During my lifetime, I have tried many different weight loss diets and magical potions that promised me the gift of a slimmer and more attractive physical body. Some of the diets and potions worked, but most of them did not. I’ve found that fast results were often short-lived and not easily maintained once a regular diet was resumed.
Lasting results are not based upon immediate gratification. This means that you will need to make a commitment to yourself and your health to change your lifestyle and keep practicing healthier habits even after you have reached your weight loss goal. It may take more time to achieve, but you will be rewarded for your efforts.
I have also found that there really is no secret to weight loss because our bodies have not changed that much biologically over time. The human body still has the same nutritional requirements it has always had. And, our bodies are still designed to move and function as a basis for our survival. The difference is us as an individual and as a society.
As a society, many of us have taken the easy road and fallen subject to a fast, yet lazy lifestyle which includes a poor diet and a lack of physical activity. Many people have completely given up on preparing their own meals and instead, rely upon fast food restaurants and pre-packaged instant meals loaded with sodium, fat, and harmful chemicals intended to preserve the food for long periods of time. Many people don’t eat fresh food anymore, and it shows in the health of their bodies and in their minds and emotions.
Over time, the sodium, fat, and toxic chemicals prematurely age our bodies from the inside out and cause us many health related conditions that lead to physical degeneration and death. If you could change the outcome of your future, wouldn’t you?
In my 40’s, I had steadily gained 100 pounds! Over the past two years, I have lost 100 pounds. The first thing you should do for yourself is make a conscious decision to change your eating habits and make an effort to learn what your body requires nutritionally to function at its best.
While dieting to lose weight and also to maintain a healthy body weight, I choose a reasonably easy plan that any person can follow. Our ancestors wouldn’t see anything unusual about it because it includes the basic food groups we are all familiar with. I exclude all fast food which is pre-made to order and prepackaged to last. I suppose you could compare my regular menu to that of a hunter and gatherer because of what it consists of.
I prefer to keep it simple and focus upon nourishing myself with an abundance of vegetables, fruits, lean meat and egg proteins, nuts and seeds, and some whole grains and dairy products. I drink a lot of fresh water and herbal teas. I limit my caffeine intake, but I recommend drinking green tea for its natural antioxidants. I supplement my diet with whole food multivitamins, Omega 3s, and probiotics for women. I indulge in as many super foods as I can! An undernourished body is vulnerable to many diseases, chronic conditions, and immune disorders. I focus upon foods that strengthen my immune system and feed my body what it needs to be strong, instead of weak.
If possible, I avoid food products that include too much sodium, sugar and especially high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats), and food preservatives in the form of toxic chemicals. I drink very few energy drinks and carbonated beverages. And, I do not drink alcohol. There are two reasons I avoid alcohol. The first reason is because I abuse it. The second reason is because alcohol is loaded with unnecessary empty calories and should be avoided when dieting if possible. If you are unable to temporarily give up the booze, you may need to seek some outside help to quit.
A healthy diet that is easy to follow consists of three main meals and two to three healthy snacks in between meals. A variety of fruits, nuts and yogurt are excellent snack choices for the health conscious person.
A breakfast that includes a substantial portion of protein will stabilize your blood sugar levels and satisfy your hunger, helping to eliminate cravings and unhealthy snacking later in the day.
Lunch and dinner should also consist of healthy lean protein choices, partnered with a generous serving of leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, or cabbage, or a variety of cruciferous vegetables.
If you are unable to eat a meal every four to five hours, then choose some fruit to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
One important practice for you to establish while dieting is to learn to take the time to savor and enjoy each and every bite of food you put into your mouth. When you stop and relax into your meal, you begin to take the time to really taste your food. Adding spices and fresh herbs to your meals gives you more variety of flavors to enjoy (some herbs and spices will even assist you in achieving your weight loss goals).
When you slow down enough to relax while eating and chew each bite fully, you allow your brain to catch up with your stomach, so you become satisfied and full sooner. It takes your brain about ten minutes to register its satisfaction, which means if you eat too fast you will over eat because your brain hasn’t had enough time to register that it’s full. When you no longer rush through each meal, you don’t create as many stress hormones within your digestive tract. The lack of stress reduces the amount of cortisol production. Cortisol has been proven to cause belly fat to store around our mid-section (stomach) and other fat storage deposits.
So relax and breathe evenly when eating. Do not eat when you are stressed. Metabolism within the digestive tract is reduced dramatically and sugars and fats that are consumed are stored in our fat cells.
I wouldn’t be surprised that if you follow these simple and basic rules, you will lose unwanted body weight, or find that maintaining your ideal body weight isn’t as difficult as it once may have been. You will easily maintain your body weight and become healthier at the same time. I believe that it’s vitally important for us to assume a sense of responsibility for our own health, rather than expecting other people and doctors to do it for us. Take charge and become the healthiest version of you that YOU can be!