GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS
Here are a few quick tips for healthy weight loss. The important thing is to be patient with yourself. You will get there.
*Make sure to set realistic goals. Losing 10 pounds in 1 week isn't realistic or healthy.
* Do not lose more than 0.5kg/ week or 1.1 lbs.
*Move, just taking a brisk 30 minute walk everyday will help improve cardiovascular health and mental health. A brisk walk at midday, if possible, allows for maximum vitamin D absorption.
* Increase lean body mass (muscles & organ tissue) by incorporating some weight lifting exercises. No gym is required. Just invest in some dumbbells or use your own body weight as resistance.
*Daily caloric intake should not be lower than your RMR(Resting Metabolic Rate), those are the calories your body needs to function while at rest.
* Drink plenty of filtered water to support elimination( # of 8oz glasses of water required = weight in kg/8)
* For cardiovascular health men should strive for a waist circumference of 40 inches or less and women should strive for a waist circumference of 35 inches or less.
* Include healthy proteins, fats and complex carbs in your diet.
* For healthy weight loss you will need 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight. Use good quality lean protein such as free range chicken, turkey or wild caught salmon, if you're a meat eater, or for plant based eaters include plenty of legumes such as lentils, beans and organic tofu and or tempeh.
* One(1) 3oz. chicken breast has about 21 grams of protein, 1 cup of lentils has about 18g of protein and 3 oz. of salmon has about 21 grams of protein. Remember vegetables and fruits also have small amounts of protein.
* Make sure that 20% of your calories are from healthy fats such as cold press extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil and Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon and also found in walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp hearts. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein (4g), B vitamins, vitamin C and E, calcium, magnesium and fiber. Increasing your healthy fat intake will make you feel full longer and eat & snack less.
* Balance blood sugar to avoid cravings
*Make sure to get plenty of fibre in your diet, preferably from whole foods not fibre supplements. Aim for at least 35g of fibre each day.
*Remove fast food and all other processed and refined foods from your diet and opt for natural whole foods that are a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
* Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
*Chose complex carbs such as whole oats, millet, buckwheat, teff, quinoa, brown and wild rice and sprouted grains that are a good source of fiber. Soluble fiber in whole oats helps regulate blood sugar. Not all carbs are bad carbs.
* Have a good quality protein with each meal and snack.
* Keep a handy supply of quick healthy snacks-hummus and raw vegetables, fresh fruit, raw pumpkin seeds, raw almonds, raw walnuts, raw pecans etc.
* Add good quality supplements such as a multi vitamin and mineral, probiotics and Omega 3 oils, plant or fish based, if required. Also, add a whey or a plant based protein powder to top up your daily protein intake.
Remember it’s not about counting calories; it’s about changing your life style, beliefs, and habits to achieve a lifetime of optimum physical and mental health.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Incorporating natural whole unprocessed foods into your daily diet as well as making healthy lifestyle choices will go a long way to supporting optimal mental and emotional well-being no matter what life stage you're at. Here are some simple suggestions for achieving a healthy mental state.
*Eat clean and avoid processed foods containing artificial preservatives, coloring and additives. Additives such as sulfites deplete vitamin B1 (thiamin) and are known to cause neurological issues. A common preservative BHA/BHT found in many packaged foods is known to cause behavioral issues in children and MSG (monosodium glutamate) added to many packaged foods to enhance flavour causes vitamin B6 deficiency which is critical to mental health and is also known to cause brain damage in infants.
*Ensure an adequate intake of Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) essential fatty acid in your diet. Omega 3 oils have powerful anti-inflammatory properties plus current research indicates that they may be helpful in treating depression and other neurobehavioral disorders. Good plant sources of Omega 3(ALA) include flaxseed, pumpkin seed, chia seeds and hemp hearts. However our bodies must convert ALA to the useable EPA & DHA. Some people may be unable to convert ALA to EPA and DHA due to an enzyme deficiency. In that case opt for direct sources of EPA & DHA such as wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies. Since Omega 3 is an essential fat, a good quality fish oil containing EPA/DHA in a 2:1 ratio is recommended if you are not eating a minimum of 2 servings of fish per week. For mental health look for an EPA:DHA ratio of 10:1. That would be 1,000mg of EPA and 100mg of DHA.
*Regulate blood sugar as fluctuating blood sugar can result in irritability, anger, moodiness, memory impairment and fatigue. Type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes), insulin resistance & obesity have also been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. To regulate blood sugar eliminate refined processed carbohydrates and refined sugar from your diet, include a good quality protein with each meal, ensure an adequate daily intake of fiber(30-50g), include healthy fats (avocado, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, chia seeds and fish) in your diet and eat smaller more frequent meals.
*Eat a rainbow diet to ensure adequate intake of antioxidants. Aim for 5 servings of fresh fruit, raw & lightly steamed veggies each day. Five (5) servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit would be even better. Don’t be concerned with natural sugars found in fruit as fruit contains fibre plus important vitamins, minerals & antioxidants which promote good physical & mental health.
