I noticed recently that my daffodils are several inches above the ground. It is early for them considering the extremely cold weather we have had at Smith Mountain Lake this winter. I guess sometimes nature feels as eager for spring as we do.
We, humans, start to feel the new energy flow through us as the days slowly grow longer and the weather less harsh. At the same time, however, we may notice that our body response may not be quite as energetic as our spirits. Perhaps we feel a little more fatigued than we should. Or our feet and back may ache and we begin to realize we are carrying more extra weight than is comfortable.
When the feeling of the coming spring makes your heart light and your body more eager to move, it is a great time to re-evaluate your eating habits and find healthy ways to lose the extra weight.
The best ways to lose weight are those that consider the long-term effects of whatever method you choose to drop the pounds. Your weight loss plan should give you healthy ideas for weeks, months, or even years to come. At the same time, they should give you at least a few pounds of quick results within the first couple of weeks.
Most people will tell you that the best is to lose weight slowly. In the big picture, this is true, but in the beginning, it is important to see good results fast. This is one reason why most diets begin with a very restricted program for the first few weeks.
They also do this to capitalize on the current motivation that propelled you toward dieting in the first place. Whatever motivation made you take the first steps toward losing weight will probably carry you through at least the first few days of your diet without temptation overcoming you. Use your strong motivation of the moment to completely change your diet and be very restrictive for a time.
Consult with your doctor before starting any diet plan, but assuming you are relatively healthy, you can consider a few radical changes for the first 2-4 weeks.
Most diets focus on restricting what you eat. But one of the best ways to lose weight is to add even more foods to your diet. The plan below, which is based around Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet, may help you to lose weight in a way you would not have thought possible. Your daily food intake can be greater than ever before and enable your metabolism to work more effectively.
Here is a possible diet suggestion for the first 2-4 weeks:
– At least one pound of fresh raw vegetables a day (half of them green). Have more if you want. Try raw broccoli chopped up in your food, eat lettuce with your fruit, and add a couple of celery sticks to every meal. Raw carrots are great too.
– At least one pound of cooked vegetables every day (half of them green). Have more if you want. Make lots of soup! But do not include any starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, cooked carrots, or rutabaga.
– At least one pound of whole fresh raw fruit a day. Have more if you want, but do not eat fruit at the same meal as any of the foods recommended below. Do not drink fruit juice – eat the whole fruit.
– At least 8 oz of peas, beans, or lentils a day (cooked weight).
– Not more than 8 oz of potatoes, corn, rice or other grains, cooked carrots, etc in a day.
– Not more than 4 oz of meat or fish (that’s 4 oz total – not 4 oz of each!).
– Not more than 1 oz of unsalted nuts or seeds.
– Not more than a quarter teaspoon of salt (except Celtic).
– No sugar or artificial sweeteners (try Stevia or Agave for a change).
– No oils, butter, mayonnaise, etc (except Olive Oil).
– No dairy products or eggs (unless organic and unpasteurized).
– No alcoholic drinks.
– No dried fruits or fruit juice.
Reminder: this is only for 2-4 weeks. Later if you wish, you can adjust and add more flexibility to the diet so that it will fit with your lifestyle. You will need to be able to handle events like weddings, restaurant meals, or family reunions.
However, you will find it is best never to add back sugar or sweeteners even in very small quantities. If you never have them, you will automatically re-educate your taste buds so that you do not need these things. This will make it much easier to stick to your diet because you will no longer crave sugar and the processed and unhealthy fats that so often come in the same package.
You will also enjoy your vegetables more than you imagined you could. You will find that nearly every natural food begins to taste flavorful and delicious when you do not spoil your taste buds with sugar.
This means you will need to avoid most packaged foods, mayonnaise, sauces, etc. that almost always include sugar. Always read the labels.
This method of losing weight can bring you quick results as well as help you to reach your target weight in the long term. Give it a try. You may be amazed at not only the weight loss but the increase in overall well-being.