Weight loss tips and healthy eating habits that will make a difference to your diet and help you lead a happy, healthy life.
Hey Ecophiles, I’m trying to make a lifestyle change and have been reading a lot about what to eat according to your body type. And it can be quite confusing! Do you have any weight loss tips and ways to eat healthy for different body types?
– Samantha Bradford, Los Angeles
Let’s set the record super straight from the get go, shall we? ‘Diet’ is an emotionally charged term that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I grew up with the idea that diet meant starving yourself on some weird reduced calorie plan that involved cooked spinach and sucking on ice cubes. With nutritionists in the family there was always something new going on around proper eating habits. But even experts are learning new things and so advice and weight loss tips about what is the best way to get all the nutrients you need will also change.
With a quick Google search, I found 26 diet plans from Ketogenic to Paleo, Vegan to Atkins and hundreds of weight loss tips. Having a 16 year nutritional background helps me understand the basis for these diets, but it still made me a little cross-eyed. Without calling anyone “wrong”, there may be a more fundamentally savvy way to give your body what it needs while also living your #bestlife.
Some of what I am sharing here is from personal experience. My mom was a nutrition buff quizzing me every dinner time for the list of minerals in each veggie on the plate. My grandparents were on the Pritikin diet most of my life which included green stinky German cheese and many, many beans. When I became severely ill in medical school, it was nutrition that helped me recover. So, here is a basic breakdown for how you can treat your body mindfully regardless of your weight, height or favorite color.
Our digestive tracts are not all that complicated and we already have a perfect system for breaking down nutrients and assimilating minerals. Our bodies need vitamins and amino acids, a way to send waste to its appropriate receptacles and building blocks for proteins. When we bog this system down with too many different ingredients, it takes longer to digest and gums up the very efficient digestive system.
Smart eater tips: Eat fruit away from all other foods, especially protein. Eat fiber slightly steamed. Drink water. Breathe.
Consider your energy expenditure
Are you a long distance runner? An aerial yogi? A marble balancer? Your caloric intake is a direct reflection of your energy output or athletic expression. The body burns calories and uses it as energy, but remember that stress doesn’t count as an active lifestyle. The body stores calories under stress and packs it away in our fat cells (adipose tissue). If you are hyper active and burn 2,000 calories a day then replace it with foods your body can immediately use.
Smart eater tips: Fruit sugars are used up by the body and turned into clean energy right away, veggies are slightly harder to digest, melons supply much needed natural sugars, berries offer helpful antioxidants, nuts and legumes provide the body with protein. This is one of the weight loss tips that will hold you in good stead for a long time.
Adapt for deficiencies, symptoms and allergies
Maybe you have hay fever or perhaps you have a gluten intolerance. This body conscious plan means you give yourself the gift of balanced nutrition and veto foods and ingredients that cause harm like corn, soy, gluten and pesticides. If you have joint pain, chronic constipation, lethargy, inflammation or any other symptom that involves discomfort, staying away from acidic food is your best number one bet!
Smart eater tips: Avoid sulfates, processed sugar, excitotoxins like MSG, aspartate and casein.
Listen, tune in and adjust incrementally
Cravings can mean your body is not getting enough of something it needs and so your mind finds creative ways to fill in the gaps. Chocolate cravings can mean you need magnesium. Sugar often points to a protein deficiency. If you all of the sudden need a bowl full of cilantro, you might get yourself tested for heavy metals. Certain foods can become addicting, like cheese (which uses a similar pathway in the brain that cocaine uses) and so think ‘moderation’ when feeding a craving.
Listening to your body’s symptoms and adjusting your diet accordingly is the simplest way to advocate for your health. Here’s the deal, doctors don’t learn nutrition in medical school and too many corporations and pharmaceutical companies now control ingredients that go in food. Be mindful of your body, it has consciousness.
On the other hand, the body is simply cells that operate biochemically. This is an extremely basic way to explain it, but when we dissect cadavers in medicine we separate layers of tissue that are comprised of cells. When we study cells in science, we learn more about how they function and what they need to operate optimally.
In chemistry, we learn how one compound interacts with another. It is not a giant leap to say that we can take a snapshot of our microcosm and extrapolate it to become a healthy guideline for the entire body. We need water, oxygen and nutrients. We take in food and excrete waste from food. We are basically carbon. But we are also intelligent organisms with a central nervous system that evolves with our environment. We adapt, heal, survive and thrive. We can give ourselves the gift of nutrition by being mindful of what we eat.
– Andrea J Lett, Green living expert – Ecophiles
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