It’s Wellness Wednesdays! Today we’ll uncover a surprising revelation about half of what you eat.
How much junk food do you eat a day? If you’re like the average American, almost 60% of your calories are coming from ultra-processed food loaded with excess sugar, salt, and fat, according to a recent study by Tufts University and the University of Sao Paulo.
While most experts agree that an occasional treat causes little harm in an otherwise balanced diet, these numbers are cause for concern. Large amounts of processed food can lead to weight gain, as well as increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.
Turn your diet around starting today. Follow these guidelines for making smarter choices about what you eat and drink.
Cutting Back on Sugar
1. Switch to water.
Soda consumption is declining, but sugary drinks are still the single largest source of calories for the average American. Drink water with a slice of lime or brew a cup of tea.
2. Rethink your coffee.
How much sugar are you putting in your coffee? Cut the amount in half each week. After a while, you probably won’t even notice the difference.
3. Read your cereal box.
A lot of breakfast cereals don’t live up to their healthy names. Check the labels for how much added sugar they contain.
4. Serve fruit.
You can satisfy your sweet tooth without candy and cookies. Snack on apples and peanut butter. Enjoy figs and cheese for dessert.
5. Plan ahead.
It’s easier to resist sweets if you’re already full. Eat balanced meals, and carry nutritious snacks around with you. Decide in advance which treats you enjoy most so you can save up your sugar calories for a cannoli or an ice cream cone.
6. Go cold turkey.
Maybe you want to give up refined sugar entirely. Experts say the cravings pass in about 72 hours, so you’ll be in good shape if you can outlast the temporary discomfort.
Eating Fewer Processed Foods
1. Shop the perimeter of the store.
The inner aisles of most supermarkets are full of chips, frozen pizzas, and other foods with lots of unhealthy ingredients. Fill your cart with produce and low-fat dairy and meat products instead.
2. Skip diet foods.
Beware of low-fat and no-fat versions of junk foods. They often add more sugar and salt to restore the flavor.
3. Learn quick recipes.
Fast food and frozen dinners come in handy for busy families, but you can prepare healthy meals just as quickly. Pick up a cookbook or browse online for ideas.
4. Experiment more.
If you’ve been eating instant macaroni and cheese for years, you may not realize all the alternatives available. Sample a wholesome new food each week like quinoa or tempeh.
Eating More Whole Foods
1. Watch portion sizes.
The whole foods Americans eat most are meat, fruit, and dairy products. If you’re trying to lose weight, ensure you limit your portion sizes of meat to 4 ounces or less, and choose lean cuts of meat and low-fat or no-fat dairy products.
2. Focus on vegetables and fruit.
Most produce is high in nutrients and low in calories, so aim for at least 5 servings a day. Eating whole fruit rather than juice will provide more fiber and fewer calories.
3. Be selective.
You may be surprised by how processed or unprocessed some foods really are. Shop carefully, and stay informed. For example, frozen edamame typically has far more natural ingredients than frozen soy burgers.
What you eat most of the time has a big impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Make whole foods that are low in sugar the mainstay of your diet.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
If you’re like most people, you might think that dietary supplements are a quick and easy way to lose weight. But the truth is, there’s no magic pill when it comes to weight loss. Supplements can help you lose weight by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, but they won’t work unless you make lifestyle changes as well.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Body Composition/Weight Loss Protocol may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Weight Loss Supplements to use! This Body Composition/Weight Management Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you lose weight, naturally.
For best results make sure you use my weight loss supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Still Can’t Lose Weight?
Losing weight is hard work. You’ve changed your diet, started working out, but you still can’t seem to lose the last few pounds. Have you ever thought that something else could be going on? It’s time to dig deeper and look at the root cause. It could be that your hormones are out of balance or that you have micronutrient deficiencies. Let’s take a look at why these factors may be playing a role in your weight loss journey and how to fix them.
Micronutrients Activate Genes That Regulate Hormones
Our bodies need micronutrients to look and feel their best. Micronutrients—vitamins, minerals, and other trace elements—activate genes that regulate hormones and help our bodies function properly. If those vitamins and minerals are lacking in your body, it can cause hormone imbalances which can affect a wide range of body functions including mood, metabolism, appetite, and stress levels. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to cravings for unhealthy foods or eating when you’re not actually hungry.
Blood Sugar Imbalance & Food Sensitivities
What we eat impacts our blood sugar levels; if our blood sugar isn’t balanced we may feel tired or weak throughout the day or experience food cravings later in the evening. We might also have food sensitivities—ingredients we eat all the time may suddenly become problematic for us without us even knowing it. Food sensitivities contribute to inflammation which robs our body of energy and vitality necessary to stay healthy and active.
The Vibrant Weight Loss Package
If you suspect there is more going on than just diet and exercise changes impacting your weight loss journey then The Vibrant Weight Loss Package might be right for you! This package provides insight into micronutrient deficiencies as well as hormone imbalances that could be contributing factors to why you aren’t losing weight despite making lifestyle changes. The package includes tests such as a comprehensive metabolic profile plus vitamin D level test, complete thyroid panel with TSH reflex testing, nutritional hormone panel with estrogen metabolites testing, an adrenal stress index test plus a cortisol saliva test monitor kit (for home use). With this package you will get the insight needed to start losing weight for good!
In A Nutshell…
Unbalanced hormones, micronutrient deficiencies, blood sugar imbalance and food sensitivities are all factors that could be impacting your weight loss journey if diet and exercise alone aren’t working for you. If this sounds familiar then it may be time to dig deeper into potential underlying causes by getting tested with The Vibrant Weight Loss Package! This comprehensive package will provide answers so you know exactly what needs to change in order to start seeing results from your diet & lifestyle changes once again!
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.
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Last updated on September 13th, 2023 at 10:07 pm
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