- Diet & Weight Loss
Diet ideas: what is best for you?
There are a million things to say about diets, and there are a million diets to fit everyone’s needs – or so it seems. But, what is the best way to find the right diet for you? How will you know?
As a person who has struggled with her weight and someone who has lost great amounts of weight, I feel I can provide a wealth of information. Approximately 6 years ago I lost over 150 pounds. Two years ago I had my beautiful daughter and I gained about 50 pounds back over those last two years. So, here I am getting back on the diet plan. I have a bit of knowledge to share with you.
Does the word diet provoke fear?
This was the first one I tried after my daughter was born. The basic idea is that you remove the carbohydrates or carbs from your diet and your body will be forced to burn the extra energy saved as fat. This is a very smart diet as it chronicles the exact types of food you can have for different types of weight loss. Initially, during the first 2 (or more depending on the amount of weight you want to lose) you are only allowed to have 20 grams of carbs. There are different levels that a person passes through to complete the atkins process, but each one encourages that you eat healthy unprocessed foods. If you would like to consider this diet, I recommend that you visit the official website and order the startup packet. It is free, it comes with 3 atkins bars (which don’t taste as bad as I feared) and a couple of very useful booklets on what you can and cannot eat.
My personal take: Although it seems like a smart diet, and I did lose 8 pounds, it only lasted a few short weeks for me. I should say that their bars and drinks do not taste like the roof shingles I imaginedn they would taste like. It was actually not bad. However, it is good to remember that you can’t eat more than 2 of either of those things a day. Also, for my 1st and 2nd week, I was extremely tired all the time. I scarcely had the energy to move and was almost always in bed shortly after my daughter. I like carbohydrates too much to manage this diet. I encourage anyone to try it but keep note: carbs are getting a bad rap, but they are needed for things like brain function. It is important to keep a balance. Whole grain carbohydrates are good for our body.
The candida diet
This is a diet you may or may not hear a lot about. However, it is good because it makes people more aware of the inner workings of our body. It is good to be aware of your candida levels because doctors and nurses will never check for this sort of thing even though it is the cause of a thousand different medical problems. The program makes a lot of sense for anyone who is familiar with their levels of candida, but it is a very difficult diet to manage. The basic principle is that you remove all foods that candida feeds upon like white foods, sugar, bread, and yeast you’d find in yogurt. Basically, for the first bit you are allowed to eat only raw salads and steamed veggies; preferably organic. During this time you may feel a “die off” period as the bad bacteria in your body begins to die and go away, allowing for healthy function of your body. I tried this because it offered the possibility of mental clarity and weight loss. Still, I only lasted two weeks on this diet. I couldn’t handle just veggies, and the die off phase they talk about was truly brutal for me. It felt as if my innards were crying. My recommendation is instead of going full candida diet, try limiting your sugar intake and get a good probiotic. (I will have a link to some at the bottom of the page).
If it sounds too good to be true - it usually is
The diet pill
I won’t mention what diet pill I took because I do not want to influence anyone in that direction. I would just like to educate people on the options. I searched long and hard for the “right” pill, and I wound up taking one that was the most advertised (I do not recommend this at all). My reaction was bad, but I am more sensitive to caffeine and stimulants. I was twitchy, nervous and I had a feeling of impending doom. After further review I found that diet pills are basically only a short term solution. If you are looking to lose a little bit of weight before a wedding, or for another gathering, I could see the diet pill working, but it would not be good for anything else. Most pills stimulate a person in a way that makes them move more and often eat less. This will naturally burn calories, but it is no long term solution. To maintain weight loss, you need a plan you can live with for the rest of your life. Even if you were to acclimate yourself to taking diet pills for the rest of your life, the diet pills would eventually not work as your body would get used to them.
the 200 mile diet
This diet was the one I started off with when I lost the 150 pounds. It is a diet that is good for the environment and good for your community, but it is a difficult diet and not recommended for long term. Basically, you dedicate yourself to not only monitoring calories, but you can only eat things that come from within 200 miles of where you live. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota so things like mangos, kiwis and bananas are out.
It really taught me a lot about the vegetation of my community and it got me eating my veggies. I was able to keep this diet for a month, as I started in summer time when all the best edibles are available. I would say that this diet was educational and healthy, but this is not something a person could dedicate themselves to for a lifetime. My greatest recommendation is to find a diet you can stick with forever.
Do you think "bark" when you think organic - think again
The organic diet
This is the diet I picked up after I stopped the 200 mile diet and with this diet I lost the remainder of my 150 pounds 6 years ago. It is also the diet I just started after I tried the diet “fads” mentioned in previous sections, and I am currently feeling great about it. It is more expensive, but it is worth the money. I found this to be the diet for me as I feel better about dedicating myself to this for life. Most people who grow organics also believe in sustainable fair trade foods, which means that from beginning to end, the food you are eating is coming from a good place. This particular diet allows for removal of really bad junk foods because you won’t really find them in the organic variety. This diet does not require the hard-core dedication that others would require because all you have to do is switch your foods to organic. You can still enjoy sweets and chips, but they are better. It is still recommended that you monitor your calories, but since organic foods require extra diligence you will most likely find yourself making healthier decisions as a whole.
