In the 1970’s, our diet began changing from predominantly home cooked nutritious meals that included vegetables and fruits to fast food, microwave dinners and junk foods with little nutritional value. These processed foods included ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG), trans fats and aspartame that encouraged fat storage and created cravings for even more food. Home cooked meals themselves have changed for the worse too, as the ingredients we now select off grocers’ shelves have had much of the nutrition processed out of them and dangerous additives, including MSG in its many different disguises, added in to improve shelf life, taste, color and texture. The result has been tremendous weight gain and an array of health problems.Even those who attempt to eat healthier meals with plenty of “fresh” vegetables and fruits are most often eating a diet that is deficient in vital nutrients that have been lost due to over-farming and mineral depleted soils. And when the body fails to get the vital nutrition it needs, over eating is almost always the result.There is no lack of diets and diet aids, as well as gimmicks and surgical procedures, to be found in the billion dollar diet industry — and no lack of people looking for a quick fix such as a magic pill or potion. Many people are even looking for a pill or gimmick to enable them to eat all they want, sit on the sofa and still lose weight, though no such pill exists. Most of the popular diets have a core gimmick or feature to them, such as grapefruit, cabbage, no fat, no grain or no carbs. Many of these diets don’t work and are too hard and unappealing to follow. Some are dangerous.
However, there is compelling evidence that the healthiest diets are those which are closest to the diets our ancestors adapted to eating for thousands and thousands of years: raw vegetables and fruit, free range meat, nuts, berries, roots, tubers, and minimum grains (though the no-grain diet is largely a gimmick, just like the no carb diet is – and an unhealthy one at that for most people).When it comes to losing pounds and reaching and achieving optimum weight, there are no quick fixes. In the long term, it comes down to calories in versus calories out. And there is a very large mental aspect as well as the physical aspect of dieting and exercise (don’t let that word exercise scare you – it need not be excessive). Food is often substituted for emotional needs that are not being fulfilled. In fact, food does result in the release of feel-good endorphins, but not nearly as much as does a moderate amount of simple exercise.The weight did not come on in a day and it won`t come off in a day, but it will come off with the right plan and mental attitude. The right plan does not have to be complicated, nor does it have to be difficult to follow and stick to. Neither does it have to have unappetizing meals that fail to satisfy.
Ideally, an effective diet plan would be one that results in taking weight off and keeping it off while providing all the essential nutrition for optimum health and which is simple and appealing enough to continue following even after excessive weight is lost.
* Cleansing and detoxifying the body at the start and periodically thereafter* Paying particular attention to good liver health
* Eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy ones* Eating smaller portions and meals, with mid meal snack* Drinking plenty of water to help fill up
* Chewing properly to better digest food and allow time for the normally delayed signal of being full
* Weekly alternating fasts (water, juice, juiced vegetables, grapes with their seeds, watermelon) to maintain a healthy body, lose weight and help shrink stretched stomachs
* Moderate exercise that does not tax or discourage
Those steps are really not so difficult, are they? They are just good sense and healthy lifestyle choices. But when you combine them together you almost assuredly will lose weight and be a healthier and happier person as well.
The good news is that most of the people reading this who are overweight have made the important first step – deciding they at least want to do something about it. Congratulations! Without that step, you could not begin taking action. And once you do start, you are going to feel much better both mentally and physically by losing weight, eating a healthy diet and getting in better shape, and you will be much better.
Here is even more good news and what should be the clincher incentive: No matter how overweight you are and no matter how bad the shape you are in, there is a good chance that you can recover most and perhaps all of the health you have lost, and offset the damage that has been done. Yes, that is right – studies have shown that people who have lived unhealthily into their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s have been able to regain almost as much health as those who have lived a predominately healthy lifestyle for their entire life. It’s almost like cheating, isn’t it? But, the sooner the better and no excuses for procrastinating!
And now, without the need for a calculator to count every calorie and carb, but just keeping in mind that they are both important and that some carbs are necessary for optimum health, it’s time to get started.