This article was originally written by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, Ph.D, ND, DACBN
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D-I-E-T…most people could not think of a more vulgar four-letter word. Diet immediately brings to mind images of hunger, frustration, and ultimately failure. This one single word has stopped many people dead in their tracks. It seems many people prefer to be overweight rather than suffer the consequences of a diet.
But eating healthy does not have to involve four-letter words. You can eat healthy, delicious meals without starving and without beating yourself up. A healthy eating plan is a lifelong commitment to look and feel better, and it is the only plan you will ever need to follow to lose weight and keep it off. A healthy, balanced diet will also strengthen the immune system, reduce fatigue, lessen the side effects of certain medications, prevent constipation and other digestive disorders, and maintain the chemical balance within the body. So stop cursing and get ready to lose some weight!
It’s Time To Eat
Hunger is a natural signal from the body telling us to eat. Don’t ignore it. You should never have to be hungry in order to lose weight. On the contrary, when we are hungry we tend to panic into eating whatever is in sight to protect us from starvation. And skipping meals will slow down your metabolism and cause you to overcompensate with a larger meal later in the day. So go ahead and eat when you are hungry. Eating regular meals that leave you full and satiated will help you stick to a healthier meal plan and reach your weight loss goals. Eat five or six small meals spaced regularly throughout the day so that you will be better able to moderate portion sizes and remain in control of what you eat. If you want to lose weight you just need to be more selective about the foods you are choosing to satisfy your hunger. Permanent weight loss does not involve starving or deprivation, rather it involves a healthy eating plan that keeps you in control of what you put in your mouth.
The best way to ensure you stick with a healthy diet is to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. Most people think that in order to achieve permanent weight loss they need to get their minds off of food. This is not true! When you are hungry, and you haven’t thought about what healthy food you can eat to satiate your tummy, you will more likely grab for whatever is fastest and easiest like chips or a fast food burger.
Think about what you are going to eat each day and what healthy snacks and meals you need to have ready for when hunger strikes. If you are going out to eat, plan ahead to make sure you choose a restaurant with a minimum amount of unhealthy temptations.
Keep It Interesting
Variety and moderation are the keys to a good diet. Try to eat a range of different selections from fresh organic fruit and vegetables and range fed meats. Remember, your body needs over forty different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients on a daily basis just to grow and function. Eating a variety of foods will help you meet these needs.
Moderation is also important, but again, this doesn’t mean that you should starve yourself. Try to eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day so that you are never hungry. And eat slowly, giving your brain enough time to recognize when you are actually full.
Don’t Give Up Or Give In
The first thing you need to realize about losing weight is that there will be days when you want to give up. Temptations are always around you and its so easy to give in to fast food drive through or an extra serving of desert. Stay committed to your goals through these tough times. Remind yourself of any small accomplishments you’ve made already and the weight loss goals you will eventually achieve. But don’t punish yourself if you do stray. If you eat right most of the time, it will more than compensate for the days when you simply cannot resist a little treat. And don’t fall for the latest weight loss schemes. Weight loss takes time, but the goal is permanent. Short cuts will not get you and keep you where you want to be.
Here’s a few more guidelines to keep in mind as you make your menu selections:
Use fats and oils in sparing amounts. You can still use some but try to cut back a little bit each day.
Avoid putting extra table salt and sugars on prepared foods.
Drink more water: Aim for six to eight glasses a day.
Avoid drinking alcohol. If you do drink, try to do so in moderate amounts.
And remember weight loss is not easy. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun! Enjoy your life to the fullest by taking care of yourself, eating delicious wholesome foods and making the commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
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