Is it possible to naturally lower your cholesterol, reduce your high blood pressure, regain your energy, and reduce your weight for life? The answer is yes. Generally though, people decide to make major lifestyle changes only when they have reached a certain critical point in their lives, waiting until their health has deteriorated to such an extent that they have to do something about it.
Changing to a Healthier Lifestyle ~ Reaps Lifelong Benefits
Most people know deep down that their lifestyle has contributed to their high cholesterol or high blood pressure or low energy levels or constipation or weight gain, aches and pains and more. So many conditions are related to poor nutrition, lifestyle and being overweight; all very fixable.
The evidence of going “on a diet” and the inevitable coming “off a diet” doesn’t work. Actually, losing the weight is the relatively easy bit compared to keeping that weight off over the longer term? The evidence has shown over and over again that 90 to 95% of people who have lost weight will gain the weight back on within 2 to 5 years and for some it doesn’t take very long.
Battling the Food Manufactures
Many times, the “food industry spoon” feeds the public confusing information. It’s in their interest to do so. To have people hooked on certain foods and drinks is good news for the food manufacturers. Hooked being the operative word, if this was not the case it would all be so easy to eat healthily and maintain a sensible weight.
Most people get their information from advertising the food manufactures bombard the public with. The supermarket shelves are full of temping foods where their packaging often costs more than the food they contain. A huge amount of money goes into the research and development of the presentation, so you will buy, consume and get hooked.
Even in your own home you can’t get away from it, if you watch TV there are advertisements are constantly temping you and making you think that this latest product is your “quick fix” answer to your weight and health problems.
Over the decades consumption of various sweet substances has steadily been rising to such an extent that people are consuming massive amounts. Partly, as the food industry has added higher amounts of sugar (or other sweet ingredients) and because there are even more products on the shelves that contain some sort of sweet ingredients, the public has truly become hooked.
On the subject of sweet things here is a list of sweet substances you need to look out for when you read the ingredients of the products you consume: dextrose, maltose, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup, which many experts are claiming is much worse than sugar), fructose (not to be confused with fresh fruit), lactose, glucose, sucrose (another word for sugar), levulose, galactose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, corn syrup, concentrated cane juice, dextrins, dextrans, and malto-dextrins.
Secondly, by managing to gradually add more sweetness, people are left wanting more, so consumers are left constantly craving to satisfy their need for a sweet taste. You have to start with being aware of the amount of hidden sugar or recognizing sweet ingredients in its many guises and begin to re-educate your taste buds.
This is a very important step!
Consuming Chemicals That Taste Sweet is Not the Answer
Some people think they can get around this by maintaining their need for sweet things while reducing their calorie consumption. They turn to unhealthy foods that are sweetened with chemicals. There is an irony about this, in both animal and human trials these chemical sweeteners have shown to increase most people’s craving for sweet and fatty foods!
It is not unusual for some people to experience increased fluid retention, even weight gain and digestive problems. As you look on the supermarket shelves there are more and more products appearing that contain chemical sweeteners of one type or another. The problem with this tactic is that it does nothing to re-educate your taste buds.
One must also keep in mind, adding chemicals to your diet is not a way to a long-term healthier life. Other issues that need to be discussed or highlighted are that people eagerly jump on the band wagon to devour the latest “quick fix” solutions, fluids, lotions, potions, pills, drinks, diet bars, and weird routines such as taking massive amounts of laxatives, consuming medications that speed up their system, vomiting, drinking gallons and gallons of water and a whole lot more unhealthy practices.
A lot of people want to lose their weight very fast. Here lies a problem. This approach does absolutely nothing to address any underlining problems and 99% of quick fix gimmicks either cost your pocket or cost your health and are not sustainable in the long run.
Does Calorie Counting Work?
The idea that one-size weight-loss diet fits all also doesn’t work. Each person has different health issues and often different reasons why they have weight issues. Each person has a set of symptoms and clues that add up to creating an individual picture.
A plan of action should encompass a doable short term, medium and very importantly, a healthy long-term plan that eventually becomes second nature or simply part of one’s good habits. People who count calories still make some very poor food choices and are obsessed with weighing or measuring food, and calculating numbers.
Here is a typical example of what happens over and over again to so many people to some degree. In an article written by Dr. Allen King called “Obesity and Health”, a case study is presented which demonstrates how he put 500 of his patients on a 1000 calorie a day diet.
Six months later, the average patient lost 50lbs! Wow, success you would think or say. Sounds good doesn’t it? However, three years later these same patients have now gained an average of 60lbs – that is very depressing! For some it didn’t take as long as 3 years. Now the dieters are 10lbs heavier than before they started the diet!
