How to Stop Cravings & Choose the Weight Loss Diet that is Best for YOU!

Monday, November 07, 2011

In understanding weight management we have come to see that weight loss, or weight maintenance, is not something that can be handled part-time...IF you want full-time results!  It really must be part of your lifestyle.  We have seen in our past columns that, #1. You must be committed to live at an ideal bodyweight and that #2. If fat loss is desired (as opposed to just water weight) you must be patient, because the typical person can only burn off about 1to 1 ½ pounds of fat per week on average.  For this column we will examine…

Dietary Guidelines:
Okay, first of all, you must recognize that not everybody feels good eating the same kind of diet.  That is NOT a license to go eat Ho Ho's for breakfast and a Snickers for lunch! However, the low-fat approach to food is not for everybody, so be prepared to do a little personal experimentation before you hit a dietary plan that fits "just right."

Weight Loss Fundamental #1:  A change to a healthy diet is mandatory!
"How can I tell if my diet is healthy?"

A.  Foods you most often choose are close to their natural state—whole foods.  The best are fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  Meats can also be excellent, especially if purchased from free ranging animals with a minimum of chemicals.  Dairy is fine if you tolerate it well.  Pasteurization destroys much and puts milk in a bad place for many (allergic reactions, hard to digest, etc.) and others are lactose intolerant.

B.  One hour after every meal you feel:
•    Satisfied, without desires for more food, cravings, or a need to eat before the next meal.
•    Good, lasting "normal” sense of energy (not sleepy or hyper)
•    Improved sense of well being, with some emotional upliftment, and improved mental clarity (not angry, depressed, fuzzy headed, etc.)  

Believe it or not, some people never have these kinds of "normal" reactions after a meal!  Some obese people are often hungry and rarely satiated.  Quite a few feel sleepy after eating, and many people fight cravings almost daily (or just give in!)  If you suffer any of these kinds of effects, even if you are eating what you consider healthy food—something is wrong.  You simply are not giving your particular body the fuel combinations it needs to be really healthy.  Some poor souls whose bodies thrive on higher amounts of protein, or meat, are sadly suffering because they think vegetarian is the only healthy way to eat.  Conversely, quite a few these days are eating more meat and less carbohydrates, thinking that is the key to weight loss—but also feel terrible because their bodies thrive on a more vegetarian style!  Realize, your body knows what it needs—listen to it!  

Here's what to do:
Eat the healthy foods (note: not junky foods) you like, in any combination you like—then, check how you feel one hour afterward.  If you don't feel as good as you should—next time eat the same foods but in radically different ratios.  For example, maybe you ate mostly carbohydrate type foods (fruit, pasta, bread, grains, etc.) and little protein or fat (meat, eggs, cheese, etc)  Next time, try more protein foods and less starch or carbohydrate or perhaps add some more fat and see how that feels.  Either you will feel better, or worse—either way you are learning something about you, and that is vital knowledge no diet book can give you in your quest for lifelong health and weight management.

Pleeeaase!  Take the above seriously.  Part of developing a fat loss plan that works is understanding YOUR body's reactions to food, so that you can eat meals that satisfy without causing physical cravings.  This is essential if you are to be able to follow the eating plan for life.

Next time, Lord willing, we will continue our discussion of dietary guidelines as we examine calories (how to measure), when to eat and how often, and perhaps some techniques to keep from overeating if we don't run out of space.  Also feel free to contact either myself, or Bradley Wellness Center dietician, Erica Jones, if you have any questions at 706-278-WELL.  We’d be glad to help you!

Submitted by: Thomas Morrison, Fitness Coordinator, Bradley Wellness Center