I have always struggled with my weight, and have probably bounced between the “overweight” and “mild obese” weight-range my entire life. I’ve tried numerous different diets (from slim shakes for lunch/snacks) to following an plan that told me exactly how much and what to eat daily (this one I remember that on day seven all you were allowed was ½ a grapefruit and a cup of yogurt for your meals—it was the most restricted calorie day). Now I’m just trying to be sensible—more fruits and veggies, less processed foods (sausages, fries, things like that), and more water. I’ve been getting better over the past couple of years (though my weight has gone from the “overweight” category back to the “mild obese” category), so I decided that I would also start reading a few books on different aspects of weight loss, to try to find some additional “tools” that I could add/use when it comes to trying to lose weight sensibly.
“Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle without suffering” by Stephen Guise is a wonderful tool to add to your “tool belt” when it comes to sensible weight loss. This book gives both a history of the weight loss industry (including a good background on the low fat vs. low sugar diets), and then goes into sensible ways of slowly changing both nutrition and fitness habits to make them long lasting. There are now quick and easy fixes, but ideas and suggestions for how to make changes to your nutrition and fitness routines that one can actually stick with.
There were numerous different parts of the book that stood out to me, but one in particular: “Calorie restriction has been shown to drop your metabiolism and make your body prone to store fat” (pg. 50_kindle edition). This is opposite of everything that you see and hear in the news (where you’re told to lower the calories to force your body to start burning fat), but at the same time it makes sense due to how the human species has evolved over tens of thousands of years. I use to try to restrict my calories, but then I started to pay attention to how it made me feel—I was usually in a fairly bad mood (and it was all due to the fact that while I thought I was losing “fat” I was in fact starving myself and now we know that there is a direct correlation between our gut flora and our mental health—so my gut flora was sending signals to my brain that they were stressing, and in turn my mood was usually bouncing between grumpy, tired, and irritable. Read More