The Six Hacks That Helped Me Lose Weight

Does your body hurt?  Do you have aches and pains?  Do you think it’s from ‘growing old’?  Are you popping pain relievers first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon?

Want to know a secret?

What if I told you that, I, too, suffered from aches and pain.  It hurt simply to walk.  There was no rhyme or reason for it other than I was nearing the half century mark. It’s part of getting older is how we think of it, right?  What if it’s not?  What if normal is being able to walk without pain?  Would you believe me if I told you I did it?  Within weeks, I was walking normally. No pain. No hitch in my saddle. Normal. 

finger over lips in a Shhh

How did I do it?

Are you familiar with Einstein’s definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? If what you’re doing isn’t working, then something needs to change.  Eating dinner out five nights a week?  Eat at home five nights a week.  Eating fast food for lunch during the work week?  Pack your lunch three days a week. How did I change?  I stopped eating processed foods six days a week.  What does that mean? I hear you saying.  To tell the truth, it means no bread, pasta, rice, muffins, bagels, flour, etc.  Oh, I can’t do that! What would I eat?

Learn something new

People don’t like change.  I get it.  To explain, I was tired, in pain, irritated with my brain fog, and all I could think of was my dad saying, “Growing old ain’t for sissy’s.”  Really?  This is what my life is coming down to? A tired blob of pain?  No!  Fuck that!

There has got to be a better way!

Hence, it got me doing research, which showed I needed to go back to eating meat.  The research indicated it would help me achieve the results I desired.  This took some time for me to ponder.  Did I want to give up being a Vegetarian? Moreover, making this decision took some soul-searching.  In the end, What did I have to lose? I could always go back to being a Vegetarian.  The data showed me where I would most likely see changes.  Changes that I needed for me to be healthy and for my body to run optimally.

fire in a gril

Up next, the Pantry

At any rate, there are folks who have gone on this journey before me and were kind enough to share their stories. Better yet, they have shared their recipes!  I tossed the flour and sugars and rebuilt my pantry from scratch.  This time, with items that would not make my joints hurts and my blood sugar go crazy.  Likewise, I learned how to cook differently, using ingredients that would allow my body to heal; reduce inflammation.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

Would you believe me if I shared with you that 80% of processed foods have sugar in them? Go grab three items from your pantry that you don’t think has sugar in it.  Mayonnaise?  It’s in most brands.  Bread? Yep! Spaghetti sauce?  Oh yeah!  Take a look at the amount of sugar that’s in your yogurt and granola. Go ahead!  How much?  That’s healthy for you though, right? If you’re like me and have put on 15 pounds (or more) and don’t know how it happened, let me share what I’ve discovered.  First, though, do me (and yourselves) a favor…Read the labels on your foods to see which ones have sugar.  Next, if they have more than 6 grams of sugar per serving, they need to go!  Do not buy these!

Our bodies are designed to process very little sugar

 Dr. Robert Lustig is in the process of uncovering how many words there currently is for sugar.  It’s over 200, and he’s still counting!  I know of 61. High fructose corn syrup is one of the major ones.  It’s cheap to make and is used in a variety of packaged foods. What all of this consumption is doing is making our bodies insulin resistant.  This means that it’s making our pancreas work harder and harder as we continue to eat processed foods with all of this sugar in it.  Essentially, the body stores all of the excess sugar as fat.  Bingo!  That’s where my extra 15 pounds came from!  Furthermore, I continued to eat the bagels, muffins, pasta, and rice. Whole grain pancakes are good for me, right? Nope! Again, my body couldn’t process this stuff fast enough, and I gained even more weight.

I’ll just exercise it away

trail in the woods with sunshine peaking through

Meanwhile, my doctor told me to eat less and move my body more.  Have you ever been told this? It’s bullshit!  I spent four hours, most weeks, on the greenway, yet my weight didn’t change all that drastically.  Can you lose weight with calorie restriction?  Yes.  Is it sustainable?  I’m not willing to find out.  For me, it was easier to eat meat, learn to make things using ingredients that didn’t inflame my body, and eventually, I added another element to my routine.

16:8

Truly, I didn’t think I could get on the bandwagon, yet, I eventually did.  As the fat melted off my body, I got excited and wanted to see what else I could do to make the fat disappear even faster!  Looking in the mirror and seeing skin and muscle, less cellulite, and only small bulges of fat was super inspiring!  I wanted more of that  My research led me to fasting. Some research says for women to fast 14 hours each night and eat in a 10 hour window during the day.  I started with this and eventually switched to 16:8, which means I fast for 16 hours each night, giving me eight hours during the day to eat.  I typically only eat two meals a day.  They consist of Brunch around 11:30 AM then dinner in the evening, which I prefer to have finished by 7 PM each night.  This ensures I stay on my eating schedule. Recently, I’ve started fasting for about 21 hours on Sunday.  There is no particular reason.  It just seems to be a day when I’m busy, not really hungry, and don’t feel the need to eat til dinner time.

Eat only when you are hungry

Conversely, you probably heard it’s best to eat every few hours to keep your blood sugar stable.  As one who had gestational diabetes, I heard this during all of my pregnancies. Guess what?  Bullshit yet again!  Above all, eating every few hours, especially if it’s the processed crap we’ve all grown accustomed  to eating, is contributing big time to your weight gain, aches and pains, tiredness, and, oh, wait, let me guess…  You’re sick all the time?  At least twice a year?  It was weird at first.  Namely, having to tune into my body and figure out when it was telling me it was hungry.  Specifically, new clues like this feeling in my stomach, the loud rumblings, and eventually, it has become this feeling of it is time. In truth, hangry became a thing of the past quickly.
At any rate, you want: more energy, less aches and pains, less illness, less body fat, to give the ‘growing old’ feeling the boot, and to avoid becoming diabetic. Am I right?  To this end, cook at home. Ditch processed foods. Ditch sugar. Eat meat. Eat when you’re hungry. Fast, especially if you want to lose fat faster!

I did it, and you can too!  Change is the only constant.  Thus, if what you’re doing isn’t working, what have you got to lose?  With this purpose in mind, try one concept.  Then another. In fact, when you have the hang of those, add a third. How are you feeling?  How is your energy?  Will you share with me which one you are working on and how it’s going?  It would be an honor to cheer you on!

lady jumping at dusk with mountains in the background

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