January 3, 2012

Weight Loss Tactics for 2012 - Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger because for weight loss we want to feed one while distracting the other.

In this post, we'll talk about losing weight sensibly--interpret that as slowly and steadily--rather than trying to lose it too fast--going into crisis mode and doing things that will risk your health and/or cause you to lose control and actually gain weight.

Whether you suffered from binge eating as I did or just gained some extra body fat over time, I'll bet you didn't get to where you are now in a week or two. It takes time to gain AND it takes time to effectively lose excess body fat.

I don't recommend using a scale because your poundage will change erratically based on retaining/releasing water, gaining/losing muscle tone, eating more/less food volume and having/not having bowel movements.  We're not really interested in most of those, although improved muscle tone should indicate improved general health.

If we think of our body as a living machine, we realize that the body already knows how to "run" but we, as the driver, have control of the steering wheel, accelerator and brake. Think about that--what's going to happen to your car if you put in the wrong kind of fuel? Or put the accelerator to the floor? Or slam on the brakes? How are those actions likely to work out?

Well, the body's not that different. We can start by using the right fuel--whole meat, vegetables and fruits. In this case, by "whole" I mean in the natural state as opposed to processed meats like hot dogs and whole vegetables/fruits instead of juice or vegetable/fruit products with sweeteners and/or additives.

So how do you lose sensibly? The good news is that if you are eating "plain" whole foods most people don't tend to over-eat the way we do when eating manufactured food-like products. You shouldn't need to use a scale or count calories, at least at first. If you start your day/meal with a nice portion of fatty meat that's one way to knock your appetite down to size. If you tend to over-eat the meat--only in terms of weight loss--then start with a nice leafy salad or other raw vegetables to gain a feeling of comfortable fullness before starting to eat the meat. Whether you use a little raw fruit as an appetizer or dessert doesn't matter. If you start with fruit, though, use your logical side to decide the right amount and then move on to the salad or meat.

If you eat in that way for a month, you are likely to find you feel and look better and your waist and hip measurements may be smaller. If not, don't panic! Your body may have needed a month to adjust to this different way of eating. You may need to eat/drink some probiotic foods/beverages to improve your ability to digest foods. Or, you may need to make SLIGHT adjustments to what you're eating and drinking. For me, that would mean looking at how much cream/honey I'm using in my coffee each morning, how much yogurt I'm eating per day and how many cups of fruit I'm eating. Frankly, I seem to lose weight no matter how much meat/fat/vegetables I eat although if you like starchy vegetables like white/sweet potatoes you  may keep an eye on portion size there. The goal is to make sure the portion sizes aren't too generous rather than to eliminate any of the foods you're eating.

So, if the first month of ancestral eating causes you to drop some body fat that's terrific but it's not the end of the world if you don't. This is a slow, steady process and to reach the destination we'll make gentle use of the gas/steering. In the second half of the month, and in the months to come, we can talk about other strategies such as how many meals are eaten per day, the importance of bone broths and organ meats, etc. For now, let's just keep it simple!

In Part 3, we'll talk about the relationship between your health and moving around a lot.


  1. Nance! I just noticed the new photo - you look amazing!!!
    It is always incredible to me, that the folks who lose weight the Primal way - look younger (I wonder it it has something to do with the fact we are eating so well???)
    Whatever, you look great XO

  2. Thank you, Janet! You're so nice. The funny thing is I hadn't noticed any difference in my face and measured my waist for 2 days because I didn't believe the first measurement. But when I compared the month-apart photos, I could see a difference and I do think I look healthier. Let's hope that continues!