I wanted to share my story so others may benefit from the information in this blog.
My primary care doctor retired last August, so I went about the task of finding a new doctor and set an appointment for September 6th of 2011. It was a day that changed my life!
On the initial visit, this young new doctor threw down a challenge to me. Since I was a Type 2 diabetic on insulin and was in the category of obese according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart, he asked me if I would be interested in getting permanently off the insulin so I would not have to inject myself multiple times each day. Of course I said, "Sure".
He then told me he wanted me to go on a 1500 calorie a day diet and he also said in my situation he wanted me to limit my daily carbohydrate intake to only 100 carbs per day. Well, my eyes probably went a little wide over this new information, but he said not to worry, that I could handle it quite easily. He said, afterall, I have just lost 40 pounds myself doing just that.
Well, I thought, here is a doctor who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He further said, you can do this without doing a scheduled or rigorous exercise program. He did say, it would be beneficial though if I did some exercise or be active daily and not sedentary. He recommended though that once I obtain my ulitimate goal weight, I then should begin a regular exercise routine for weight maintenance.
Based upon his positive reassurances by setting daily goals, his actual experience and success of losing weight, and the motivation for permanently eliminating daily insulin injections, I accepted the challenge.
By New Year's Day 2012, I had lost 33 pounds, and as of this date, I have lost a total of 45 pounds since that initial visit with my doctor. Should you decide to do a similar program I want to make this caveat. Before going on any diet like the one I did, you should consult with your doctor first. Since everyone's medical and physical situations are different, it is important that you set up a particular goal that your doctor would recommend.
Now for my situation. Up until I retired at the end of January 2011, I led a fairly sedentary life style. I had been in outside sales most of my adult life. I was on the road a lot, but in more recent years, the job required many hours on the laptop inputing and extracting data. So, I was either sitting in the car visiting accounts, or at the office, home, or coffee shop on the laptop sitting for hours at times. My days began early and ended mostly at night still on the laptop. I got no exercise, and I ate whatever without thinking about it. Looking back now, I know I easily consumed 3000 to 4000 calories or more daily and the carbs were just astronomical. I say this because once you start looking at the nutrition labels on the food you buy at the grocery store, you realize it does not take much to consume a very unhealthy amount of calories and carbs daily.
The other problem is none of us have control over what the food manufacturers put into the food and what the government requires them to do. I believe strongly these factors of food additives of polysaturated fats, sodium, and sugar levels in the processed foods we eat have greatly contributed to the obesity epidemic we now face in our country.
So, knowing these factors, what we can control is the amount of calories, carbs, fats, sodium, or sugar grams we consume daily. In my case, my doctor wanted me to focus on caloric and carbohydrates in my daily diet.
The key to this diet is to accurately measure and record your daily calories, or carbs, or fats, or sodium counts depending upon your doctor's recommendations. If you do not correctly record your calorie data and just estimate, then it is simply, "garbage in, garbage out". There is no point in even starting the diet if one goes in with that attitude. You are only cheating yourself then.
What is truly great about this diet is you choose what you want to eat. And believe me I eat anything I want on this diet, which makes it feel you are not even dieting. I have eaten, ice cream, pizza, cakes, cookies, donuts, pies, chocolate candy, fried foods, beer, wine, and pasta and still lost weight. I eat those foods when I know I have room to fit them into my daily goal.
In most people's minds, it is the time it takes to look up the calories and recording them into some type of chart that is the most tedious and difficult part about dieting, not the eating itself. For me, I wanted to make the record keeping as easy as possible, so I created an Excel spreadsheet that automatically tallys my daily totals on one tab, and then on another tab I enter that daily total in to a daily entry that is in a monthly chart. It then automatically tallys the daily averages for each month for both my calories and carbs.
The benefit of entering your calorie data daily is that it sets up a daily habit and routine, in addition to providing you data over a period of time to where you can actually see any gains or losses and patterns developing over time. If the data you enter is as accurate a possible, then you actually will get to a point when you can determine at what average daily calorie count you lose weight, maintain, or gain weight. This is great and wonderful information to know, because once you meet your ultimate weight loss goal, you will know at what daily caloric intake you need then to maintain your ideal weight.
It is not difficult to find sources for the calories you consume. Every product has a nutrition label at the grocery store. Many chain restaurants have a menu nutrition guide and they are usually available online at their websites. If you are eating at a local restaurant, then the items you select from the menu can be found online on various nutrition websites. Just type in the search area an item like banana nutrition and then select from a list of sites to retrieve the data and enter into your records or chart.
Now for full disclosure, I never really met the daily average goal of 1500 calories. During the first three and half months of my diet, I actually averaged around 1650 calories per day. The months since New Years day, I have averaged about 1850 calories per day, and I am still losing weight but about a third less as before. I did this because for me, it was not a race, but a life change. I knew that once I began entering the data and reaching my goal, I would be continuing to maintain my new weight for the rest of my life. To do so meant that I would continue to input the daily data. But that is not a problem for me because it is a daily habit that I enjoy doing.
I look forward to knowing what my daily counts are based on all the variety of foods I eat. After a while, you know what foods you rely on and eat more often than others. As a suggestion there are five basic foods that help to reduce the belly fat. They are oatmeal, nuts (particularly almonds), blueberries, salmon or tuna (also turkey breast), green leaf, romaine, spinich lettuces and fresh broccoli for salads. You can go online to learn in detail about these foods and how they help to reduce belly fat.
I hope my story and this information will be helpful to any one who needs to lose weight whether it is for health or appearance reasons. By the way, I have been off the insulin since New Years Day and reduced dosages of other meds as well. As a result, my family and I are very happy with the results. As for my doctor, well he has now lost up to 60 pounds. Showoff! Since that was my goal anyway, I figured if he can do it so can I. I only have 13 pounds to go to reach the BMI chart normal weight level and then I will start my maintenance weight count. This is just the natural way to lose weight and it is the old fashioned way. Just count your calories. It really is easy and it works!