Thursday, November 5, 2009

Controversial Queen

Well, as some of you may already know I'm certified in fitness & nutrition. I was an assistant aerobics instructor for 2 years & then went on to teach for a couple of years. I've helped more people lose weight then I can count on my hands ... shoot I'd have to break out all of my old paper work to even give an accurate count.

So today I'm playing on FB when a friend posts that she will be going on a high protein diet to lose weight. Whenever I hear high protein, low carb plans I start worrying about peoples health because this is a very unhealthy way to go when trying to lose weight. I know that there are people out there who say this is the healthiest diet ever but the truth is (remember I studied this) it's no where close to being healthy. I understand wanting to get the weight off as quick as possible but what we all need to remember (myself included) is the weight didn't show up in a month or two and it won't come off that quick in a healthy manner either.

So with the plethora of information out there on ways to lose weight naturally how do you know which way is the best? It's actually easier then you think. No food is off limits ... only the quantity of food is off limits. Think back to the caveman times ... they weren't fatties, now were they? Nope! What did they eat? They ate plants, fruits, and animals. Any diet plan that tells us we can't have food from a certain group can't be healthy for our bodies. Think about the food pyramid ... it's not as outdated as some people would lead us to believe.

Maybe you already eat healthy, I know I sure do. It's sad when I can go to a dietitian and have her tell me I eat cleaner than any other client she has and if she's being honest, healthier then she eats too. Sometimes the foods we eat isn't what's causing the weight gain but the problem lies in the amount of food that's being taken in.

Here's an example of what I used to eat in the course of a day when I was in my 20's and trying to lose weight

Breakfast: slim fast shake
Lunch: slim fast shake
Dinner: garden salad, & a frozen dinner

Doesn't look horribly bad but let me tell ya ... I was always so darn hungry and miserable that once I reached my goal weight I stopped drinking my food. I was hungry cause I never let my caloric intake go above 1000 calories a day. Great news was I lost weight, bad news was my metabolism was so screwed up it didn't know whether to crap or go blind.

I got wise in 2000 when I started studying for my fitness & nutrition certificate. I learned how to eat properly and I learned that anything under 1200 calories a day was the worst thing I could ever do to lose weight.

Here's an example of how I ate while in school:

Breakfast: 3 egg beaters, 1 slice whole wheat toast, and potatoes
Snack: 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup fruit
Lunch: 6 inch sub sandwich and one serving of baked chips
Snack: lettuce wrap: 2 oz turkey, string cheese rolled in lettuce leaf, 1cup berries
Dinner: 1 serving pasta with grilled chicken, 1 dinner roll
Snack: 1 serving sugar free gelatin, 1 tbsp whip cream

I still eat pretty much the same way. Here's a look at what I ate just yesterday;

b:egg beaters sprinkled with ground beef & cheese, apple
s: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup pears
l: grilled chicken Caesar salad, 1 cup berries
s: mocha protein shake
d: 4 oz grilled salmon, 1 cup asparagus, tomato/cucumber salad
s: lettuce wrap: 2 oz deli meat, string cheese rolled in a romaine lettuce leaf

Sometimes eating still doesn't keep the weight off so you have to look at your fitness routine. A good rule of thumb is 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week of heart pumping aerobics and 2-3 days of weight training to build up your muscles. The stronger your muscles the more fat your body can burn. Did you know that muscle can burn 30 extra calories a day while fat can only burn 3-5? Now what would you rather have on your body? I'll take muscle please! =)

Okay, you do all of this & you still can't lose weight ... what do you do? Take your happy self to the doctor for test to be run. Most times we find that we have a thyroid problem as I did but don't let that news make you think that you can never be a healthy size again. You can, you just have to be more vigilant in your quest to lose weight & take back your life. Look for an endocrinologist in your area, you'll be amazed at what you will find out.

The following is why I'm the controversial queen ... I let a few FB people know why high protein diets like Atkins is bad for your health. Protein isn't bad so please don't get me wrong. Too much of any one thing is bad for your health. God gave us a rainbow of goodies to choose from so why stick with only one color? Of course the discussion was taken out of the spirit it was intended & I was basically told that Atkins is the healthiest diet there is out there cause after all ... it helps you lose weight fast which keeps you motivated to keep losing. Oh, let me not forget that it drops your cholesterol (not mine) along with other things that people claim to be great.

The following conditions may result from too much protein in the diet: The Atkins Diet

Heart disease, Kidney damage, Constipation, Tumors and cancerous growths, Biochemical imbalances in the tissues (over acidity), Arthritis, and Bone-loss (osteoporosis). These are some really scary conditions. I do have one final question for people who think Atkins is the best thing since sliced bread. If this diet is the "be all end all" then why is it that when Atkins died, he died obese?

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