Using the layers of the food pyramid diagram for permanent healthy weight loss
A food pyramid diagram breaks foods into 5 major groups, and then outlines how many 'serves' you should eat from each of these groups. These groups are shown as layers of a pyramid.
There are a few different food pyramids about, and while I now eat very much on this basis, I have adapted it to suit me.
A food pyramid diagram - focus on one layer at a time
I thought that I'd never lose weight and keep it off, desperation though got me trying again. But I did it differently the last time. I looked at what I had done before, tried to work out why my previous attempts had always failed, then I tried something different.
I had tried a food pyramid diagram as a guide to losing weight before, and I hadn't been able to maintain it, so I tried to remember what the problem was.
Then I looked at all other fad diets and weight loss programs I had tried to follow (most of then nowhere near as healthy or good for me as the five major food groups.)
I realised that the problem was with the way I tackled the whole thing.
I always tried to do everything all at once. I tried to put into place everything that would give me an instant and total eating habits and lifestyle change. I tried to jump from nothing to all in five seconds...and I always fell on my face.
I had tackled every losing weight episode in exactly that way...full on, total rework of my lifestyle. Each time I thought I had enough motivation and strength to make a quick change and maintain it together. That was the one common factor in every weight loss program I had ever tried...obviously going at it that way again was probably going to end in the same result...weight loss, then gain.
So, maybe the problem was that I was trying to do too much at once (I hoped so, because I didn't think I could handle anymore yo-yo episodes...it would do my head in!).
I wanted a healthy (and fast) weight loss plan, but I wanted it for life too. So, I went back to the food pyramid diagram, but this time I took it one step at a time...layer by layer.
Using food pyramids and losing weight.
I started by focusing on one thing, one group in the food pyramid diagram. I knew that fat per gram had more calories in it than any other food group, and I also knew, when I looked at what I was eating, I was consuming a lot of hidden fats.
So, this was the layer I started with, I started to cut the hidden fats out of my diet and cut down on the added fats I put into and on things.
I looked at the nutritional panels on the food in my cupboard. Amazing I realised that when I ate one packet of two minute noodles with the kids I was putting over 15 grams of fat (that's a little under a tablespoon) into my body.
A muesli bar (which I thought was reasonably healthy...it's got oats in it right) another 4 grams of fat! A teaspoon of butter on each slice of my toast...another 10 grams of fat!
In breakfast and two snacks I was consuming 29 grams of fat! A little research showed me that I should only be eating about 40 grams of fat a day...at the most...boy was I over doing it!
We need fat, it's important for our brains and our bodies...but it's so easy to go overboard, and not even notice how much is going in! And not being burnt off.
So this is the layer I started on. I didn't count fat grams, I just consciously started swapping high fat foods (processed) for lower fat foods. I swapped some fats for others...There's no cholesterol and a lot of good stuff in avocados, even though they have quite a bit of fat in them, so I ditched the butter and margarine from my sandwiches and used avocado instead...and only on one slice.
There wasn't much change in my weight, or my measurements for about the first three weeks. But I had put the weight on over a long period of time, so I just stopped weighing myself and measuring so often, and focused on dropping a load of fat.
I hadn't weighed or measured myself for about three weeks, but I had noticed my pants a little looser...so I got back on the scales and took out the measuring tape. Well, I'd lost 6 pounds!!! (I had been moving more too...as often as I remembered and could)
I hadn't done anything except tackle one layer of the pyramid, and I wasn't even missing the fat anymore, in fact I was finding that if things were a little too fatty, I felt a bit queasy when I ate them.
Time to move to the next level...layer by layer I lost the weight and kept it off! And the great thing about using a food pyramid diagram was that I had a constant reference guide to what I was aiming for, I didn't have to count calories (way too time-consuming for me) and I knew I was building into my life an healthy long term eating plan, and that if I took it layer by layer, I'd keep dropping the pounds and get healthy!!
And I did...And I still have...and so can you, layer by layer, stage by stage...and you'll never look back (except to remind yourself of how well you've done, and how far you've come)!
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