For many people, aging produces some unpleasant side effects. Along with graying hair, random chin hairs, brand new aches and pains and a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions, another unwelcome change is weight gain.
This happens for many reasons. First, we tend to slow down as we get older (remember those aches and pains?). Things that we used to do with ease in our younger years take more effort and even cause injuries from which we do not recover as quickly as we once had. Life gets busier as we climb the corporate ladder, chauffer our children around and take care of our aging parents.
There are also hormonal changes in both men and women. We lose muscle as we age, and even if the scale reads the exact same number, the pounds are not landing in the same places. Our estrogen and testosterone levels drop, as well as our growth hormone. These help to replenish injured muscles, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Scientists are unsure why old muscle does not regenerate as quickly as younger muscle fibers, but one theory is that your fibers are just old.
Another reason we gain weight is because our metabolism changes as we age-as much as one-half of one per cent after the age of 25. Not only do foods that we once loved no longer agree with us, but they cause us to put on extra pounds. For example, in my early 20’s, my graduate school lunches consisted of a hot corned beef sandwich with fries or a few slices of pizza-all washed downwith a diet soda. Eating more than once slice of pizza has me running for antacids, and an entire corned beef sandwich with Russian dressing would just land in my stomach and stay there.
For women in particular, menopause is the main reason why weight is gained.
As a woman who is fast approaching the age of 50, I am doing what I can naturally to stay healthy and fight the signs of aging. To help cope with the many snow days and delayed openings we had this past winter, my twins and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking sweets.
That meant we spent a lot of time eating them. Add to that my winter long bought with tendidnitis, and the results did not make me happy.
When spring came and my capri pants were a bit snug, I knew I had to do something about it. If you do not take care of the first few pounds you gain, then it is easy to pile on a few more and a few more and a few more…
Plus, there is no money for a new wardrobe!
After seeing my endocrinologist for my bi-annual Hashimoto’s Diesase checkup this spring, he determined that my thyroid was working just fine, even a bit fast.
It was then that I decided to see if I could naturally help speed up my metabolism. I had heard of thyroid diets that people use instead of medicine, but that was not for me. I could not live without my Synthroid, but maybe there was something else.
I discovered The Thyroid Solution Diet by Ridha Arem. An endocrinologist who is also a chief of staff in his field at Ben Taub General Hopsital in Houston, he has written a book that lay people can follow and understand easily. In fact, it is not only for those of us who suffer with thyroid issues, it is for everyone who is gaining weight unexplainably, getting older or just wants a better way to eat.
Meet Dr.Ridha Arem
About the Book
The book is divided into four sections.
Section One is entitled How Hormones Make Us Fat. Dr. Arem explains why popular diets such as Weight Watchers fail and why we cave into our cravings. It is easy to understand, and I personally would not have understood the reasons for his food choices if I had just skipped to the diet plan.
Section Two is entitled Eating for a Brisk Metabolism. In this section the doctor explains which foods to eat and has a detox shake for you to drink daily to jump start your weight loss journey.
Section Three is the Step-By-Step Weight Loss Program. This chapter, which is the reason I got this book, tells you what vitamins to take and what foods to eat. There are so many choices that even a person with a picky palate like mine can easily find more than enough choices. The foods that are excluded are mostly those high in sugar and chemical additives (things we should not be eating in the first place).
In addition to eating the right foods and taking vitamins, Dr. Arem also tells readers to eat at regular time intervals. These are flexible time frames, but the point is to not let certain hormones take over and cause us to binge eat the wrong foods.
You eat five times a day-Breakfast, a mid-morning snack (if you need one), lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner. An evening snack choice is not listed, but if you are like me, one is necessary. I cannot eat with a grumbling stomach.
There are two phases to the Thryoid Diet Solution. Phase One lasts for at least six weeks and then you add more grains in Phase Two.
The last part of the chapter is all about his 20/10 Exercise Program. To keep your body working efficiently, Dr. Arem suggests that you do twenty minutes of cardio and ten minutes of strength training several times a week. He explains why this works and how it affects your hormones.
The last section,number four is entitled Recipes. It is for those who want to try to make something new.
To be honest, I did not do the detox shake at the start of the diet as suggested. I get up at 5:15, and making a smoothie that early in the morning would wake up my entire house. In addition, my medication should not be taken with some of the ingredients in the drink and it just did not look like something I would enjoy.
The main focus is to eat two protein choices at meals and I can tell you, it works. I am not hungry if I eat two, but I am if I only have one protein with my meal.
I do enjoy an evening snack, usually some vegetables, a piece of fruit or an all natural fruit pop.
As for exercise, I work out six days a week already for 45 minutes to an hour, so I am going above and beyond what is suggested. I lift weights three days a week and do cardio three days a week.
Because of my older daughter’s eating disorder, I do not go on the scale any longer to see what I weigh. I am not a number and will not let one define how I feel like I did in my younger years. Even at the doctor’s office I turn my back to the scale and I have no idea what I weigh.
However, my clothes that were once tight now fit the way they used to. My belly is flatter and I have a lot more energy than I did before I started eating properly again.
I do eat some foods that are not on the diet, but hey, life is too short not to have a small treat now and again. But I can tell you that my cravings for carbs, chips and sugar have diminished significantly.
Recently, I did an experiment and ate my old breakfast-oatmeal with coconut milk. I was craving carbs for the rest of the day, and so I went back to an all protein breakfast and have not looked back.
You have nothing to lose but weight by trying Dr. Aren’s Thyroid Diet Solution.