(From the old board - NOTE: THIS IS A POST FROM APRIL. I just transported it from an older board. Please thank HER, not me, for the wonderful advice! )
For those of you who've read this time and again on the old boards, my apologies. I've been reading the new posts here and there's a "I'm stalled" and a "I'm about ready to give up" mood going around and I thought it might help to resurrect this relic of mine.
If you're about ready to give up, it might help to read this:
1. Write down the carb content of everything you put into your mouth.
And I do mean EVERYTHING. The sugar-free gum I chew has 2 grams of carbs per stick. It's bubblegum and I like to blow big bubbles, so I chew three sticks at a time. That's 6 carbs right there. If you're only allowed to have 20 per day, that's a large hunk just for something frivolous. It's wise to spend your carbs on natural foods. Please, please, please write down everything you put into your mouth. It's easy to just guess at the carbs you've had for the day, and most often you will be wrong. You will think you've only had 20 when really you've had nearly 50. You must count the sugar substitute you use, the cream you put in coffee, the mints you suck on, et cetera. If it goes into your mouth, you must count the carbs, no matter how small.
2. Don't eat low carb bars or anything else with hidden carbs in them.
Low carb bars say they have only 3 carbs, but they really have 18. Don't eat them. Also, learn to read labels on foods. They lie. Think about it. If it says it has zero carbs, yet sugar is listed in the ingredients, how can it NOT have carbs? Think about that. Use a hidden carb calculator (if you need one, e-mail me and I'll send one to you in an Excel spreadsheet) and punch in the numbers to get the real carb content. If you are losing weight just fine by eating foods that say zero carbs on the label, yet there is sugar somewhere in the ingredients, keep eating it. But, if you have stalled or you are gaining weight, eat nothing that has sugar listed in the ingredients. You'll break your stall and continue to lose weight. Guaranteed.
3. Stay off the scale.
I only weighed myself once per month. Please don't weigh yourself each day. Daily weight fluctuations can be very discouraging and they are due to myriad reasons. Weigh only once per month. This is non-negotiable for your frame of mind just now.
4. Eat natural foods.
As mentioned above, the wise person will expend their daily carb allotment on nautral foods. Meats, fowl, veggies, et cetera. Stay away from the low carb shakes and bars. Stay away from processed foods such as bologna and hot dogs. Eat instead a steak with sauteed mushrooms, a few ounces of cheese, and a small salad with Ranch dressing. Don't eat low-fat foods. Low fat foods are such because they add sugar to them to make up for the fat taken out. Remember: low fat = high carb. I reiterate: count every gram of carbs and keep a tally for the day. The meal I just mentioned above tallies up to just a few carbs and it's a large meal. It will keep you feeling satiated, whereas if you ate a low carb bar at 18 grams, you would still be hungry.
Or do some other form of exercise. When I began, I walked 3 miles a day. Exercise starts your furnace burning and long after you've stopped the movements, your furnace is still on and burning. Trust me. Exercise is key to weight loss.
6. Take your measurements.
Again, just do this once a month. When you compare weight loss against inches lost, you will be astounded to realize that in the times when you've not lost weight, you will have lost inches. Please take your measurements.
7. Take your supplements.
Each morning I take a Multi-Vitamin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and two prescription meds. The calcium and potassium stop the leg cramps from occuring.
8. DRINK WATER.
Again, this one is non-negotiable. You will not succeed in weight loss if you don't drink enough water. The rule of thumb here is that you have to drink half of you body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 200 pounds, drink at least 100 ounces of water each day. Trust me. I've been doing this since 1998 and I know of what I speak. Drink the water. Diet sodas and coffee and other drinks DO NOT COUNT to your water tally for the day. Drink the water in addition to them and remember this: caffeine is a natural diuretic and you must drink additional water to make up for that.
9. Stay away from sweets.
This is a biggie, especially if you crave them. I can eat sugar-free Jell-O with Redi Whip on top (all very low carb), yet the sweetness of the taste of it triggers a craving for something full of sugar. Most people don't have this problem. If you do, I implore you to stay away from anything that tastes sweet unto you can get a handle on your cravings. L-Glutamin will go a long way in helping you to ward of sugar cravings.
10. Get support.
Talking and discussing with others what works and what doesn't with this way of life is key in getting your mind geared towards losing weight. Your mental attitude is all-important in weight loss. Dr. Atkins calls it the psychology of weight loss. I call it the weight-loss mindset. Finding fellow low carbers is a tremendous help. The low carb community is a wonderful support system here and I'm glad I found it.
I could add one more tidbit of advice. Persevere. If you give up, you'll look back two months from now and say: "Hmm. If I'd have kept on going, I might have been twenty pounds lighter now." As with anything in life, if you persevere, you will attain.
352 / 205 / 180
5'10", large frame, size 13 shoe