I am have been enjoying this weather!  Stepped away from this a little too long!!

I wanted to talk about FAD diets.  First of all, I support all programs to lose weight that are advertising ways to make sure people are healthy!  Let me say though, I have been on most of them and I couldn’t stick to it. That is me, so if I say anything pertaining to the program you are currently using, please forgive me, this is my blog,  it is my opinion. As I said I support any way of getting to a healthy goal, I just want to express why these did not work for me.  Maybe you are having the same problem with them, please use my experience to help you. I’ll start with the programs I have personally used and try to put in some ideas that helped me.  Sometimes you have to pull info from every program just to give yourself a variety of choices.

In the past I have used Weight Watchers.   Some things I do like about Weight Watchers are:  you get to eat “real” food and fabulous recipes.  What I don’t like about WW, all the crazy counting of “points.”  Don’t get me wrong it’s good to figure out the right amounts to eat, I just get very confused with math.  Also, weigh ins every week I would get nervous.  Just the same as if it was test I didn’t study for.  If I failed, it was in front of another person and that was embarrassing.   I know they are there for support but it was hard to get to know them because of the mass amount of people that were in the meetings.  It felt like I was doing this with a bunch of strangers watching me.  Also I had to drag myself out of the house once a week to “talk” about my problems.  They did not (at the time) talk about exercise.  They basically told us to join a fitness class or walk.  No advice on how many calories to burn or an activity log.  Exercise is extremely important!  I was always hungry, probably because I didn’t figure the math right.  Did I lose weight? Some, but with any diet it’s all in what you put in to it.  I didn’t make it past the 2 month mark.  I guess what I am saying as far as this plan, there was way to much room for error for me.  If this is working for you good job!! Stick with it!

Curves.  I think this program started out good.  The exercise was easy and convenient.  30 mins a day was all that was required on their machines.  They had a food plan that involved real foods, their own protein powders and vitamins.  Very healthy advice.  However, after a certain point your body was used to the same routine.  Well, that causes plateauing.  I think switching up routines makes exercise more fun.  There wasn’t anything to look forward to doing the same machines everyday.  Most of their centers are closed now.  Exercise is not supposed to be easy.

Metabolife/Metabolift.  Well, of course we all try to find quick easy fixes to weight issues.  Diet pills do not help you.  It tells you right on the bottle to follow a healthy diet of foods! Why do you need to take the pill then? Aren’t you already doing what you are supposed to? I wasted money on this one, I’m sorry to say. Plus I do believe people were suing because they had some heart issues from this.

Slim Fast. Yuck.  I could not drink these.  One, they tasted awful and two my stomach would hurt the entire day.

So now you know all of the diet plans I have failed at.  I’d like to go over some plans that I have heard of and know people have tried.

Detox or cleansing.   First of all, just no.  That’s what I’m going to say. I just want to keep this blog clean (no pun intended) without a having TMI.  Your body needs food, end of story. Don’t punish your body because your mind told you to eat the wrong foods.  Staying on a healthy eating pattern with tons of water and exercise will give you the same results in a less gross way. I personally would not want to go through with this.

I am not a big fan of protein shake diets.  Protein powder is extremely expensive, you have to make everything right before you drink it and many times you will find too many calories in them.  You also have to make sure you get the right kind, some shakes are for weight lifting will cause you to gain weight.  Lastly, wouldn’t you rather enjoy chewing?

Jenny Craig.  Very expensive program.  Food is a frozen TV dinner with not much taste.  Like Lean Cuisine only more expensive and still pay through the nose for their services.

Adkins. No carbs, but bacon? Hmmm, well. I’m not sure you’re eating anything that’s not worse than the other.  Don’t get me wrong, promoting protein in place of carbs is a great idea.  In my opinion it’s the kind of protein you replace it with.  Wouldn’t it be worse to have a high fat protein than just having the carb ? I think it’s easier for your body to burn off carbs than the fat you already have, then to add on additional fat from breakfast.  There’s nothing wrong with having some carbs.  Everything in moderation.

Paleo diet is described as a caveman diet. You are to eat things that were available to cavemen.  Such as seeds,greens, meats, fish and veggies.  Great concept. This one I could probably get on board with, except there are no carbs.  People I love my carbs!  If you eat them responsibly you’re good! I do eat many things they tell you to, but I’d have to draw the line at zucchini or squash as my noodles in spaghetti.  It’s like taking chocolate away from a chocoholic!

