Reducing Your Carbohydrates
If you are seeking to lose body fat it is probable that one of the first assignments I will give you is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat. To do this you must first understand what carbohydrates are. My handout “Sugars & Starches” is quite informative. I have also recommended several books at the end of this article. If you are not entirely clear what carbs you are to avoid, ask me at our next visit.
Usually I have my clients begin to steadily reduce their carbs while increasing other foods such as fats, proteins and vegetables. At each session I will evaluate your weight loss and other Health factors and recommend to you appropriate adjustments in your eating regimen. I want to see you losing between 1/2 and 2 lbs per week. I will have you steadily reduce the amount of carbs you consume along with increasing and decreasing other foods until you are losing the weight you desire and doing so in a manner that is sustainable for you. Meaning you feel satisfied and able to live with your eating regimen. Sustainability is the key. Commit yourself not to learning weight as rapidly as possible but to learning a new way of eating and living that you will be able to enjoyably maintain.
Other Nutritional Factors That Cause Weight Gain
In addition to reducing overly processed and over cooked carbohydrates there are other nutritional factors that influence weight gain. Reducing or avoiding all of these except nuts and milk products is recommended. You need to do avoid these right away, however I do want you to be aware of the following other factors.
- Caffeine in coffee, black teas, sodas and energy drinks. Green teas are ok for most. Mates for some. Anything that you are dependent upon is adversely effecting you.
- Alcohol which is low in calories but poisons your liver’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
- Low calorie sweeteners, splenda, saccharine, even stevia can illicit what is known as the “cephalic response”. This is a signaling by the nervous system which causes insulin to rise and it is insulin that is responsible for storing fat.
- Salt. Causes water retention other problems. I recommend salt reduction for all my clients however the degree varies depending on each individual’s case.
- AVOID all products containing Aspartame and MSG. These are known as excitotoxins and are quite harmful.
- AVOID the refined, non-traditional forms of soy, such as soy protein isolates, soy milk, soy cheeses, ice creams, meat substitutes such as bacon bits and all other non-traditional forms of soy products.
- Traditional soy products; tofu, tempeh, miso and tamari are fine.
- Milk products. Again this depends entirely on the individual. Milk works for some and not for others. Milk is known to stimulate insulin elevations and in difficult cases it must be removed.
- Nuts and seeds: In a small number of people these must be reduced or eliminated.
Other Essential Lifestyle Changes
How to have a Healthy body and a happy mind is the most treasured and well studied of all human pursuits. All Healing traditions emphasize the study and practice of the following four disciplines:
Eating and Fasting,
Movement and Rest,
Right Relationships and work
To truly heal any illness or to lose weight and keep it off requires you care for yourself in all these ways. “The Yoga of Eating” is more than a way of eating. It is a way of living in which you care for yourself in every action you perform. Your “Record of Self-Caring Behaviors” is a tool to help keep you conscious of how well you are performing each of these disciplines.
SLEEP & SUNLIGHT
In addition to focusing on improving your eating, I encourage you at the outset to focus on getting all the sleep and rest your body asks you for. I consider sleep more important than food or exercise for both Health and weight loss. Also if it is the right season, get a good suntan. Both sleep and sunlight exert powerful effects on insulin and fat metabolism. Exercise will become important but not until your energy returns. A daily practice of Self-analysis and Self-reflection will be the center of your new lifestyle, your source of inspiration and understanding.
It is common for new students to overemphasize nutrition, especially at first. However to have a sustainable way of eating you will find that you must create balance in ALL areas of your life. If eating is overemphasized it will eventually become too difficult and unsustainable.
Useful Books on Low Carbs
There are numerous authors who have books and websites and offer variations on a low carbohydrate eating regimen. The difference between my approach and theirs is enormous. While I also utilize a low carbohydrate regimen, I adapt an eating regimen specifically for you, the individual. I take into consideration your amounts of fats and proteins, the frequency of feedings, the amounts of vegetables, an emphasis on raw foods plus the use of detoxification and allergy testing.
For now there is a good deal of information about carbohydrates, insulin and other topics that you can learn from these books and I recommend them for this information. Know that I do not agree entirely with theirs’ or any single, one size fits all approach to eating and weight loss.
Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution by Robert Atkins
I have significant reservations about Dr. Atkins’ program but his book contains a wealth of accurate and inspiring information.
The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, M.D.
The Rosedale Diet by Ron Rosedale, M.D.