A lifetime strategy for healthy weight management

Chapter 1.
HOW TO REALLY, FINALLY, ACTUALLY LOSE YOUR WEIGHT

PRINCIPLES OF WEIGHT LOSS

1.  CALORIES IN---CALORIES OUT IS WEIGHT LOSS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT.  It really is that simple.  It seems as though everyone having something to sell puts down calorie-counting.  Gripe about it if you want, but it works for most people.  By a huge margin, most who succeed at weight loss and weight management manage their calories.

2.  TO BE HEALTHY WE MUST EAT A MOSTLY PLANT-BASED DIET MADE UP OF WHOLE FOODS.  (Eat like a gorilla.)  And we must limit our consumption of sugar, animal products, chemicals, and processed foods.

3.  WE KNOW ALL THIS.  Since there is a gap between what most of us know, and what we do, the root problems are behavioral.  If we don’t have a good system to implement what we know in a hostile environment, we are doomed to be fat and sick.  (Don’t kid yourself; we live in an environment extremely hostile to healthy eating.)

MAY I PROPOSE A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR MANY PEOPLE:

THE 75 PERCENT STRATEGY

THE 75 PERCENT STRATEGY IS VERY SIMPLE.  IT WORKS LIKE THIS:

1.  Beginning at around 7:00 in the morning and ending at around 7:00 at night, eat 100-calories-per-hour.  Set a calorie limit for the day.  A good starting place or many women is 1300 calories, and or many men, 1500 calories.

2.  Eat at least 75 percent healthy-that is whole, simple, healthy foods like an apple, a hand full of almonds, a carrot, and so on.  (This means that if you have years of bad habits, 25 percent of your diet can be made up of foods that don’t fit into these categories.)

3.  Get some exercise most days.

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THE FOLLOWING SEGMENTS ARE FILLED WITH SUGGESTIONS AND INFORMATION THAT HAVE WORKED FOR OTHERS AND CAN HELP KEEP YOU MOTIVATED TO MAKE THIS STRATEGY WORK FOR YOU.     

THIS IS NOT A WAY TO LOSE A FEW POUNDS.  IT IS A STRATEGY THAT CAN ENABLE YOU TO MAKE PERMANENT CHANGES AND SUCCEED IN BEING FIT AND HEALTHY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. 

