Thursday, October 21, 2010

Belly Fat

I've been reading some articles lately on the dangers of holding a lot of fat in your midsection.
Did you know that if a person has a lot of belly fat, that they are more suseptable to heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes? And that people who hold more of their fat in their hips, thighs and legs are not? The reason I'm interested in this is because I am that "apple shape," not the "pear shape." I hold a lot of fat in my abdominal area and it worries me that I may be more at risk for a heart attack sooner than later! That's scary...I have a 2 year old daughter who needs her mama around. So, if something happens to me, and she grows up without a mother, it will be my own fault. That is a VERY sobering thought because she deserves to have her mother, who loves her more than anyone else in the world. So, that's been on my mind the past few days and I've been thinking and praying about a way to zap that belly fat.

I've also read a lot of articles that say that a diet higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates is what eliminates belly fat. I guess you could call it a "diabetic diet." Doctors ask diabetics to eat this way. My own doctor asked me to eat this way. I'm not diabetic (yet), but he told me that it was a very healthy way to eat, and that he prefer I eat high protein, low carb as opposed to go on medication. He told me to get the book, "Protein Power" and read up on the science behind eating low carb, high protein. So, I did. I'm not going to go into all of that here, because I just don't feel like writing all that out! LOL But the gist is, your body's energy comes from 1 of 2 places, from carbohydrates or from your fat stores. If you are eliminating a great deal of carbohydrates from your diet, and eating mostly protein, your body is forced to pull upon those fat stores (your belly fat) and burn that for energy. That is called, "ketosis." It has nothing to do with calories, and all about how many grams a day you are consuming in carbs, vs. proteins. I've tried this diet many times before and have really lost weight with it...usually a pound a day! But I've always looked at it as a diet, and not a lifestyle. Then of course, add back the sugar and the bread and the junk and gain it all back. The trick is to keep adding back carbs gradually until you stop seeing weight loss, but are not gaining weight, and this is your measuring stick. This usually varies from around 40-60 grams of carbohydrates a day.

So, I am now more interested in making this pretty much the way I eat. It's healthful in that you are consuming more fresh, non starchy vegetables, less sugars, whole wheat pastas and breads, lean meats (I don't get into the whole, "you can eat all the bacon you want and not get fat!" stuff), beans and nuts and and fresh, low sugar fruits such as berries and melons. Sounds pretty healthy to me!

I have been reading the book, "Atkins for Life" and it gives great guidelines and instructions on how to make this a lifestyle and not just a quick diet. Of course you start off on a really strict, 20 grams of carbs a day, but you are supposed to gradually increase that intake as you keep losing. When you've lost all the weight you want, then you go into maintenance mode where you just eat the amount of carbs your body requires before you start gaining weight. And if you do gain weight, you just back off again. Seems pretty easy to me!

"Atkins for Life" also encourages cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. I need both of these for heart health, and to help me look more toned. There's nothing I dread more than losing weight and having a lot of flab hanging around! GROSS! So weight training is essential I think!

Ok, so this is day one for me. I'm doing great so far. Not feeling hungry or sluggish or like my brain is in a fog (like I've felt in the past). I'm feeling pretty good!

I'll keep you posted on my efforts!!!!

(p.s. I don't feel like rereading this for errors (I've been battling some sort of horrible flu or cold for about a week), so if there are grammatical mistakes, please forgive me and my poor typing and spelling skills! LOL)


Former Donut Junkie said...

Well, you knew I couldn't sit by without chiming in on this one. Personally, I think you're on the right track by choosing the low-carb nutritional lifestyle. And you're right about the belly fat thing being a valid point. Yeah, yeah, I got too much of it too. OK, there I said it already.

Sadly low-carb has gotten a much undeserved bad rap in the last several years. Mostly due to people making false statements about it when, in fact, they don't know the real truth about it. They only know what they've heard and most of what they've heard have been myths. Anywho, I choose to ignore all that and stick with what I believe to be correct based on the well documented books I've read on the subject over the years.

What I can tell you is that low-carb works for me "when I work it." When I stick to the plan the weight comes off and when I try to return to my old unhealthy nutritional lifestyle, the weight starts to return. So, it's entirely up to me whether it works or not. I could go on and on about low-carb, but I'll spare ya'! Have a great day....and enjoy your bacon! Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie.

Christina said...

Angie, this is really wonderful! I'm so proud of you for searching out the information you need in order to start your way to better health. When I first started my new eating plan in December, I started with strict low carb for the first two weeks. After that, I focused mostly on lean proteins and healthy fats and added in tons of veggies and fruits. Technically, my food list was from the WW Simply Filling foods list, but it followed the food plan laid out in Protein Power (which I've read a million times!) Anyway, I just wanted to say best of luck to you. I'll be praying for you. I know the battle is hard, but I also know that you have within you all the skills you need. And remember, you're not alone. God is with you, and it is HE who will give you the strength you need to face each day.


Beth in NC said...

Hi Angie! I finally stumbled upon an email you sent me back when you started this blog. This is the first chance I've had to come over (forgive me please).

How is it going??? I need to get back on track. I've been out of control for a while now. Scream!