I have spent a lot of time advocating the benefits of dairy products to my urban friends and people on Facebook and Twitter. As dairy farmers, we should feel good about the health benefits our products provide. But a few months ago, I saw myself in the mirror and a thought struck me like a lightning bolt: "Why would anyone take nutrition advice from a fat slob?"
Maybe "fat slob" is a bit of an overstatement, but I was 35 lb. overweight and bordering on Type 2 diabetes. With two Type 2 diabetic parents, a 6-year-old, a 1-year-old and 45 years of life behind me, I decided to do something about it. I lost 25 lb. in two months and did it in four easy steps with my mobile phone.
You can, too, and here’s how.
1. Education: I first listened to the audiobook version of Gary Taubes’ "Why We Get Fat" on www.Audible.com. This book explains how easily digestible carbohydrates cause insulin spikes that tell your body to store fat. Armed with this information, I decided to eat nothing but meat, vegetables and dairy.
I lost 20 lb. in the first couple of weeks and have been losing about a pound a week since then. By the way, beer is an easily digestible carbohydrate, so that was the first thing to go!
2. Diet: Knowing what to eat on a diet is difficult, so I signed up for www.eMeals.com. This is a program that lays out weekly meal plans in any of 13 different diets, including low carb. Each week, eMeals provides a meal plan for seven dinners (lunch and breakfast are available for additional fee). The app includes a shopping list categorized by department. With shopping complete, the app provides the recipe and preparation instructions for each meal.
3. Exercise: Once my weight loss slowed down, I realized I needed to exercise to keep things moving. I don’t have time for the gym, so I use the Johnson & Johnson 7-Minute Workout app every morning on my iPad. The app offers several routines, from the original seven-minute workout to a 24-minute power set. After each workout, there are features to rate difficulty and track progress. It also plays music from the iPad’s iTunes library to help improve motivation.
4. Data management: I’m a data junkie and like to analyze my progress, so I use a Fitbit to monitor activity. I log my meals and workouts in the MyFitnessPal app, which tracks how much protein, fat and carbs are eaten and is customizable to any diet plan.
Now that I’ve gone from 200 lb. to 173.5 lb. (on my way to 165 lb.), not only do I feel better about promoting dairy products; I feel better all together. If a fat, lazy California dairy farmer can do it, you can, too!
One of the primary drivers of my lifestyle change was to regulate blood sugar in order to prevent Type 2 Diabetes. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels (i.e., blood sugar) rise after eating a particular type of food.
If you eat foods with a low GI, you will avoid insulin spikes and lose weight. There are many apps available for IOS and Android; you can find them by searching your app marketplace.