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Chapter 2.  CONQUERING COMPULSIVE EATING
TO OVERCOME FOOD ADDICTIONS, BAD HABITS, AND COMPULSIVE EATING
To start getting weight under control, most people must have two tools:
First, a strategy that works for them, and second, accountability.  No one strategy works for everyone.  We and our lives are all too different.  The following strategy has worked for many, many people:
ONE REALLY GOOD STRATEGY WE RECOMMEND:  Eating 100 calories-per-hour of simple, whole, healthy food throughout the day.  If a person starts at 7:00 A.M. and eats approximately 100 calories-per-hour and stops eating at 6:00 P.M., she/he will have eaten about 1200 calories that day.  This is a good amount of calories for most women to start with.  If they eat a variety of mostly whole vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, they will get enough nutrition to thrive.  To lose weight, some women can eat a few more, and some a little less.  Men can usually eat a few more than this, though most men can get adequate nutrition on 1200 calories.
These recommendations are only a starting place.  Everyone is different.  Early in the process, it’s a good idea to find your break even point.  Your break-even point will be a combination of your weight, age, percent body fat, the amount of exercise you get, and other factors that makeup your metabolism.  A rule of thumb is that your break even calories will be around ten times your weight.  An average person who weighs 200 pounds can eat around 2000 calories-per-day and stay even.  If he is very sedentary or has relatively little muscle mass, it will be less.  If she is active and has a lot of muscle, it will be more.  You can increase your metabolism and the number of calories you can eat by doing regular exercise and building muscle mass.
Calories in, calories out---one way to lower your metabolism is to eat too few calories causing your body to conserve energy and fight against your efforts to lose weight.  The secret to long term success is to find a good place where your body can get adequate nutrition and still shed pounds.  Find an amount where you lose weight fast enough to stay motivated, but not so fast you have to keep lowering the calories you eat.  Our body will change in the process and you will need to make adjustments.
NOTE:  If you have years of bad habits and are used to eating thousands of unhealthy calories every day, it’s not reasonable to think that you will be able to change without being hungry or uncomfortable for a while.  Withdrawal will be the toughest part as you work on these physical and psychological cravings.  Most people who persist find that after the first period, which can last for a few days or weeks, the intense cravings diminish.  For as long as you continue eating healthy, your tastes will continue to evolve.  You will come to enjoy healthy food more and more and lose your desire to eat the unhealthy stuff.  This period of withdrawal is one important reason why most people can’t do it alone. This gets us to the second important tool you will likely need:
ACCOUNTABILITY.  Here are some tips that will help.  Alcoholics are instructed to tell a trusted friend of their resolve.  This is good advice for anyone trying to lose weight, too and provides a starting point for accountability.
Most of us need more than just this minimal support.  Gathering a group of others trying to make similar changes can provide that support.  Our social media sites and website are intended for this purpose, but your changes will come easier if you can get your spouse, kids, friends, relatives, and others close to you on board.  The more, the merrier (easier).  Many succeed all alone, but it’s much more fun and easier if we have some company.
Food addictions and habits can be tough, and so can the fact that we live in a culture so hostile to healthy life styles and eating.  It is perplexing and a little ironic that we show caring, consideration, and love by preparing and giving food that will make our loved ones fat and sick.  We guarantee those we cook for, even our children, a future of obesity and degenerative diseases by giving meals and snacks that will cause obesity, arthritis, heart disease, immune issues, and a host of other degenerative health problems.  Reality is that we live in such a culture, and these cultural patterns can make it a real challenge to live healthy.  The good news is that we can do it.  And we can succeed gracefully and enjoy the changes if we want to.  Daily, we will give you ample support including tools and information to enable you to succeed.
Most can give themselves the best chance of success by hiring a personal trainer.  We can usually recommend some qualified trainers, who will make a real difference and who can adapt a program to your goals and lifestyle.
For some of us, unhealthy patterns are so entrenched, or we have other health problems such as diabetes, or deep seeded emotional eating issues that sabotage their success.  Don’t be afraid to seek additional help from professional counsellors, which may be the key to getting over the hump.  And of course, everyone should have his or her personal physician in the loop.
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Chapter 3.  SUPER FOODS-ONE ESSENTIAL KEY
MORE ABOUT EATING HEALTHY
Our bodies need thousands of nutrients: vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, calories, micro nutrients, etc…  Some are not fully understood or possibly even discovered yet.  If we are deficient in any of these over a long period, we will develop health problems and diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, cancers, heart disease, eye problems, and so forth.  It is not possible to be healthy unless we eat a wide variety of whole foods.  These include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Those who say something like, “I don’t eat vegetables” doom themselves to degenerative diseases.  It is not possible to lose weight, keep it off, AND be healthy without a nutrient-rich diet.  One way to tell if a weight loss strategy can succeed long term is to determine whether or not it includes complete nutrition.  This standard excludes virtually all gimmick and fad diets, along with potions and pills.
On the other hand, too much of anything is also harmful.  Everything we eat in excess creates a problem for our bodies; it must be stored as fat, or filtered out through the kidneys. (Dialysis is a huge growth industry now in America.)  Fat, all by itself is the leading cause of most health problems today.  Toxins stored in fat cause all kinds of health problems including cancers.
And there are some foods we absolutely shouldn't eat or that we should cut way back on.SOME FOODS TO AVOID:
1.  Fried foods are filled with cancer-causing free radicals, have lots of fat, and almost no nutritional benefit.
2.  Processed foods, including packaged and fast foods are loaded with chemicals and devoid of nutrition.  With heavily processed foods, you get all the sick, lots of cravings, and no nutrition.  Eat whole foods.
3.  Sugar and finely ground flour pack on the calories and have almost zero nutritional benefit.  They also cause inflammation and are behind arthritis, and heart problems.
4.  Most of us eat way too much dairy for good health.  If we are to get enough calcium from dairy to avoid osteoporosis, we are guaranteed hard arteries, heart problems, obesity, and allergies.  We can get more than enough calcium the same way cows do, from eating leafy greens.
5.  Most of us need to cut way back on meat consumption, especially fatty and processed meats.  Too much meat is linked to heart problems, allergies and immune issues, obesity, arthritis, digestive issues, and cancer.  Research shows risk of the above-mentioned diseases declines as meat consumption declines to a point.  And that point seems to be about one modest helping per week.
ONE FINAL TIP
We call this the 75% strategy, because most of us can succeed and see miraculous changes by eating 75% healthy.  In fact, for many of us, an all-or-nothing attitude could cause us to fail in the beginning. Concentrate on eating 100 calories-per-hour, get some serious support and accountability and eat 75% healthy.  String a few days of this together and you will see serious weight loss.  Repeat this as needed and a person can make huge changes persisting over time.
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THE 75% STRATEGY for long-term health and weight management

