As many of you know, Melodee, Tabitha and I began the Daniel Plan on January 15 of this year through the ministry of our pastor, Rick Warren and Saddleback Church. On Saturday, July 9, 2011, I spoke with Pastor Rick and discovered that his weight loss and mine were about the same – he had lost 40 pounds and I have lost 41.5 pounds on the plan. Both of us had a month where we plateaued.
We have both learned several things about why we plateau and how to get losing again. Among the things I have learned are these …
I need to …
If I want to lose weight, I need to choose foods that will fuel my body without putting fat on my body. These foods include more vegetables that are darker in color and less processed foods. Avoiding the addictive compounds of sugar, salt and fat are necessary. (We use dark olive oil, grape seed oil and refined coconut oil for cooking – all in great moderation!) Avoiding ENTIRELY the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup is essential to effective weight loss. Bottom line: Choose foods that are good for your body!
Portion size is a big issue with weight loss and good health. Since the average portion size is ½ cup, almost EVERYTHING I used to eat was larger! If there is a place where the battle rages today, it is here. Portion size on vegetables is 1 cup and with red meat – which we eat about once a week – is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of playing cards. The bottom line: Most of America is addicted to food. Get help if you need to, but you need to stop eating so much if you want to be healthy.
This may seem like an obvious one, but trying to move more in our sedentary world of vehicle travel and social media is becoming very difficult. “Anything important gets scheduled” is the old maxim I use. Each morning, after my quiet time with the Lord, I run – yes, I said run. I started walking about 6 years ago. Then as the pounds began to come off this year, I started jogging some – two block jogging, two blocks walking. Now I am up to 4 miles! We also walk “as if we are late” as a family and park farther from the entrance of the store we shop in. Bottom line: Just get moving!
The reverse is also true: the less you sit, the more you lose. Since I write a lot, I am at my computer desk for long periods of time. Scheduling in intentional movement, getting up and walking somewhere, moving about instead of sitting for hours are all part of my new regimen. Bottom line: Again, get moving by having fun!
Sleep is essential to weight loss. Studies show that you need 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order to lose weight. So, now I schedule into my day a sleep period of 8+ hours and have found the results amazing. In fact, when I was plateaued, I wasn’t sleeping 8+ hours! Who would have known? Bottom line: Which is more important, your health or the latest monologue from your favorite late night comedian? (You can record those you know.)
Water is essential to weight loss. A gallon a day is my goal and, on those days I don’t make my goal, my weight loss is hampered or non-existent. Simply having a glass of water instead of the other things you drink – especially soda with its high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener – drops weight. Bottom line: If you don’t like water, get a better brand or admit you are addicted to sugar and get help.
These are the strategies at the core of my weight loss. You can learn more about the Daniel Plan here. If you have comments or questions, simply reply in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!
(c) 2011 Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, All rights reserved.