By Dr. Iman Sadri
March 15, 2018
This blog is not a testimonial to sell any meal plan or an endorsement for any company. But to tell you how I Substituted Certain Foods and Lost 22 pounds in Seven Weeks.
Going from 200.5 pounds to 178.5 pounds from Jan 17th to March 5th.
Most people already know what to eat but still choose to eat high caloric, heavy meals, even though they want to be leaner, deep down in their psyche. We know we have to eat a salad instead of the truffle burger. But we give in to our tastebuds and food cravings.
I have a B.S. in Psychology from U.C. Davis and a Doctorate in Dentistry from N.Y.U. So for me it’s become apropot that I learn as much as I can about the neurochemistry of tastebuds and their relationship, (if any) to food cravings. And I write for my blog The Persian Observer, after work a few hours per week.
I wanted to see if there was a connection between the psychology behind our cravings and our tastebuds. I have been trying to learn of any connection between our tastebuds and if they control a hunger mechanism – also linked with our hypothalamus – the part of our brain in control of hunger. But ultimately it comes down to Will Power. The rest is just is just conversation. You are ultimately responsible for what you put in your body.
What I Ate The Last 7 Weeks to Lose 22 Pounds : As a reference point here is what I have been eating :
For breakfast : Gone was the egg and cheese croissant sandwich – in was a banana. For lunch : Gone was the burger, fries and soda – in was a chicken salad and iced tea. For dinner : Gone was a large Persian dish with rice and stew and a beer at 8pm – in was a protein bar and sparkling water before 6:15pm.
I realized I am Not Missing Out
I am not missing out on the croissant sandwich that I think I want to eat in the morning. Why ? Because I’ve already had it over 50 times in the past year. At my last checkup my Doctor told me my cholesterol readings were too elevated. I had high cholesterol because of having a croissant sandwich for breakfast, a burger for lunch, and heavy Persian food for dinner. It took a few more series of events to occur for to me have a Switch to go on to Take Action – My switch was me reaching 200.5 pounds –
When I saw 200 pounds on the scale I took a step back for a moment. It was new territory and I realized that I actually have the power to be in control of what I decide to eat. It was what I was eating that was putting on weight. Plane and simple.
How do you decide to put less food into your body ?
You need to be in control of your internal dialogue ! If you are really hungry you may feel like wanting to eat a large meal. And many times, since the portions in America are large, you end up eating more than you expected. You ordered chicken tenders and got a basket full of food. Your chicken tenders for lunch really come a lot more. You get chicken tenders with steak fries, ranch dressing, and a large coke. A 500-600 calorie lunch becomes 1800 calories.
We have to Approach our Foods with Intention !
You have the power to live with intention – and that applies to what you eat. We are mindful about other aspects of our life, so why not our body ? We are mindful of the GPS route we take to the meeting. We are mindful about our health insurance payment. We are mindful about showing up on time for our flight. So why not be mindful about what we eat ?
Learn to Take Control of What You Put Into Your Body :
So many other factors in our lives involve outside influences and external factors that we don’t have control over. External factors outside our control that could delay us from our goals – Things such as traffic delays, inclement weather, business day hours that are not in accordance with our availability, no Wi-Fi, lab delays, client’s cancelling, staff emergencies, power outages, etc.
What You Put Into Your Body you have Absolute Control Over :
Everday we have Internal Self – Dialogue – We decide what to put into our body : foods that are intended to fuel us or foods that are intended to satisfy our cravings and taste buds. Both are results of daily and momentary decisions we make. And many times when we eat unhealthily, high caloric foods …We are satisfying our cravings and taste buds and living for the moment of gratification. But these moments of indulgence have consequences.
The consequences from eating unhealthy foods become apparent in the subsequent days and weeks – when the shirt at the department store doesn’t fit. When you see yourself in a group photo and don’t recognize yourself. When the scale reads a number that frightens you.
And that’s what happened to me. On February 17, I stepped on the scale and it read 200.5 pounds. For the longest time my weight had fluctuated between 194 and 199 pounds. Somehow I kept myself from going over the 200 pound threshold. For over two years. I ranged from 194 to 199. But, that day I had entered the dreaded 200+ pound category. My height is 5 foot 11 inches. And for the first time in my life I weighed above 200 pounds. 200.5 pounds to be exact.
