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Healthy Weight-Loss Tips
Do you live to eat or eat to live?
Too many calories will make you overweight…and shorten your life. Store more calories than you burn each day and you will gain weight. Burn more calories than you take in each day and you will lose weight. Sounds short and sweet, doesn’t it? But what you eat and how much you exercise and sleep have a significant impact, not only on your weight, but most importantly on your health!
As I approach what to share with you in this article, I want you to know that I recently finished reading two of the best nutrition books I have ever seen. The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD Both reveal simple, yet surprising facts that your doctor probably hasn’t shared with you and probably doesn’t even know. The facts could show you how to make huge improvements in your health and your weight. They are not difficult things, but it requires knowledge and willingness to change.
The China study provides findings from the most comprehensive large study ever conducted on the relationship between diet and disease risk. Eat To Live describes a revolutionary and safe formula for rapid and lasting weight loss.
The China study provided researchers with the rare opportunity to study the nutritional impact of a predominantly plant-based diet. There are significant nutritional differences in the Chinese and American diets. Here is a comparison of nutrients consumed in China and the United States.
Nutrient China United States
Calories per day 2641 1989
Total fat (% of calories) 14.5 34-38
Dietary fiber (g/day) 33 12
Total protein (g/day) 64 91
Animal protein (% of calories) 0.8 10-11
Total iron (mg/day) 34 18
As you can see, there are huge differences between the Chinese and American diets. The Chinese have a higher total calorie intake, less fat, more fiber, less protein, much less animal foods, and much more iron.
So, what different results do we see in the health of the Chinese and American people? Here are some facts that may surprise you. In China the blood cholesterol level generally ranges from 90 to 170. In the US, 170-290. As animal protein intake increases, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol increases. As plant protein intake increases, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol decreases.
Regarding cancer, here is a quote from Dr. Campbell in the China Study, “nutrients from animal foods increased tumor growth while nutrients from plant foods decreased tumor growth.” Overall, cancer is less common in China than in the US
I have highlighted only a few cases in this article regarding the relationship between diet and health. It is certainly worth noting that both “bad” cholesterol and cancer rates are more common in the US than in China. As the study in China progressed, it became clear that people who ate diets high in animal protein had more heart disease, cancer and other diseases than those who ate diets high in plant protein.
So you may ask, “What does all this have to do with weight loss?” I’m sure you’ve heard of the ‘food pyramid’. Dr. Fuhrman, in his book, Eat To Live, recommends a different food pyramid. In the one at the top of the pyramid, where the foods you should “rarely” eat are beef, sweets, cheese, milk, processed foods and hydrogenated oil. Poultry, eggs and oils are only allowed once a week or less. Fish and fat-free dairy can be eaten twice a week or less. Whole grains, raw nuts and seeds should make up 5-20% of calories. Fruit, 20-50% of calories. Beans/legumes should be 10-30% of calories. Vegetables, eaten half raw, half cooked, should make up 30-70% of calories.
The food pyramid described above is part of Dr. Fuhrman for substantial weight reduction. The reader may notice that it certainly bears a resemblance to what Dr. Campbell discovered while doing The China study as the best for health, too!
Some of the tips listed by Dr. Furman for weight loss and maintenance include:
1. Remember, the salad is the main course: eat it first at lunch and dinner.
2. Eat as much fruit as you want, but at least four fresh fruits daily.
3. Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to greens. You can include the following: lettuce (including Romaine, chard, Boston, red leaf, ice green, celery, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peppers, onions, radishes, carrots, beets, cabbage, all types of shoots etc.
4. Beware of the starchy vegetable. Limit cooked grains and high-starchy vegetables to one cup a day. For the most part, consider non-green vegetables to be high starch vegetables. Exceptions would be eggplants, peppers, onions and mushrooms.
5. Eat beans or legumes daily.
6. Eliminate animal and dairy products.
7. Drink a tablespoon of ground flaxseed daily.
8. Consume nuts and seeds in limited amounts, no more than one ounce per day.
So far we’ve only touched on what you should and shouldn’t eat to be healthy and reach or maintain your optimal weight. It is extremely important for your health and optimal weight to get regular exercise, adequate sleep, and you may want to include a good multivitamin mineral supplement as well.
Depending on your interests and physical abilities, there are many ways to exercise your way to better health. To name a few: walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, running, sports, weight training. Choose one or more forms of exercise that will be aerobic, build strength and burn calories. Not only will this help your metabolism, but it will help you gain energy and lose weight.
Last, but certainly not least, is the importance of getting enough rest and sleep. No matter how healthy your diet is and how much exercise you do, not getting enough sleep will be detrimental to your health.
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