The best diet for me
I want to make sure to mention that although the diet is very important, it needs to be coupled with exercise. I did not lose the weight by diet alone. It is very important that you start or rev up your exercise plan because it is really 50/50 with diet and exercise. You need to keep both in mind. I started out uncomfortable with exercise, but now if I don’t get to exercise at least twice a week I am unhappy. If you are unaccustomed to exercise then you can start small. Walking for 30 minutes is a good start, or taking stairs. Every little bit of effort helps. This is a lifelong feat.
I have found after trying these diets that it is best to combine all the knowledge I gained from the various attempts and keep learning to be the best that I can be. Realize that a diet plan will take time. Nothing worth having is easy. And, to add to all this, I am sure they will have new advances in science every day that may change the way we diet. It is good to keep learning and take all the advice you can get. Even if you don’t follow the advice, at least you have put the effort to change the way you think so you can change what you would like to change. You have to find something you can live with for the rest of your life. It is also important that we are aware of what we are putting in our mouths. You would be surprised on the ingredients in everything. It is very important to know that complex or processed foods will stay with you longer in a bad way. The healthiest and the most reliable diets are the ones that don’t remove the pounds in a week, but the ones that give you freedom to eat and be happy while losing weight. Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for, they will give us each different signs and we need to pay attention. We need to treat our bodies with respect and listen. Maybe those chips sound good now, but will they leave you feeling better later. Think about it and you will eventually become in tune with your body.
Have fun and enjoy - that's the best diet advice
Even with all this information, I have a couple tricks that you can easily implement to jump start you into any diet plan you choose; in no particular order.
- Start a food journal: Even if you don’t change your eating habits, if you are able to write down every single piece of sustenance that enters your mouth you will start to notice patterns. Once you become conscious of what you are doing, you are more prepared and able to make changes. Studies show that people who are able to dedicate themselves to a food journal lose weight. It took me a couple months to get it down, but right after I did, I lost 10 pounds because I noticed patterns in my eating. It was easy to make a change once I realized what I was doing
- Play with your food: Go ahead, be a kid. Play with your food while you are eating. Move separate foods around so they make a smiley face. Make a battle scape on your plate as you eat. It will allow the food you’re eating to digest and cause you to feel full before you eat more.
- Take small bites: Anything to slow down your food intake will help. Think about it, if you are consciously taking smaller bites, you will be more aware of how much you’ve eaten, and you’ll notice yourself feeling full faster. Even if you are eating a food that is considered bad, and you plan on eating the whole plate full, at least this way you can enjoy it with each bite, and you will probably notice yourself getting full before everything is done.
- Enjoy your food: If you are on a diet you feel a certain stigma towards one food or another and then whether you liked the food previously, you’ll notice you can’t stop thinking about it. I personally am not a huge fan of tiramisu, but I found myself dreaming about it the moment I couldn’t have any. Then, it was harder to keep myself from breaking the diet rules when I was hit with a surprise rendezvous with the things I couldn’t have. Treat food like what it really is; nurishment and be happy to be eating. Nonetheless, it is important to remember to keep an eye on what you’re eating. The skinny girl expert says keep an 80/20 attitude towards food. “Keep on diet 80% of the time and live a little 20% of the time”.
- Realize the difference between ”really hungry” and “emotionally hungry”. This is a huge issue for most people, myself included. When we are bored, tired, sad, angry, or even happy we will eat, and usually depending on the mood, we may eat something less than desirable. When we’re tired or sad we may head for the least healthy items of food and that won’t be good for the bottom line. Try taking a big glass of water or eating a mint and think about what we want to eat. Ask yourself “Am I really hungry, or am I just wanting to eat?”
- Drink LOTS of water. We’ve heard it before, and now is no exception. Water is truly the key to a better life, so drink up as much as you can.
- Snack often instead of eating full meals. Our metabolism increases and decreases with each meal, if we are constantly keeping our bodies busy, it will be easier for it to turn up and burn stored energy (fat cells).
- Take vitamins. I am in no way a physician but there are a couple key nutrients that can really help with weight loss. A lot of studies show that people who take a regular calcium pill are hungrier less. You shouldn’t expect results immediately, but over time as you take it regularly, you will notice a drop in appetite. A multi vitamin will ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need and allow your body to function more efficiently. *I recommend iherb.com as it has a variety of healthy, organic drugs you won’t find in stores and you can use code TUK551 for $5 off your order.
For a variety of healthy, organic vitamins, probiotics and even weight loss supplements, you can visit www.iherb.com and use the discount code TUK551 for $5 off your first order and you can also get free shipping for orders over $20
For more information about the atkins diet and the start up pack I mentioned previously go to: http://community.atkins.com/registration.aspx?mcid=dig2012semggl?utm_source=google&utm_medium=PPCsrc&utm_content=Off2wkKit&utm_campaign=branded&gclid=CNXEgrXCrrACFeUBQAodaGT3Sw
For more information on the candid diet you can visit: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/