The Framework

(NOTE: This is Part 5 of a series on diet and lifestyle change.)

You are ready to work on the very framework of your new life. You have everything you need, now we get to the materials and the basic work itself.

Lots of science shows that more frequent, smaller meals are the key to weight loss. Personally, I have found portion control to be the single most effective part of changing my diet. It takes eating a great deal to even reach a weight above 250 pounds, and I often found thin people were surprised at how much I actually ate. So eat less, eat a normal amount at meals, a sensible portion. You may find you lose weight, initially, doing this alone! I know I did.

Reduce the fat content of your meals. Do it when you SHOP, so that you don’t have to be tempted with high-fat items at home. Buy only items where the FDA label says the ratio of “calories from fat” to “total calories” is less than say, 1/4 to 1/3. No need to be too much of a stickler, there’s “wiggle room”, but this a general guideline.

Many diets cut carbohydrates. I don’t personally believe in this approach, with the exception of “unnecessary” carbs. Don’t fill up on breads you dont need, desserts, lots of sugar, etc. Its just empty caloric intake that you don’t need.

Avoid high fructose corn syrup if you can. HFCS trains your brain to respond to a sweeter flavor than other sweeteners, including plain sugar. When first cutting it out, you may find that foods don’t taste as good as they did before, but you need to let yourself reaclimate, it’s the only way to escape this diabolical trap of the food industry. While your at it, avoid unhealthy artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, found in virtually all diet beverages. Its terrible stuff, I invite you to research it further.

Personally, I like to have a meal replacement bar for breakfast. There are many out there now which have good flavor and are quick, filling, and healthy. I like Special K’s best.

Snack on healthy fruits and vegetables when possible. I like baby carrots as a snack, they are crunchy and flavorful and if you want to have a SMALL amount of fat-free ranch dressing on them, that works too. You don’t have to abandon all your salty or sweet snack impulses though, there are good options of baked chips and low far cookies out there, great strides have been made in those in recent years.

Drink lots of water throughout the day. This will keep you from feeling too hungry, and has immense benefits in and of itself. Not to mention hydration is good when you exercise more, as you surely should. A plan of regular daily exercise, such as walking, even if for only a short duration, will have great benefit to your health.

(I feel it necessary to add that you should of course consult your doctor before starting any diet/exercise plan. He/she can help you tailor the framework of your new home to fit you far better than I could.)

Lastly, one of the most beneficial tools in dieting is a plan which allows you to create an ongoing food plan and adjust what you wat based on your intake. Weight Watchers is such a plan, and I have made great use of myfitnesspal.com as well. Find one right for you.

Your house will be up and built before you know it, and next you will weatherproof it to make it even more secure.

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