Natural Weight Loss
The first step to natural weight loss is to stop eating junk food, i.e., cookies, cakes and all other forms of dessert. Just stop, at least for a while. Also, natural weight loss includes any form of exercise. Walk to the post office, walk to get your coffee, walk to get your newspaper, walk your dog one more time in the morning. Just do it. Exercise is a great form of weight loss by itself and even better when combined with a good diet. Lastly, natural weight loss includes an understanding and appreciation of the foods you eat. You must understand the difference between and the benefits of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Now, don’t worry about giving up everything “bad’ in order to lose weight. Just stop for a couple of weeks. Thereafter, feel free to cheat every once in a while, maybe once per week. When I began my natural weight loss regimen many years ago, I would venture to my favorite bistro each Friday for the greasiest and tastiest burger in all of Colorado. It was a nice change of pace and made my new weight loss and life habits less restrictive. If you are habitually used to eating “bad” food at specific times of day or when doing specific things, think about substituting fruit or vegetables or just changing your habits. In other words, do something else that does not remind you that you want junk food.
The other variable to change when embarking on a natural weight loss regimen is your mindset. Give yourself a good chance of accomplishing your weight loss goal and know that physical trouble lay ahead if you continue on an unhealthy diet. Natural weight loss does not mean crash dieting. Weight can disappear with a crash diet but you will regain it with possible harmful side effects later. You most likely also will encounter problems if you ignore exercise. Muscles must be kept toned so that they support your bone structure. Muscles not exercised tend to atrophy and will not support unnatural movements, slipping, picking up children, bending over to grab that case of Coke from the backseat of your car, etc.
Natural Weight Loss – Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats
Natural weight loss is hard to accomplish unless you understand that your body requires a balanced regimen from 3 food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Perhaps even a 4th food group is in existence called artificial foods comprised of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavorings and additives. The FDA has approved them to be safe for consumption but natural weight loss is made more difficult because this food group contains no nutritive value.
Protein – the best and most complete sources of protein are meat, fish, seafood, eggs, cheese and poultry. Other sources are nuts, legumes, seeds and wheat
Carbohydrates – sources of carbohydrates range from starches (breads, pasta, rice) – to sugars, (fruits and vegetables.)
Fats – sources of fat include vegetable oils – olive oil and canola oil, sunflower oil – animal fats like butter and fish oils.
The food pyramid is a government-published graphic illustration of recommended dietary guidelines intended to inform the public of the best and most nutritive foods and food groups. Imagine a graphical pyramid, conically shaped with the wider surface facing south and the pointed edge turned north. The pyramid is divided into 4 sections, top to bottom. The sections nearest the top are the food groups that the body should not consume in large portions. The sections nearest the bottom are the food groups that the body is intended to consume in larger and more regular portions.
Layer #1 at the top of the food pyramid is labeled fats and sweets.
Layer #2 of the food pyramid is labeled low-to-moderate glycemic grains.
Layer #3 of the food pyramid is labeled meats and dairy.
Layer #4 on the bottom of the food pyramid is labeled fruits and vegetables.
Notice that the food pyramid suggests that we curtail our consumption of starches. Starches contribute to high cholesterol levels, high triglycerides and high blood sugar levels. The best form of starch to consume – a low glycemic grain – is barley or very long cooked steel cut oats which provoke only a slight to moderate rise in blood sugar levels. Higher glycemic carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice cakes and white bread provoke a quick rise in blood sugar levels which can seriously impede the progress of your natural weight loss regimen and lead to obesity and a higher risk of diabetes. Safe weight loss and carbohydrates discusses the relationship between increased insulin levels and high glycemic foods.
Lastly, the food pyramid suggests that we consume up to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily to enhance weight loss efforts and to provide our bodies with the ever important phytonutrients it needs. Phytonutrients have not been successfully synthesized so the only way to consume them is to eat fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients are the nutrients in plants that contain health-protecting qualities and help prevent diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. The Fit For Life Diet Plan will elaborate on the benefits and qualities of fruits and vegetables and their role in health and weight loss.