Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kitchen Confidential Part 1

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And by "good intentions" I mean an unsalted high-fiber rye bran cracker that flatlines your taste buds and leaves you craving a Snickers. People who actually work with food - those who prepare it, study it or advise their clients not to eat too much of it know that the principles of weight loss and the practice are often two very different things. In this 5 part series are the insights of experts, including a doctor and a food writer on losing/maintaining weight. Not a rye-bran cracker in sight!

Jennifer Warren - Warren is medical director of the Physicians Healthy Weight Center in North Hampton, NH (Search for it on facebook). She is also (You guessed it!) a physician.

Tipping Point - I grew up athletic. I played tennis, taught swimming, rowed crew in college. If I ever felt I needed to lose ten pounds, I exercised more. But in my mid-20s, I gained 65 pounds with my first pregnancy and never fully lost the weight. I put on even more with my second baby. Thirteen years ago, I was skiing with my brother who had lost a leg to cancer and it was his first time out. He turned to me and said "Race ya!" He was off, and within four feet I had fallen; my center of gravity wasn't working the way I was used to. By the time I got up, I couldn't even see him. I remember thinking, Are you kidding me? I am more disabled by my weight than he is by losing a leg.

The Strategy - I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried over-the-counter supplements and fen-phen. They worked, and I lost 30 pounds in about three months, but as a doctor, I knew how dangerous those solutions were. When that weight crept back on, I did Jenny Craig. I would lose and regain the same 30 pounds. I started reading everything I could about nutrition, which led me to what's now known as "Low glycemic index" eating- and I dropped from 200 to 120 in eighteen months.

Weight Maintenance - Because carbs make me put on weight, I always eat them with protein, no matter what. Even if it's just an apple, I'll also try to have a low-fat cheese stick. For breakfast, I have a chocolate protein shake with berries for texture and fiber. For lunch, I might have non fat Greek yogurt and lean chicken or a buffalo burger. At dinner, I have salad and grilled chicken or fish. When my husband and I have dinner out, we don't allow bread or chips on the table. I remind myself that it's just a piece of bread, not the key to happiness. Then we split a salad and a protein entree. I used to love candy, but now I eat Greek yogurt with peanut butter or cocoa-coated almonds mixed in. I have a library of more than 200 workout DVDs, I don't have to leave the house to get a good workout. If I have twenty minutes, I do one. I don't get bored.

My thoughts - This woman is very smart, and makes great choices. As a 24 year old male, It does sound like her whole life is deprivation, though. I don't know anyone that can eat just yogurt and chicken for lunch and wait all the way to seven o'clock to eat a lame salad and chicken breast. Carbs are not the enemy. Refined carbs are the enemy. A whole wheat bun with that chicken won't hurt you, and cutting back too much on carbs will keep you a zombie all day.

Source: Allure

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