Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Basic Food Guidelines
A healthy diet must provide a proper balance of the 4 essential nutrients, as well as a rich supply of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.
But, it’s not enough to just buy foods high in complex carbohydrates with low-glycemic indexes, fiber, complementary proteins, and low in saturated fats.
Food also must be free of harmful additives, and it must be prepared in a way to preserve its nutrients and avoid the production of harmful substances.
When nutritionists talk about diet, they’re referring to live whole foods – unprocessed food with nothing added or taken away.
Whole foods are more healthful because they contain no potentially harmful ingredients.
In addition, plant foods are full of hundreds of phytochemicals to help prevent disease and keep your body healthy.
These are our front-line defenders against cancer and free radicals.
Foods known to supply important phytochemicals include soybeans and soy products, broccoli, citrus peels, flax, garlic, green tea, grapes, and tomatoes.
In order to optimize your phytochemical intake, it’s important to consume a biodiverse diet.
To achieve biodiversity in your diet, simply eating lots of fruits and vegetables isn’t enough.
A biodiverse diet not only includes consuming at least 8-10 servings (1/2 cup per serving) per day, but also makes sure there’s as much diversity within food groups as possible.
Avoid Foods Containing Additives and Artificial Ingredients
Additives are put in foods for many reasons: to lengthen shelf life; to make food more appealing by enhancing color, texture, or taste; to ease food preparation; or to otherwise make it more marketable.
Certain additives, like sugar, are derived from natural sources.
Other additives, like aspartame (in NutraSweet and Equal), are made synthetically.
Sweeteners from natural sources include sucralose, the compound used in Splenda.
Sucralose is made from sucrose (sugar) and appears to be inert metabolically, which would make it ideal for people with diabetes.
But, sucralose might be stored in your body simply because this synthetic molecule isn’t found in nature and your body isn’t equipped to metabolize it.
We’d advise limiting the use of this additive/artificial sweetener.
Although many additives are used in very small amounts, it’s been estimated the average American consumes about 5 pounds of additives per year.
If you include sugar – the food-processing industry’s most used additive – the number jumps to 135 pounds a year.
Anyone whose diet is high in processed products consumes a significant amount of additives and artificial ingredients.
At their best, additives and artificial ingredients simply add little or no nutritional value to a food product.
At their worst, some additives could pose a threat to your health.
The history of additive use includes a number of products once deemed safe but later banned or allowed only if accompanied by warnings.
The artificial sweeteners cyclamate and saccharin are 2 examples of these products.
Other additives, like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, are used without warnings, but packages of food containing them are now marked in the US with cryptic statements, like “Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalamine,” which appears on packets of Equal, NutraSweet, and other products containing aspartame.
These products may cause problems for some people.
The warning is there to protect children born with PKU (phylketonuria).
This condition is identified at birth so those who have it know they have it.
The long-term effects of most sugar-substitute additives, including sucralose, are unknown.
A safer sugar substitute is an extract made from the herb Stevia rebaudiana, which is available in health food stores.
Stevia is derived from the leaf of a plant and has recently become commercially available.
It’s a natural sweetener that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels and has a pleasant sweet taste.
In 2009, the FDA granted stevia GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.
Come join me on my weight loss journey! I’d love to have you along!
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Dick and Lenay
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