I was in bad shape in September of 2014. I was 315lbs. and quick to get winded. A couple of months of walking every day helped me shed about 40lbs. then I plateaued. I reached for other ideas: diet, more exercise, looking at the collateral things (eg. getting enough sleep). Some things worked really poorly and here’s my quick recap of trials and errors:
Juicing. My partner and I got into just drinking juices, broth and water. The amount of time and expense involved was intense. The kitchen looked like terrorists attacked a fruit stand. Did I feel better? No. By day six, I was on the verge of passing out. My weight loss was exactly one colon’s worth of weight. My advice: do a day or two of juicing… maybe. Don’t do day after day of it.
Flour (or lack thereof). Flour is such a bad thing. It packs a lot of calories for something so bland. It accumulates water and gives you inflammation. I feel it’s a force-multiplier. Your burger, with its cheese and beef is made so much worse by virtue of its flour bun. If you skip flour, you skip a lot of heartache.
Sugar. I recognized long ago that sugar is worse for you than flour. Every time I discount that knowledge, I feel like crap. Sugar worms its way into processed food, so I try to steer clear of it by steering clear of processed foods.
Fat. Fat isn’t bad. Too much fat isn’t good. I have learned that starch is a bigger menace to health and weight loss than the fat on that steak. Our bodies– especially brains– need fat. Dietary fat and adipose tissue (your body’s fat) are made of the same stuff, but they are not the same. Protein, carbohydrates and fat all convert into fat when eaten to excess. But our brains are rigged to want fat. When we don’t satisfy that, the placebo for that fat leaves us unsatisfied and prone to eating more. If starch isn’t good and all foods can become fat, leaving us looking for more food to satisfy the absence of fat is an open door to excess and weight gain.
Vegetables. Eat your vegetables. Nutritionally, organic and regular vegetables are almost the same. The cost difference means that organic food has to be bought more carefully. The price point lends itself to scarcity. I don’t buy the hype. Buy your veggies. Wash your veggies. Eat your veggies. Always have a lot of vegetables ready at hand. My goto veggies: spinach, peppers, onions, zucchinis, squash. Potatoes are iffy, but I will eat them every so often. In lieu of flour, they are my starch placebo.
Exercise. Exercise is good, but it only goes so far. For me, there is U-curve to the benefits of exercise. When I was 20, I walked off 100lbs. When I was 47, I walked off 40lbs. Walking: the least strenuous sort of exercise got me to where I wanted to go. That worked through repetition. The other pipe of the U-curve that works: intense exercise. My partner and I bought 100 sessions between us with a personal trainer. Those workouts are kicking our asses. They’re also firmly up our asses. Building muscle mass is an important way to burn calories (more: http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/…burn-calories-and-fight-fat).