Dieting? What you should know.

Almost everyone has felt the need at some point to try and lose some weight.  Most turn to diet pills or drinks that help to lose some weight but once you stop drinking or consuming them, the weight comes right back.  Or the dreaded starvation diet, which only causes malnutrition and fatigue. Or even the frozen packaged dinners that teach you nothing about healthy eating. Again you’ll lose some weight, until you stop buying them. Why waste money on temporary weight loss? Why not make it permanent?

If you’re tired of the weight yo-yo then maybe you’re trying the wrong diet. Chemical laxatives and anti-absorption drugs are not going to make you thin and healthy, ever.  Starving yourself to lose weight only makes the body think its starving and causes it to hold on the excess fat in an attempt to save your life.  It also limits the nutrition provided to the cells that is necessary for proper cellular function. The brain begins to suffer from lack of fat and sugar, concentration wanes, and memories are lost.
Counting calories is a stressful and confusing practice that only leads to a buildup of stress hormones like cortisol that makes the body hold on to the unwanted fat.  Life is stressful enough.  The confusing part is that in order to effectively count the calories you are consuming is to know everything about reading product labels and measuring exactly the amounts and weights of the foods you are consuming.  Then you have to calculate the calorie content according to your measurements.  Sounds like a great way to enjoy a meal, doesn’t it?
The best way to diet, is to not diet at all.
The best way to lose weight is to eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods that you prepare yourself.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense and contain no unnecessary or unwanted calories.  Fresh, unprocessed meats will provide more nutrition than processed, packaged meats.  Prepackaged foods contain preservatives and additional salt that you don’t need.
Preservatives are chemical compounds that prevent food spoilage while it sits on the grocery store shelf waiting for you to buy it.  These chemicals are man made and thus not compatible with the body.  In large amounts they cause cell swelling or edema, interfere with nutrient absorption, and affect the intestines in ways that are not completely known yet.  These prepackaged foods are also packed with empty calories, minimal amounts of fiber, high fructose corn syrup, wheat gluten, and artificial flavors and colors.  None of which are conducive to a healthy, lean body.
If you have ever looked at the content of frozen, bagged chicken nuggets you will find chicken by-products (like what you find in dog food), high fructose corn syrup, fillers like wheat gluten and corn starch, sodium nitrate, and artificial chicken flavoring.  They may taste good but the flavor isn’t real and that’s the problem.
Many people have become addicted to the fast food diet because it’s fast and easy and tastes good.  Just a quick stop in the drive thru or your local grocers freezer section and you have dinner.
Taking the time to cut, prepare, and cook your food is a great calorie burning activity that will provide you with a nutritious meal as well.  Standing in front of the stove, cooking your food, burns more calories than sitting on your butt in the drive thru or waiting for the microwave to finish.  Also it helps you to know exactly what your putting in your body without reading labels and analyzing chemical compositions.
If you’re struggling with changing your diet then start small. Pick one thing you know is bad for you and cut down on it or eliminate it from your diet.
Visit Mother Gaia for help and support in making change.
When I speak to most people my first recommendation to them is to cut down/out the soda.  This is the fastest way to cut out unnecessary calories, about 40mg of sugar per soda, not to mention carbon dioxide and high amounts of phosphates. For those of you who don’t drink soda but are fans of Starbucks and other similar coffee products should find out how many calories there are in those.  One grande latte with milk and flavoring contains 500 calories or more, which is one-quarter of the recommended daily amount of calories for the average, slightly active person. Cut down on these and you can save over 2500 calories from accumulating on your belly (an extra 3500 calories = 1lb of body fat) and $25 in just one week.  Making your coffee at home and using a flavored creamer provides at most 200 calories, that still saves you 300 calories and $4 per day.
Another way to assist in healthy weight loss is to get off your butt for a little while every day.  Get up from your desk during your break and take a trip up and down the stairs.  Park farther away from the store entrance than you normally do.  Take a short walk in the morning before you drive to work.  Or exercise on the floor while in front of the news at night.  You don’t have to become a weightlifter or a marathon runner, just working in a small amount of additional activity every day will give you healthy results.
You must remember that muscle on the body weighs 8 times as much as fat so quit riding the scale every day, you’re just going to drive yourself nuts.  Don’t think about how much you weigh, think about how you feel.  Everyone is different and no standardized measurement of body mass will be completely accurate for you.  For example I am 5’6″ and 165 lbs, but my doctor says that I am overweight by 30 lbs.  I disagree because I have thick, heavy bones and quite a bit of muscle mass which makes me heavier than I look.  Doctor’s will not usually take into account your entire physical composition they simply calculate your weight to height ratio or body mass index (BMI).  This number is very misleading.  Other factors like body fat content, lean muscle mass, and bone structure must be taken into account before they say you are overweight or obese.  Also your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar values should be determined before they tell you that you are unhealthy because of your BMI.
To put it simply, if you want to be fit, healthy, and feel good, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, prepare your own meals, minimize or avoid junk/fast foods, and move for a total of at least 1 hour a day.  Your blood pressure will go down, you’ll feel less stressed, you’ll lose weight, and you’ll defeat depression (if it affects you).  Simply moving for 10 minutes a day has been proven effective at reducing your overall risk of diabetes and heart disease and for uplifting your mood.
I must also mention water. The more water you drink the less water, fat, and toxins you retain in your system. The more water you drink the more your cells are insulated from heat and cold, the better your body can deal with changing temperatures. The more water you drink the more your kidneys are flushed and healthy. The more water you drink the faster your blood travels through your vessels, carrying nutrients in and toxins out. The more water you drink the more water soluble vitamins you will absorb. There are multiple benefits to adding even one more glass of water in your day.
Looking for flavor? Try an orange or lemon slice with the peel on for multiple natural electrolytes and nutrients without supplements. Even kiwi or strawberry make a delicious water. Worried about spoilage? Freeze them first and drop them in your water as you need them.
It’s all so simple and inexpensive!