1.  EAT AT LEAST 75% HEALTHY:

a.  Your body needs thousands of nutrients.  Do eat a wide variety of whole vegetables and fruit, unprocessed whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds-both fresh and cooked.  These are filled with nutrients and will make you strong and healthy.

b.  Don’t eat sugar and sugary sweets, processed foods, fast food, simple carbohydrates such as pasta and anything made with fine flour, or fried foods.  These foods will make you and your family fat and sick.

c.  Eat meat and dairy sparingly.  Especially avoid fatty meats and cheeses.  Eating these multiple times per day will make you and your family fat and sick.

2.  EAT 100 CALORIES-PER-HOUR from these simple, healthy, whole foods (shoot for eating 75% healthy) beginning first thing in the morning.  Eating mostly whole, healthy foods makes counting calories easy, plus it’s super good for you.  Write everything down as you eat it and keep a running total.

*If you are not used to eating this way, or limiting calories, cut yourself some slack at first.  An all-or-nothing attitude may cause you to fail.  If you persist your tastes will change.

3.  WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR CALORIE QUOTA, STOP EATING FOR THE DAY.  In any case finish eating by 7:00 P.M.

a.  A good starting calorie quota for most women is 1200-1300 calories.

b.  A good starting calorie quota for most men is 1500-1600 calories.

c.  These are recommended starting points only.  You will need to adjust your personal daily calorie limit for your own metabolism.  If you eat too few calories your body will slow down and fight your efforts to lose weight.  If you eat too many, you won’t lose fast enough to stay motivated.  You must eat mostly healthy or your body will become deficient and you will crave the nutrients you are missing-especially when reducing calories.

*If you use this simple strategy, adjusting your daily calorie quota for your personal metabolism, you will lose about a half-pound of real weight per day on average if you are a woman, and a little more if you are a man.

4.  WHENEVER YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT, GATHER UP YOUR SIMPLE HEALTHY FOOD AND STRING A BUNCH OF THESE 100-CALORIE DAYS TOGETHER.  If you have a lot of weight to lose, do it in stretches of a few days or weeks with breaks in between.

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CAUTION:  MAKE MAJOR HEALTH AND DIETARY CHANGES ONLY UNDER YOUR DOCTOR’S SUPERVISION.

