There is no medicine or supplement better than a good healthy diet. At Health Renew MD we encourage everyone to get their nutrients through whole foods when possible. Unfortunately we have already been exposed to many “Frankenstein Foods”, developed gastrointestinal problems, and have nutrient imbalances.
As Xymogen Board Adviser and Licensed Nutrition Counselor, Eve Prang Plews states, “Everything you eat makes you more alive or more dead”. The old saying, “you are what you eat” is only one part of the story. We are also what we digest, absorb and metabolize. Chemicals, preservatives, medications, illnesses, and gastrointestinal problems can all lead to nutrient deficiencies. There is a complicated process for whole foods to get from our mouth and break down into smaller components our cells can utilize. Our bodies require certain nutrients to function and without them our metabolic systems don’t operate correctly. Starting out with the right foods is half the battle. Its never too late to turn things around! When it comes to diet, it is important to follow the three P’s: patience, persistence and permanence.
Patience: You’ve had a lifetime of eating, drinking and being merry. You’ve exposed your body to a variety of foods, chemicals, and environmental toxins. Your body has done its best to provide for itself with the foods you’ve eaten. Luckily our bodies are very resilient and can readjust but it will take time. Stick with your commitment to eat better and you will feel the difference!
Persistence: Nothing changes overnight. When making dietary changes, sometimes you may feel worse before you feel better. This is due to your body trying to eliminate the toxins. Its important to go slow and give your body ample time to adjust. A good example is someone trying to each more vegetables and getting more stomach upset and gas because their body isn’t producing enough digestive enzymes. Or when you wean off a food you may experience headaches (e.g. caffeine). Take is slow but stick with your commitment to eat better and you will feel better!
Permanence: The yo-yo thing has to stop! Dieting in itself can cause problems with your metabolism. In fact a recent study showed that people who are more consistent in their calorie intake, whether or not it was more or less than what their body needed, where more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Set small, achievable goals. Don’t try to change all at once. Saving just 100 calories per day by slightly reducing your portions, choosing a low calorie drink, skipping the extra chips, or swopping an ingredient in a recipe can help you lose 10 pounds in a year! Make permanent dietary changes – stick with it and it will become a habit.
Steps to Change Dietary Habits Once and for All
- Learn to read food labels, ingredients and make better choices
- Keep Track of When & What you Eat
- Substitute Healthier Options – Learn to Modify your recipes.
- Portion Control
- Avoid Processing Foods, simple carbs and unhealthy fats.
Learn to read food labels, ingredients and make better choices
Knowing what you’re eating is the first strategy. A healthy diet emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low fat milk products; lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts; is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol ,sodium and added sugars; and stays within you calories needs.
Most of us want simpler ways to maintain a healthy weight and get the most nutrition out of what we eat. There is one powerful tool we often overlook – the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods. When you select or compare foods, see what the label says about the serving size and calories. Many packages hold more than one serving making it easy to eat or drink more than you realize. Use the label to compare products and choose healthier options: less saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugar and more dietary fiber, protein, vitamins/minerals. Also look at the ingredient list. Pick products with the smallest, simplest and legible list. Keep away from those “Frankenstein Foods”. Choose whole foods whenever possible. Eat foods with a high nutrient density, shop around the perimeter of the grocery store: fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. The frozen section can also provide good choices but watch out for additives and hidden empty calories.
Keep Track of When & What you Eat – Keeping a diet diary helps with weight loss and nutrition. Simply having to write down what you eat can create a level of awareness that forces you to make better choose. It is a sense of self-accountability. A recent study showed that having to return to the doctor for regular monthly checks improved weight loss among patients even though no changes were made to their weight loss program. In addition, it will help calculate your “true” caloric intake. See our DietRenew program for tracking your diet and exercise habits.
