Consistency in your life, is nothing other than a choice you make over and over again. This can be about your fitness, your diet, your relationships. Think about it... all you have to do is want something and decide to do it every day. From marriage to your waistline, it really is your choice.
And that, is the scary thing.
We don't want to admit that the extra 15 lbs we are carrying around is our fault. We want to blame it on any other number of factors. "I work too much to make it to the gym." "I'll start my diet tomorrow." "I will just, never be thin." It is easier for us to ignore the fact that we are the ones in control, than to accept responsibility for our actions.
When we tackle something like weight loss, these two themes of consistency and control are fundamental to our success. Barring some outside factors in hormonal imbalances, weight loss is purely scientific. One must consume less calories than burned in a certain period of time. Seems pretty basic right? Well, with the advent of processed foods and obscene portions, has led to an even more skewed perception of what is acceptable.
I never believe in advising clients on extreme diets or fads to lose weight, but advocate portion control and clean eating to meet your goals. Of course, some crazy cardio with me helps. Your meals though, should fit into the palm of your hand as a general rule, and consist of lean proteins and plant-based complex carbohydrates. Being vegetarian, does not validate having a gigantic bowl of pasta the size of your head.
Recently, Kansas State University Professor, Mark Haub, decided to do a 10 week experiment. His main food groups were Twinkies, Nutty bars, and powdered donuts, from the local convenience store. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too. The test, was to prove that calorie control and smaller portions are paramount to nutritional information of what you are eating when attempting to lose weight. The theory seems to have held up, as he lost a total of 27 lbs in the 10 weeks. Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. He ate some vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks, if it was available at the convenience store.
His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.
But you might expect other indicators of health would have suffered. Not so.
Haub's "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his "good" cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.
Now this is where the experiment got tricky and rather inconclusive. Obviously eating a diet like this long term would have negative effects on your system, but it is obvious that in short term, it did not. What it did prove however, is that when it comes to weight loss, CALORIES COUNT. Now, is that the bottom line to being healthy? Of course not.
Haub first got the idea for the experiment when he realize how skewed his portion sizes had become. "There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy," Haub said. "It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much."
Portion control is not about restricting yourself of necessary nutrients, but rather, readjusting your perception of what you need to be satisfied. Hydration, with water, is essential in feeling satiated when adjusting your portions. I recently read somewhere that 75% of our population is dehydrated at any given time (could there be a correlation with our obesity epidemic???) and more than 70% percent of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty and our brain can't tell the difference.