Quick, natural weight loss with simple diet & easy exercise
Welcome to Works for Me Wednesday, sponsored by Rocks In My Dryer. This week, my tip has to do with that nemesis called weight loss.
After six full-term pregnancies, let's just say the scale didn't tip in my favor. I was trying to eat well, and usually lost extra weight from breastfeeding, but this time it didn't help. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, so I prayed.
One day, my friend told me about her low-carb self-modified Atkins diet and how well it was working for her. I saw the proof on her smaller frame and knew her approach held the key for me. Quick evaluation revealed I was a carbohydrate freak, and protein and I were barely on speaking terms.
I didn't realize that as a result, the terrible combination of too much carbs and little protein caused everything I ate to turn straight to the blossoming fat pockets on my body. What I needed, was to use up all the energy in my food instead of letting it store, and then use my abundant fat reserves for backup.
I decided to break up with Mr. Carb and start courting protein: I upped my protein intake and dropped carbs to 30 grams or less a day, give or take. Considering my diet was full of bread and sugar (both large carb sources) and that I'd eat more than 30 grams of carbs just for breakfast with my favorite breakfast food, cereal, I was definitely eating way too much.
No wonder I hadn't been able to lose weight.
My new meals consisted of eggs with ricotta cheese, little or no toast, more steak and chicken, and snack of peanut butter celery sticks or almonds or cashews. When I do eat bread, I eat low carb bread. (Only net carbs count: net carbs is the fiber grams count deducted from the total carbs listed on the package).
But that's not all. I began small exercise sessions in my bathroom. Yup, the smallest of these small rooms in the house, excluding the wash closet. I began to do squats while brushing my teeth or hair, and side kicks standing next to the bathroom while waiting for Stridex to dry on my face so I could apply lotion.
This easy exercise regimen along with my diet has dropped me ten pounds since June, twenty from my all fat, no-muscle postpartum weight at two months after delivery. I've gained noticeable muscle, which weighs more than fat and lost inches. (This is why the scale is not your friend and the tape measure is.)
Here's what I've lost so far. Postpartum references my stats at 2 months post-delivery.:
- Biceps: 1" (same postpartum)
- Waist: 1.5" (2" postpartum)
- Hip: 3" (5.5" from postpartum!)
- Butt: 2" (3" postpartum)
- Thigh: 1.5+" (2.5" postpartum)
- Calves: .75" (same postpartum)
- 19 lb. lost postpartum
And I'm not killing myself with exercise. This is user friendly and do-able. If it works for me, it can work for you too!
Go ahead. The next time you brush your teeth, try a few leg squats. And bypass that cereal and toast for a banana and eggs.
Updated to add: Transitioning off carbs can be difficult if most of your diet consists of carbs. The first struggle is figuring out what to eat because that means no more cereal, toast, bagels, cookies, crackers, chips, pancakes, pastry, rice, pasta, or lots of dairy unless the grain items are specifically low in net carbs. And fruits and candy are out while you're losing because sugars translate to carbs which turn to fat.
So what do you eat? Think protein and veggies and lots of water which you need anyway but probably aren't getting anywhere near enough of in your current diet: meats (watch out for processed meals), eggs, nuts, soy, veggies. Go for stir fry meals made with olive oil and seasoned to taste, and try a few fish meals or hearty soup and stews (cut out the potato and rice).
Once you start the transition, you'll find for the first three days that you feel ravenous. But you're really not starving. Your stomach just thinks it is. If you really monitor what you put into your stomach: three eggs with ricotta cheese and a slice of provolone over ham, you're eating enough. But your stomach thinks it's hungry because it craves carbs and processes food differently than you want it to.
It's used to having an abundance of carbs to get energy from with more to spare which it stores. In those first days, your body must learn to burn off protein instead of carbs, and then get its resources from your stored energy--your fat. Around day three, you will begin to feel full quicker, and notice you feel lighter. When that happens, congratulations! You're body is switched over.
In the mean time, push yourself to drink more water to help fill your stomach in that transition period.
Keep this transition period in mind because you don't want your body to transition back to burning carbs from food, which it will do if you slip back into your carb-dependent diet. Encourage yourself by remembering this is a temporary phase. Once you reach a weight where your clothes fit well and your body can move better, then you can begin adding back carbs in small increments until your weight maintains itself.
Balance is the key. Best wishes, all.
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