Hi! For those who are just starting, I wanted to give you a few things that I have learned in the past 2+ months. This is going to be stream of consciousness and I'm not sure how long it will go on, and everyone's body is different, but here's what I've got:
1. Giving up carbs is hard. The first week or two is REALLY hard. You'll get through it, I promise. The cravings never fully go away, but they get better. You don't have to go cold-turkey. I knew that I would never survive induction, so I started in Phase 2. You may not lose weight quite as fast, but you're going to be on this Earth for a long time. A few extra months won't be tragic.
2. The scale isn't your friend. Read this article: here
. At best, it's a frenemy. Long-term, it will give you indication of your weight. Over any short term period, there is wild volatility. Massive. It may have nothing to do with you. Last week, I stepped on the schedule four times in a row and got four different weights. This particular point has been the hardest one for me because, in theory, the scale should be an objective measure. It isn't. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.
3. Water is
your friend. I have never read an article that didn't say water is very good for you. Once you increase water consumption, you will have a 2-3 day period where your weight will go up (See point 2 above.). Yes, your body has been craving it. Over time, however, if your water consumption stays up, it will even out and your body will not feel forced to retain in. Your body is smart.
4. There are certain foods that our bodies weren't meant to eat. The human body has been evolving for millions of years. The agricultural revolution, which led to the development of a lot of foods that we aren't meant to eat, happened 150 years ago. Do the math. There's a reason that a Twinkie throws your body into disarray.
5. If you're hungry, eat something. This isn't a starvation diet. If you're here, you have probably gone down that path multiple times and know that it doesn't work. Learning to differentiate between "I'm hungry" hunger and "I'm bored" hunger has been difficult for me. Fortunately, I keep a bottle of water with me at my desk and have easy access to healthy snacks. My laziness works to my advantage. Getting a "bad for you" snack requires too much work.
6. Speaking of which, exercising does not have to mean going to the gym and running on a treadmill. It is very easy to get more exercise, particularly for us couch potatoes, who are starting from zero. Here are a list of things that I do that require almost no work:
- Get off the subway one stop early. It adds 2/10 of a mile to my walk, or about four minutes.
- Stand up while I'm talking on the phone.
- Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
There are a million things like those that you can do to help. You don't have to run five miles to get the same amount of exercise in.
7) Science hasn't been completely reinvented. This is not a "throw out everything you ever knew about nutrition" type of lifestyle. There are a lot of changes that require a leap of faith, but certain things are still good for you and still bad for you.
Most important: Remember, this is a complete lifestyle change. You have to accept the fact that you are never going back to eating the way you were before. You don't have to make every change at once. Each little "addition" can come gradually. And don't stop eating in the hopes that it will help you if you hit the wall. Short-term, it may, but you're in it for the long-term. That's not to say that you can't swap out foods (Add or eliminate dairy, fruit, etc.). Just don't go hungry all the time. It doesn't work. You know it doesn't work. Eat healthy foods and appropriate portions.
You can do this.