I will illustrate my point with a little dog story a friend related to me the other day. A friend of mine, Terry, is an unrelenting dog lover. He recently got a new puppy.
But the journey has not been plain-sailing. Terry and his wife have been through quite some teething problems with this new puppy in the last couple of weeks.
Duuun dun…duuun dun…dun dun…dun dun…dun dun…
Terry says that’s been the atmosphere in his household for the last one month or so. Terry and his wife bought this German Shepherd puppy a month ago, and they have been trying to put the dog through his paces.
Apparently, German Shepherds don’t just have teeth, they have razors. Worse still, these puppies can be very keen to use these razor-sharp teeth.
The German Shepherd puppies’ penchant for using their teeth has earned them label of German Shredders, Land Sharks, or Fuzzy Gators.
German Shepherd puppies are prepared to bite into anything in their view, in Terry’s experience. Terry and his wife aren’t spared in all of these biting adventures. In fact, he said they have got the band-aids and pinholes in their clothes to prove it.
Even the adult 7-year-old Golden Retriever isn’t exempted from this puppy’s ordeal either. The Golden Retriever has had a few bites too. But being the older dog, he has accepted it with equanimity.
Terry, having been through these puppy stages a couple of times over the years, knows that this stage is temporary and short-term, so long as you apply the right puppy training.
He did point out though, that you do go through frustrating times to get there. It would seem as though puppies don’t seem to be taking the hint. ”I am not a chew toy, buddy”.
Then one day it finally clicks into place. They get it. You don’t like being bitten! Eating electric wires isn’t a cool thing to do. Responding to calls is just as important as having a feed.
When they finally do, it may feel like an overnight success!
But it wasn’t. It’s the consistency of doing the necessary (a little at a time, I dare say) that gets them to behave as you want them to.
Reducing your weight is just about the same.
Slimming down requires some effort on your part but you don’t have to do the whole lot in one fell swoop.
Little bites (no pun intended) at a time is what will get you there.
You may choose to go fast or slow but the key is consistency.
So, here are a few tips that can help you reduce your weight at home. A lot of what I am going to talk about below aren’t ground-breaking by the way. They are simple common-sense stuff that anyone can institute today.
They are simple rules that I live by and hopefully stuff that you can apply to your life as well.
I will encourage you not to dismiss them because they appear very basic. Basic works.
Basic lays the foundation for the more challenging routines, folks.
The truth is, you can take on the more challenging sexy stuff your guru may be spilling but forgetting these basics might mean you don’t get your desired results.
And then you wonder why. You are not making that progress because you are tackling the complex stuff and ignoring the basics. That’s why.
They are simple guidelines and guidelines can be customised to suit your needs.
Slimming at home and weight reduction tips:
- Reduce your table sugar consumption
It is difficult to suggest cutting out table sugar altogether, because I know it is impossible to do just that. But you can reduce your consumption significantly.
People consume too much sugar in their diets. Now I am referring to table sugar (sugar) and high fructose syrup.
There was a US Study that estimated sugar consumption in the US to be in the region of 80 gm per day per person. That equates to about 20 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Now don’t forget, if you got yourself a cup of Starbucks coffee, you could be consuming those 20 teaspoons of sugar in one go. Yep, from one cup of coffee in the morning and you still have the rest of the day ahead of you.
My daughter sent me this you tube link below and I figured you should watch it as it does illustrate this sugar point:
Now what do you think of sugar consumption after watching that? Good? Bad? That is added table sugar, by the way. Do you really think that recipe needed such a huge dollop of sugar?
It really doesn’t matter whether it is white, yellow, red or brown sugar. That is one heck of sugar to add to a recipe. Of course, that meal is going to taste great, sorry very sweet. It’s got boat loads of sugar in it, hasn’t it?
There are literally tens of thousands of recipes like that both online and offline.
If you are expecting to reduce your weight if you consume that much added table sugar, then you will be pushing that boulder up the mountain metaphorically speaking.
You have absolute control when you cook your meals. Exercise that caution whilst you are it.
Add very little sugar if you have to.
I don’t want to ruin business for the young lady in that video but did I hear say “I have so many recipes in my cookbook with brown sugar in them”
If indeed that is true, that is one recipe book to avoid like a plague, if you want to reduce your weight that is.
I have some healthy sugar substitutes that I will suggest in a future article. Oh, I am not talking about Splenda and other artificial sweeteners. Those contain aspartame. Certainly, not recommended.
2. Reduce your consumption of sweetened beverages
Obviously, this is linked to the first tip above. Those sweetened beverages that are sold to you as healthy. I’m sorry to say, they are not.
This include sports drinks and fruit juices.
Natural is always preferred over processed any day. And that includes fruit juices.
Did you know that 1 apple fruit will furnish you with 10 gm of natural simple sugars compared to 1 cup of apple juice that will serve you with 27 gm of sugar. You will get 117 calories from the juice compared to 52 calories from the fruit.
