According to data taken back in 2006, the dieting and weight loss industry was raking in nearly 35 billion dollars a year. Today that number is most likely much higher and with rates of overweight, obese, and diabetic people rapidly increasing, we can see that many people are unhealthy and spending mountains of money trying to do something about it. Many people will buy weight loss pills or shakes, buy food from weight loss programs thats packaged and highly processed, or resort to starvation diets all in an attempt to drop a few dress or pant sizes. Many of these people are looking for instant fixes and painless solutions to weight loss and better health when the only true way to improve your health and lose weight permanently is to make sound lifestyle changes and start with basic principles. Below are some of those basic principles, take a look to see how many of them you are currently doing and see how easy it is to choose one or two principles and start with improving those, before you know it you will be making huge steps in improving your health and reaching your goals.
Make sure to do these things
- Enjoy the foods you eat, eat slowly and chew your food to help in digestion.
- Read labels. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients it’s a safe bet your body probably can’t digest, process, and utilize the ingredients very well.
- Use cooking methods that help to maintain nutrient levels. This means avoiding frying and microwaving.
- Eat only whole, natural foods made with as little processing as possible.
- Avoid foods with a long shelf life because these foods usually contain more preservatives (one of the few exceptions to this rule is coconut oil, which is a fabulous food and great for cooking).
- Emphasize organic/local/sustainable foods whenever possible or appropriate (see The “What” and “Why” of Organic Foods post for more information)
- Eat fats, proteins, and carbohydrates at every meal according to your metabolic type
- Consume half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water every single day. Someone weighing 160 lbs needs about 80 ounces of water a day. This is a general rule of thumb and some may need less than this, but I rarely find people who drink too much water!)
Avoid the following foods
*Hydrogenated oils (partially or fully hydrogenated)
*Foods high in sugar or made with white flour
*Artificial sweeteners (including equal, sweet and low, splenda). These may also be listed under their chemical names (aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose)
*High Fructose Corn Syrup
*Monosodium Glutamate or MSG (also listed under various names including; hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured protein, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, glutamate, glutamic acid, and others)
*Fake health foods like Soy! Unless it is a fermented form of soy like Miso or Tempeh, soy is not healthy for you and can cause health issues (check our post “How Healthy is Soy?“ for more information).
Start today with these principles and stop making excuses for your health problems or that extra weight you want to lose. Much like learning to play an instrument or learning a new language, if you can start with basic principles and master them, it makes success that much more attainable.