WARNING TO THOSE WHO HAVE MEDICAL CONDITIONS SUCH AS DIABETES AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR ANY OTHER CONDITION REQUIRING REGULAR MEDICATION:  Eating a mostly plant-based diet, while very healthy, can rapidly reduce your need for insulin or other medication and if not properly managed, could result in diabetic coma or death.  As you begin eating this way, your blood-sugar levels will fall dramatically, reducing, and eventually eliminating further need for medication or insulin in type II diabetics and greatly reducing the need for insulin in type I diabetics.  ALSO:  Blood pressure typically drops with a mostly plant-based diet and as weight is lost.  Your blood pressure medication and other medications must be closely monitored, otherwise drops in blood pressure could cause blackouts and other dangerous conditions.  Many other conditions caused by obesity and poor diet, which require medication, are reduced or eliminated after increasing consumption of whole plant foods and with a little exercise.  Consult closely with your doctor to monitor these conditions and medications.

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75 PERCENT STRATEGY, SECOND SAMPLE MENU…100 CALORIES PER HOUR

7:00 A.M. One boiled egg and a piece of whole grain toast without butter.  165 calories

8:00 A.M. 2- cups blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries.  100 calories

9:00 A.M.  15 or 16 plain almonds.  100 calories

10:00 A.M.  One medium apple.  60 calories

11:00 A.M.  Large green salad with zero-calorie dressing.  120 calories

Noon.  1/3 cup dry rolled oats.  100 calories

1:00 P.M.  2 medium carrots.  100 calories

2:00 P.M.  6 inch Subway turkey sandwich on 9-grain wheat bread with assorted garnishes and yellow mustard.  280 calories

3:00 P.M.  Fat-free yogurt.  80 calories

4:00 P.M.  One small banana.  100 calories

5:00 P.M.  1 cup fresh cherries.  75 calories

6:00 P.M.  1/6 cup sunflower seeds un-salted, and un-oiled.  100 calories

7:00 P.M.  1 medium orange.  100 calories

Total 1480 calories for the day

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IMAGINE ENJOYING AN APPLE, CARROT, OR HAND FULL OF ALMONDS EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS YOU DO A SNICKERS BAR, DOUGHNUT, OR PILE OF FRENCH FRIES.  You can see the implications.  The truth is, you can!  Really!  Your tastes and those of our family are 100% learned-acquired over time through practice, repetition, and habit.

Don’t doubt this.  Think for a moment:

*What if you brought some teenager from the Australian out back into your home and sat him at your table.  How would he like your food, having been raised eating things that would make you cringe?

*Some years ago my doctor told me to stop adding salt to my food because of my high blood pressure.  I did.  Though at first my food tasted bland, after a while I got used to it.  Then later, I tasted food salted the way I used to and it made me gag.

*As a young man I lived in Finland for a couple of years.  The food was different enough that at first I had no appetite for it and lost a bunch of weight because nothing appealed to me.  Two years later when I left, having gained all my weight back, I craved my favorite Finnish dishes as though I had been born there.

The truth is, if we will, we can engineer our tastes.  With some effort, persistence, and time, we can learn to love whatever foods we choose.  Why not acquire tastes for healthy food?  Why not give our children the gift of an acquired taste for healthy food?  If you will do this you can lose the weight you want, keep it off, and be trim for life.  If you will, you can greatly reduce or eliminate your risk of cancer, heart attack, or stroke, dementia, arthritis, diabetes, and most other degenerative diseases.  If you will, you can give an awesome gift of lifetime health to your children.

The secrets here are will and persistence.  Just like my experience in Finland, these changes will not happen overnight.  They will take months of persistence.  Especially in the beginning and with your family, you will have to work at it.

And there is one more caveat:  We all have our traditions and comfort foods: bacon and eggs, grandma’s pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, Christmastime chocolate trifle.  And we live in a society that for the most part, is wallowing in sugar, chocolate, oils, fats and wants no part of good nutrition.  We often show love by giving people food that is making them sick and fat!  To change, you will have to persist and work at it.  If you do, it will get easier and easier, and you and your family will get healthier and healthier.

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WEIGHT LOSS IS ALL ABOUT PLANNING.  To lose your weight, be healthy, and succeed at many other challenging, but worthwhile endeavors you will have to establish a pattern of thinking ahead.  This does not come naturally for most of us, but must be learned and practiced.

