Thursday, 1 December 2011

Weight Loss

It's been a while since I've actually posted about my weight loss efforts - and until the past couple of weeks they haven't been good. But things are at last happening now.

Here's my last three weigh-ins:
19 November 92.8kg (BMI of 38.1)
24 November 91.2kg (BMI of 37.5)
1 December 89.4kg (BMI of 36.8)

So I'm going in the right direction at least.

I'm using the Calorie King website to track my actual food and exercise, and I'm involved in a support group at church.  Actually I lead the support group (seem strange, since I'm the person who hasn't been losing weight?  I used to be a Weight Watchers leader some time in ancient history, and at the time was very successful at managing to maintain a healthy weight.)

Why have I had so much trouble in recent years?  Well, I just read today on Carla, the singing patient's site Lupus, Humor and Wellness that there's been a link found between inflammation and obesity.  Perhaps now that my medication, the TENS machine, exercise and rest are all working together to keep me much healthier than I have been for years, the inflammation is actually reducing and that is making things easier.

So each Thursday, I lead a weight loss group.

Tonight, we're talking about maintaining our metabolism. I actually chose the topic specifically for someone who's just texted to say they won't be there.

Cutting down the amount we eat is kind of a basic thing for weight loss. (Seems obvious, doesn't it). If we cut down the amount we eat too much, however, our bodies start to panic and go into "starvation mode" - they hang on to every little bit of fat they have just in case they need it.

We need to reassure our bodies, that there is enough food out there to live on.

The way to do that is to eat. (Obvious, as well, huh?)  So what do we eat?  This is where it gets tricky - we need meals and snacks throughout the day. Because we're trying to lose weight, we need to make sure we're getting good nutritional value for the energy we eat. Yes, you can use all your energy allowance for the day on creamcakes, but it won't be good for you, and you'll still feel hungry.

So choosing what we eat is important. We need things that help us feel full, provide our bodies with good slow-burning energy, nutrients and of course the fibre that keeps everything working smoothly.

We're looking for: Protien, Low-GI carbohydrates, fresh fruit or vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, small amounts of healthy fats (let's do a whole post about fats in the near future - one about the Glycaemic Index as well.) That's the food we're looking for all day - but we need to spread it out. A little bit at each meal, and boost it with a little bit in between. If we spread it out over the day, our bodies won't get that shock of suddenly there's food and then suddenly there isn't. We don't go into starvation mode, because our bodies know that there's going to be more yummy fresh food sometime very soon.

At this time of year, one of the best between-meal snacks is Christmas fruit. Cherries, apricots, nectarines, mangos, peaches are all out. A nice serve of fresh summer fruit straight from the fridge on a hot day is one of the great delights of the Christmas season. Compared to any pre-packaged "snack foods" you could buy, they're much healthier fat-free, lots of nutrition and fibre, and a low energy density. (Energy density - there's another topic for another week.)

How about a handful of cold cherries, and coffee made on cold skim milk over ice cubes for your afternoon tea? It contains enough energy to get you through the gap from lunch to dinner, and it's a real treat you can look forward to.

So, that's my thoughts on weight loss for this week - and what I'm going to be talking about with the group at church.

Want to check up on what I'm eating? My profile (including my daily food and exercise diary) is at the Calorie King website. My profile name is icarden.

Hope you're feeling well.

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