Also the likely scenario is that you are probably going to drink more than one cup in one sitting and on more than one occasion each day. You may have one cup of the juice in the morning and probably 2 more cups with your dinner. It’s tasty after all.
You would think drinking apple juice is a sound substitute for having a several bites on an apple fruit. That is what the manufacturers want you to believe in their adverts. They say “It’s part of your 5-a-day”. No it isn’t.
Before I started my journey, I used to consume a pint of apple juice or pomegranate juice with my dinner in the vain hope that I was getting the “fruit benefits” from those fruit juices. Wrong!
All I did was provide my body with extra calories that I didn’t need, apart from the fact those fruit juices will most certainly spike your blood sugars like crazy, and very quickly too.
Preventing blood sugar spikes is one phenomenon that represents a corner stone of weight loss and optimal health.
Sport drinks are another kettle of fish altogether. Most of them are loaded with sugar and will spike you and ruin your weight reduction efforts.
Just to illustrate my point, I wandered into Tesco supermarket to take a peek at one or two juices/drinks. Below is what I found:
|Lucozade orange||31 g|
|Lucozade original||22 g|
|Green Tonic water||18 g|
|Oasis summer fruits||10 g|
|Ocean spray||27 g|
|Volvic Touch of fruit||11.5 g|
|Innocent pomegranate magic||34 g|
|Pepsi cola||28 g|
For reference purposes, a cup of Pepsi or Coca cola (250 mls) contains 28 gms of sugar. Those are the 2 drinks we consider as being the worst drinks on the planet, right?
As you can tell from the above, a lot of those regular “innocent” beverages aren’t that far off Pepsi or Coca Cola drinks, in terms of sugar content. You wouldn’t have realised that, would you?
Heck, even the flavoured water (Volvic touch of fruit) has nearly half the amount of sugar in Pepsi. Drinking Volvic you would think you are drinking water that is innocently flavoured. You are in fact consuming sugar that your body doesn’t need at that point in time, keeping your insulin levels up unnecessarily.
Solution: Drink more water, folks. Yes, drinking water isn’t sexy but it is healthy though.
Replace your beverages with water both at home and in the office. I can hear you screaming at your computer screen or phone screen blurting out “Joe, you cannot be serious, water is boring”.
Yes, it is. Water is safe though. It will rehydrate you and your body cells. What’s more, water has absolutely zero calories. You don’t have to sweat it (the decision that is) even though you can still sweat it later, if you get my drift.
I get really angry at the food industry as you can tell so far. They are culpable culprits contributing 80%, dare I say, to the obesity epidemic we have in the western hemisphere.
Oh, I should add that a female colleague took this beverage advice on board and would you believe it. She lost 6 lbs of weight in the first 3 weeks of this year just by avoiding sugary beverages and drinking water instead. That’s all she did.
You see, I told you. Simple works.
It doesn’t have to be complex diet rules all the time. Yes, the complex stuff have their place but let’s do the simple first, shall we?
3. Do some Journaling
Okay, I will be the first to admit that this journaling business is boring…quite boring in fact. But there is a reason behind this suggestion.
If you are not familiar with what I mean by journaling, I am referring to keeping a food diary. At least for a short while anyway.
What’s the point of a food diary?
I tell you what is. A food diary is a tool that gives you a deep insight into what you are eating over a set period. Yes, it may look like you are trying to spreadsheet your life but far from it. Instead what you get is a wholesome picture of dietary habit over a specified time.
You get some control over your diet with food journaling because it will force you to make necessary changes when you review it periodically.
If I got a penny every time an overweight or obese complained about their weight saying these words “I really can’t understand why I can’t seem to lose any weight. I don’t eat much you know”, I’d be sipping pinna colada on a South American beach somewhere.
At the beginning of your weight reduction journey, keep a food diary of everything that passes through your lips. Solid food, semi-solid and beverages (alcohol, soft juices or soda, coffee, tea).
> Record everything you eat. Even the little bites you crunch on when you are cooking. Record the food, the quantity, the make-up of the food.
What’s in that BLT sandwich? Yes, record the bacon, the lettuce, the tomatoes and the bread in that BLT sandwich.
What’s in that beans stew? What about that goulash, that casserole? Record all the constituents.
What about those snacks. Don’t overlook them. Yes, those snacks and nibbles that you ate when you did that 12-hour shift at work. Have you recorded them? You should. Write the date, time, place and quantities.
Do it for the first 14 – 21 days and review the diary. Prepare to be amazed at how much you are actually consuming.
It’s funny how revealing an honest and accurate journaling can be.
Upon review of the food diary, you can then make changes accordingly. Make changes such as quantity of food consumed, frequency of eating, cutting out those sugary stuffs, the unhealthy snacks etc.
