2015 is the year to
TAKE CONTROL of your Diet and Health!
Healthy eating, once we get started, is less complicated and less dreary than most people think. Here are some basic points to help put you on the right path towards taking control of your health. Try these lifestyle-changing points for 2 weeks and I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how good you feel and how good you look.
Chew your food properly: it’s the fastest way to lose weight, and it’s FREE! Up to 99.9 per cent of people who are overweight eat too quickly, yet if we can slow down the habit of eating too quickly our bodies will automatically eat less. In our stressful society, with fast-food everywhere we look, it can seem almost impossible to slow down – but this point is the easiest and fastest and least expensive way to lose weight.The average amount of chews people give their food is around 10 per mouthful. Most people who are overweight chew much less than this. We should be chewing at least 20 times a mouthful, more if possible. It is important to note that the digestive process begins in the mouth, where enzymes are excreted to help digest the food before it even gets to the stomach. If we don’t chew our food properly it can cause acid indigestion and bad breath, and our bodies become unaware of how much we have ingested because the brain doesn’t immediately register that the stomach is full.
Eat whole, fresh foods and avoid as many heavily processed foods as possible – “processed food” has a bad rap, but bagged spinach is processed if you think about it – and that’s not bad for you. The processed foods you need to be on the lookout for are 1) foods with ingredients that add extra flavour, texture, sweeteners, oils, colours and preservatives – such as cake mixes or jarred sauces, 2) Ready-to-Eat foods such as granola, buscuits and luncheon meats, and the worst culprit 3) frozen or pre-made meals like frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners. Be on the lookout for hidden sugar, salt and fat – read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel – it will seem complex at first – but just start with sugar content – women should only have 25 grams of sugar a day (6 teaspoons) and men 37.5 grams of sugar a day (9 teaspoons) – check out flavoured Lucozade Energy (380ml) with a whopping 47.5 grams of sugar (12 teaspoons) – twice the daily allowance for women. It all comes down to moderation. Processed food is here – and it’s part of our culture, but it doesn’t have to be part of our regular diet. We always have frozen pizza on a friday night. Someday I might start making it myself – it will taste better and be better for my family – but for now – Friday’s are Frozen pizza night. (hooray!)
Avoid foods that contain fructose (check the label for ingredients like glucose-fructose syrup.) Excessive fructose consumption is responsible for obesity and chronic disease. See my blog ‘Are there good sugars & bad sugars?’ for more information.
Limit or eliminate grain carbohydrates, and replace them with healthy fats, such as avocados, butter, grass-fed meats (which Ireland is known throughout the world for), organic eggs, coconut products, all raw nuts, dark chocolate (above 70% and only a few squares) mackerel, and salmon to name a few.
Eat Protein. Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the growth, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones. Proteins are found in all types of food, but only meat, eggs, cheese and other foods from animal sources contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the eight essential amino acids. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as are beans and some greens.
Replace sodas and other sweetened beverages (whether diet or regular) with clean, pure water. And it’s better to sip water all day long than to guzzle a large amount all at once. Depending on your size, your body can only process a bit more than a glass of water per hour. If you drink much more than this at one sitting, the extra water will not be used, but merely flushed down the toilet bowl.
Exercise – 3 times a week. And mix it up, i.e. walk twice a week with a friend, and once a week do a massive house cleaning – or go to a laughing yoga session. Exercising only-to-lose-weight becomes a form of punishment and loses its purpose. In general, people are either too severe on themselves and fail to exercise because they think they can’t do it properly or they avoid it because it’s too much work. The focus of exercise needs to be on having fun, getting healthy, a reason to meet people/try something new, or for a purpose like cleaning the house. It is a mistake to exercise solely to lose weight because that can create negative connotations which have negative results.
***Variety & Moderation – If you eat eggs everyday of the week you will get sick of eggs and your metabolism won’t be challenged and you won’t lose as much weight. You can reduce how much you eat if you focus on slowing down and enjoying every bite of food during meals.
Take a good Multivitamin if needed. Pop into the pharmacy and talk to one of our Staff, or the Pharmacist if you are on medication. Making sure you have all the vitamins and minerals your body needs will keep you focused and help stop cravings for instant-energy, carbohydrate-dense foods.
And FINALLY – the Key to Success—10 Recipes‘All you need to do is find at least ten recipes that you like. You may not believe this but that is all that most families use. You might have to try 10 recipes to find one that you and your family enjoy, but that’s okay as it’s all part of having new experiences, and that includes culinary experiences. It is vitally important to have variety. Do NOT rotate between just two or three meals or you will burn out.’ Variety is the spice of life!
The points above work best when we understand that we are all different and therefore we absorb and metabolise our food in a way that is unique to each of us. If you can handle a few weeks focusing on the above items, then you will soon see how good you feel and how easy it is to lose weight.
Read on if you want to learn MORE about why you should follow the above advice!
Weight & Waist Size
Unfortunately, two out of three people in the U.S. are overweight and one out of three is obese, and the rest of the world is not far behind.
One effective and simple method to figure out if you have a weight problem is as follows: With a tape measure, comfortably measure the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the belly button. Waist circumference, perhaps surprisingly, is the best and simplest measure of total body fat.
Waist size gives a good indication of the amount of fat you’re carrying, particularly around the stomach area. Abdominal fat is considered an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Your waist size is also a powerful indicator of insulin sensitivity, as studies clearly show that measuring your waist size is one of the most powerful ways to predict your risk for diabetes.
Eliminate all wheat, gluten, and highly allergenic foods from your diet.
Gluten is the primary protein found in wheat and currently there is an epidemic of hidden intolerance to wheat products. There are frequently no obvious symptoms. Rice, corn, buckwheat and millet have glutens, but the glutens in these foods do not contain the gliadin molecule that can provoke the inflammatory reaction. Therefore, they are usually safe. Other safe grains include quinoa and amaranth.
Gliadins are molecules that frequently cause toxic reactions that trigger your immune response. When gliadin in gluten becomes water soluble, it is free to bind to cells in your body.
If you are sensitive, your body will make antibodies to gliadin and attack the cells gliadin has attached itself to, treating those cells as an infection. This immune response damages surrounding tissue and has the potential to set off, or exacerbate, other health problems throughout your body, which is why gluten can have such a devastating effect on your overall health.
In some cases people are allergic to rice, corn, buckwheat or millet, independent of the reaction to gluten/gliadin.
Usually, when you remove allergenic foods (such as gluten) from your diet, your cravings for sweets will diminish, your mood will improve, your weight will drop, and your overall health will soar. Therefore, your first step is to avoid the following foods. They are all highly allergenic and will frequently keep your immune system in overdrive by continually triggering the inflammatory response: Wheat (includes couscous, pasta, etc), White Flour products, Soya, and Cow’s Milk to name the main ones.
It is strongly advised to plan your meals and have those foods available in your refrigerator/cupboard. Those who don’t do this will more easily slip back into their old, more comfortable, and less healthy eating habits.
Most Importantly: Listen to Your Body!
Please remember that if anyone, or any article, even this article, recommends any food or supplement that makes you feel nauseous or sick in any way, please listen to your body and stop it immediately! Your body will provide you with the best indication of what is good for you.
Most people notice a remarkable improvement in the way they feel in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If you are not doing better, contact a knowledgeable health care professional to give you a good check up.
BEST of LUCK!
Book: SENSUAL SLIMMER, Diarmuid Lavelle, 2008
Article: mercola.com/nutritionplan/index.htm (Dr. Mercola)