Tips for weight loss & Great health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), currently about 66% of people (two out of three) are overweight, and 35% (more than one in three!) are obese.
Seven out of 10 of us take at least one prescription medication each day, and half of us take at least two medications per day.
Chronic disease rates continue to go through the roof, and they’re affecting younger and younger people. No longer are conditions like heart disease, cancer and arthritis limited to adults and the elderly.
80 different autoimmune conditions (where an overactive immune system attacks your body) have been identified so far, with more likely on the horizon.
Now, the begging question here is: What on earth is going ON?
Why at a time in our existence when we are making tremendous scientific advances in disease detection, surgical procedures and drug research are we also at our absolute SICKEST?
Well, many factors contribute to our poor state of health including:
Lack of exercise
Recreational drug use
Excessive alcohol consumption
Chronic high levels of stress
Toxins in our environment and the workplace
Lack of sleep
As a nation we are overfed and undernourished—so it’s no wonder that we’re paying the price from head to toe, and getting fatter and fatter as the days go by.
Let’s take a closer look at just how powerful food is, and explore some simple yet very effective strategies to use food to help create a slimmer, healthier YOU!
Food—so much more than nutrients
First and foremost, food is nutrients. Your body has a wide variety of needs for the 2,000+ nutrients in existence, and although some of them may be obtained with supplementation, food must be your primary source.
But food is also information for your body.
You see, food interacts with your genes, regulating (or in some cases disrupting) your biological pathways.
Every time you eat your body produces neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that regulate your mood and behaviour.
Polyphenols (helpful compounds in plants) send messages to your immune system and tell it when it should calm down.
Other chemical messengers in food talk to your cells and tell them when to replicate, when they should accept nutrients, and when they should excrete wastes.
So when you have a diet of nutrient-dense, health-supporting foods, the messages your body gets are healthful and appropriate.
On the other hand, when you eat chemically-laden, sugar-loaded, trans-fat stuffed processed foods and fast food, you’re not giving your cells the right messages. Instead you’re mixing up your body’s messages, confusing your cells and encouraging disease and inflammation.
And since foods like this are calorie-high and nutrient-poor, you’re widening your backside with every bite you take in addition to rolling out the red carpet for disease to waltz in.
Diet—it’s not just for a month or two!
The word diet comes from the Greeks and means “a way of life” or “a manner of living.”
But the good news is, it’s easier than you think to make a healthful diet work for you…and will you ever LOVE the results!
Here are tips for…
Making your diet work for YOU
Variety is the spice of life; Your body needs a variety of nutrients, so it’s crucial to eat a wide range of nourishing foods to give your body all it needs.
Eating is a parasympathetic process, so it’s best to eat when you’re relaxed and not concentrating on something else (like driving, watching TV, etc.).
On the other hand, eating on the run, while you’re driving, when you’re stressed and inhaling your meals is a recipe for digestive disaster and can hamper nutrient absorption too.
Eat local foods in season & go organic as much as possible
Locally grown foods in season are far more nutritious than those you find in the grocery store from halfway across the world that were picked long before they were ripe and gassed along the way to preserve them.
Plus organic foods create higher levels of antioxidants and protective polyphenols, and don’t contain the dangerous herbicides and pesticides found in traditional produce.
And here’s a really important point: Eating organic is the ONLY way to avoid the genetically engineered ingredients founds in over 80% of packaged foods.
Get enough water
Your body is 70% water. And if you don’t hydrate your cells, they absolutely cannot function properly (so neither can you).
Plus fluids help sweet away inflammation-causing wastes from your body too.
Studies have shown good hydration can help with a number of health challenges including gout, asthma, arthritis, back pain, dry skin, fatigue and even ulcers.
Look to drink at least 6 to 8 8-oz. glasses of water a day.
Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full
This should be obvious, but that’s not always the case.
Instead people eat for other reasons such as when they’re stressed, need emotional comfort, are bored or even thirsty! (Thirst can be mistaken for hunger.)
Plus others are so programmed to finish everything on their plate, even if they were actually full several bites ago.
Make it a point to eat only when you are hungry and put down your fork when you sense you are getting full.
Yes, you read that right.
Indulge now and then
Give yourself a little treat now and then, such as a piece of cake at a birthday party or an ice cream cone on a hot day.
Help your body make the most of your healthy diet with the proper supplements
This involves giving your body a little help with digestive supplements like probiotics and/or digestive enzymes. Help break down certain foods, enhance nutrient absorption, curb gas, strengthen your intestinal wall and sharpen your immune system. Help break down your foods if you are enzyme-challenged. This includes people who take antacids, have had gallbladder surgery or stomach surgery, have lactose intolerance or are elderly (since we run low in enzymes as we age).
As much as I would like to say otherwise, ours is a very sickly society, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change drastically any time soon.
But when you take the bull by the horns and do what you can to help create a healthier you by starting with the most important factor—your diet—you can make a tremendous difference in your level of health (and your weight!) well into your golden years.
PPPS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking or before you make any changes to your diet.
Smiles Kay McDonnell