Natural Weight Loss
Education, Not Restriction
When it comes to weight loss, there’s no lack of fad diets promising fast results! But such diets limit your nutritional intake, are usually unhealthy, and tend to fail in the long run. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about short-term dietary changes. It is about becoming educated about different kinds of foods, your body, your mind, and how they all work together. When we choose our meals and snacks based on QUALITY ingredients, and our bodies becomes nourished and satisfied, we are no longer hungry beyond our bodies requirement for nutrients. When we understand what QUALITY foods are, and enjoy eating them, we no longer have to be concerned with QUANTITY- counting calories, carbs, and portions- as a way of “eating” healthy.
Education is crucial to adopting a healthy lifestyle. When we begin to really look at the foods we are eating, we can see that all foods aren’t “created” equally. That is, one class of foods, what we would define as “truly natural” or “whole” foods, were here before we any of us were here. These are foods, whether plant or animal, that existed along side our ancestors, and our ability to digest and assimilate those foods is in our genes. The other class of foods are either entirely synthetic, such as aspartame and sucralose, or foods that have been created from natural foods, such as high fructose corn syrup. This class of foods is a relatively new experience to the human body. Many of the current diseases and illnesses that exist today are expressions of how the human body is trying to cope with an overload of new chemicals and synthetic foods that our bodies had never been designed to use, as well as signs of deprivation of nutrients that the body really does need.
The Keys To Long Term Weight Loss
Learn To Start The Day Right
A balanced breakfast jump starts your metabolism, especially if you take it within a couple of hours of waking up. After a long break the night before, start your day with a healthy, protein rich breakfast to keep you physically active for the whole day. It replenishes the blood sugar levels and curbs hunger, thereby reducing your chances of overeating throughout the day. Skipping breakfast will increase your hunger pangs and tempt you to eat anything you can find out of desperation rather than enjoyment!
Exercise – For Life!
Regular exercise is as necessary as breathing because you owe it your body to keep it healthy, physically and mentally. Exercise is a great stress buster, controls weight, improves your stamina and immunity, and reduces risk of life threatening diseases. And it feels great! So find an activity that you like, whether walking, biking, tai chi or yoga, and a spouse, child, or neighbor, and commit to a regular schedule of “me” time! Your body will thank you!
Quality, Not Quantity Based Diet
- Healthy carbohydrates. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and organic dairy products.
- Fiber-rich foods. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber can decrease the risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran.
- Heart-healthy fish. Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish can be a good alternative to meats. Cod, tuna and halibut, for example, have less total fat than do meat and poultry. Fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health by lowering blood fats called triglycerides. However, avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as Cuttle fish, swordfish and king mackerel.
- Good fats. Foods containing naturally saturated and monounsaturated fats — such as avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, coconut, olives, and olive oils — can help balance your blood sugar, help you feel satisfied, reduce sugar cravings, and help you lose weight.
Additives to Avoid
There are a number of additives that lead to a diabetic condition, weight gain, high blood pressure, and a number of other chronic conditions that we see today. Most are found in refined and processed foods, which given the number of additives, should really no longer be considered “food” at all. Once you begin buying and preparing fresh vegetables, legumes, grains, meats and health-promoting dairy products, it will become easy to eliminate most of the additives listed below most of the time.
- Hydrogenated Oils and Trans fats. These types of fats are polyunsaturated vegetable oils that have been artificially saturated through the process of hydrogenation, and are found in just about all processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick margarine. They should be avoided completely.
- All Polyunsaturated Vegetable and Seed Oils. It is now learned that the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable and seed oils encourage the formation of blood clots by increasing platelet stickiness. They include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to use in cooking. These omega-6 oils are highly susceptible to heat damage because of their double bonds. Frying and cooking destroys the antioxidants in these oils and as a result oxidizes the oil. While for decades these oils were promoted as being “heart healthy” over naturally saturated fats like those found in meats, dairy products, coconuts and palms, studies have now revealed the benefits of naturally saturated fats like coconut oil. Please read the article “Oils and Fats- The Good, The Bad, The Really Bad” for a deeper explanation of these fats and how they affect your health.
- Table salt. Another benefit of replacing processed foods with fresh foods is the enormous reduction in refined table salt and sodium that you are consuming. Please read the article “Why Sea Salt?” and find a good quality sea salt to season your whole foods.
- All Artificial Sweeteners. This includes aspartame, marketed under the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure, as well as sucralose, which is marketed under the name of Splenda. Numerous studies have revealed serious health effects caused by both of these sweeteners. Please read “Stevia- A Safe Alternative To Artificial Sweeteners” to read more about the dangers of consuming these chemical additives and learn about stevia, an all natural zero calorie sweetener that has been used safely for centuries.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup. Many studies have now shown that its not fats that are making people fat, but that corn syrup and other highly refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white rice and sugar put people at risk of obesity and diabetes. A study gathered information on food composition and consumption over the years 1909 to 1997. Data from these findings were compared to the rates of disease from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When researchers evaluated the results they found that the drop in fiber consumption and heavy consumption of corn syrup found in most processed foods were at the root of the problem, not the number of proteins, fats or carbohydrates.
Please take time to read the numerous in depth articles and health tips on our Published Articles page. Also be sure to check out our Healthy Recipes page for healthy, delicious meals from me, your Health Coach, as well as other waterless cookware owners, and share your favorite healthy recipes with the Cook For Life On-line Community!