Obesity today is an epidemic, with over 40% of all Americans now being either overweight or obese. Not only is this the case with adults, but children, too, are experiencing never before seen levels of obesity. There are many factors that have created this horrible situation, but the largest of these is the massive shift from a diet higher in fat and protein, to one that is higher in processed carbohydrates. Weight loss in this culinary environment is next to impossible. One needs to break out of the mold set before you. It is not a matter of eating less – it is a matter of eating better. It is also a matter of lessening your anxiety with stress management techniques.
But back to the nutrician issues: Processed carbohydrates, as opposed to natural whole grains, turn straight to sugar, then fat, in the body. Too, they are devoid of the fiber and other nutritional qualities of whole grains that lend themselves to making the body feel full. Rather, since they are lacking in nutritional value, the body sends out hunger signals. We respond to these hunger signals by eating more, and more, and more – until we are fat. What is worse, we are training our children to do the same.
You may be one of those millions who are now overweight and obese. Lest you give up hope, there are simple and effective dietary strategies that will make all the difference in the world in your weight loss goals. The trick is to not focus on the weight loss. Why stress the mind out? The weight loss will come all by itself, if you simply change the types of foods you eat.
Yet many fail before they even start in their weight loss endeavors, simply due to fear of hunger. We have grown so used to having every need gratified instantly, that even the thought of deprivation sets off an emotional response of fear and abhorrence.
Yet there is no need to be frightened of going hungry. Advancements in nutritional science have made it quite possible to diet, lose all the weight you want to, and never experience a moment of hunger. How is this possible? Through education.
By understanding the characteristics of individual foods and how the human body responds to the nutrition – or lack thereof – that they provide, you will gain the knowledge you need to eat well, feel satiated, and lose all the weight you want, without suffering hunger pains.
You see, most people do in fact fail in their weight loss endeavors. You don’t, however, need to be one of them. The reason for failing to lose weight is simple: most diets only focus on the macro characteristics of the food being consumed, not the micronutrients. This is a critical mistake, as it is not about quantity, but quality.
The body requires specific nutrients to function well. While the macro level is important – the amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates being consumed – the fact is, you will be hungry if your body doesn’t get what it needs in terms of the nutrients it requires – vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and so on.
This is a large factor in why so many of us are obese now. The food we eat doesn’t have the nutrients we need, so we simply eat more of it. This doesn’t work well. If you are committed to losing weight, it isn’t simply a matter of eating less – it is a matter of eating the foods your body needs; the foods that will give your body the nutrients it needs. Doing so will shut down the hunger signals your body sends to your central nervous system, which in turn is passed on from your brain to your stomach.
How, then, do we discover the types of foods that will satisfy our bodies nutritional needs, and thus eliminate hunger pains? The basic strategy is this – you must eliminate all processed foods from your diet. If you can afford it, go 100% organic. If not, then eliminate all white flour products, packaged foods, microwaved foods, and frozen, prepared meals. This stuff is, quite simply, not food. It is filler.
Psychologically, the biggest obstacle you will face in losing weight for the first few weeks will be cravings for the bad foods you have cut out. Hunger will be much less of an obstacle than the cravings that will hit you for your favorite junky, processed food products. Whether it be drive-through cheeseburgers and fries, or frozen pizza, your mind (not your body) remembers those foods, and craves them.
The reason for this is by design. The companies that develop these products have teams of scientists getting paid quite well to engineer food products that will trigger cravings when you don’t have them. In short, they are developing food that is psychologically addictive. The human body is engineered to enjoy salt, fat, sugar – in short, foods that provide both quick energy and long-term storage.
In our hunter-gatherer years, this served us quite well. We gorged on bison and mammoth when times were good, we chowed down on fruit and berries whenever they were to be found. Yet the modern food industry has taken this natural human proclivity and turned it against us, creating foods that satisfy the desires of the body far beyond anything that nature provides, triggering dopamine responses and pleasure signals more on par with cocaine than with the natural foods mother nature has so abundantly provided us with.
How To Lose Weight
Having this knowledge will empower you with the ability to make food choices that will help you in your weight loss goals. Choose whole foods. Eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, with moderate amounts of whole grains and other complex carbs, as well as moderate amounts of proteins and fats. Don’t even worry about counting calories – get a good book on nutrition, and count nutritional density instead. This will be a lot easier psychologically. In switching to whole foods, you’ll discover what many of us have already – you don’t eat as much, when what you are eating is real food. Weight loss without hunger really is possible, when you begin eating only real food. This is really all it takes to succeed in your weight loss commitment.