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Friday, July 27, 2012

I Hate Diet Pills

Yay!! The FDA has finally approved the first prescription diet drug in 13 years despite concerns of heart valve damage.  I have a feeling this one will go the way of all the other diet drugs that were discontinued due to an unacceptable rate of morbidity and mortality.  See ya...

Our "I want it now" society is so willing to stuff pills, potions, and shakes down its gullet that most people don't care about safety or keeping the weight off long term they just want to drop it now.  The fastest ways to lose a lot of weight fast are liposuction and starvation (ie lap band or stomach bypass or just plain old sew the lips shut starvation).  Both methods give rapid results with serious risks if you really want it now.  I do not recommend either option.

I am not a fan of over the counter diet pills which are basically high ass doses of caffeine and its analogs that raise your blood pressure and heart rate in a body that probably already has high blood pressure.  Drinking coffee on top of those or taking prescribed amphetamine analogs with them could land you in the emergency room or in the morgue.

There is a tried and true way to lose weight and keep it off.  It involves the two most dreaded words in the English language: lifestyle modification. Oh yes, you will lie to your doctor about making all the changes he/she suggested even though you didn't make any attempt at them.  The doc knows you are lying if the weight isn't coming off. I know you are lying and most of all you know you are lying.  The only person you hurt is yourself.

Weight loss is super easy and steady if you make even the slightest changes so I am going to give you simple sure fire tips to drop weight.  Mind you it will be a slow process but you are more likely to keep the weight off with these tips, feel better in the long run, and if your heart could it would leave you a big sloppy thank you note.

1.  Stop making excuses for yourself.  Big is beautiful, I'm big boned, it's a thyroid problem, etc.  All of these are excuses that pretty much set yourself up for ridicule and failure.  You have this wonderful biochemical machine at your disposal that will do wondrous things and can last for 100 years or more if you take care of it.

2.  Go to your doctor, find a new doctor, just get to a doctor and get a good baseline on all your biochemical values.  You need to know your current weight, blood pressure, your HbA1c (indicator of blood sugar levels over the past 3 months), if you have vitamin deficiencies, if you really do have a thyroid imbalance, your liver function, full cholesterol panel and if there are any indicators of underlying disease that have been undiagnosed so far because you haven't bothered to see a doctor in X amount of years.  These tests let you know how much neglect and stress your body has suffered so far.  These tests also will let the doc evaluate what types of dietary changes and exercise changes would be best for your situation.

3.  Keep a food diary.  You may think this is stupid but most people don't realize how much and what types of food they consume on a daily basis.  Forgot you had 3 iced coffees and a donut for breakfast?  Those four items could have already put you over 1200 calories and you still ate 2 more times that day. I'm not gonna tell you to micromanage your calorie intake but I do want you to be aware of portion sizes and types of things you eat and drink in a day.  Everything you put in the body pretty much stays with you as stored fat if you don't burn it off.

4.  Stop drinking your calories.  Changing from regular soda to diet or zero versions of that soda can save the average person 600-1200 calories per day.  Drink a small glass of juice with breakfast instead of a large one.  Don't use half a pound of sugar when you mix a packet of  Kool-Aid.  Switch to skim milk.  It can take some getting used to but you still get the vitamins and flavor without all the fat content.

5.  Drink more water.  I prefer to filter my tap water through a Brita pitcher to get out most of the chemicals and things that pass through in the cleaning process from water treatment facilities.  It makes a huge difference in the taste of tap water and it is significantly cheaper than buying cases of bottled water, most of which are tap water or spring water (which is full of microscopic critters and dirt, ew).

6. Eat more colorful foods. I'm not talking Fruit Loops and candies I'm talking veggies and fruits.  The more natural whole foods you eat the better off you are.  Whole veggies and fruits are chock full of vitamins, antioxidants and water which ALL help your body take care of itself and don't give you the lazy tired feeling of a high fat, high carb meal.  If you are leery of pesticide residue buy organics or grow a small garden of your own.

7. Eat lean cuts of meat and fish.  You don't have to give up meat completely just leave the fatty steak behind and go for a leaner option.  Any piece of meat can be awesome when properly cooked and seasoned to personal preference and fish is not only delish but also full of omega-3 fatty acids (heart healthy fats).

8.  Limit carbs like bread, pasta and rice.  Make them a significantly smaller part of your food intake because they are calorie/sugar dense which can add the pounds if not moderated.

9. Don't be afraid to treat yourself once in a while.  Make your favorite sweet or restaurant meal a reward for your hard work.  Lost 15 pounds?  It is okay to celebrate with an ice cream bar, just one because if you get a little crazy  that 15 will be right back on.

10. Make exercise fun!  You don't have to go to a fancy gym and have a trainer beat you up to lose weight.  Make exercise a family affair.  Play sports that the whole family enjoys or take daily family walks so you all get exercise.  Walk those golf clubs around instead of taking the little cart. Swim. Vigorous dusting, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming will not only get the heart pumping but your house will be squeaky clean!

11.  Expect failure and small victories.  Nothing is built in a day and years of self neglect takes a lot of time to reverse.  It is better to try and try again than to quit or never start at all.

I leave you with the words of the dumbest promotion ever, Thank you (for reading) and be well!