I dont want to sound like Oprah Winfrey and make some
big announcement about going on a diet, so lets just
say Im experimenting with the latest knowledge in weight
Eighteen years ago when I was pregnant with my son, Jairzinho,
I packed on the pounds and even then some over the subsequent
years. For years I blamed the weight on the poor kid.
I told doctor after doctor I was hungry all the time. No one
came to my rescue. I tried fasts, Dr Atkins, The Carbohydrate
Addicts Dietyou name it, I tried it, only to be
defeated by my ravenous appetite.
Then one day I decided to exercise more. I took up swimming
and tai chi. That helped to keep me sane and the activity
cut my appetite somewhat. The problem then was what to eat.
I decided to do some research into nutrition and weight loss
and I found out some really interesting information.
An article entitled How dieting works by Marshall
Brain gives a crash course in how calories work. He says when
the body is at rest, watching TV for example, you burn about
12 calories a pound of body weight a day. That means that
if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), your body uses only about
1,800 calories a day (150 x 12).
I have read articles that give everything from ten to 16 calories
a pound of body weight. Deepak Chopra weighs in with the highest
calories a pound of body weight. It takes 3,500 calories to
create one pound of new fat on your body.
So the question is how to get rid of the fat.
One day I saw a nutritionist on Oprah and she said no one
on a diet should lose more than eight pounds a month. She
said the human body cant burn more than eight pounds
of fat a month so if youre losing more than that, youre
losing something else like water and muscle. Other nutrition
sites agreed with that.
Nutritionists say the slower weight comes off, the longer
it stays off. This is because it suggests real life-style
changes and not fad or crash diets designed to lose weight
fast. The result of these diets, in case you havent
noticed, is that usually more weight than ever comes on.
Nutritionists say that when you deprive yourself of food and
you eat low-calorie diets, your body sends a chemical message
that youre in starvation mode. It sends more of the
chemical to make you hungry and voila! You are caught in a
Nutritionists also agree that people who are not overweight
usually eat a good breakfast. You should eat 1/3 of your calories
for breakfast and that breakfast should be before 7.30 in
the morning. Silly me always thought: good, Im not hungry
in the morning so I wont eat until Im hungry.
Sure enough, as the day progressed I would get hungrier after
I started eating. Nutritionists say that is because of the
long fast you go on in your sleep. When you wake up, you continue
that fast and once again your body produces that chemical
that says youre in starvation mode.
Much to my surprise a good, solid breakfast did keep me from
getting hungry during the day. A bowl of oatmeal with some
raisins and nuts or a high-fibre cereal low in sugar with
some flaxseed and soya milk kept me from getting hungry and
prevented me from feeling tired and hungry in the afternoon.
Brain says that to begin a diet you start by counting the
calories that you consume in a day. This helps you to understand
how many calories you are eating on a normal day.
Then you can adjust to suit. One site says that the United
Nations considers under 1,600 calories a day starvation. No
nutrition site I consulted suggested those 1,000 to 1,200
calorie diets and certainly not less than 1,000 calories.
After you become aware of your calories, start to become aware
of what foods trigger your appetite and what foods make you
feel full. Eat lots of bulky food, celery and lettuce, but
make it interesting. Good salads and some peanut butter on
celery. Soup is also good for you if it has lentils and vegetables
and is low in fat.
Many people say they have amazing weight results from giving
up white starches and white sugar. That will eliminate a lot
of high-calorie foods like biscuits and candy. Give up white
rice and white bread and substitute brown rice and brown bread.
Brain also suggests that you give up all calories from drinking
while you are adjusting your weight. Skip the juice and soft
drink and drink water. Giving up fried foods will also go
a long way towards weight loss.
You should add one hour of exercise to your routine every
day. This burns calories and helps you feel better. Incorporate
micro-exercises into your life. Instead of taking the elevator,
walk up the stairs or park further away than you usually do.
Walk, walk, walk. So far I have managed to lose 24 pounds
in four months just by making some simple changes. I dont
know if I have this weight problem beat, but I sure know that
a little research has given me a better understanding of how
exactly we put on weight.
Remember, Im no expert and you need to consult your
doctor about any exercise and dietary changes. Be informed
and find the best solution for you.