The Newbie’s Guide to Losing Weight & Feeling Great
Almost three years ago, my doctor diagnosed me with Hypoglycemia. He sat me down and told me that I needed to start eating right, get active, and lose my extra 60 pounds. It was a big surprise and forced me to make lifestyle changes so things didn’t get worse.
I never cared or put much effort into living a healthy lifestyle before. But with the news I got, I soon found myself reading and learning everything I could on the topic. Funny how finding out some bad news can completely change the way you live.
Three years later and I’ve kept all the weight off, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I feel better and more self-confident than ever. Below are the diet and nutrition guidelines I follow to keep myself in check.
- Eat less if you’re over your daily limit. Check the calorie calculator here.
- Eat more green vegetables. Heck, eat more vegetables period. I never used to but once I started, my palate widened dramatically.
- Eat better and more complex carbohydrates. Switch from white bread, grain, and pastas to whole wheat or whole grain. Try brown rice instead of white rice. See this list.
- Eliminate simple sugars. Things like cookies, doughnuts, potato chips, table sugar, and fruit juices cause large fluctuations in blood glucose levels. This makes you crash and feel lethargic. See this list.
- Eat fewer carbohydrates in general. The average person can eat up to 350 grams of carbs a day (totaling 1400 calories!). Most people don’t need more than 200 grams (if very active) and more likely 150 (up to moderately active).
- Get more fiber in your diet. Nearly every person isn’t getting enough. Fiber helps regulate your digestive system and allows it to work at optimal efficiency. Eat foods with high-fiber content like broccoli, whole wheat/whole grain bread and pasta (as stated above), seeds, and beans. Take a daily fiber supplement if needed.
- Don’t drink your calories. I didn’t realize how much of my daily caloric intake was coming from liquids until I started cutting them out. Sodas, sugary fruit juices, and even alcohol (ok, I know we can’t give that up, but we can cut back) are a huge source of extra calories. Switch to diet sodas and drink more water instead.
The taste of diet sodas might take some getting used to, but soon regular soda starts tasting like liquid sugar…and not in a good way. And don’t worry about aspartame, all the “it gives you cancer” hype is a rumor. It’s one of the most tested food ingredients in history by over 100 countries and their respective food & drug administrations.
- Take a daily multivitamin. It helps ensure you’ve got everything you need to have a productive and energy-filled day. I’ve done a lot of research on good multi-vitamins that work well and won’t make you sick. I’ve found Optimen (buy here) and Optiwomen to be great.
- No starving yourself. Crash diets don’t work and can lead to serious health issues and other complications. You might lose weight initially, but you’ll ruin your metabolism and eventually put the pounds back on.
- Keep a log of what you’re eating. Learning and tracking what you’re consuming is important to keeping a healthy diet and regulating your intake. Use a written journal, online site, or smartphone app to help you out.
- Cheat sometimes, it’s okay. It’s not feasible to try and be perfect all the time. You’re going to frustrate yourself and often that leads to giving up. You’re better off treating yourself and having that big restaurant entrée with dessert once a week. Plus, what’s life if you can’t live a little?
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