Weight loss can be a confusing, and often contradictory subject. As you welcome in 2018, know you don’t have to subscribe to the latest fad diet to lose weight and gain health.
Would you like to understand why the weight loss programs you have tried in the past failed you? I will be opening up a free Facebook Group, that will address these weight loss challenges, see information at the end of this post.
These programs want you to follow a cookie-cutter approach, and they try to convince you that following their methods will guarantee you to lose weight. Unfortunately, this one-size fits all approach doesn’t take into consideration your bio-individual needs, food intolerances, and metabolism. While this new program may require you to cut back on calories, it’s not addressing the elephant in the room, the main culprit as to why most of us can’t sustain weight loss – chronic inflammation and stress.
So, you follow this miracle diet, lose a few pounds, and feel you’re on your way to accomplishing your goal.
What do you do when it’s all over? Do you go back to eating all the things you ate before? For most of us, this is a familiar scenario. Whether you’re following a compelling infomercial where they show real life before and after results, or you’ve decided to try popular diets such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or NutriSystem, you’re convinced this is the diet for you. Most likely, you know others who have followed this diet with success.
Let’s look at the bigger picture.
J.J. Virgin, an NY Times best-selling author of The Virgin Diet, says, “Our bodies are not like bank accounts in which calories come in and go out. Rather, our bodies are our chemistry labs in which complex processes take place that converts food to energy, the energy we store and waste.”
It’s why eating a meal with high-quality protein, healthy fat, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and fiber will not only fill you up and energize you, but also feeds your cells healthily. If you maintain this healthy lifestyle, with proper portion sizes, along with regular exercise, the pounds will melt away organically. You will forever be off the dieting roller coaster.
Understand, when your new diet program convinces you that it’s better to eat a less caloric meal, such as a sandwich consisting of processed white or wheat bread, deli meat turkey breast, with a side of pretzels instead of potato chips, or even cheese pizza topped with vegetables, that you are in clear and present danger. Also, if you are sensitive to dairy or gluten (most of us don’t know this), you’re feeding into your inflammation stew. These processed meals are not addressing your food sensitivities; they are only exacerbating them, causing inflammation, which eventually, causes disease.
What we need to realize is our bodies know how to use, break down and digest the healthy meal, whereas with processed foods you’re in for problematic digestive issues, slowing down your metabolism, all the while gaining fat storage. In today’s busy lifestyle, we have access to so much processed, unnatural foods that we may be hurting ourselves more than we know. When looking at diets like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers or NutriSystem, these highly processed, pre-packaged meals have limited nutrient value, yet are low in calories, so we assume we are eating right. You may lose weight because the portions are small; however, this comes at the cost of putting foreign substances into your body, which again, causes digestion issues and inflammation.
Also, when you follow a weight-loss diet, you will lose vitamins and minerals, your body’s main fuel sources. When we deprive ourselves this way, it becomes evident. Symptoms will include fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety and food cravings. It’s no wonder we loathe dieting! Those food cravings will most likely be the things that prohibit you from losing weight in the first place. They are your body’s familiar territory, and you will be looking for ways to get your fix.
Let’s use sugar as an example. You eat sugar in most processed food products, pastries, cookies, ice cream, cereals, crackers, etc. You love it then crave it, because it has addictive properties, causing your blood sugar to spike, releasing dopamine (feel good hormone) in the brain, which creates an addiction. Then your body secretes a large amount of insulin to reduce your blood sugar levels. When this happens, it causes your blood sugar levels to fall rapidly. But, because you have high insulin levels, it goes into immediate fat storage. When the blood sugar drops, your body craves more sugar and wants that high feeling to return, creating a vicious cycle. Low blood sugar levels create an increase in appetite, craving more sugar, so you want to eat more, and the cycle continues.
Stop Chronic Inflammation, And You’ll Lose Weight.
To counter chronic inflammation, we need to stop eating refined, processed and manufactured foods. Including anything made with white flour, added sugar, refined grains, rancid vegetable oils, etc. Chronic inflammation messes up your metabolism, and prohibits your fat burning hormones from working properly. When your hormones are off-kilter, you’ll crave all the foods you should avoid in the first place, from fried foods to salty snacks and sugary foods.
When looking at food labels, a rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce the ingredient most likely they are an added chemical or dye, to aid in the texture, flavor, and color of the food product. Think CheezIts! Nothing is real! They make them entirely from manufactured, processed ingredients that mimic the taste of real cheese!
J.E.R.F. – Just Eat Real Food
This is where whole foods nutrition starts. Choose fruits and vegetables, instead of boxed foods. Fruits and vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Replace conventional meat, poultry, and eggs, with grass-fed beef, hormone and antibiotic-free turkey, chicken and pork, and pasture-raised organic eggs. Eat nuts and seeds instead of chips and other highly processed snack foods. Choose organic produce whenever possible. Conventional produce, hybridized with GMO’s is highly toxic and contain pesticides, etc. Why not give your body what it needs? Added chemicals from conventional produce will add to your inflammation because if your body doesn’t know what that substance is, it will create an immune system response to fight off the foreign invader.
Paleo and Whole 30 Approach
Two lifestyle diets I think are valid are Paleo and Whole 30. The reason I like these diets is that they both remove all processed and conventional meats and food products that have added sugar, refined flours, gluten, dairy, corn, soy and vegetable oils and take it down to clean eating with high-quality protein, organic, non-GMO vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.
Whole30, for example, insists you eliminate all the bad stuff stated above for 30 days. After 30 days, you reintroduce each ingredient back in, one at a time, and notice how your body feels. This approach is very similar to an elimination diet. When I present this information in my workshops, I talk about eliminating foods that may be causing you inflammation. It is the first step in figuring out why you’re not losing weight. The food culprits that cause inflammation in the body are soy, corn, dairy, gluten, peanuts, sugar, artificial sweeteners and processed foods. These ingredients are in most processed foods, and vary depending on the food product. In addition, they are made with GMO’s, genetically modified organisms, which is another reason to avoid them.
Once you do the Whole30 diet for 30 days, then re-introduce foods like dairy back in, you may find that you’re fine with it. In that case, proceed. But, you may find that gluten-containing products are causing you symptoms like joint pain, digestive issues, and brain fog. That’s a clear example of a food intolerance, and you need to avoid it altogether. Last, when you introduce processed foods back in, you will either not want them because you’re feeling so good, or because they don’t taste the same as they did before your health journey. They also lack vitamins and nutrients, which is why you’re aiming to eat more whole foods. For me, when I gave up CheezeIts, I thought I would miss them. But after several years, I was curious how they would taste. So I gave it a try. That delicious cheese flavor was gone! It was like chewing on a piece of cardboard, with a pathetic cheese-like flavor. You’ll notice that your taste buds will change, as you introduce real, healthy foods into your diet. That’s worth your time and investment, not to mention the money you save subscribing to diet plans that don’t work!
I hope you give yourself this gift of health, and understand the difference between dieting, and whole foods nutrition. Once you understand this concept, you’ll equip yourself with the knowledge to know better when the next fad diet comes along, and you will be ready to greet the new year with gusto!
Join my free private Facebook Group, "Gain Health, Lose Weight, Feel Great!"
Opening up to those of you who want to learn more about healthy eating, tips and trade secrets of a health coach, and how to get off the dieting roller coaster for good. I'll be sharing information based on your needs and interests as a group. We can support each other on our health journey. If you are interested in joining this group, or if you know someone who would like to join this group, please send me your name, your friend's name and email, by clicking here.
I'll send you the Facebook Group's login information as soon as it becomes available.