As of today April 7, 2018 I weigh 178.5 pounds.
To Eat Healthy STOP REWARDING YOURSELF
Stop rewarding yourself ! With large breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
We reward ourselves too frequently with Over-Eating. With …Over-Smoking. Over-Indulging in all facets of life ….
Work Out / Cardio :
I only have been doing brisk cardio two days per week and light to moderate weights – about 45 minutes – only two days per week ! I am working out less than I did three months ago – which was the same routine I do now but four days a week. And I haven’t played any basketball. Which I used to do at least 2 nights a week.
Despite working out four days a week when I weighed 200 pounds my metabolism was still slowing down. And I was still gaining weight. I realized it’s All What You Eat !
To decrease the number of pounds it’s All About Caloric Intake
To master the caloric intake formula – you need to calculate your BMI and go through the entire calorie counting – I didn’t do that and you won’t believe where I eat the chicken salad for lunch 5 days a week – Burger King.
That’s right I eat a grilled chicken salad, with honey balsamic vinegar dressing, with no cheese and a large sweetened iced tea. As opposed to a burger, fries and a soda.
We need to Stop looking at Lunch and Dinner as a Reward after a long morning or afternoon. It’s not about a Lunch Time or Dinner Time Fulfillment / Reward treat to indulge but to fuel your body.
I learned that what I put into my body – I have absolute control over – A lot more than I thought.
You have an internal self dialogue each day – each meal.
Most people know what to eat already ! They know that they have to eat healthy ! But how do you actually eat healthy during the moment you are about to decide what to eat ?
How do you tell yourself to eat healthy when are craving a big meal ? For me going over 200 pounds with my stomach bulging out more than it ever did along with the fact that I had more than two chins became unacceptable! I had even gotten a procedure called Kybella six months ago to decrease the fat under my chin. That didn’t really work for me and I swelled up way too much. I was told I need to go back for two more sessions for Kybella six weeks apart for it to work. I decided against it. The swelling was too unbearable.
18 years ago I had seen my friend from Sacramento (where I grew up) who had lost significant weight over the summer. I hadn’t seen him for at least 4 months. And when I saw him in the Fall after not seeing him since the prior Spring, I asked him how he lost the weight. He told me simply, ‘The foods he enjoyed eating were Not Worth the Consequences’ • The momentary satisfaction of these meals was not worth the side effects of expanding like a water baloon.
I used my own technique of Memory and Visualization:
For the most part most people eat the same foods everyday. Our outine of foods to eat at work is the same. So we know what the foods we want to eat already taste like. We know what that burger will taste like, we know what those fries will taste like, we know what that soda will taste like. We can use this guided memory technique to visual the taste of the foods we are thnking about to reward ourselves to satisfy our cravings that really are just phantom cravings.
We can rely on the memory of our tastebuds to remind us of the taste of the high caloric foods we want to eat … because of our cravings and tastebuds and memory can be interlinked with visualization.
Same thing to quit smoking. Most people already know with that cigarette they crave tastes like, especially if they smoke multiple packs a week. They already know the feeling of the buzz that they will get from the nicotine. If they use visualization to anticipate the high that they will get from the cigarette, then they could predict their buzz before smoking.
We don’t deserve to reward ourselves too frequently – if we need to shed weight.
The first rule of weight loss : You must Decide to Lose Weight : You must have An Trigger Moment : For me it was stepping on the scale and realizing 200 pounds was unacceptable! You need a trigger moment that makes you say Enough is Enough with Eating Foods that don’t fuel me but expand me. And we don’t come to this Earth overweight. It’s not about looks to impress others. But to remind yourself tobset a reachable goal. We are here for a Finite Time – Why not Try to Become Your Best Self with Your Talents and Passions and Body !
I will be speaking about ‘How I Lost 22 Pounds in 7 Weeks’ at the Double Tree Hotel in Irvine on Sunday May 27th from 2-5pm.
Dr. Iman Sadri is the founder of @ThePersianObserver and @LASmileMagazine