Do Not Skip Meals Especially Breakfast: The “Break” from the “Fast” is very important to kick start your metabolism. Try to eat breakfast within one hour of waking and include a quality protein to help you burn fat. Most researchers agree that protein helps to stabilize the secretion of insulin into your blood stream, a process that can affect metabolism. We prefer a diet with 30-40% lean protein, 30-40% complex carbohydrates, and 30% healthy fats. The average person would benefit from protein intake at a minimum of 70 grams each day (estimate of 1g per kilogram of body weight). Include some protein with each snack/meal (e.g. apple with some peanut butter, vegetables with hummus dip, lettuce leaf with turkey rolled up, unsweetened apple sauce with chopped almonds). Break your total daily calories into 6 different meals/snacks throughout the day. Regular meals/snack can help stabilize insulin. Try not to go more than 4 hours without eating.
DietRenew – a tool for successful weight loss provides quality meal plans and tracking assistance.
Substitute Healthier Options – Learn to Modify your recipes. The goals in recipe adaptation should include reducing the fat especially the saturated fat intake, reducing the sugar and increasing the fibre and complex carbohydrate content of your recipes. However, it is also important to produce meals which are enjoyable and attractive, as well as being healthier.
Often the fat content of your recipes can be halved by simply decreasing the amount of oil or margarine used or using an oil spray, trimming the fat off the meat and removing the skin from poultry prior to cooking. It is also important to look at ways of decreasing the saturated fats in your recipes e.g. use low fat dairy products and using oil instead of butter, ghee or dripping.
Fiber and complex carbohydrate can be increased by the liberal use of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and cereals. In particular, try extending casseroles and mince dishes by using less meat and adding lentils, kidney beans, baked beans, rice or barley. Use wholemeal flour and cereal products where possible.
Fruit is a natural sweetener which can be used as a basis for healthy desserts, cakes or biscuits. While sugar provides only calories, fruit provides vitamins, minerals and fibre as well. Often it is possible to reduce the sugar in your recipes by more than half.
To learn more see How to Adapt Your Favorite Recipes
Portion Control – You want to eat healthfully, and you’re choosing the right foods. Is that enough? Not quite. You also need to know how much to eat. After all, even too much of a good thing can result in extra calories and unwanted weight. Selecting the right foods also means choosing a proper sized serving. Our portions have distorted over the years! The following chart shows the portion size 20 years ago compared to today and the amount of exercise needed to burn those extra calories!!
|20 Years Ago||Today||How much Exercise?|
|Cheeseburger||333 calories||590 calories||Rake leaves for 50 minutes|
|Bagel||140 cal – 3” diameter||350 cal – 6” diameter||Lift weight for 1.5 hours|
|Spaghetti||1 cup w/ sauce & 3 small meatballs = 500 cal||2 cups w/ sauce and 3 large meatballs = 1,025 cal||Houseclean for 2 hours and 35 minutes|
|Soda||6.5 oz = 85 calories||20 oz = 250 calories||Work in the garden 35 minutes|
|Coffee||8 oz + 45 calories||16 oz Mocha Coffee = 350 calories||Walk 1 hour and 20 minutes|
|Muffin||1.5 oz = 210 calories||5 oz = 500 calories||Vacuum for 1.5 hours|
|Turkey Sandwich||Sandwich = 320 cal||10” Turkey Sub = 820 cal||Ride a bike for 1 hour and 25 minutes|
Be realistic about your serving size and follow the chart below:
- 1 cup leafy vegetable or milk is the size of a tennis ball/baseball
- 1 once of cheeses is the size of a domino or a pair of dice
- 3 0z of meat is the size of a deck of cards
- 1 tsp butter or oil is the size of one die
- 2 tbsp nuts, seeds or nut butters is the size of a ping pong ball
- 1/2 cup of cooked beans, cooked grains, raw fruit, dry cereal is the size of billiard ball
- 6 oz of juice is the size of a hockey puck
Obesity is soon to be the number one health concern for this nation. Weight loss is a billion dollar industry – yet we are losing the battle. The most important thing to remember is that quick, healthy fat reduction is not possible. Quick weight loss is usually a result of lost water, followed by muscle and eventually fat. However losing muscle is the worst thing you can do for healthy aging and maintaining a good metabolism (See “Tips to Boost Your Metabolism”). Your weight loss goals should be to lose fat. Fat is the health risk!
See “Weight Gain” under the Symptoms tab in the top banner.
Try a 28 Day Cleanse to get started and feel the difference of healthy eating.