16 September 2008

Teaching Grandma to suck eggs?

Not all weight loss advice is junk.

Yes quickly Googling 'weight loss' or 'diet' or similar can bring up a haze of absolute crap. But it isn't ALL biased towards a particular program, nor overworked, nor does it always just concentrate on the 'no more than 1000 calories a day, eliminate all fat, ban carbohydrates and eat only grapefruit for two weeks and you'll lose a stone' mantras. You may occasionally, just like me, stumble across a source of advice that is 99% common-sense based, healthy and actually very helpful.

I guess my point here is to say to all my fellow fatties - don't give up, but forget the quick-fix diets or pills or teas or hypnotism or all the rest of the crap. You've tried all that haven't you? Did it work, long-term (or just for a brief, forgettable period)? Are you still fatter than you want to be and less happy than you'd like to be? If the answers are 'yes', 'no' then 'yes' you sound a lot like me.

Well, there can be some genuinely good advice out there to assist you in making long-term, healthy changes to your 'lifestyle' - so concentrate on that first bit - yep, that's the 'life' bit. Maybe then, again like me, as hard as it is to put into practice, you'll begin to learn how to do something to help you build a better one. I've slowly made some progress in the last year or so (OK, I sometimes fall off the wagon, but I get back on again) and I really do think my life is changing, and it's a change for the better.

Take as an example the Calories per Hour website, which has plenty of sensible advice for all sorts of occasions. Hmmm, its main focus is on the American side of the pond, but good advice is good advice - wherever you find it.

Tips like:

This one from their 'December - The Final Stretch' newsletter. They suggest that you 'Create a Supportive Food Environment: Keep foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your kitchen, your desk at work, and wherever else you might feel hungry'. Good advice indeed - which I now follow to save my fat ass from trips to the vending machine at work.

And this, from their 'Winter Comfort Foods Made a Little Less Fattening' newsletter. They say 'Traditional comfort foods are usually synonymous with high calories and fattening ingredients. But if you learn how to swap a few lower calorie ingredients for the higher calorie ones, you can enjoy your rich, hearty, "feel good" comfort foods without having to settle for a winter weight gain.'
They then go on to suggest some sensible substitutions, and as you'll know if you've read other posts, this is a topic close to my heart!
'For instance, a homemade mac 'n cheese recipe can use reduced fat cheeses and a light margarine to create a smooth cheese sauce, topped off with toasted whole wheat bread crumbs. Meatballs can be made with low fat ground turkey, chicken or beef, and cornstarch can act as a gravy thickener rather than the traditional butter and flour roux.'

And for a reminder of the basics, the link to their 'Diet and Weight Loss Tips' is pretty darned sound. Can't argue with these.

So, seek out the good stuff and ditch the crap - in advisory websites as well as in your lifestyle choices. And that's quite enough from me for one day, trying to to teach Granny just how to suck an egg.


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