I already started writing about how to stay on your dietary plan starting from the grocery shopping list. Here I will share some suggestions for absolute beginners in the realm of healthy weight loss. I say healthy, because most people associate diet with starvation. I think this is not the path you want to take. Abstaining from food for a period of time can have its healing benefits, but for the purpose of weight loss and long-term goals is not a good idea. Yes, constant starvation leads to a slimmer body, but at what cost? Slower metabolism, muscle loss, fatigue, malnutrition, hormonal imbalances (sometimes even sterility) and not to mention Anorexia Nervosa.
Enough said. So, from where to start? We usually start with stripping food categories out of our menu and… the struggle begins. We are trying to teach the body new eating habits, but installing new behavior is not a piece of cake! Did I say cake? 😀
I advise a different approach – instead of getting rid of all our favorite fattening vices, we are going to add more of the good stuff. And change happens. Rather than beating ourselves up for that pizza slice, we will have the confidence that we are still on the right track. And hopefully our taste buds will reprogram in time!
Here are my healthy “duh- I-already-know-I-should-be-eating-that” additions a.k.a. Weight loss Commandments:
1. Thou shalt not skip meals! – Most busy people eat not more than 2 times a day. I know what happens next, instead of losing weight, it keeps piling up. In the short run some weight can be lost, but as soon as you start eating a bit more, it comes back even faster. When we skip meals our metabolism slows down and you know what happens next…
2. Thou shalt eat sprouts! – Well, actually it’s not obligatory, but it’s very beneficial. Sprouts have a lot of good stuff that can help our bodies’ nutrition – vitamins, minerals, proteins etc. When our bodies are not deprived of vital compounds they are less likely to crave more and unhealthy foods. At first their taste is not so appealing, so you can start with the tastiest – sunflower, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, lentils, chickpeas. You can even mix them in salads and you won’t even notice them.
3. Thou shalt eat flax seeds! – I don’t know where to begin with the benefits of flax seeds! So I will sum up just the most important ones – speeds the metabolism, lowers the blood sugar level, detoxifies, helps the colon and many more. Just make sure you grind the seeds, because their skin cannot be digested. So, take 1-2 Tbsp of the flax flour and mix it with some water. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight. Then, it is ready to eat – you can mix with your breakfast or with smoothies. Also you can combine flax seeds with chia for even better results. Or alternate them. It is up to you!
4. Thou shalt eat fresh fruits and vegetables! – I think I have never heard a single healthy plan without fresh produce! And there is a reason for this! In my opinion, fruits and vegetables are the most natural food for our bodies. They supply numerous essential compounds and are easily digested. Therefore our intestines can go on with their second function, which is very important – sustain the immune system. So, you cannot go wrong with fresh fruits and salads! Dress the salads to your taste, but keep it simple and natural. For example – use cold pressed oils and real apple cider vinegar.
5. Thou shalt drink more water! – Ah, water, my favorite part! This is sarcasm by the way! 😀 I still struggle with that part, but it is definitely doable. You don’t need to start drinking 2 l a day right away! One or two extra cups a day won’t hurt! As soon as the body starts getting used to being hydrated it will want more! And one more thing – don’t forget that the fresh produce from the previous point contains a lot of water in it, so – combo!
Stay tuned for more!