Johnny Ahysen's Weight Loss: August 10, 2015

Johnny Ahysen's Weight Loss: August 10, 2015

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Since I 'went public' with my weight loss program a few weeks ago, I've received hundreds of positive comments, e-mails, Facebook posts, and
even a few phone calls asking about 'my program.'

And there were at least six of you who wanted extreme details of exactly what I was doing including an 'action plan' of some type to help
determine if you would like to start a similar program.

So if you are not one of the few who want to follow me, then this particular post (blog) might be too lengthy. But for others, here's what
you've asked for! And I will continue to give you weekly updates so we can encourage each other. Feel free to 'share' this information with family and friends.

First, a quick side bar . . . this is a blog detailing what I am doing. This does not mean it will work for you. Nor is it meant to encourage
you to discount any advice you have received, or are receiving, from a doctor or other health care professional. I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist. This blog is simply an account of my personal journey and by far not an expert opinion of any kind. If you are under the care of a health care professional, their advice should be followed without question, even if it contradicts some of the things I'm doing. Got it? Good! Now, let's begin.

I am not a big fan of the Body Mass Index (or BMI) used to determine fitness level. That said however, I have found it to be a decent tool
for an initial weight assessment, resistance training notwithstanding obviously (because muscle weighs more that fat).

The BMI is your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height squared (in centimeters). However, before you freak out about having to do conversions
from pounds to kilograms and inches to centimeters, there are plenty of free BMI calculators online that will calculate your BMI in seconds once you simply enter your weight and height.

So use one of these calculators to find out what your current BMI number is. Then use this scale to determine if you need to lose weight and,
if so, how much:
CDC Definitions:
Below 18.4         Underweight
18.5 – 24.9         Normal
25.0 – 29.9         Overweight
30 and above      Obese
There are other health organizations that have slightly different definitions than what the CDC recommends here, and some even differentiate
men values from women values. I've found these differences to be so slight, I simply use the CDC's recommended chart. Staying within the healthy range throughout life is important for lowering cancer risk, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and helping
control countless other health maladies.

So as I promised, here are specific action steps I used, and am using:

Before you do anything, get a physical complete with blood work. Make sure your doctor is OK with you beginning a weight loss journey. Let
your doctor determine if there are any existing issues of which you may, or may not be aware, that could prevent (or limit) you from beginning any such program. Once he / she gives you the green light, then get going that very day! (Don't wait till Monday, or till the first of the month. Do it that day!) 
Compute your BMI using one of the free on-line calculators. At least find out where you are by comparing your current BMI with the CDC's definitions.
Don't become alarmed if the definition you fall into isn't pretty. It probably won't be and that's OK because you're about to do something to change that, right?

Then decide how you are going to lose weight. It's a sad fact but statistics have proven that most weight loss programs promising quick weight
loss will fail. They will fail because of two things: the program will be so restrictive you will not be able to stick with it for life, and / or because of the restrictions, you will begin gaining weight once you add back the foods you were restricted from eating during the program.

For me, I paid a little money and spent 90 minutes with a registered dietitian. She explained to me why it is important that we DO eat fats,
carbs, protein, etc. every day. She explained why each is good for us and should not be excluded to lose weight; just the opposite in fact.

So for my particular goal, the dietitian first determined exactly how many servings of each I needed to eat every day; proteins, fats, starches
(carbs), fruits, vegetables, etc.

Then (and most importantly) she defined for me exactly what a serving size of each was. It is amazing how small a 'serving size' is. I immediately
thought, I'm gonna starve! But once the dietitian explained I'd be eating five to six times per day, I calmed down a bit.

Early during my dietitian visit it became frighteningly obvious I was simply over-eating! It wasn't 'what' I was eating, but 'how much'. I
knew I couldn't eat six times per day the way I had been eating and lose weight. Something(s) had to change.

Here is 'my plan' in a nutshell; this is what I eat each day:
Proteins (3)
Starches (2)
Vegies (4)
Fruits (2)
Fats (2)
Dairy (2)
Snacks (2)
Water (8 to 10 glasses daily)

It is absolutely critical you know the definition of what a serving size of each is and weigh / measure to insure you are not over-eating.

For example, here are some serving sizes I've used these last few months to net a 25+ pound loss:

Examples of one serving of Protein:
2.5 oz tuna; salmon
2 tbsp cashews
1 tbsp peanut butter (can also be a fat)
1 slice 2% cheese
3 oz lean beef; chicken
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
Examples of one serving of Starch / Carb:
1 slice whole grain bread
¼ cup hummus
12 original Wheat Thin crackers
½ cup high-fiber cereal with ½ cup skim milk
½ cup cooked pasta
½ cup of some starchy vegetables like peas, etc.
Examples of one serving of Vegetable:
1 cup raw OR ½ cup cooked
Greens (mustard, spinach, turnip, etc)
Green beans
Examples of one serving of Fruit:
2 plums
1 medium orange
1 medium apple
1 pear
17 grapes
1 cup blueberries
Examples of one serving of Fat:
1 tbsp Avocado; Guacamole
1 tbsp reduced-fat dressings
1 tsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Peanut Butter (also a Protein)
Examples of "Free" foods (all-you-can-eat):
Beef, chicken, vegetable broth (low sodium!)
Butter spray
Herbs, fresh or dried
Lemon or Lime juice
Vinegar, all types except balsamic
With my particular family history, other family members have had great weight loss success by controlling their insulin levels. So I purchased a book listing all foods' Glycemic Index. (The Glycemic Index is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their conversion to glucose within the human body. Glycemic Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar.) So when grocery shopping, I try to pick foods that are as low on the Glycemic Index as possible. (By the way, you can also get free G.I. food lists on-line!)
And finally, limit (or eliminate) your alcohol consumption at least until you reach goal. Most alcoholic drinks are 'empty calories' and could
actually hinder your true weight loss.
I'll discuss exercise in a future blog. But basically, I did not do any kind of exercise until I lost my first 20 pounds. This is a personal
preference but the professionals were instructing me to exercise (brisk walking at least) from the very beginning. I chose to begin after I had lost some weight though.
That's it for today gang. So for the few of you who are beginning this journey, c'mon! I'll help you along the way by sharing my successes
and challenges. WE CAN DO IT!
Good luck!

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