What Farmers Know You Should Know
Farmers have known for a long time and it very much applies to humans also that animals fed on raw food are leaner and slimmer going to market compared to animals fed the same foods and the same amount of food but cooked (being the only difference) making these animals fatter.
So why is this? Raw foods are bursting with ‘live enzymes’ and many vital nutrients are left intact, all encouraging health-gain and weight-loss. Something else farmers do, they restrict the amount of food their animals are given for a few days and then for a few days the animals are allowed to eat as they did before.
These animals also go to market heavier than those who have been fed constantly so more profit without extra cost! This is what most people do; restrict their food for a while (go “on a diet”) for a few days then go back to their normal eating habits (come “off the diet”) and they repeat the process.
We have a built-in survival mechanism. If you think how many situations in history have humans been faced with a famine. It makes sense that the body hangs on to as much as possible. The very action of restriction greatly increases the activity of this potent fat-storing enzyme.
Then there is insulin which stimulates the quantity and activity of lipoprotein lipases. If insulin levels are high then the lipases are more active however if insulin is low the lipases are far less active. This is another very important aspect to the whole health/weight scenario.
Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is vital in reducing the body’s need to produce as much insulin. So again it’s not so much about counting calories it’s about what you eat and how it affects your blood sugar levels. And this brings me to the other point about raw and cooked food mentioned earlier.
A raw carrot has a very different affect on your blood sugar levels than when it’s cooked and the more it’s cooked the greater the affect. Feast and famine (going on and coming off a diet) can induce changes in the action of an enzyme that burns fat, which seems to be lower in dieters.
So dieting may well be increasing your fat-storing enzymes while lowering your fat-burning enzymes. This doesn’t mean all your food should be raw? It does mean you need to incorporate more raw foods that are rich in enzymes and nutrients into your new long term lifestyle plan.
This is another reason why sugar and other sweet ingredients need to be eliminated, as they greatly affect your insulin levels regardless of calories consumed.
Your Fat Phobia May Be Hindering Your Success
In the last few decades fat was deemed the big energy to weight-loss and health, people turned to processed products the food industry convinced the public they needed, products like “lite” or “fat-reduced” or “fat-free”. The industry cleverly got people to change their habits and a massive industry was born producing highly processed oils and fats like margarine which contained “trans fatty acids” that turned out to be lethal to health.
It took a big effort by many health authorities to get products with “trans fatty acids” removed from the supermarket shelves. Essential fatty acids EFAs, as the name would indicate are essential to health and a stable weight. It has been estimated that most people only get about one tenth of the “essential fatty acids” they need.
EFAs are needed for the metabolism, fluid balance, anti-aging, circulation and so much more. If you want to lose weight, extend your life, reduce inflammation, prevent chronic disease you need to eat the correct types of fats and oils. If you are one of those people who is “fat phobic” do not panic! Remember if your “fat phobia” had worked you wouldn’t be reading this now.
It is also important to realize the presence of fat in the stomach delays the emptying of the stomach, contributing to the feeling of satiety (the feeling of fullness) for longer. We need some fats to ensure the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Avoid the processed fats found in mayonnaise, ice-cream, margarine, chips (crisps), the average oil on the supermarket shelf, you get the idea. Essential fatty acids are found in foods like cold pressed or extra virgin oils, in unroasted nut and seeds, fresh produce like avocados, and oily fish.
In a Nutshell
As you go for the next “quick fix” solution be aware you are moving further away from long term success. The more processed your food is the more you are moving away from enzyme rich foods that keep humans and animals healthier and slimmer.
Relying on the food and diet industry to provide you with answers like artificial sweeteners so you can maintain your sweet taste will sabotage your health and long term weight loss. A great place to start is to gain an understanding of good nutrition so you can make informed choices about your diet.
Check the ingredients of every product in your store cupboard and bin everything that is going to sabotage your new long term health-gain and weight-loss. Kick start this by having only fresh fruit and vegetable for just a short few days. This gives the body a break with old habits and gives you a chance to begin re-educating your taste buds.
About the Author
Sonia Jones is a published author from England, trained in England with renowned Dr. L Plasket at The Plaskett International College, becoming a Nutritional Therapist. Then Sonia joined well known Beryl Crane at The Crane School of Reflexology in England, receiving a diploma in Reflexolo¬gy. Moving to Australia for 4 years to study Naturopathy at The Australian Institute of Applied Sci¬ences, she received an Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy. Sonia now lives in Boquete, Panama and is the co-owner of The Haven Spa, Health Clinic, Fitness Center and Hotel.
She is a published author of three books so far, fourth one out shortly. In 2009, she saw the launch of their brand of natural organic, toxic-chemical-free personal skin care products. These products are the first of their kind in Panama and after much red tape are registered in Panama.