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Thinking Thin - Are We There Yet?

In the last seven 'thinking thin' articles we discussed the importance of mental attitude, body image and preparation in achieving healthy, lasting weight loss. In this article we'll talk about food. Since it is not within the scope of these articles to provide recipes or a full weight loss program, here are some general guide lines, and some ideas, of how and what you should be eating.

This information applies to the first two or three weeks. Though the only thing you would change to continue on the program, would be to add in some complex carbohydrates...a bit of bread and occasionally some pasta or rice.

The First Week

Now before we begin - if you are truly disciplined for the the first week to ten days, you'll see results immediately and will be encouraged to continue. This is what we want, to see those numbers change. Personally I never use a scale and don't own one. It's too easy to fall into the pattern of checking our weight everyday, and since it fluctuates up and down by a couple of pounds, over the course of a week, it can be very discouraging.

Rather use a tape measure to monitor your progress. Take measurements at the beginning of your program, and once a week there after. Pick a time of day, morning is best, and always take measurements at the same time of day. Measure your bust, midriff, waist, hips and record it with the date. You can always tell if you've dropped weight by how your clothes fit too, but do stay away from the scale. And remember that muscle weighs more than fat. So it's possible to lose inches and not pounds.

Foods to avoid: In the my article 'thinking thin with the glycemic food index' I mentioned you should avoid the white foods. You should also avoid a few other high glycemic foods in the first week or so, then consume only moderate amounts after that. Some of those foods are: carrots, parsnips, corn, pumpkin, bananas, dates, and cereals, unless it's a bit of all-bran or regular (not instant) oatmeal and of course bread.

Some fruits are very high glycemic and should be avoided while on a weight loss regimen. For example, pineapple and mango. Just keep a copy of the GFI handy and stay away from any foods that are at the top end of the list. Pineapple rates a glycemic score of ninety-four, while an apple or a peach are around forty! So eat the apple and avoid the pineapple.

Eat protein at every meal: It's more satisfying and you will eat less than if you don't include it. Protein is also very important in building and maintaining muscle. The more physically active you are, the more protein you need to consume. (Here's a little side bar - I once worked my buns off going to the gym five days a week, as well eating lean and healthy. When I did my regular six week follow up to measure body fat, it showed I lost eight pounds of muscle, and not one pound of fat! The reason: too little protein - don't underestimate it's importance.)

Portions: Keep your portions of protein to four you're very physically active it can be higher. Also if you are a male you will need a few more ounces of protein. Vegetable and salad portions are not important as long as they are at the low end of the GI scale. Some veggies are actually a negative number on the Index. Fruit portions should be small to medium size - don't eat the largest apple you can find.

If you eat nuts and seeds be careful. While they contain protein and healthy fats, they can be high in calories. If snacking on almonds for example, have no more than a dozen. Keep fruit to a more than one piece...later you can add a second portion. No fruit juices! Drink lots of water.

Schedule: Eat three meals a day and two snacks. Keep it simple. Think protein and simple carbohydrates (veggies) for both lunch and dinner. Lunch could be fish and salad, dinner chicken and veggies and or salad. Breakfast should include protein, such as an egg and a piece of Canadian bacon (it contains less fat than others) or two eggs and a piece of fruit, tea or coffee.

Snacks could be a small handful of nuts, or an apple with a piece of low fat cheese. Stay away from condiments like ketchup which contain a lot of sugar, and watch the salad dressings, as they can be high in fat and sugar.

My next article will be about exercise, and I'll do one on supplements and dietary aids as well. In the meantime this will get you started. Remember the importance of preparation and 'thinking thin'!

Susanann O.