Imagine this: you lose 20 pounds. You are feeling good going to your doctor for a wellness checkup. How would you feel if she were to tell you that you are not healthy. "Mr. Jones," she advises, "your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are too high, and your HDL cholesterol is too low. You need to go on a statin drug, because you could have a heart attack in five years."
Unfortunately, weight loss is not as easy as merely cutting calories and exercising.
This happened to me. I was at an ideal size and was exercising and eating lower calories, but was unhealthy. I didn't want to get on a statin drug because I knew I would have to take it for the rest of my life, so I began to eliminate the culprits that were raising my triglycerides and cholesterol.
Fortunately, my cardiologist made it simple for me. "If you don't want to be on medication, I'll give you three months to get it under control. You need to cut down on the sugars and the saturated fat," he instructed.
Here are some foods that are loaded with saturated fat: Steak, chicken, pork, cookies, butter, and milk. This is only a small set of examples.
Some foods that are loaded with sugar include white bread, oven pastries, most boxed breakfasts, any cereal that has less than 4 grams of fiber per serving (because these cereals tend to have a lower amount of whole grains and a higher amount of enriched flour), soda pop, and juice.
Here is a good strategy that still allows you to have the foods you love and give an alternative place to get your protein and satisfy your sweet tooth. Try cutting down on the amount of meat that you eat each week. Try to cut steak consumption to once a month, chicken once a week, and pork once a week. Also, read your food labels and make sure you are getting and eating foods very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Cut out the white bread and the pastries. Eat sweets only once or twice a week. Cut down the amounts of sweets each time you eat them. Share a dessert with a friend. You eat desserts for taste, right? Also, eat only 100% whole grains for bread items.
Protein alternatives include soy products, such as soy milk, soy chicken lettuce patties and beef patties, and tofu. Also, beans have a lot of protein. Protein powders are also an excellent source of protein. Consider eating egg whites.
Remember that your body was not made to consume large amounts of saturated fat or sugar. Don't try to completely cut these out of your diet, because it is very difficult to do. Instead, cut down. I lost eight pounds over the course of four weeks, and my lipids are at their proper levels. Are you up to the challenge? If so, talk to your doctor and get started with your weight loss program.