Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting Started

So, you know you need to lose weight.  Your health may be at stake, your career might be at stake in some cases, and certainly your enjoyment of life is at stake.  It's decision time - you are ready to commit - what to do?

1.  First, eliminate high density carbohydrates - bread, pasta, any liquid calories (milk, gatorade, cola/dr. pepper/mt. dew), and most non-whole foods (potato chips, fries, food bars, and most anything in a wrapper, especially if the product boasts a "healthy" label).  Quinoa, rice, potatoes - for now, these too are out.  If I didn't mention cake and ice cream and such, I hope you would still realize those are not on the menu for now.  For now, fruit is also a 'no go'.  Beer?  Not if you want to get over your health/body fat/living well hurdle.  If proceeding without some form of booze for a month is not appealing, try Robb Wolf's NORCAL Margarita:  shot of tequila or gin, with a whole lemon or lime's worth of juice, over ice with a bit of carbonated water.

Bread is the enemy - if you are already overweight and starting to show the signs of metabolic syndrome, and can't get used to the idea that the industrial food product known as "bread" is not really suitable for human consumption, you will die fat and sick.  Sugar - same thing.

2.  Get some fish oil, and get a gram of DHA/EPA down the hatch daily.

3.  Supplement with 2-6000iu of vitamin d gel caps.  If you are in the sun routinely and have been for most of your life, you may still make vitamin d; 90% of us reportedly do not.  Make a guess where you fall on the "always sunbathing" to "never see the light of day scale" and supplement vitamin d accordingly.  There are few things that will make a more palpable impact on your health or how you feel than restoring normal vitamin d levels.

4.  Eat good veggies if you like them.  Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, radish, peppers, spinach - what they used to call the "5% vegetables" for their low percentage of carbohydrate content.  Dress these veggies with butter, olive oil, vinegar, and/or real blue cheese dressing.  You don't need to be concerned with calories per se during this period.

5.  Make a plan to get 100g of protein (that's about 15 ounces of meat, but you can also use hard cheese) down the hatch per day.

6.  When you get hungry, you may add coconut oil, coconut cream, or coconut pieces to satiety.  You can also eat nuts, but don't get crazy with nuts - munch on two or three at a time, not handfuls.  Don't count the protein in the nuts as part of your 100g.  Macadamia nuts are primo - walnuts, pecans and almonds are ok.  Stay away from the cashews for now; they are high in starch.  Some folks also really enjoy pork rinds - just keep the water handy!  If you put stuff in your coffee - stop, and start using only heavy whipping cream.  Trust me, you'll thank me for this later.

7.  Additional supplementation to work into your program over the next week or two:
-Magnesium - not much.  You know you've had too much when you get the trots.  Start out with a tablet or a half spoonful of a powder like Natural Calm, and work your way up from there.
-Glutamine powder - available as a recovery powder at Wal Mart.  Helps in the 1-3 week adaptation period.
-ALA - alpha lipoic acid is a potent anti oxidant and worth experimenting with when you are putting yourself through the relative metabolic stress of shifting from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner.

In part 2, we'll switch from the what to the why.

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