan to walk for about 20 minutes, weather permitting. So at the end of the day I will have walked 45 minutes. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. This idea also includes things like parking in the furthermost away parking space, using the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.
The author of this book also states that every woman over 40 who doesn't cut her calorie intake and increase her activity level WILL gain weight! AAARGH! Our metabolism slows down and we lose muscle and therefore just don't burn as many calories. Also our hormones are changing and we start to accumulate tummy fat, also known as a menopot!
4. Watch serving sizes. I eat way too much of the food I eat. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach! I am trying to eat correct portion sizes and then stop. If I can wait a few minutes, usually my "full hormone" kicks in and I'm ok. I really have a problem with this at night. After I eat a sufficient meal, I want to keep right on eating by getting a bowl of cereal or some chips.
5. Choose healthy choices at fast food restaurants. Number one, I need to be prepared so that I don't eat at fast food restaurants to begin with. But, if I'm not organized and need some food, there are some decent choices at McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger King. Side salads, chili, baked potato, even a junior hamburger isn't too bad. Just use some self control.
Not like this!
6. Drink Water: I don't like to drink water, but it does help and I know its good for me and I need to drink more. So I'm trying to do that.
7. Special K and Slim Fast. I have tried both of these diets and I'm just too hungry on them. But, they do help me when used along with other plans. A Slim Fast for breakfast will hold me over until I can get a mid morning snack. An occasional bowl of Special K, Raisin Bran or Cheerios for supper is good and saves a lot of calories. Just not every night!
So, tell me, what works for you?
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