02 May May 02, 2013

Going the Distance

by Steve Shirley, DC

My goal in starting my new diet plan was challenging. I would try to lose ten stubborn pounds that I hadn’t been able to shake off since finishing Chiropractic school in 1991. Middle age may have already descended upon this body but I was going to go down swinging! The plan I am following is pretty simple and consists of sticking religiously to the Take Shape for Life plan by Medifast. My goal is to see if I can reach my weight loss goal and not turn into a raving mad man. 

Today it is the end of three weeks and it is time for my weigh-in. Survey says…down 11 pounds down! I am also down a full 10% of my body fat. Very exciting and I didn’t have any mood swings or feel deprived as I had in the past.

There are several important tips on weight loss that I have learned in studying the subject and want to pass those along to you. 

Eat protein, Eat more often

Eating small, protein rich meals every two to three hours definitely keeps away the cravings that usually pack on the pounds. Protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates and helps you feel full. And by eating more frequently you don’t get the drop in blood sugar that makes you want to scarf out.

A few good examples of healthy, lean proteins.

A few good examples of healthy, lean proteins.

Eat one good lean and green meal a day

Having one filling meal a day consisting of three servings of vegetables with 4-6 ounces of lean protein really helps you feel satisfied and not starving. I have found that plans where you just eat shakes all day leave me with shake fatigue in a couple of days and is not sustainable. 

The Food Pyramid is a lie.

In 1992, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its food pyramid containing dietary recommendations for the American public. The largest component of food composition (and one supported by the big corporate farmers) was refined grains such as cereal, pasta and breads. In fact, they recommended more servings of these carbohydrates that fruits and vegetables combined! We were discouraged from eating fats , even healthy ones. During this same period of time, childhood obesity increased 60%. The incidence of obesity in adults (being #30 or more over weight) grew to over 32% of the population.

The original food pyramid, with its emphasis on grains and carbs, is opposite of what we really need to lose weight and live healthy.

The original food pyramid, with its emphasis on grains and carbs, is opposite of what we really need to lose weight and live healthy.

Nearly 20 years later, this has been replaced with My Plate. This has adjusted the amount of grains (complex and simple carbohydrates) to 30%, an amount still equal to vegetables. Unfortunately it also still doesn’t distinguish between fruits and fruit juices. 

We are told to believe that eating multiple servings of whole wheat bread and cereals daily are good for you. This is certainly healthier than eating white bread. But did you know that eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of pure table sugar?  This is because bread (and many other grains) has a high glycemic index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar elevates after eating a certain food. Unfortunately, the higher levels of blood glucose (sugar) trigger greater releases of insulin. This in turn leads to an increase in fat storage, which usually goes to the belly. This not only makes you fat, it makes you crave more carbs again several hours (grumble, grumble) after eating.

Unfortunately after sustained exposure to this roller coaster ride in your blood sugar, your body begins to become resistant to insulin. And this usually correlates with the increase in weight that so many people are experiencing.  And for many folks, this leads to Type II Diabetes, which will kill you early. This is a self-sustaining process as long as you listen to your government and feed your body plenty of grains and cereals. 

You can easily replace your servings of grains with either vegetables, or preferably, lean protein and vegetables. You will not only feel better, you will start losing weight right away.