It is difficult to give exact prescriptions because what you are looking at, will tell you where you are probably going wrong. Just follow basic nutritional advice just like the ones on this page and this blog overall to make changes to your dietary habits. That’s the whole idea behind food journaling.
> Get the overall picture and insight and make necessary changes!
Heck, you might find foods that tend to trigger hunger 1 or 2 hours after you have eaten them and the ones that may be responsible for some symptoms like heart burn.
If a particular food makes you become hungry within 2 hours of eating it or makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t you think, it will be a good idea to give that food a miss going forward?
That’s the kind of benefit a food diary can provide you with.
When I did mine, I was old fashioned. I used a good old pen and paper (small notebook). You may want to do it digitally. There are apps available. I haven’t used any, so really cannot recommend any.
I may in future. After all, our lives are guided by apps these days. Whatever happened to old reliable pen and paper. I will find one for you guys, never mind.
4. Reduce your processed food consumption
Here is the truth. The more processed a food or food product is, the less nutritious it becomes. Also, the more the potential to do damage to your health.
Eat as much natural foods as possible.
Natural foods are wholesome whilst processed foods are unwholesome, shall we say.
This meta-analysis looked at red meat – processed and unprocessed. In it all-cause mortality increased when processing came into the picture.
Don’t get me started on breakfast cereals. Those manufactured breakfast cereals are evil. They have no place in your kitchen cupboard. Not if you want to slim down anyway. Breakfast cereals are evil!
Bread is processed, remember. Pasta is too. The white versions are worse than the brown counterparts but in truth the difference is marginal. Yes, white bread is worse than brown bread or the so-called wholemeal or whole wheat bread but the difference is marginal.
I have tested a lot of these foods and I can tell you from personal experience that whole-wheat bread isn’t that great when it comes to spiking your blood sugars.
Be careful with those potato crisps (chips to my American friends), candies, cookies and biscuits. They are processed and they will spike you. Guaranteed! Therefore, best avoided.
I know it is difficult (if not impossible) to avoid everything that is processed. If you must eat pasta (and you are only allowed a very small quantity by the way unless you are seriously body building), then it is probably easier to buy the pasta rather than make your own.
The main reason being, not very many have the necessary skill to make their own pasta. In those circumstances where avoidance is an issue, keep consumption to a bare minimum. There are healthier alternatives, by the way.
Any other reason why processed foods spell trouble. Yes, there is. In the short term, processed foods have a high glycaemic index which means their blood glucose load can be overwhelming to your body unless you are very insulin sensitive.
The process of ‘processing foods’ (that’s not good grammar, I know but that’s the only way to describe this), systematically strips off the nutritional value of the food.
In essence, the more processed a food is, the less natural nutrition, it has left within it. Minimally processed is always better than heavily processed.
In the longer term, persistent consumption of these foods lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and some other chronic diseases.
>Insulin resistance makes it very difficult for you lose any weight, even with your best efforts.
You may pump all the iron you like in the gym or do the most strenuous cardio exercises on the planet, you won’t shift a gram of weight from your body, unless you change the way you eat.
5. Have a chip on your shoulder, folks.
I realise this may sound weird but hear me out.
Have you noticed how when a lady wants to lose weight to get into her chosen wedding dress she always gets to her goal?
Brides and bridesmaids invariably without fail will reduce their weight to meet their target weight loss goal. They always do.
Have you also noticed when a lady wants to shed some weight to get into that bikini before that holiday of a lifetime, she always succeeds?
To balance these scenarios out, let’s talk about the guys.
Have you also noticed that if a guy wants to impress a girl he fancies, with fat loss and muscle building, he always succeeds in bulking up?
Why are all of these scenarios possible?
I call them the “chip on the shoulder” factor.
Everyone who is really determined to reduce their weight can. I don’t care what the circumstances are. All you need is a motivational factor. Everyone needs a motivational factor, otherwise it is very easy to lose momentum. Very easy.
> A “chip on the shoulder” drives you. It gets you angry and gives that “let’s go”, that “get up and go” attitude. It is that attitude that gets you to your slimming target.
Without the “chip on the shoulder” driving force and anger, the motivational tank will get empty pretty quickly and when that tank gets empty, it can be very difficult to fill it up again.
It’s one reason why people falter and the whole weight reduction project fades away…
…because there are a thousand and one reasons not to get to the finish line.
Just remember this:
> A good essay is 10% inspiration, 15% perspiration, and 75% desperation.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. I shall have the entire plan detailed out in a book format. Until then you have got to understand one thing.
Fixing your nutrition is the cornerstone to an efficient fat burning journey. Without this, the whole thing is a non-starter. Even exercise won’t get you very far without fixing your nutrition.
Talking about nutrition, Brad Pillon answers the question on ‘How to Avoid Complicated Diet Rules and Avoid Rebound Weight Gain’
How?…Continue Reading >>