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Friday, October 15, 2010

Lifestyle: Weight Loss...the Healthy Way.

I've talked briefly about the difference between eating healthfully and unhealthily before, but today I'd like to expand on that the realm of weight loss.

Losing weight is something that our culture is extremely interested in...and yet our waistlines are growing by the day. How can we be so obsessed with one thing while doing it's polar opposite? Well, it has to do with how we go about trying to lose our weight. We do this fad diet and that fad diet, we starve ourselves and restrict our foods, we put ourselves through hell only to regain that weight later. It's no wonder we have such trouble!

All of this is on my brain because a friend asked me to help her lose weight this week...and I realized that diet consulting is more difficult than it looks! I've been trying to come up with a workable plan, including teaching her how to cook and shop, but I'm certainly not a dietitian. I have more respect for the profession, but I'm also enjoying the challenge. I've never tried to actively help someone reformat their eating habits before...I think that the experience will improve this blog and the advice I give out in the future!

But for now...

The thing about weight loss is that it's...not that difficult to figure it out. You should restrict your calories. So simple, right? But losing weight healthily and creating a lifestyle wherein you can keep it off? That requires more thought. Still, it's not prohibitively difficult, it just requires thought, preparation, and changing your habits. Fortunately, when you begin to eat foods that are whole and healthy, you quickly lose your taste for foods that are processed. Soon enough, they don't taste like food anymore, and you wont be craving them. You'll feel better and look better, and you'll be able to sustain a healthy weight and lifestyle. This is what you aim for, right?

Of course. But how to get there? The lifestyle that I propose on this blog is one tailored to ease anxiety and limit the negative affects of stress in your life. One in seven Americans has an anxiety disorder, but even if you are blessed with a calm, happy life, you can benefit from eating this way, and so can your entire family. That's because the basic tenants of this diet are also the basic tenants of eating more healthfully.

I'm going to start covering this week by week. I think that each part of the anti-anxiety lifestyle needs to be explained in more depth, which is why I started this blog to begin with. I will be covering Complex Carbohydrates, Whole Grains, High Volume-Low Calorie Foods, Lean Meats and Alternate Proteins, Fruits and Vegetables, and Whole Foods.

If you want to lose weight eating this way, restrict your calories (1200 - 1600 per day) and exercise five times a week. Build lean muscle. Eat six small meals per day. We'll cover each of those topics in depth as well. Remember that your weight loss shouldn't exceed two pounds per week unless you are morbidly obese, and even weight loss is very hard on your body and can have extremely bad effects on your physiology. Slow and steady. Moderation. These are just as important as what you are putting into your body.

If you need to lose weight, this lifestyle can be a godsend. But I implore you to lose weight healthfully and to reform your lifestyle in such a way to keep it off. After all, we could all stand to be healthier...and a normal weight is paramount in a healthy lifestyle!

The Calm Cook

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