Incidentally, a habit or pattern of indulging in the moment without regard for the consequences the next day is the most common destructive thinking pattern for addicts.  They block out all consequences of their behavior and focus only on the pleasure of the moment.  Therapists and sponsors teach addicts to go through the following exercise:  “Follow that through in your mind.  If you do this, where will it take you?  Is that where you want to go?”

Planning ahead changes that pattern of thinking.  To you weight losers who are fighting cravings, habits and bad thinking patterns, I recommend the following:

1.  Plan your eating strategy in advance each day.

2.  Look ahead on your calendar for events where it will be hard to keep to nutrition and calorie goals.  Then make a plan for each one that will enable you to keep to your goals, or at least minimize the damage.

3.  Anticipate hard times when habits and cravings often take over your life, or when you are stressed or bored.  You can be certain to have these times.  Plan in advance how to deal with it.  (If you don’t have a good plan, or if your plan isn’t working for you, talk to your coach.)

4.  Anticipate surprises like short-notice invitations to lunch, or having people surprise you with gifts of favorite foods you hadn't planned on.  Plan now how to get through them.

5.  Set realistic goals.

Plan ahead for health and fitness.  You can do it

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HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU WEIGH?  Here are some things to consider:

Everyone is different.  How frequently you weigh is one of those things you will have to figure out.  Decide based upon what works for you, and be careful not to allow yourself to undermine your own resolve.

One of the things that motivated me early on was the satisfaction of seeing comparatively big drops in weight by waiting for a few days between weighing.  On the other hand, after a while, I decided that I gained a great deal from the things I learned by weighing every day.  By weighing every day, I figured out my break-even points, the effects of different foods on my weight-loss, the effects of different types of exercise, and many more things about my body and managing my weight.  Much can be learned if you can get past the psychological challenge of not seeing weight drop off every single day that you do well.

Normal body and water-retention rhythms are not linear.  They usually show up on the scales as follows:  two or three days of weight staying pretty much the same or even gaining, followed by a day or two of make-up where the eight-loss shows on the scales.  No matter how disciplined I was, my weight didn’t come off in a straight line.  For many who have bad addictions, doubts about their ability, a history of failure at previous attempts, and such, having some days when they work hard and yet se no immediate results can cause a person to lose hope.

While I believe that knowing the things learned from weighing every day are necessary at some point for us to manage our weight and health, sometimes, especially in the beginning, some will be more comfortable weighing just once-a-week or so.

Having a trainer or coach can put you in a different place, too.  A good trainer, coach, or experienced mentor can get you through the rough spots and allow you to weigh every day and increase your understanding faster.  He, or she will also be able to tell if you’re struggling and suggest that you weigh less frequently.

The purpose is to be healthy long-term, and to do that, you will have to get that weight off.  So, base your decision about how frequently to weigh strictly upon what will help you succeed.  If you are honest with yourself, you know where you are at.  Think about what is best and do that.

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WHO NEEDS A TRAINER OR COACH?

1.  Those who have a lot of weight to lose.

2.  Those who have tried to lose weight repeatedly on their own without long-term success.

3.  Those who want to do better than they could on their own.

For those who fall into one of these groups, accountability, motivation, and information provided by a good coach, trainer, or sponsor can be the key to success.

What kind of trainer you need depends upon or goals.  There are those who focus mostly on nutrition.  There are trainers who expect you to do vigorous work outs every day.  There are trainers who lay out all your meals for you.  My main warning is to avoid those who want to load you up with protein to build up your muscle mass, and those whose emphasis is only on working out.  You will get sick from improper nutrition and wind up obese when you no longer have the time, ability, or will for intense work outs.

Cost varies widely based upon many factors, including how much of your work they will have to do for you.  You should be able to find a good coach on line or in person for around $100.00-per-month.

