So many people are confused & frustrated about how to lose weight. Should you count calories or carbohydrates? Should you eat Paleo or Vegan? Is coconut oil the new miracle food that will solve your weight problem? I want to help you cut through a lot of the confusion and get focused on losing your excess body fat the right way.
Yes, nutrition recommendations seem to change with each new research study, but the basics have not changed. Your body does need all three of the macronutrients: Carbohydrates, protein and fat. Do not fear carbohydrates, despite hearing about all of the people online who are practically carb-free.
It is hard to believe, but 55% of the calories in the current American diet are coming from process foods and 30% from animal products. Only 5-7% of the calories in our diets are coming from unrefined plant foods. Unfortunately, these plant foods that make up so little of our diets, contain the most micronutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants and digestive enzymes. No wonder most Americans are overfed, yet undernourished!
You probably don’t need a Registered Dietitian or Medical Doctor to tell you that to improve your health and lose weight, all you need to do is to clean up your diet. Start eating less of the processed & animal products, as you increase your intake of unrefined plant foods. Sounds easy, right? Well, it does take a little planning and extra time.
You need to grow or purchase the fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts & seeds. Planting a garden this spring will cut down on your food bill and help improve the quality of your diet. Then you need to wash, cut, soak or prepare these plant foods so they are convenient when you want to have a snack or make a meal. Planning your meals & snacks around these powerhouse foods will drastically improve your diet quickly.
I always recommend my weight loss clients focus on the 3 S’s when planning meals for the week. These are Smoothies, Soups & Salads. All three will help you get more fruit & vegetables into your body. Most of my clients aim to eat two of the three S’s each day.
When you use fat in your diet, you will ideally be eating the whole food, such as an avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, chia, flax and olives. When you are using the concentrated fat, which has a lot of calories in a small amount, choose one that has been minimally processed with only 1 or 2 ingredients: Unrefined coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or grass-fed butter. Use the smallest amount you need to be satisfied.
Focus your meals around the non-starchy vegetables, using the animal products more as a side dish. Look at your fist to compare. Your animal products at a meal should not make up more than 1 fist in volume. Ideally these animal products will come from farmers you know and trust locally.
When eating processed foods, try to pick those that have the fewest ingredients and minimal chemicals & preservatives. I prefer to choose packages that have only 1-3 ingredients listed. Skip those that contain corn syrup, MSG (monosodium glutamate), sodium benzoate and hydrogenated fats.
To summarize, to lose weight without dieting, you just need to clean up your diet. Decrease your intake of processed foods and animal products, as most of us are eating far too many, to make room for more unrefined plant foods. These plants will provide your body with tons to micronutrients, phytochemicals, digestive enzymes and antioxidants to improve your health and reduce your risk of getting degenerative diseases.
You do not need to give up your favorite foods, just enjoy them as occasional treats. Sit down, pause to give thanks (to God, the farmer, the gardener, the cook, nature, your family), chew your food well and eat mindfully to get the most nutrition out of your meals. Enjoying slow family meals together while nourishing your body with a plant-strong diet.
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