Have you noticed that once you reach a certain age, losing weight becomes a bigger and bigger issue? I have found that it becomes more difficult because weight loss requires me to eat less (or so it seems), eat fewer of my favorite foods, and exercise more. None of these things are particularly appealing to me, so weight loss becomes a true chore. Wouldn’t it be great if we could lose weight by eating more of what we like and exercising for shorter periods of time?
There are also so many things to consider when searching for the holy grail of weight loss. We need to consider calories. We need to consider the number of calories consumed vs the number of calories burned. We need to consider the types of foods we consume. We need fewer carbohydrates, the right carbohydrates, the right amount of fats, the right kind of fats, and the right number of proteins. We need a system that accounts for all these things.
Then there is the whole exercise quagmire. Do we do aerobic, anaerobic, resistance training, isometric, isokinetic, or isotonic exercises? And, what’s the deal with walking at 4 miles per hour for an hour to burn so few calories? Did you know that a small DQ vanilla ice cream cone has 236 calories!
A walk has 400 calories, so I have to walk 2 miles at a rate of 4 miles per hour to burn the calories of that small ice cream cone! That just doesn’t seem fair!
This problem has plagued me for a number of years now. I have tried Keto, Paleo, Hollywood, Atkins, South Beach, Eat Right 4 Your Type, Mediterranean, and many other diets. Some are just terrible with the taste of the foods that I was allowed to eat, others are not too bad, and then there are others that are just a pain the butt with the foods you need to get to work with. Interestingly, all those diets have their supporters that swear they all work.
The question for me has become finding the most effective diet that allows me to eat foods that I like to eat and that are easy to prepare. I want an exercise program that does not require a lot of expense or time but really helps me shed those pounds. I want something that is easy to follow, is effective in a relatively short period, requires no drugs or surgery, and shows me results that are so encouraging to me that I stay with it. Is this too much to ask? This means the weight loss program goals must be achievable on a daily basis. This accomplishment stimulates the dopamine neurotransmitter in your pleasure center of the brain (think brain candy). We always want more of that stuff!
Recently, I was reading an article in one of my Chiropractic journals about diet combined with exercise. The article by a chiropractor that was touting a system that he was using successfully with his patients. The diet was pretty straight forward and simple, and the exercises that he recommended topped out at 25 to 30 minutes per day! Needless to say, I was intrigued.
The diet was Keto/Paleo based, which meant it was heavier on the proteins and fats along with being light on the carbohydrates. We all are big carbohydrate fans (sweets, breads, potatoes, cakes, pasta, etc.) but we all know those must be controlled on a weight loss program. In this program that the doctor was touting, beer and alcohol were not permitted. (That did not make me happy.) The cool part of the program for me was that the exercises were ramped up from a beginner starting at about 5 minutes to a maximum of 25 to 30 minutes per day. The premise with the exercises was that the combination of styles of exercise burned calories faster. Those were exercise numbers I could deal with. The exercises were a combination of resistance and aerobics. The resistance exercises started out being done vs just body weight but could build up to using Therabands or free weights. The aerobic exercises were jogging, bicycling, or other forms of aerobics done in between the sets of resistance exercise.
I believe in a reward system for my weight loss programs. If you do the work, and you do it with all your heart for a week, I believe you deserve a reward for your hard work. (Dopamine….love that stuff!) This approach keeps me motivated. I wondered if I could adapt a reward system into this very interesting diet and exercise program and still have it be effective. I would like to be able to have two or three glasses of beer one day per week as a reward for my hard work. I would like to be able to have a couple of chicken wings or maybe an order of cheese balls to go with those refreshing alcoholic drinks. It’s the breading on the fried foods that ruin the keto diet……along with the beer carbs. *sigh*
I kept thinking about it, though, and came up with an idea. When you eat carbohydrates on the keto diet, the keto metabolism is reversed and the carb consumption at that point has an amplified effect that causes a rebound weight gain phenomenon, as any good Paleo/Keto diet enthusiast will tell you. But, if I stop carb consumption after my one meal of celebration and hop back on the Keto bus, how much would I gain? What if I were to limit my calorie intake rather sharply on my celebration day and ease back into the Keto/Paleo heavy protein diet? Could I improve my anticipated results by changing to a more aggressive exercise pattern on my celebration day? That, to me, would be an equitable trade off.
Here is what I am going to try on my own. I will start on the protein heavy (Keto/Paleo) diet for five days in a row. On those five days I will do the exercises as prescribed and will start working to build up to my 25 to 30-minute exercise regimen. On day six, I will limit my caloric intake to ¾ of the sedentary lifestyle caloric requirement for someone my weight (that would be about 1,700 calories currently). Then, I will switch the exercise program to a one hour walk at about my normal pace of 3.5 to 4 mph on day six. This means I will burn about 400 calories. On day seven, I will predominantly be protein heavy on my diet, but will allow myself about 75 to 100 grams of carbs (a couple slices of bread) as an extended celebration. That is 25 to 50 grams more than is permissible on a Keto/Paleo diet. This would satisfy me enough to allow an easy transition back to my 5 day a week short exercise Ketone based diet. I have even gone as far as to name this program. I am calling it K.E.W.L.S. or Ketone/Exercise Weight Loss System.