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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting SKINNY..Tips, Tricks and the Truth

I'm writing this post, because I always, always get questions about this, and in my opinion there is SO much false information there so I thought I would blog about the rules I follow.

First of all being "skinny" for lack of a better adjective is :
~50% whats in your genes
~10-15% your age
and ~40-50% diet and exercise

So out of these factors we really only have at best 50% to work with. But, dont worry that is probably the most depressing thing I'm going to say so I wanted to get it over with.

Now, I dont know what it is with people these days (do they not read current research?!), but many think weight loss is (out of the 50% we are working with) half diet and half exercise. NO NO NO. That is soooo wrong!! Recent studies show now that is actually about 80% diet to 20% exercise (sorry about all the percentages but stay with me here). So I used to run 6 miles a day and eat like I always did (not more) and could NOT figure out why the lbs weren't just dropping off. I already had accounted for muscle weighing more btw...I am sure everyone has had a similar experience where you are cardio'ing your ass off and still not losing lbs. The reason is that exercise in a calorie context does not directly translate to weight loss. Before you get confused let me explain this with an analogy. If you reduce your diet by 1000 calories, and you exercise and burn off 1000 calories, these are NOT equal in relation to weight loss. In fact studies are now finding its about 80% to 20% or 1:4. So if you burned 1000 calories a day with exercise it would only be 1/4 as effective in losing weight as eating 1000 calories less.

Now before we get carried away , let me say exercise is EXTREMELY important. For heart health, longevity, to prevent many diseases including cancer and diabetes, inflammation, promote better psychological health in addition to many, many more reasons. But, I never look at exercise as a means to lose weight, its just not efficient enough.  In short, calorie restriction is how you lose weight and THAT is what people don't know! This leads to much frustration which ultimately begets loss of motivation and in my opinion that leads to the unhealthy habits. Trying and not being able to achieve results leads people to rely on desperate methods that are unhealthy like diet pills, and yo-yo dieting.

Speaking of yo-yo dieting, don't do it. Not only because its bad for your body , but because if you lose weight on a yo-yo diet subsequent attempts to lose weight will only become harder---and you don't want to get your body to that point.

So now that we have established that exercise isn't the solution for weight loss, lets focus on what is. CALORIE RESTRICTION.

In regards to calorie restriction, many studies suggest that it leads to a longer life. This is not unhealthy, it is actually just the opposite. The main objectives for your meals should be: Variety, Nutrients, and making sure you are getting all of the amino acids your body can't make itself. Aside from this I try  not to eat rice, white bread, pasta or any simple carbohydrate. I often feel like society has an obsession with mindless over eating, and when someone doesn't finish their HUGE plate of whatever they are "starving themselves." If you are healthy a very small portion of vegetables + proteins and iron three times a day is enough. You will sleep better, feel "cleaner", have more energy , and of course lose weight. Basically this is my rule of thumb for calorie restriction--I am not going to throw out numbers bc its totally different for everyone--Eat until you feel ALMOST satisfied, not hungry, but not full. Thats enough. Drink of a huge glass of water before every meal. This is important because half the time we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty, so people just eat more when all they needed was some water...Eat slowly --it takes 20 minutes for the receptors in your brain to register the "full feeling" (For people that may be sick from a condition or have other special needs this doesn't apply. )

Of course I exercise... for all the reasons I listed above and because I like to stay toned. I prefer pilates (40 minutes) 5-6 times a week. My heart rate is up, I'm sweating, but I'm not so exhausted that I crave sugar and carbs afterwards (like I would after intense cardio), also its a very low impact exercise for joints. This is more than enough with intermittent jogs or swimming once a week. The AMA suggest 30-40 minutes of light exercise a day.  Not only am I not STARVING after but I feel rested and energetic enough to engage in other activities during the day like walks and bike rides. I prefer this because I feel like I'm challenging my body by strengthening all of my muscle groups but can still curb calories.

Society doesn't want you to be skinny: They just don't. It's cheaper, easier, and more convenient to be overweight. I truly believe this and therefore suggest always being on the defense. Don't believe me, look around: I will...Down the street is a Taco Bell, KFC , and Jack in the Box. Most menu's in the restaurants are full of very processed starches like rice and bread and pasta. Not to mention tons of dairy processed and hormone ridden diary products: cream and cheese and more cheese smothered in cheese. Go to the grocery store, mac and cheese is 99cents, ramon noodle 1$. But an organic tomato 3.99 lb. WTF?! Be proactive, don't let our screwed up society tell you what to eat. Say , --you know what I'm not going to order pizza because its easy. I am going to go down to the farmers market get local and fresh vegetables and make dinner. It takes a little bit of effort at first, but once you realize how bad for your body what is being shoved in our faces everyday is, it will be so easy. And when you start rejecting, society sort of rebounds a little bit. People look at you like oh you are only ordering that, or you need to eat more!, or your not even eating those nachos?! It's almost a little shocking how offended others get when you want to eat healthy. But its time to break the cycle, if not for yourself then for the next generation. Make it NOT normal to order pizza instead of spinach. Once you start eating this way, losing weight will be easier and natural. If exercising is what is making you not want to get on a diet/exercise routine, then hold off on the exercise until you do the "healthy" diet (basically any whole fresh foods, nothing processed) for a week, and then slowly incorporate an easy exercise routine into your daily life. I find it much more palatable this way, b/c you are already seeing results at this point and nothing is more motivating than actual results. Now before I end this post, splurging on your favorite meal IS ok, but have it be the exception, not the rule....The more you eat healthy the more you will see how much you actually want to( have you ever stopped drinking coke a cola for a few months and then gone back and its disgusting...well its like that).

Anyway, please feel free to comment. This is my opinion only--disclaimer. But I do a lot of research and if you don't believe give it a go...and then tell me its not true :) 

7 comments:

  1. you need to post what you order when you go out to eat....my biggest dilemma.

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  2. Great post Jen. Very interesting and a topic that needs to be discussed.

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  3. truly helpful... thanks so much Jen!

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  4. perfect post!

    totally healthy, and doesn't encourage a one-size-fits-all number for calorie intake.

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  5. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me. Phentermine 37.5

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All Comments/Questions Welcome :)