Food is Medicine

Why is it that we can go on different diets, try different workouts, use a variety of supplements but still have a hard time shedding those pounds?

I’ve asked myself this question a number of times, and I’m sure there are others out there who have too. Having been at a weight of 350 pounds, and losing half of it in 2 years, I’ve had quite a bit of time to dabble around with different methods pertaining to weight loss, healthy eating, exercise etc. What I have come to realize is that there is no specific science to losing weight. Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to nutrition and exercise. What I did find to be helpful, was paying attention to details to help cut out extra calories and in turn help burn fat. Let’s be honest- those detox teas, shakes, bars, etc are appealing. But are they enough to sustain a permanent healthy lifestyle? Not necessarily. They are great to jumpstart a fat burn, and cleanse your system over a period of a few days, but if you are looking for more permanent change, you may want to consider a few thoughts.

First, your body needs solid food. Humans were not designed to drink all our meals. The food you intake should be fueling your system, not clogging your arteries. I’m not saying you need to cut out the junk all together- because that’s not good either. I like to follow the 20/80 rule. 20 percent of less healthy food combined with 80 percent unprocessed foods. The reason I say unprocessed, is because there tend to be a lot of “fillers” when food is mass produced. If you pick up a bottle of salad dressing or box of cereal in the grocery store and read the ingredients, you will see numerous items listed, half of them being names I cannot even pronounce let alone know what they are. You pick up an apple or a piece broccoli there is no ingredient list because what you see is pretty much what you get.

Second thought to consider, while it’s easy and convenient to grab the pre packaged granola bars or cereal, you can actually make a lot of these yourself following quick easy recipes. Combining nuts and dried fruit is a great way to make trail mix, you can also bake it for chewy treats, pour it in a bowl and add cashew milk for extra protein. Veggie sticks are always good to have to grab on the go. Filling up sandwich bags with veggies and keeping them in the fridge can help make it easier to grab those instead of chips or cookies. The less ingredients a product has, the healthier it will be not just for your heart but also for your digestive system.

Third thought, try to avoid following the no carb diets or the raw diet or paleo diet. Those are great to be used as a guide, but if you follow it completely, you may find it difficult to adjust, your body chemistry may not work and you could gain weight. You could also become discouraged if you don’t see results that you want. If you are looking to shed pounds and maintain a healthy lifestyle, balance , patience and consistency is key. Veggies, fruits, nuts, grain bread, lean meat, moderate exercise will help you achieve your goals. You may not want to follow too strict of a diet because then you may relapse and go binge eat junk food.

A lot of publicity and hype surrounds quick and easy ways to lose weight- but are they really the most healthy options? Health is meant to be an enjoyable lifestyle. Not one where you are cranky because you are not getting enough calories, or exhausted from over exercising. Give yourself time. Set a timeline of six months instead of a six week slim down. Stay focused, don’t get discouraged, the weight will go down, the cholesterol levels will become healthy, you will start to feel a lot better.

Last thought to consider- try yoga. It’s a fantastic way to let your body become in tune with itself, and rejuvenate. There are many varieties of yoga to choose from, try one that works best for you. I promise you will leave the class feeling super relaxed and “ centered”.

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