Friday, October 08, 2021

A new plan to Lose weight

Things with my weight loss journey have been full of ups and downs and more recently lots of downs.  I have been totally discouraged.  I do the exact same thing I have done in the past and there is no progress....or rather progress is in fits and starts.  It is totally a two steps forward two steps back type of deal.  I knew that something has to change!

Looking for a change in my weight loss plan

I knew that I had to make a change in my weight loss plan and efforts.  So I started to research.  I started to look at various plans.  I checked out the whole 30 and the possibility of eating pretty much ONLY whole foods and nothing processed.  I looked into Keto and the thought of pretty much totally eliminating carbohydrates.  I thought about tweaking my existing calorie in versus calories out routine.   I seriously started to look at fasting on a larger scale than my 16:8 plan that I typically follow.   There were so many options!  I knew I had to research more because I know that I don't want an 'all or nothing plan'.  I don't want a plan that is so restrictive that I can't sustain it for life.   I kept digging into research and eventually I stumbled upon the book, The Obesity Code by Jason Fung.  This book has been out for a while, it was published in 2016, but for some reason it hadn't come across my radar as something I wanted to read until just now.

I started to read and almost immediately the guilt and self hatred toward myself started to fall away.  What am I talking about?  The feelings of being a total failure due to my dismal weight loss progress.  It is hard to not beat yourself up on this journey when you are not losing and instead gaining or at the least maintaining.  BUT, the author talks about how weight is regulated by our bodies.  It would be foolish to not think that our bodies don't regulate it.  Our bodies regulate everything and usually via the hormones that course through our body.  Therefore, weight problems may have been caused by myself (which I do accept full responsibility) but my prolonged issue with obesity and my struggles to get this weight off is most likely due to a hormonal imbalance within my body.  The relief I felt was intense.  I have been beating myself up over what I have perceived as my own personal failure.  Encouraged, I read on.

The author contends that the hormone responsible for weight regulation is insulin. He sited numerous studies that indicate this fact.  Furthermore, the more insulin we make in our body, the more insulin resistant we become, which just causes our bodies to create more since we need more due to the fact that we are resistant (or immune).  The more we produce the greater the changes of weight gain!

Pretty simple right? Just fix your insulin levels right?  Not quite, this is where the author states we as a society has gone wrong.  We get fixated on one facet of this equation....and we forget that there are many facets for getting this hormone under control 

He talks about the keto plan which lowers carbs by strict restrictions. He agrees that it works but what about the other facets that cause our insulin levels to rise?   Intermittent fasting works also because it gives our bodies prolonged periods without food and food is what stimulates our bodies to produce insulin.  So fasting works too!  But what about the other pieces of the puzzle.   Calorie counting?  What about that?  Well yes, that works to reduce the insulin levels.....remember everything we eat causes our bodies to make insulin in response.  So reducing the amount of food through calorie counting and caloric restriction works great also.   But it doesn't account for the whole picture!

The all encompassing plan to lose weight

So I have gleaned 7 different tips and ideas that I will be incorporating into my weight loss plan:

1.  Reducing sugar, including artificial sweeteners.  This is pretty simple...cut back on my sugar intake.  NO more candy at my desk while I'm working! I have been indulging and it fits in my caloric budget but do I really need that little square of pure sugar?  Probably not!  In a perfect world it should be reduced to none, but I am aiming for sustainable, not perfection.  Artificial sweeteners are better in some regards, but they still cause our bodies to produce more insulin.  So they are going away also.  My biggest offender for that is the flavored drink packs.  I drink at least two of those a day!  I plan on reducing that for now and getting back to NONE and drinking just plain straight water for most of my day (right now I'm about 50/50).  I guess this means that the starbursts days are over!

2.  Reduce Refined and Processed foods -  Food that is processed needs to be eliminated.  When food is processed it loses so many nutrients and adds a variety of other things (sugar for one) and it's just not good!  Flour is a great example.  White flour is so highly processed that it contains almost NO nutritional value.  Wheat flour is only marginally better.   Cutting everything out may be not feasible for me and my lifestyle, but I can certainly reduce! 

3.  Moderate My Protein Intake:    I am going to be aiming for 20-30% of my daily food to be protein based.  

4.  Increase Natural Fats - Natural fats (from nuts for example) are good for us.  They do NOT promote insulin production and they have other benefits in our body.   Eat the GOOD fats!

