I have made the decision to make a major change in the way I eat and my approach to weight-loss and health. I’m pretty excited about it and I wanted to fill you guys in.
My friend, Cheryl, told me she read Suzanne Somers’ Fast and Easy (get your mind out of the gutter! lol) and after following the guidelines, had lost 6 pounds in the first week and felt so much better eating the “Somersize” way. She recommended the book to me and although I put it on hold at the library, I was honestly not expecting to be impressed with anything I read. I’ve read so many weight-loss books that I could probably write one myself!
But I got the book a week ago and half-heartedly started into it, practically rolling my eyes as I did so. I used to watch Suzanne Somers on TGIF’s Step By Step and now I’m going to read about Carol Lambert’s (or for you Three’s Company fans, Chrissy Snow’s) dieting advice? I felt like I had stooped to a new low.
Well, what she had to say was a lot of what I already knew from different sources, but she included new information and presented it in a way that made a lot of sense to me as to why the Somersize lifestyle she’d developed could make weight loss very simple.
It boils down to how to eat in order to keep our insulin levels from spiking. Insulin is the fat inducing hormone; you can’t store fat without the presence of insulin. I’m living proof of this, as when my pancreas stopped producing it, I lost twenty pounds in two months while eating at buffets and fast food restaurants, and having desserts every day. Then I gained 60 in three months after starting on insulin injections because I took too much while trying to figure out how much I needed.
Insulin is necessary for your body to use the food you eat for fuel, and if you aren’t eating the right way, your insulin will spike and either prevent you from burning fat for fuel while striving to lose weight, or flat out causing the food you eat to be stored as fat. And if you eat according to Somers’ program, your insulin levels will stay low (in my case, this means the amount of insulin I require is reduced) and you will be able to lose weight without counting calories.
So what is this new way of eating? There are two levels, the first is for losing weight and the second, which she calls “cheating,” is for maintaining. On level one, you cut out sugar & starches. Fruit is to be eaten alone with no other foods. That is the way I was raised, as my Mom knew how combining fruit with other foods can hinder digestion. The foods in Somers’ carbohydrates category, such as whole grain bread/pasta, beans, and nonfat dairy, shouldn’t be accompanied by anything other than non-starchy vegetables. Protein and fats should be eaten together, and non-starchy vegetables can be eaten with this type of meal as well. Protein and carbohydrates, except for those from vegetables, can’t be combined in a meal.
This way of eating makes it very simple to lose weight and you don’t have to count calories or pay attention to portions, just make sure you don’t stuff yourself. You can have heavy cream, cheeses, bacon, whole eggs, and fatty cuts of meat (as well as good fats, such as olive oil, obviously…I just wasn’t as excited about those–lol). Suzanne is all about the fat! It is essential to our health, actually helping us to create new and healthy cells, and she is a great advocate of cutting out sugar and ladling on the fat for optimum health.
I immediately saw the benefits of following this lifestyle, particularly as a diabetic who has had trouble maintaining normal blood sugar levels. It goes to reason that a spike of insulin in a normal (insulin-producing) person means that first there is a spike in blood sugar whih requires the insulin response. So for me, eating this way will not spike my blood sugar as much, which means I’ll need less insulin and ultimately have more control over my blood sugar.
Although I love my sugar, I can see the wisdom behind cutting it and keeping the fat. Fat is essential to our health and sugar is not only not essential, but it is harmful. But can I follow this program?
Two days in, I think it may be a bit premature to say, “Yes, I’m doing this for life!” but it has honestly been so easy (and delicious!) that it seems realistic to assume I can at least follow the level one guidelines to help me get to my goal weight. I have missed fat, and returning it to my meals has been a truly joyful thing. For now, I’m perfectly content to have a slice of real, full-fat, high-quality cheese rather than dessert. I’m eating from all the food groups but I’m amazed at how combining them the Somersize way makes me feel so. wonderful. I’m refreshed and rejuvenated!
So for now, I’m very excited, and am looking forward to reporting my results. For the first time am actually feeling the mantra I learned in Weight Watchers and that Suzanne repeats in her book: “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!” Being able to eat all these rich and delicious foods really does not feel like a diet, and I can believe those words for the first time in all the years I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m not dieting but changing my lifestyle. And that really is an essential part of the weight-loss process, changing the way you eat not just temporarily, but for life, so I’m happy I’ve finally found the place where I can be happy with what I’m doing for the long haul.