A healthy nutritious diet is more important for an ideal body weight. Nutrition plays a more important role in maintaining better health in my view.
Though exercise is one of the 5 pillars of good health, our diet has a stronger impact on our health. We have all heard, “you are what you eat” and “food is medicine”. A proper diet suited to one’s constitution or mind/body type is the best way to maintain an ideal body weight.
There is a mistaken belief that as long as one is exercising appropriately, one does not need to be very careful with the food choices. This is simply not true.
Can’t lose weight, one of the first steps is to reduce or eliminate all forms of processed sugars from the diet. Biggest challenge is fructose, which is a major contributor to:
- Reduced Insulin sensitivity and obesity
- Increased triglycerides
- High Blood Pressure
- Diabetes, cancer, arthritis, heart disease, etc.
Eating processed foods has become a part of our modern lifestyle. Most processed foods are a major source of fructose in addition to preservatives and chemicals. Excess intake of grains, fruits or fruit juices will also metabolize into sugar in our body and we need to avoid eating these as much as possible for losing weight.
Instead whole foods freshly cooked are a better choice for weight management. One of the simplest and most powerful strategies is to start cooking everyday. Daily intake of fresh seasonal food prepared according to one’s constitution will not only help with weight loss but is the best way to maintain optimal health and fitness.
Is fructose bad for your health?
A hundred years ago most people consumed fructose only from fruits and vegetables. They consumed about 15 grams per day where it was mixed in with vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients to moderate negative effects of pure fructose. Current consumption for US teenagers is 6 times more than their ancestors. Add the sedentary lifestyle and this is a recipe for weight gain and health crisis.
Fructose itself isn’t bad – it’s the massive consumption of fructose in a processed form, such as high fructose corn syrup that makes it dangerous. Plus, in its UN-NATURAL form it is metabolized much differently and places a great burden on the liver. Current recommendations for fructose consumption per day for a healthy person should not exceed over 25 grams and these should be derived from vegetables and fruits (in its natural state). This number should be lower for people who have heart disease, diabetes or are overweight.
The following guidelines can help you lay a foundation for a long and healthy life. These natural weight loss tips will also help you achieve the ideal weight.
Eat a healthy diet consisting primarily of fresh, whole foods, ideally organic and locally-grown.
Severely limit or eliminate sugar, particularly processed foods with added fructose (stay clear of high fructose corn syrup)
Eat only when you are hungry
Drink plenty of warm water – helps improve digestion
Stress management is essential for losing weight and overall health
Implement intermittent fasting to improve digestion, detox and improve your metabolism
Add a regular fitness program with a variety of exercises, including: yoga, tai chi, strengthen training, aerobics, etc.
Get adequate Vitamin D, ideally through exposure to the sun, or by using a Vitamin D3 supplement (though this is not as effective as sun exposure)
Consume healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids
Get plenty of sleep
Remember moderation is the key. Follow the middle path and focus on making incremental changes so you can have lasting gains.