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Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Does it Take to Lose 55 Pounds

If I had to sum up in a single word what it takes to lose a lot of weight, and keep it off, that word would be acceptance. Oh certainly, determination is an important word too, but acceptance is what finally made the difference for me.

I had to accept the fact that I had to eat in a very proscribed way for the rest of my life, or I would never lose the weight I needed to lose, and most definitely would not keep it off. It's like being an alcoholic or a drug addict. They know that they can't have just one, or a little of anything they are addicted to. It simply leads to more. So I changed my mind set. I can't live to eat, I must eat to live. What that meant for me is, no added salt, no sugar, no simple carbs, very little fat, no processed food. This diet isn't for a day or a month, it is for the rest of my life. 

Giving up salt was the hardest part of my diet. I don't even cook with salt, and I eat almost no processed foods. Food is bland without salt. I try to substitute fresh  herbs,  rice vinegar and mustard, but salt, oh how I miss salt. Sugar comes from fruit, oil comes from nuts and salmon, and carbs come from oatmeal in the morning. 

Here's an interesting little bit of news:

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Fabulous Fiber
Take two people of the same age and height; one is normal weight, the other is overweight. What accounts for the difference? Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin studied the dietary intakes of 100 people, half in each weight category. They found that diets were similar in consumption of sugar, dairy products and breads, but different in fiber intake. The normal-weight people ate 33 percent more dietary fiber and 43 percent more complex carbohydrates than the overweight group.

Fiber-rich foods are generally low in calories and fats, yet they’re bulky enough to provide a feeling of being full. Here are some ways to increase your fiber:
  • Jump-start your day. For breakfast choose a high-fiber cereal – 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. Opt for cereals with "bran" or "fiber" in the name.
  • Switch to whole grains. Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label and with at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Experiment with brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur.
  • Mix it up. Add pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables to soups and sauces. For example, mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce or toss fresh baby carrots into stews. Add high fiber fruit such as pears, raspberries, strawberries to salads, cereal, yogurt, salsas or as a topping for any dessert.
  • Get a leg up with legumes. Eat more beans, peas and lentils. Add kidney beans to canned soup or a green salad.
  • Eat fruit at every meal. Apples, bananas, oranges, pears and berries are good sources of fiber.
  • Make snacks count. Fresh and dried fruit, raw vegetables, low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crackers are all good choices. An occasional handful of nuts are also a healthy, high-fiber snack.
Next week I'll share what the weight loss has done for my health. Amaaazing!


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