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Friday, October 8, 2010

The best diet tip

On another forum that I participate in the question was asked "What is your best diet tip". The following is my response:

The best advice I can give you is EAT. When I started D.I.V.I.N.E. (a healthy lifestyle support group via our pagan group) years ago I set out to research all of the diet fads, doctors comments, and so forth on the subject and one thing is clear, you need to eat. What do you eat? Real food. The problem with most fad diets is that they strip you of real food asking you to purchase their shakes, bars, etc or they put you on ridiculous food amounts and types telling you that you're really doing your body good.

The reason why most women will see instant results on most fad diets (the first week or so) is because they are losing water weight. I confirmed this by speaking with local physicians and dietitians in the area. So why are these programs "selling" so many books and so forth? It's plain and simple people simply want a solution and will try anything once. The problem with this, and I can personally attest to this, is that these diet scams do a number on your metabolism. They literally send your body into starvation mode and that is a mode that is very difficult to break once it is set in. What is starvation mode? Starvation mode is a defense mechanism your body has to protect itself if you should ever be without food. In our day and age there is no shortage of food but I know just how difficult it is to choose.

So, what is the solution? The best changes I've found personally as well as spoken about by dietitian/nutritionists is getting back to real food. So what is real food? Real food is the food that is natural for us to eat and that our bodies can convert to energy as well as help with fat burning. Now every one has a slightly different body make-up so some foods work for others better but that is a matter of simply understanding how foods make you feel. I saw an interesting discussion yesterday evening talking about insulin and the body, and this is a very real issue in our community where HFCS is found in everything including items that are marketed as being healthy for us.

So let's try to look at this as simplistically as possible and yes I'm oversimplifying for sake of space. The first thing one needs to realize is that sugar causes our insulin level to spike, this is a normal body reaction. However, when we do this all of the time our livers cannot properly function. When we add HFCS to the mix our body's ability to produce insulin is inhibited. (Reuters health). What insulin does with excess sugar is store it as "bad fat". Meaning fat our body cannot use efficiently so it stores it. When our liver cannot flush out system that fat never leaves. Now add in the processed foods (some of them marketed as healthy) to the mix and your liver cannot function to detox or rid the body of fat. Hence the vicious cycle.

Now fat is not a bad thing, but the "fakes" are very bad for our system. So back to what is real food. Real fats to use are things like olive oil, coconut oil, and real butter. Yes, real butter! Your body will thank you. In terms of sugars some are ok because our body knows what to do with them such as real fruits (nothing canned) and veggies. Those types of carbs help our body. However, all these cereals marketed as whole grain, etc are very bad for our systems as they convert immediately to a sugar that our body cannot use. So switching to sprout based breads/cereals, rice, and sweet potatoes can help your body have the sugars it can use without converting it to fat.

Once your liver is not being taxed with all of the chemicals in your foods you'll find that your body will start to drop the fat slowly and as already mentioned consistently. It is never a good idea to loose more than 2-5 pounds per week.

So, in short, when planning your new life long change get rid of all your processed foods, switch your fats out to healthy fats (empty out all of the artificial stuff), and start eating single whole foods. Meaning, if you are going to get a protein eat the actual protein such as a piece of steak, a slice of fish, etc. Get rid of all the gimmick diet foods, bars, etc. Don't worry about counting calories, begin to listen to your body. I'd keep a journal during this process so you know how foods affect you and change your menu accordingly.

I wish you the best of luck.

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