Balancing food plan and train is vital to a wholesome life
I wanted to call this article “My 26 Year Old Diet” but thought it would scare you off rather than invite you, so it’s “Holy Grail”.
No exaggeration was used in creating this headline because it is true and I have evidence. Me.
Over a quarter of a century ago, I began following a nutritional regimen that has since helped me lose weight, with one mistake or another.
What immediately attracted me was not just the lack of portion sizes or the promise that one would always feel full, but the killer claimed that one could keep drinking wine.
My path to food salvation was triggered by a casual comment from a friend of my husband’s: “When is it due?” he asked and nodded to me.
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I was overwhelmed. Oh the shame … did I look the delivery room finished?
“I’m not pregnant,” I replied casually as I switched my eyes to flamethrower mode.
I had never dieted or counted calories because I had never associated them with long-term success.
Sharon was looking at her diet when someone asked when her baby was born – she wasn’t pregnant
– Credit: Contribution
I also didn’t like the idea of food and alcohol withdrawal.
But I was already feeling more than uncomfortable with my weight, which meant I never wanted to buy new clothes because I needed to get a bigger size than I thought, but I was fed up with my wardrobe always feeling full of clothes too tight.
I also hated the feeling of my flesh spilling over my waistbands, knicker elastics, and bra straps, yet I began to realize that I was coming out of the brothel a little too regularly.
Fat, sullen, and incompetent summed me up, but I had thought my regular camouflage of leggings and an oversized top was fooling everyone.
Obviously not anymore, and now that I was embarrassed to do something, I had to find something to put my trust in.
Fortunately, I discovered the Montignac method.
This wasn’t the result of a good Google search, as Google didn’t exist in 1995, but a trip to a bookstore where Dine Out and Lose Weight was hidden on a shelf – developer Michel Montignac.
He didn’t believe in diets either; He advocated changing our eating habits so that we don’t eat less, but better by making smarter choices.
His book, first published in 1986, was based on the combination of foods and was aimed at executives like Montignac who had to drink and eat wine regularly but wanted to lose their weight or keep it under control.
To me, this book seemed to open the door to a closet full of slightly baggy clothes.
What is special about combining foods?
In its simplest form, combining foods means eating only one food group at a time, for example all protein for breakfast, all carbohydrates for lunch (don’t worry, there are a number of vegetables and salads that are classified as “neutral”) ‘and can be eaten with protein and carbohydrate meals), which aids digestion and aids in weight loss.
In addition, and important to my weight loss, I believe, you need to cut out processed snacks (chips, salted peanuts, etc), sugary foods, and takeaways, and avoid or reduce your intake of high glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates such as Potatoes, white rice, white bread and pasta.
High GI foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike, then drop sharply, leading to lethargy and hunger.
Low GI foods like lettuce, vegetables, most fruit, fish, and meat products all help keep you feeling full longer. (If this sounds familiar, it may be because you heard about the Hay Diet, named after Dr. William Howard Hay, which successfully treated his problem of high blood pressure, kidney disease, enlarged heart, and weight by combining foods. )
Now, combining foods doesn’t resonate with everyone, and there are many who think the whole idea is a joke and not based on scientific evidence.
But dr. Hay published his diet in 1911, and ever since then, any form of food combination has always been associated with successful, long-term weight loss and maintenance.
The truth is, I found it difficult to stick to food combining at first because while I could enjoy a wonderful protein breakfast of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms, I couldn’t have toast as it was a carbohydrate, and I really missed toast.
Then, if I had a sandwich as part of my carbohydrate meal, I couldn’t add cheese, chicken, or fish because they are all protein. I could have added a neutral meal that is essentially a vegetable or salad, but what’s the fun with that?
Without trying too hard, the bread disappeared from meals. This and reducing other high GI foods helped me lose weight. What was most rewarding about this way of eating was that I never felt hungry, but I did feel more energetic, so I started taking aerobics classes twice a week and that seemed to give my weight loss boost.
Now I had the confidence to give up the leggings and oversized shirt combo and go for more adventurous designs, all because I ate differently but definitely ate no less.
I drank red wine and G & Ts when you shouldn’t for the first few weeks, but it made me feel better about carbohydrate denial.
I began to love eating better without relying on quick fast food or sugar and salt laden snacks anymore.
Over the years I’ve adjusted my eating habits, and while cakes and takeaways are a feature, they are viewed as treats rather than staples.
Except on Mondays. Your name is Maccy D in our house on Mondays, and I’ll have a quarter pounder every week at lunchtime. I don’t eat the bun, though.
Remember the 80:20 rule and train forever!
Food combining my way isn’t a panacea for weight loss, it’s just part of the process. You need to combine it with regular exercise.
Some time ago I was taught the 80:20 rule by one of my sisters, but I have great respect for her: 80% of your looks depend on the food you put in and 20% down on exercising.
I do take it every now and then, but extra exercise has kept it under control because I have the right staples (the 80%) for me.
Food is so important.
Although I’ve been exercising regularly since 1995, my kids (now all in their twenties) noticed that I looked smaller (“shrinkage” might have been mentioned but I ignored this) and my son actually said he was scared I was going to break up!
That sounded alarming, if ‘slim’ to me was ‘frail’ to her, I had to sort it out.
And what happened to me was natural, but totally avoidable when I saw it coming.
I lost muscle mass.
In fact, even in our 30s, we lose between 3 and 5% of our muscle mass every 10 years. This loss can help us on our way to osteoporosis and make us more prone to injury.
However, this situation can be reversed or prevented by adding weight or strength training to your exercise program.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Now, six days a week, usually at 7 a.m., I follow an exercise plan developed by my nephew that includes a mix of cardio and weights.
The weights get heavier, but very gradually, so there is less chance of injury and I develop more muscle tone.
Any type of exercise with weights also increases bone density, and this is especially important for older people like me as we naturally lose bone density as we age – how much of it depends on your own body and fitness, although hereditary factors also come into play come.
Immediately after a workout, I drink a protein shake that helps the body repair and build muscle.
An unexpected (to me) benefit of gaining muscle is that it boosts your metabolism and you burn calories even at rest.
This is great news for all of us as another age-related change is a slower metabolism, which is why you may notice the pounds keep creeping up even though you did everything right to avoid it.
If you don’t want to continually reduce your food intake to counteract weight gain, weight training or strength training is a great antidote. Think of it this way: cardio burns calories in the short term and weights in the long term. So you have to do both. They offer different physical benefits, but they add to your overall health and wellbeing.
Sharon Morrison discovered the diet and exercise combination that works for her
– Credit: Contribution
So the holy grail of dieting is really a mix of everything you know and have
Read about it, agree or disagree. It’s neither new nor revolutionary, but it’s part of
I am every day and I am more than happy to do anything because I want to feel healthy, strong and vigorous as I get older and I don’t want my kids to see their mother as the incredible shrinking woman.
The actual Holy Grail is unlikely, but miracle woman status is an unequivocal possibility.
Please note that I am not a clinician or a nutritionist, but everything I have written about my approach to losing weight is based entirely on my own experience.
We are all different. If you have any doubts about how to manage your weight safely or if you have any other health problem, please contact your GP first.
We are all getting older and want to enjoy our lives to the fullest. So it helps to be both proactive and reactive, and it’s never too late to get started. To see and hear more about the good, bad, and negligible side of aging, visit Sharon’s Age Inropriate YouTube channel and join the discussion.