You probably think you have a good idea of what is ‘good’ for you and what isn’t even though we too often choose to ignore that information.
It’s a sort of common knowledge that fast food is generally recognized as unhealthy, although some places are improving. Grocery stores are displaying products with labels claiming everything from ‘light’ to ‘low fat’ to ‘net carbs’ and ‘sugar alcohols?’ As a personal trainer and health and fitness nut, even I sometimes get confused. The question I get asked most often, however, is this, “How do I lose weight fast?” This question is asked so often in fact, that it is often among the top ten Googled phrases in any given month!
I feel like I answer this question so often that I could recite the answer backward while running with the bulls in Pamplona. I have come to believe that nobody likes my answer. I will try to put the same answer in new words. The following is my attempt to help you lose as much weight as possible without putting yourself in physical danger.
There is one key item to remember when trying to lose weight. Weight loss is not just an event that happens and then you continue to live how you did before you lost weight. Weight loss is something that I assume all of you would like to be permanent, right? You must then make the following suggestions a permanent part of your life.
1.White is the new BAD!
It is pretty safe to say that if the food you are about to eat is white, it is probably loaded with carbohydrates or calories or both. Stay a galactic distance away from bread, rice (yes, even brown), cereal, potatoes, fried foods, tortillas, pasta and just about anything with breading of any sort. If the food you are about to eat is white, was white or will be white, just picture every bite adding another roll to your body in a place you don’t want rolls. Whiter = Wider.
2. Eat outside the box
The wise and infinitely energetic fitness guru Jack Lalanne once said, “if it’s in a box, don’t eat it.” Lalanne suggested selecting foods from the outside of the grocery store. That is usually where the unprocessed foods are located. Boxed foods are typically loaded with fattening carbs, sodium and pretty much anything else that causes cancer, obesity, diabetes or death. Stick to veggies, eggs, chicken, lettuce or fish. Boxes will make you look like a balloon.
3. Don’t drink your calories
Sugar is white; therefore, according to weight loss rule #1, sugar is bad. If your soda or beverage of choice has double-digit sugar grams, shame on you. Pour it out and smack your hand. To make it easy, stick to drinking water, green tea or coffee – all with minimal sweeteners of any sort and limit creamer to two tablespoons. Red wine has shown to extend life expectancy and lower blood pressure. Limit Red wine to two glasses daily. White wine? See rule #1 about the color white.
4. Give the doctor his fruit back
An apple a day, or orange, or whatever fruit will not keep the doctor away. Don’t eat it. I know, I know. “The media says its good for me and there is even fruit on that pyramid thing that’s on my cereal box.” Put the cereal AND the fruit down. NOW! You will be fine without fruit every day. It is loaded with that evil white sugar hidden behind the name fructose. Our body will turn that sugar to stored fat so fast that last year’s swimsuit will be this year’s oil rag in the garage. Fruit juice is no exception. Some fruit juices, yes those cute bottles of fruit-flavored sugar water we give to our kids, are even worse than sodas for sugar content. There are some obvious objections to this rule, but for the sake of losing weight as quick and long-term as possible, just say no.
5. Take a day off
Watching what you eat can be stressful and boring. Allow yourself one day a week (my “cheat day” is usually Sunday) to eat the cookies in the office, steal your kids Easter candy, and order that pie for desert. The funny thing is, when you dramatically spike your calorie intake once a week, it actually promotes fat-loss by not allowing your metabolism to plateau. Limit this heavenly fat-filled, no calorie counting euphoria to only once per week and watch your belly shrink back to size.
So there you have it. The same rules I tell all my clients. It’s not hard. Think about it. You now only have to shop the outside of the grocery store. You need only to buy a small number of items. You can still eat crappy foods. You lose weight. I think I just may have made your life a little easier. Follow these rules and don’t listen to fancy marketing or late night infomercials.
When you feel like you’re losing sight of what to believe, return to this blog and read it once again.