The crowds have subsided at the Y, however, the ones who are hanging on and many of the current members could benefit from this article. I discussed in a previous e-zine article what you put in your mouth is more important than a gym membership. Here are six weight-loss blunders to avoid that will help you live a longer and healthier life.
- You want to lose weight but have been following the same lifestyle for five years. Hello! Doing the same thing over and over and not getting the results you expected is not wise. It's time for a change. In every carefully controlled research study in which the Zone Diet has been compared to other dietary programs, the Zone has been found to be superior in hormonal control (insulin), blood glucose, blood lipid control, appetite suppression, fat loss and most importantly the reduction of cellular inflammation, a major risk factor for chronic diseases. Solution: Adapt the Zone principles.
- You become hungry two hours after a meal and eat to 'fill up' again. That was I before I read Dr. Sears' book 'The Zone.' I thought this was normal then realized it was related to blood sugar and insulin levels. If I didn't make a change, I was headed for a lifetime of medications and side effects. Solution: Balancing blood sugar with 'favorable' carbs (colorful non-starchy veggies) and lean proteins at every meal and snack provides for better mental focus, physical energy and no hunger.
- You believe foods and drinks labeled 'diet' or 'fat free' will help you lose weight. You convince yourself that consuming diet products makes it OK to eat whatever and how much you'd like. Research shows that your taste buds may be temporarily satisfied by a sweet taste, however, the brain isn't fooled and will send the signal to consume more. Solution: The best way to stop hunger is a balanced meal with lean protein and carbohydrates that don't spike insulin, i.e., colorful non-starchy vegetables.If you want to retake control of your life, then reducing cellular inflammation is the first step.
- You believe in the mantra 'calories in calories out.' It's the calories in foods that are the problem. Just cut down on calories and exercise more. Supporters of this myth disregard the types of carbohydrates and their hormonal impact. Did counting calories work for you? All the calories we need for energy are stored on our body in the form of body fat. What you need is a hormonal ATM card to release them; the Zone diet is your ATM card. The central theme of the Zone is to understand the importance of thinking of food hormonally, not calorically. Once you understand this key principle you'll begin to understand why virtually every dietary recommendation and dietary program is hormonally wrong! Caloric thinking is 'if no fat touches my lips, then no fat reaches my hips.' The Zone's hormonal thinking explains why you are eating fewer calories and are becoming heavier and sicker every year. Solution: Consume fewer high-glycemic carbs (those that elevate blood sugars rapidly -- breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, grains) and more low-glycemic carbs (slow release), colorful vegetables, broccoli, spinach, red peppers and many others.
- You believe that dietary fat is the enemy. Did you know it's impossible for dietary fat alone to make you fat? The hormone insulin makes you fat and keeps you fat. How do you increase insulin levels? Consume too many fat-free carbohydrates or too many calories at any one meal. Americans do both! The best way to fatten cattle is to raise their insulin levels by feeding them lots of low-fat grain. The best way to fatten humans is to feed them lots of low-fat grain in the form of pasta, chips, and bagels.
- You overdose on drugs daily. Yes, I'm accusing you of taking drugs. Carbohydrates are a powerful drug; excessive consumption of any drug has toxic side effects. An overdose of carbohydrates results in the excess production of insulin, which is toxic, and it increases cellular inflammation, the underlying factor for all chronic conditions, i.e., arthritis, cancer, dementia and heart disease. Solution: Control insulin in a tight Zone, not too high and not too low.
Once you know the truth about how food can balance hormones (insulin stimulated by carbohydrates and glucagon stimulated by protein), you can make dietary decisions that will add years to your life and life to your years.