søndag den 5. januar 2014

Keith's 12 tips for weight management and a healthy lifestyle

Now, here's a man who reaches for the stars

Keith Edwards is my collegue at Nordic Laboratories.
Six months ago, we started a weight loss project, and today - six months after, he almost lost 30 kg... I actually now call him "skinny bitch"!
Keith would like to share with you the most important things he has learned from this process. Hence, he has written 12 bullet points which in his point of view have been the most important areas in order to lose weight, maintain this weight and keep a healthy lifestyle.

For those of you, who would like to read more about the process from my point of view, you're welcome to check it out here (in Danish).

Keith, the stage is yours....

6 months have now gone by since I started with my project to lose weight, and get healthier & fitter. As it is now also a new year and I have had a bunch of people ask me “How did you do it? Do you have any tips for me?”, I have decided to put something together to answer those questions. If you want more specific information about any of the points below, just let me know.

Twelve tips I have learned from my efforts to lose weight and get fit:

1:  Processed food

The more food is processed before you eat it, the harder it is for the body to break it down and get the nutrients out of it. Whenever possible go “organic” as that kind of food isn’t processed “to death”.

2: Milk (and other food and drinks containing lactose)

Once you are fully-grown your body simply doesn’t need lactose as much as before.

3: Starch

While starch will help you to stop feeling hungry, it doesn’t really offer your body anything like nutrients. Only eat sparingly. This is most visible with plain products like white rice, regular pasta, potatoes & white and brown bread. Products like wholegrain rice & pasta, ryebread & sweet potatoes contain more nutrients and fiber and are therefore better for you, although it is wise to limit the amount you eat anyway.

4: “Diet” products

Typically they reduce fat in a product and often they replace it with sugar to add flavor. So be careful when buying “diet” products and check what they include.

5: Sugar

Your body prioritises burning sugar over burning fat, so when you eat sugar, your body simply stores the fat instead of burning it.

6: (Cooking) oils

When heating oil, such as when frying, it changes the structure of the oil, making it harder for the body to break it down. Normally “good” oils, like Olive Oil, turn “bad” for the body. Only Coconut oil remains “good” under heating. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper and easily obtainable oil, then go for Rapeseed oil, which has a higher tolerance for heat without changing its structure.

7: 50/25/25 split

When you are eating meals, use the 50/25/25 split on your plate. 50% vegetables, 25% starch (potatoes, rice or pasta), 25% meat.

8:  Plan ahead

The hardest moments to stay on track are typically when you are hungry, or when there are temptations nearby that require little effort rather than having to do something to keep on track. So I found it easier to plan ahead. This means knowing what is happening regarding dinner long before I am hungry, or making sure I have healthier snacks lying around (fruit, ryebread with organic peanut butter, canned tuna, certain vegetables (like red peppers))

9: Commitment

Doing something like this, which requires a fairly drastic lifestyle change, is not easy. Temptations are everywhere and it is very easy to fall back on the things you already know and like (even if they are not good for you). Because of this I personally don’t try to overdo it. The occasional small “slip” is better than giving up. So reward yourself occasionally with a treat. Make sure it is not too often tho.

10: Levels of activity

Little things like walking or biking instead of taking the bus, or walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator all help. Try and find little ways of doing this.

11: Fitness

Doing fitness 2-3 times a week helps reduce fat and build muscles. This doesn’t necessarily need to be at a fitness centre, it can be doing a sport, going swimming, etc…

12: Genetics

We are all set up slightly differently and getting to know how your body is set up (and how it reacts to various things) is key to helping you get healthier. This point can not be stressed enough, as a slightly different genetic build-up can have a big difference in how your body reacts to all the previous points. Our genes tell us where our individual challenges lie and therefore where you should focus your efforts (diet, fitness, etc…) as well as tell you how quickly your body will adapt to this new situation.

And here's some pictures of Keith before and after (The picture at the left, being "the after picture", of course ;))

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