Diet supplements.  Please, please do not use these.  I have used a brand of them in the past with the generic Metabolife, there are way too many side effects.  Your body knows what to do.  You can’t make it do anything faster.  God created our bodies to work naturally for a reason.  A lot of these companies later have been sued by people claiming heart conditions. So many people get fooled by the commercials of success stories (which I am not even sure if they are real people), a year or two down the road and the company is being blamed for side affects from their supplements.  Another reason I am against these programs is cost.  You get the same results eating healthy, drinking lots of water and exercising.  All of these things speed up your metabolism.  Again if this is something you are not going to do forever why start it?  Is always going to be available to you?

The most drastic route to take is weight loss surgery.  This an extremely serious decision.  This is NOT a FAD diet.  Not only will you change the way your body works, you have to stick with it the rest of your life to keep weight off.  Someone very close to me had the gastric sleeve.  She has done amazing! She has by far had a tougher road than I have.  I’m very proud of her and so happy she is finding herself again.  I’ll have to talk with her before I divulge more info :). These surgeries are designed to help people with more than 40 percent body fat to lose.  There are many changes you will have to make.  One: many doctors, dietitian and nurse appointments.  You will no longer be able to drink carbonated drinks, ever.  You have to wait 30 mins to drink anything following a meal.  Your portions are next to nothing.  If you eat too much you risk a reverse or be physically ill.  Vitamins will supplement what you  need.  If you have thought this was the easy way to lose weight think again.  Not only dealing with the surgery and after care itself, you still have plateaus and frustration.  Exercise is still required.  If this is the choice for you, I have so much respect.

Now I want you to understand why I chose to take this journey.

My Plan:

1) Eat healthy foods.

2)Use my YMCA membership as it is intended.

What did it cost me?  My weekly grocery bill that fed my whole family and family membership at the Y.

Let’s talk about cost.  Here’s my thinking, paying into a mass market program.  Well, if you take a step back and look at the way they are getting people in.  First of all, everyone loves success stories.  They show you how easy it was for these people and how happy they are.  Of course, it’s wonderful the program worked for them.  They do not tell you how much they had to invest to get them there.  I have a success story, sure it’s a great story with a great ending, but is is over? Not by a long shot.  Just remember this, you always remember the happy ending of something you hear because you want to remember it.  However, people who truly succeed are ones that are still working on it!

Let me ask you this, have you ever used the excuse that it’s too expensive to eat healthy?  It’s much cheaper to buy a bag of chips than to buy a pound of grapes, right?  But you are willing to invest hundreds in a program to help you lose weight, plus still having to buy food?  Sure cost is a big thing for people.  I hear it all the time.  Healthy foods are expensive, it’s cheaper to buy a bag of chips. Maybe so, but how long are you going to let those chips stretch?  Sometimes people will only get one serving out the bag, oh come on you all know we’ve each done it! 🙂  You will be carrying those chips on your stomach and thighs for days.  Fruit and vegetables are  sold by the pound, you are surely getting more food than that 9oz bag chips! Buy the healthy stuff and leave the junk at the store.

Of course please refer back to my previous blogs about foods that helped me:  http://amberbrewer.com/2015/03/food-that-helped-me-lose-150lbs/ to see the way I eat.

I do not benefit from bashing any of these programs.  I am not selling any of this information to you.  I am just passionate about the journey I have taken (and still am).  No weight loss plan is easy.  It’s like life, you get out of it what you put into it.  I, too tried to take programs that seemed so easy and get by with the minimum amount of exercise.  It didn’t work. Eating healthy and exercising isn’t the only things you do to take care of your body.  Taking a bunch of pills and confusing it with different  regimens will take it longer to level out.  Nothing happens right away.  Fads try to convince you they do.  Heck even when people are paid to lose weight (ie. Biggest Loser) the weight still won’t stay off.  I can not stress enough, get behind a plan that will be easy for you to stick to.  Something you want to do everyday.

Following my own plan of eating healthy and exercising everyday has allowed me to lose the weight and maintain it.  Currently I am in maintenance mode.  I am strength training, doing cardio and tightening what the weight loss has left behind.  It’s not that I am looking for more weight to lose, this is a hobby for me now.  I enjoy it and feel good all the time.  I search for my accomplishments everyday to see what I can really do.  No fad foods, exercises etc brought me here.  I didn’t need them. I needed to believe I could do it and just get out there and do it.

Again I am going to say it, if you are doing any of the programs I have talked about or ones I haven’t, I am not judging you.  I am doing this for the sole purpose of encouraging your success and my own. I am not discounting anyones efforts or choices.  Anyway you explain it, this is hard.  Good luck and I am here for any questions!

Thank you all for reading!