So, you’ve decided it’s time to lose a little bit of the winter belly. Good for you as that choice is an important one.
Obesity has now become an epidemic in our nation. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 25 per cent of Canadians, in 2007, were qualified as obese, costing an estimated $4.3 billion annually. I’m certain that number is higher today.
Dr. Birmingham wrote in the Canadian Medical Association Journal: “Almost one-third of adult Canadians are at increased risk of disability, disease and premature death because of being obese”
We are seeing obesity trends in our children that we have never seen before.
Nationally, British Columbia has the lowest incidence of obesity with Newfoundland being the highest.
We are living in an era where we are inundated with well-meaning information—trendy, hyped, erroneous and some cutting-edge. There is a fundamental list of do’s and don’ts to get you ready for bathing suit season.
One of the best trainers and exercise physiologist I’ve ever known, Kevin Weiss, stated that you must allow at least six weeks for change.
You’re not allowed to be discouraged during that time as it takes this long for your physiology to adjust from sloth to stealth.
And whatever regiment you are on, you must be successful at least 80 per cent of the time in order to have lasting effects.
Change your diet to a diet of real food. If it comes out of a box or it is refined or processed in any way, it is not for you.
Your diet should consist of any kind of fruit and being in the word ‘berry,’ nothing tropical, all vegetables except for corn and potatoes and healthy doses of meat, fish, seeds and nuts.
There is an excellent website called bulletproofexec.com that provides you with a shopping list for just such a diet.
Make sure that you add two doses daily of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) to your regimen. This will aid in the mobilization of free fatty acids and, most importantly, feed your brain.
Avoid wheat at all costs. I do not subscribe to the theory that we should have five to nine servings of grains a day as I find that their glycemic index is massive.
This belief is antiquated and no longer stands up to scientific, evidence-based scrutiny.
In conjunction, it is very pro-inflammatory.
Would it surprise you to know that one slice of whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic index than a Snickers bar?
I have many patients who are insulin dependent diabetics and all who have removed wheat from their diet have reduce their insulin requirements by at least 60 per cent. All report weight loss without exercise.
More evidence-based research may be found in the book Wheat Belly by a cardiologist, Dr. William Davis.
A nice rule of thumb is to avoid all things that are white—potatoes, rice, flour, sugar, pasta, etc., all of which contain enormous amount of carbohydrates which will be your demise. If you’re going to drink alcohol, make sure it is vodka distilled from potatoes. This has the lowest glycemic index and is the kindest of all the spirits to your system.
Beer, coolers and drinks with syrupy mixes are a no-no.
Make sure you move, or exercise deliberately three times a week. Do whatever it is that you love.
Most importantly, anticipate ways that you may fail. For example, not shopping appropriately, allowing yourself to get too hungry and not preparing meals properly.
Next, have an action plan on how to avoid these pitfalls in advance. Then, simply do it.
Goals need to be clearly outlined on a weekly and monthly basis. Put a reminder on your bathroom mirror, one on your debit card and one on the dash of your car to kindly remind yourself that you are going to be who you want to be, and that with each day you will come closer to your goal.
I remember Kevin Weiss once told me: “Everybody wants to be fit and healthy, you just have to do it; not just want it.”