It’s easy to read about someone losing weight and automatically think that those same results could never happen for you. We usually tend to think that anyone who writes about weight loss programs or products is most likely getting paid to do so; thus ruining the integrity of their claims. The fact of the matter is that a lot of times that sentiment is justified – weight loss is big business.
Still, you have to realize that no matter what you’re reading or who you’re getting your information from – you’re going to have to follow the details to the point, in order to truly judge the results. So often, we search out a reliable source and then don’t follow the exact plan as prescribed. When the results are not the same, we blame the program, product or presenter.
Weight loss is frustrating. It can also be overwhelming, especially for those who have tried multiple programs and are still overweight. But let me simplify this issue for you once and for all – if you don’t “change” your eating habits and your activity level, you will NEVER get the kind of results you’re looking for. Nothing in life comes without paying a price for it. In the case of weight loss, that means putting in the effort to alter your food intake, the quality of that food and spending more time getting your heart rate up.
There are no quick fixes – you didn’t get overweight overnight and you’re not going to get thinner overnight either. BUT you can make an impact on your fitness level and weight on a daily basis, just like you impacted it in a negative way with every meal up to this point.
If you’re wanting to lose weight and you want to be encouraged by quick results you’re going to have to start eating less. Now, that doesn’t mean starve yourself or doing anything unhealthy – no one encourages that. I have found that the easiest way to drop weight safely and effectively is via the “two shakes and one meal a day” plan.
The one big advantage of shakes, is you don’t have to plan three meals a day, trying to buy all the right products and counting all those calories. Also, with the right kind of shake, most of the work is already done. After just a week you will already feel the difference in your appetite and may find that your cravings for sugar and carbs has decreased considerably.
Throwing in a few key supplements and making that super meal a healthy one, is all it takes to get on to losing weight. So, let me share with you the steps I took and you decide if it’s something you’re willing to try.
(Please note: This plan is NOT medical advice and is for informational purposes only. Before beginning any fitness or diet plan you should speak with your physician to make sure your current health allows for it.)
With the below plan, I lost 35 pounds in under four months. A friend of mine completed the same plan without deliberately including an exercise routine and dropped 40 pounds safely in the same amount of time.
Step 1) – Upon awaking in the morning, drink a regular size glass of water.
Step 2) – Mix up a protein shake or a SlimFast shake in the flavor of your choice and drink.
Step 3) – Take your supplements.
Step 4) – If you’re a coffee drinker, have a cup (one teaspoon of sugar only) to keep your mind alert.
Step 5) – Drink another shake for lunch.
Step 6) – Dinner – Eat a healthy dinner that includes protein (fish, steak, chicken), Greens (Broccoli, Spinach, etc) and a small portion of some type of carb (brown rice, piece of weight toast, etc).
Step 7) – Have that second cup of coffee or hot tea later in the evening.
Step 8) – Stop eating by 8pm.
In between all of this, keep your water intake up. That doesn’t mean you have to try and consume a certain amount – just listen to your body and keep a bottle of spring water close by to sip off of throughout the day.
When it comes to meal supplement shakes, the most important thing first and foremost is, taste. If it tastes awful you will most likely talk yourself out of it. The best shake options that I have found are SlimFast and protein powder from Optimum Nutrition. No, we do not get paid for saying that, the recommendation comes from experience alone. The folks at SlimFast have dialed in a shake that supplies you with a nice mix of protein, fats and carbs, and Optimum Nutrition’s “Natural” Whey Protein is preservative free with just a touch of sugar. Both are very palatable.
Although Whey Protein alone isn’t considered a “meal replacement”, you should still be getting enough between that healthy dinner and your vitamins each day. Also, by using 2% milk as your liquid for your shake, you’re adding a bit of carb and fat to your protein shake as well.
If you go with the protein mix or the powder form of SlimFast (which I recommend), use 2% milk. Place in a blender with some ice for a cool smoothie feel. A few berries added are fine, just remember that fruit is sugar. Both SlimFast (we liked the “Original” over “High-protein” belnd) and Optimum Nutrition Natural Whey Protein come in several different flavors. My favorite for both is the chocolate.
As far as vitamins and supplements are concerned, the most important are a multi-vitamin and fish oil. Along with those, I included in my regimen vitamin E, Calcium with D3 and Vitamin C. Follow the recommended dosage on the label, taking around two to three fish oil soft gel capsules a day (I like one after every shake and meal). I recommend buying the Nature Mark ‘Burpless’ Fish Oil – I never had any burping or nasty fish taste.
This part is really up to you (and what your doctor determines is safe). As stated above, my program included visiting the gym for rigorous exercise about four to five times a week. The other gentlemen did not go to the gym and only became more active doing yard work and things as he lost weight.
Remember, your weight is about how you eat first and foremost. Your fitness is going to be about your activity level. Honestly, getting a brisk walk in every day for about a half hour is good for starters.
Now the rest is up to YOU. If you don’t follow my plan the way I stated above, you may not get the same results. It’s as simple as that. But if you do and you stay in contact with your doctor to assess that everything is moving along safely, you should see pounds start to come off within the first two weeks. From there on, things should become easier.
Commit yourself to change. Make a promise to yourself and set a goal of at least 30 days – before you alter anything or give up. Once you start to lose a pound or two, it will excite you to go further, until you’ve reached your goal.
Let’s simplify the plan one more time:
1) Two shakes – Breakfast & Lunch
2) Take supplements as directed each day
3) Eat a healthy balanced evening meal
4) Drink water
5) Have a cup of coffee
6) Exercise – start with walking
There. You only have to purchase a shake mix and put together one meal each day. Your desire for sodas and sugary treats should subside within just a week or two, if you stick to the plan.
Ready? Raise your shake glass and let’s toast – “to your health”!
By: W.A.A. RN-COHN, CHC