Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Eat Yourself Skinny! BMI = 30.3

Some people think that I’m starving myself skinny but they’re wrong. I am not starving myself skinny - I am eating myself skinny. In fact, I tried to speed things up a bit last week by dropping one serving of whole grains from my daily routine and for the first week in a long time I didn’t lose an ounce.

My instinct told me that if I dropped out a serving of whole grains a day my weight loss would go faster. My instinct was wrong, as it usually is. This is why I follow the Canada Food Guides in planning my diet. Science gives us much better answers than instinct. By eliminating my bad snacking habits and following the dietary advice of Health Canada, I have taken off 100 lbs. Just look at my old work uniform!

I’ve posted photos of the big meals I eat but most people just can’t get it through their heads that a full and fully balanced diet can lead to such weight loss. Part of the problem is that people start with the question, “How are you losing all this weight?” One should start with the question, “How did I put all this weight on?”

I estimate that I used to eat about 5,000 calories per day. I don’t even want to think about how many grams of fat I was taking in. At the time I would have estimated that I ate about 3,000 calories per day. That is why I began with the question, “How the hell did I get so damn fat!?” Answering that question with brutal honesty was almost traumatizing.

If you need to take off 20 lbs or so, well then maybe you can just stop taking sugar in your coffee. If you have over a hundred pounds to take off, then you really need to take an honest audit of your diet. Once I accepted the truth about how horrible my diet was, I realized how much work I had to do to get myself onto a healthy diet. There was no way that I could go from eating all that junk to eating a balanced diet overnight.

Just limiting my snack menu, and training myself to go an hour between snacks lead to me losing about 15 lbs in the first couple of weeks. It took seven weeks for me to completely eliminate snacking and get used to the old-fashioned hospital food sort of meals.

By that time, seven weeks in, I had lost about 50 lbs. That shocked me, but I knew that rate of weight loss would not continue. That radical change in calorie intake essentially took my metabolism by surprise. I knew that to continue losing weight I needed to start adding in more fruits and vegetables while swapping out my poor-carbs for whole grains.

My breakfast these days is about 800 calories but has very little fat, no added-sugars, and is packed with whole grains. Once you eliminate added sugars, fried foods, and processed meats, the calorie density of your food drops dramatically. To get all the nutrition you need to keep your metabolism up you need to eat some darn big meals.

A full and fully balanced diet keeps your metabolism running high. By dropping a serving of whole grains from my daily routine, all I did was signal my metabolism to slow down a bit and I stopped losing weight. This might seem counter-intuitive, but that’s often the case with biology; my weakest subject in school.

So many people get caught in the cycle of trying to eat tiny meals and then bridge the gap with ‘low fat’ snacks. A lot of prepared meals that are marketed as ‘lean’ or ‘healthy’ are terrible choices. Many have far more milligrams of sodium than they have calories. Most have added sugars. I’ve not seen one yet that provides 2 full servings of whole grains and 2 full servings of vegetables.

After eating a tiny meal that is high in salt and added sugars you are going to be hungry. You might turn for a yogurt cup that is labeled ‘fat free’ but it likely has more sugar in it than an old-fashioned oatmeal cookie. Even if you grab a diet soda, you are still not getting the nutrition you missed at lunch.

All of this is creating an epidemic of malnourished obese people. Does putting ‘malnourished’ and ‘obese’ together sound counter-intuitive? As I said, that is often the case where biology is concerned. For all the calories I used to eat, I wasn’t getting all my fruits, veggies, and whole grains. I was fatigued because I was carrying around an extra 150 lbs while also being starved of micronutrients.

By following the Canada Food Guides, especially the advice on limiting added-sugars and processed meats, I am keeping my metabolism running high. If I try to skip a meal or eliminate some whole grains, all I’ll do is signal my metabolism to slow down. Starvation is not healthy and will not produce healthy results. Eating yourself skinny is the only way to go.

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