5.  Increase Consumption of fiber!   The author talks about fiber as the 'antidote' to sugar.  He talks about how many processed foods have removed the we have taken away the antidote!   Not good!   But that isn't what made me sit back and say "aha!"   I was brought back to my days in weight watchers.  Back to the old days when we didn't just put the information in an app.  We used a physical slider and we could clearly see that the FIBER was a big component (at least it was when I had great success with weight watchers!).   I was eating a very high fiber diet and I lost a LOT of weight.  But somewhere along the way I got away from watching my fiber consumption!   It's time to bring that back!  I"m not sure I am ready to add in a fiber supplement, but it is definitely something I am looking at.

6.  Fasting. I already do  intermittent fasting but the author talks about breaking that insulin resistance.  We need to break  the cycle of your body needing more and more and more insulin.  He claims that the way to break that cycle is to fast.  He actually recommends a 24-36 hour fast.  That will give your body a prolonged time without food...and by having no food your body will not be stimulated to produce insulin....which should help break that cycle.   I will not be doing very long fasts.  But I am going to be trying to OMAD method of fasting to get a bit more time between my meals.  OMAD is better known as One Meal A day.   I will be eating only one time a day....and I'm aiming to do this on my week days while I am at work.   We shall see how it goes and either increase or decrease after I try it.

7.  I know that quantity of food is a big issue for me, so I will continue my calorie counting.  I know that I could still do a LOT of damage in that one meal a day.  I know that I will always need to keep a handle on how much food I eat.  So I will continue calorie counting.   I know my weak spot and calorie counting helps me combat that weakness!

SO there you have it.  My new plan.  It is very similar to what I have already done in the past.  I have already switched to more natural whole foods and tried to lower my carbohydrates.  That has been happening all along.  But it is time to get serious about it and REALLY work on these items!  I'm excited to see how this will work for me!!!!! Wish me luck!


SANRDJ said...

I read this same book last spring and a light went on for me as well with regards to what he was saying. Although I have been eating a ketoish lifestyle for over 2 years, I struggle to drop anymore weight. I believe it has to do with the fact that I eat all throughout the day. So my insulin is constantly spiking. When I switched that to only 2 times a day (removing all my snacks) it did make a difference. The problem is that I didn't keep on with that plan. But I'm trying to get back into it! The secret with sweeteners is finding the ones that don't spike your blood sugar so check out a list of the GI levels for artificial sweeteners. There are some that won't spike insulin but still give you that needed "sweet tooth". Stevia is a good one. Stay away from Maltodextrin! ITs evil and in so many packaged foods. Excited for your new journey!

Anonymous said...

yup, fasting is the "weigh" to go; coupled with OMAD it is fool-proof. and yes, get rid of the candy...why is it even in your shopping cart? makes you seem not serious about healthy eating.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Good luck, my goal is no sugar only on Tuesday.
Got my finger cross. We have this one lady in our overeater anonymous, who hasn't had sugar in 10 years
Coffee is on and stay safe

jen said...

I’m excited for you. Wishing you good luck

MaryFran said...

I’m excited to make the changes and get serious about what I read!

MaryFran said...

The candy is around because I’m not the only one that loves at the house but also because I do not want to live a life with total restrictions and denial. One piece of candy here and there isn’t a bad choice. I’d rather do one piece of candy versus one piece of cake!

MaryFran said...

10 years? Wow!!! Kudos to her! I’m like you…aiming small!!!

MaryFran said...


MaryFran said...


Paula C said...

I really found this post so interesting. I have never read this book but heard others who have. I also struggle with weight loss. I was so frustrated that I made an appointment with a doctor who supposedly dealt with female issues and asked to have my thyroid checked. Of course she said the numbers were fine. I was like why is my weight so crazy? I gained 30+ pounds while eating 900-1200 calories a day and exercising 6 days a week with Power 90. She told me most people don't realize how much they eat & I should keep a food diary. I used a food scale for every single thing I put in my mouth. I wouldn't go out to eat because I couldn't count the calories! Her advice? Exercise more. Add another hour or two a day & keep a food diary. Not helpful. I did find a doctor who did listen & I am being treated for hypothyroidism. I take a low dose of meds and it seems to help the violent swings in weight but I still must work very hard for weight loss. She has mentioned insulin resistance. I am so glad you shared here about it. Maybe I should try some of the points you shared here. Please update on how it worked for you. I learned one thing and it take time to get our bodies healed.

Mrs Swan said...

Yuppers my friend.

Excited to see how this new plan of attack works!

I'm planning on cleaning up my eats AGAIN so I will be right there with you on the lower carb.