*Maintain a healthy digestive system and keep the “bad” bacteria in your gut under control. Chlorine in our water, a poor diet, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and on-going negative stress all disrupt the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in our gut. The good bacteria in our intestines are responsible for producing essential B vitamins which are critical to mental health. Also, our good bacteria assist in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining a healthy happy mood. Yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods are all excellent sources of natural probiotics. When these foods aren’t enough you can supplement with a good quality probiotic.
*Eat foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin, to help maintain a happy mood and eat foods rich in choline such as eggs to support memory. Foods rich in tryptophan include, salmon, sardines, turkey, eggs, nuts and seeds, cauliflower, broccoli, lentils, leafy greens and sea vegetables.
*Keep homocysteine (a naturally occurring amino acid) levels under control. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked with Alzheimer’s. Adequate intake of vitamins B12, B6 and folate (B9) will help keep homocysteine levels in check. Good sources of B12 are chicken, turkey, eggs and fish. Nutritional yeast is a good plant source of B12. Good sources of B6 are avocados, spinach, turkey, chicken, salmon, sunflower seeds, bananas, and beans. Good sources of folate are leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, asparagus, and oranges. It's also a great idea to get your B12 levels checked to ensure you are absorbing it through your diet. If you're concerned about your levels, 1,000 mcg of methylcobalamin is a great choice to add to your daily supplement routine.
*Manage stress and get at least 7 hours of good quality sleep. Studies have shown that ongoing stress resulting in elevated cortisol levels can shrink the hippocampus, the part of the brain which is involved in memory, storing and organizing.
* Exercise regularly. Any activity that improves circulation will benefit the brain.
REMEMBER EAT RIGHT, THINK POSITIVE AND BE HAPPY!
Most people do not get enough fiber in their diet. The recommended daily fiber intake is 30-50 grams for optimal health and proper elimination. Low fiber diets lead to constipation and other health related issues. Constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per day with stools that are small and hard to pass. Rather than depending on over the counter laxatives which only irritate the intestines and cause dependence it is best to increase your daily intake of soluble and insoluble fiber to prevent constipation and to ensure proper daily elimination. Also, a recent study done by the Imperial College of London concluded that those with the highest intake of fiber had an 18% lower risk of developing type II diabetes. Other studies have shown that a diet high in fiber also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps in the prevention of some cancers such as colorectal cancer.
-Attracts water and slows down digestion allowing you to feel full longer thus helping with weight management.
-Helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps in managing type 2 diabetes.
-Lowers LDL cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber interferes with the absorption of bile in the intestines forcing bile to be excreted. To make up for lost bile the liver will produce more bile salts. Bile is made up of cholesterol so the body uses the cholesterol present in the blood to make more bile salts thus lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
-Sources include: oatmeal, oat bran, lentils, beans, apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, nuts, flaxseed , celery and carrots
-Does not attract water and passes through the digestive system speeding up the passage of food ensuring proper daily elimination and removal of toxins.
-Adds bulk to stool.
-Provides food for good bacteria in our intestines resulting in improved absorption of nutrients.
-Sources include: whole grains, brown rice, vegetables such as dark leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, celery(has both soluble and insoluble fiber), and grapes
In addition to ensuring adequate intake of fiber remember to drink plenty of filtered water and incorporate exercise into your daily/weekly routine. If you are still experiencing constipation after improving your diet taking a magnesium supplement, preferably magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide, before bedtime, will ensure proper elimination plus magnesium will also promote restful sleep. A daily probiotic supplement will also help improve regularity plus probiotics will support a healthy gut & immune system.
SOURCES OF FIBER
As you can see just adding 1 cup of beans or lentils or 1 avocado to your salads can help you achieve a daily intake of 30-50g of fiber.
-1 cup of navy beans19.1g
-1 cup of adzuki beans16.8g
-1 cup of split peas16.3g
-1 cup of lentils15.6g
-1 cup of chickpeas12.5g
-1 cup of sweet potato8.2g
-1/2 cup of whole oats8g
-1 cup of broccoli5.2g
-1 medium pear4.6g
-1 medium apple4.4g
-1 cup of raw carrots3.6g
-1 oz.(28g) of almonds3.4g
-1 medium banana3g
-1 oz. (28g)of sunflower seeds3g
-1 cup of cauliflower2.8g
-1 oz.(28g) of walnuts2g
-1 cup of kale1.3g
Here’s a sample of what you need to eat to ensure you meet the daily requirement of 30-50g of fiber:
- 1 medium apple -4.4g
-1 avocado- 13.5g
-1 cup of carrots -3.6g
-1 cup of broccoli -5.2g
-1 cup of kale-1.3g
-1 cup of sweet potato -8.2g
TOTAL FIBER EQUALS 36.2g