Safe and Effective Dieting

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It’s been a little over a week since I’ve written a blog post. I was really focused and determined to finish my auto-immune elimination. There wasn’t really anything exciting to report. I was just trying to get through it and be 100% compliant. There were times (many actually) when I wanted to cheat. But, I was honestly feeling so much better than I had in a really long time, I didn’t want to short change myself.

Last week I started adding in foods. You are supposed to add in 1 food at a time every three days and see if you have any reactions. I’m leaving for Mexico in two days. I’m super excited, but I am a little scared of getting sick while I’m there since my diet has been so clean. Since I am leaving for Mexico, I decided to start adding things back in that I will most likely be eating in Mexico. I added in corn first, then tomatoes and peppers. I’ve done fine with all of them, with the exception of red pepper. It makes my skin itch. Totally random and weird. I’m also pretty sure that corn (in the form of tortilla chips) makes me crave other things such as sugar. So, I’ve decided that is not going to be a staple in my diet.

What has been really great about the elimination phase is that you eliminate possible allergens and things that can be inflammatory. Then when you start adding things back in, you are really aware of the reactions your body has. It has been very enlightening. I feel great and have so much more energy. It has also taught me that this journey is not about a number on the scale, but about my health. It’s taken me awhile to get there. For me, it’s no longer about dieting and it’s about fueling my body with the things that are healthy and that it likes.

I’m no longer dieting, but I know a lot of you are. So, today I want to talk about save dieting.

Let’s be frank, there is nothing sexy about a safe diet. There is no sensational superfood guaranteed to make you drop weight in five days, there are no super vitamins and shakes to consume; there are no fancy diet names and no accompanying diet books that must be read.

There is no secret to safe dieting. Safe dieting is slow, sensible, simple, and sustainable:

1. First off, speak to your doctor. He or she will be able to advise you on how much you should be aiming to lose, how fast you should lose it, and what sort of diet will suit you and your lifestyle. They will also advise you on how dieting may interact with any pre-existing health condition you might have.

2. Slow and steady – like the fable, dietitians recommend more of a tortoise than a hare approach. Losing one to two pounds a week – the recommended weight loss – sounds achingly slow, but there’s a sensible reason for that approach. According to WebMD, rapid weight loss takes extraordinary efforts in diet and exercise, efforts that could be unhealthy and unsustainable over the long term.

Another danger with rapid weight loss is you’re unlikely to lose fat but instead water or  muscle mass. One pound of fat contains 3500 calories. To lose a pound every week, you must burn 500 more calories than you eat every day. If you try to lose two pounds every week, you need to burn 1000 more calories than you consume every day. And so on. This is not sustainable.

There are a few situations where faster weight loss can be safe. Very low-calorie diets might be beneficial to kick start a weight-loss program for obese people. However, these diets are always undertaken under medical supervision, and the dieter will eventually have to graduate to a more moderate weight-loss program. Another reason for taking it slow is that you stand a very high chance of regaining the weight if you lose it quickly, which might cause yo-yo dieting, which could be dangerous.

3. Start sweating. Your doctor will also be able to advise you on how to exercise safely. Regular exercise, other than boosting your ability to lose weight, has health benefits such as reducing your risk of heart disease and type-2 disease. And you’ll be more likely to maintain your weight loss.

4. Be sensible. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid diets that cut out certain foods or food groups that tell you to eat vast quantities of one sort of food, such as grapefruit or meat, or to slash calories to minuscule amounts. These sorts of diets may put you in real danger of nutritional deficiency.

5. Aim for sustainability. If your diet is overly restrictive, you’re probably going to ditch it as soon as you finish it. You’ll go back to your old eating habits and regain all your weight. Your goal rather is to find an eating plan that you can follow the rest of your life. A diet should include foods that you’ll enjoy eating for the rest of your life. That way you’ll avoid yo-yo dieting which could affect your cholesterol levels.

6. Get smart. Figure out how many calories you eat in your usual diet, and trim back. Study food labels so you know how many calories are in each portion and how many you’re putting in your body.

7. Say so long to refined sugar. That includes cookies, cakes, and sugar-sweetened drinks. These sugars are high in calories, but low in nutrients. Added sugar should make up less than 10% of your calories every day.

8. Be selective when it comes to carbs and protein. Look out for carbs that are low on the glycemic index, suggests WebMD (choose asparagus over a potato, for example). In addition, always choose whole grains over processed foods, which lack nutrients like fiber, iron, and vitamin. When it comes to protein, choose lean meat, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy.

9. Say bye to  saturated fats and hello to unsaturated fats contained in seeds, nuts, fish, olive oil or coconut oil. Small amounts of good fat can help you feel full and less like you’re on diet.

10. Source your fiber from veggies, whole grains, and fruit. The best sources are artichokes, broccoli, lentils, and lima beans.

11. Enjoy a small snack between meals. Split your daily calorie allowance over five to six times meals to help stave off hunger pains.

I hope some of these tips help if you are dieting. If  you just stick to whole foods and nothing processed, that will help as well. I will post again when I get back from Mexico and let you know how that was. I think I will add in eggs next. I sure have missed them. I hope my body likes them, Lol.

Have a great week,

Tammy 🙂


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