Q: Is it better to change my diet and lose weight THEN work out, or do them both at the same time?
My personal opinion is to slowly accommodate both at the same time. Make one modification at a time, see how it feels in your life and change it accordingly, then slowly add to or modify the other. So for example, if you begin with walking, see how you can fit that into your life. Then, spend time slowly converting to brown rice and finding ways to enjoy it. Then venture out into weight training.
The goal is to avoid overwhelming yourself, because this is about a sustainable lifestyle commitment.. not “losing 5lbs to fit into that dress.” ‘Cause even if it was just five pounds, you’d still need to make some changes in your current lifestyle to make sure that you don’t put on or keep those five pounds again. Make sense?
Q: How effective is oatmeal in a diet? Does it make you gain weight?
First, to clarify. When I, personally, talk about oatmeal, I’m not referring to those packets with the “fruit” and sweet flavors. I’m talking about plain oatmeal, possibly with cinnamon or a little vanilla extract.
Anything in unnecessary excess will make you gain weight. That said… because oatmeal is usually replacing something much more sugary, much more fatty, much less healthy… adding it to the diet for breakfast will absolutely serve as a tool for weight loss. A half cup of regular slow cooked oats is something like 150 calories? Shoot, go for it.
Q: How do you control cravings for sweets?
I find that I had a much more difficult time controlling my cravings when I was eating processed foods. I mean, my baking is awesome (humble much?) but because it doesn’t have the chemicals that you’d find in most processed foods – chemicals that are engineered to make it difficult to resist those foods – I’m able to better control my cravings for sugar. Shoot, I have a much harder time with salt than I do anything else! (And for that, I keep cashews and sunflower seeds on deck!)
So for starters, I’d learn to appreciate your own baking ability. If you can’t do that, seek out less addictive means of getting your sweetness – fruits! They have the natural ability to sweeten your tongue, along with the natural combination of nutrients to help you feel satisfied without quite the same negative affect on the body.
Q: What’s better – weight training or cardio?
In short? Both! Get some of both of ’em!