Give some serious thought to the choice.  Alcoholics and addicts are usually counselled to choose a sponsor carefully based upon who will help them succeed, not based upon pleasure or fun.  And don’t be afraid to switch if you are not getting the results you want.  Some of us will want to start with a good weight-loss strategy, such as the 75 percent strategy, doing it all on our own or with a friend.  Many can succeed this way without a trainer or coach by applying the principles.  Many cannot.  If you are not making satisfactory progress.  Find a good coach.  We have some here on our site.

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 FACT:  OILS AND FATS ARE ADDICTIVE.  To break the hold these harmful, fattening, cancer-causing substances have on your family, may I suggest the following:

1.  Begin to cook more and more with water and less and less with oil, fat, grease, or tallow.  It will taste different for a while, but if you persist, your family’s tastes will change.  You can cook anything in water you can cook in grease.  One-quarter-inch of water in a frying pan works great, especially if you cover it.

2.  If you must use milk and dairy, as most do at first, use fat-free products.  It’s the fat in the milk that most of us crave.  (If you doubt this, just try serving milk lovers skimmed milk.)  The difference between whole milk and 2% is inconsequential---pretty much just a marketing gimmick.

*Very important:  If you have spent a lifetime using lots of dairy and thinking you were doing your skeletal system a favor, you have been misinformed.  Our bodies possess very limited ability to use calcium from cow’s milk.  Most of it just winds up as a problem for your kidneys and bladder, often causing kidney stones.  If you have never been big on green vegetables; osteoporosis, heart problems, arthritis, and joint issues are in your future, unless you start making up lost ground.  Most heart problems are a result of calcium deficiency.  Eat lots of green vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to catch up.

3.  Avoid oil and fat-laden dressings, sauces, and gravies.  Substitute flavorings and sauces without oils, meat-drippings, and other fats.  At first, it will taste as though something is missing, but in time you and your family will come to enjoy the flavors that have been buried in oil.

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Super Food Apricots

Four to six average-sized apricots either fresh or dried give you 100% of your daily dose of vitamin A, which improves and maintains eyesight, protects against macular degeneration, and prevents cataracts.  Vitamin A is also essential for healthy skin and gums, and for mucous membrane.

Apricots are rich in many vitamins and minerals such as the antioxidants, C, B2, and B3 to neutralize free radicals in our environment and in our diet, to fight cancer, and improve brain function and clarity of mind.

They contain calcium, phosphorous, and iron to facilitate bone retention and prevent osteoporosis, including numerous other minerals including beta-carotene, and lycopene.  And of course they contain a large amount of fiber to detoxify the colon and aid digestion.

Eat some apricots nearly every day as a part of a super food diet for superior health and well-being.

They are truly one of nature’s super foods.

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Super food Cherries:  Cherries may just be nature’s number one super food.

They are a rich source of anti-oxidants, especially vitamin C and B Complex, which have proven to fight cancer and improve memory and brain function.

They will also reduce the inflammation which is the root cause of much of our heart disease.  Just a hand full of cherries, about 20 fresh or dried, is roughly 100 calories, and when combined with a generally healthy diet will go a long way toward preventing heart problems.

The same inflammation which causes heart disease also produces most arthritis.  A University of Michigan study showed eating 20 cherries per day to be 10-times more effective than Aspirin in fighting inflammation.  Many who have had chronic back or joint pain, and began eating cherries on a regular basis, have found their inflammation and pain noticeably decrease or disappear altogether.  Cherries can also heal headaches and gout.

Cherries are filled with potassium, which will improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis.  And as many of us who picked cherries for our moms as kids know, cherries will un-clog our plugged up colons and digestive tracts.  They are one of nature’s best sources of fiber, which will keep toxins from building up in our bodies, and prevent colon and other digestive system-related cancers.

Most of us would benefit greatly from eating a handful of cherries, fresh or dried, every day.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Watch Binges & Cravings Diminish | Apples & Almonds

    […] A COUPLE OF YEARS AFTER I STARTED THE 75% STRATEGY I HAD OUT OF CONTROL BINGES AND […]

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