Good Fats and Bad Fats

It was only about a decade ago that all fat was considered bad for natural weight loss. However nowadays fat is divided into two different categories – good fats and bad fats. The good fats are essential to heart health brain functioning and healing. The bad fats cause all kinds of ailments including diabetes, cancer and heart attacks.

Contemporary research shows that you can make yourself sick by cutting all fats from your diets. The good fats are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are divided into two categories – monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Both types can help lower elevated cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats have a dual purpose – helping to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) while raising levels of HDL (good cholesterol) at the same time.

Monounsaturated fats also have a slight edge health wise over the polyunsaturated kind because they are thought to be more stable biochemically and less likely to cause free radicals to let loose in the body.

Good-Fats-Vs-Bad-Fats

Still polyunsaturated fats are not worthless. They are a fantastic source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. These types of acids are found mostly in dark leafy greens, nuts cold-water fish, flaxseed oils, vegetable oils and some types of seeds. Our bodies cannot manufacture essential fatty acids. Consuming these fish, seeds and nuts is the only way for our bodies to take advantage of their benefits. Essential fatty acids are thought to lower blood pressure, combat LDL (bad) cholesterol, protect the brain and nervous system and have healing effect on the body in the general.

Most cooking oils consist of unsaturated fats. Two oils are a superior choice for cooking because they contain optimum levels of monounsaturated fats. These two oils are canola oil and olive oil. These are the only two oils you should be cooking with if you want to lose weight.

However it is important to remember that whether fat is classified as good or bad it still counts as a calorie. That does not mean that the oil has fewer calories. Whatever type of oil you are eating it will always be one hundred percent fat.

The worst fats are found in meat and dairy. These are called saturated fats and are found mostly in dairy and meat products. You can tell a saturated fat from an unsaturated or monosaturated fat because it remains solid at room temperature. Eating these types of fats on a regular basis also has the effect of directly raising your LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as the count of your total cholesterol.

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Fat Problem Areas?

fatsWhy is it that some people have more problems when it comes to eliminating fat deposits than others?

It has everything to do with the hypothalamus gland.

There are three basic ways that the body stores fat: as structural fat, in normal fat reserves and as problem fat reserves.

1. Structural Fat

Structural fat is part of the building blocks of the body. This type of fat surrounds the joints and the internal organs. This fat is like a soft cushion facilitates movement and prevents bone grinding on bone. This is not the fat you want to lose while you are on any diet as it is integral to the structure of your body and to accomplishing even the simplest of movements.

2. Normal Fat Reserves

These are the fat reserves that are everywhere in your body. This is a thin layer of subcutaneous fat that all of us have in our bodies. This fat keeps us warm, supple and keeps us from hurting ourselves when we fall.

3. Problem Fat Reserve Areas

Problem fat reserve areas are spread throughout your body. They are designed to be a modern survival mechanism. Once fat is stored in these areas the fat will not be released easily if ever. Most people discover how stubborn these problem fat reserve areas can be when they go on a diet and exercise program. They lose water, structural fat and muscle mass and still retain these pouches of fat no matter how much they diet or exercise to get rid of it!

When you go on a severe diet you just end up losing the fat where you absolutely can’t afford to – in the structural and subcutaneous areas of the body.

The only way to lose problem fat areas is to adjust the function of the hypothalamus through eating a healthy diet. It is the only way to prevent fat from being stored abnormally in these secure problem area fat reserves.

The only other time that the body will release these fat reserves is at the absolute point of starvation or during pregnancy.

The bottom line is that you are not fat or obese unless your metabolism is abnormally low. The issue is that when the hypothalamus gets put in an abnormal state it stores at in these secure abnormal fat reserves at a much higher rate than usual. Once you start eating an alkaline, plant based diet devoid of the refined sugars and flours and embark on a regular exercise program it is easy to lose excess fat – quickly, efficiently and forever!

The Problem With Low Fat Diets

dieting-goodThey are not as popular as they used to be because we now know more about eating good fat, but there are still some diet gurus out there pushing low fat and even no fat diets. The problem with this approach to weight loss is that our bodies do absolutely need fats of all kinds to survive. Low fat diets have been promoted in the past by Weight Watchers, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and Dean Ornish’s program. The problem is that these low fat diets simply don’t work in the long term. They only work for as long as you are on them and then you gain all of the weight that you have lost back. The bottom line is that you need some fats in your diet, especially the healthy fats. Even if you are on a completely vegetarian diet you still need these fats as eating too many carbohydrates will make your body acidic. Without the right types of fats, you can have bacteria, yeasts and molds multiplying in your body. Your body tissues become dry. Blood will not move through your veins and cholesterol and arterial plaque are more likely to stick to your artery walls. Yet another consequence of not eating enough fat is constipation. You simply will not eliminate as easily. Even your lung capacity can be compromised because your body needs some fat to create mucus.

Without the right amounts of fats and oils your brain does not function as well either. You simply do not think straight. Your brain cannot be dehydrated or deprived of fats or you could start thinking and behaving in neurotic or psychotic ways.

In essence vegetarian diets contain many acidic carbs, which ferment and lead to sugar intolerance, pre-diabetes and eventually diabetes. Eating too much acidic food can also stress your adrenal glands and make you feel tired. This is why if you are going to go for an all natural vegetarian diet you need to make sure it contains some healthy fats and oils as well. Olive oil and avocadoes are examples of healthy oils that can help optimize your overall health. Diets without fats are also very hard to stick to as a full time eating program.  This is because food without any oil or butter simply tastes very bland. Cakes and sweets made without any kind of fat are also not very tasty. The good taste created by fats is called “mouth feel” and is simply more satisfying to the human palate. The reason that people can’t stick to those fat free diets in the first place is because food that is fat free simply does not taste that great.

What Causes Most People To Be Overweight?

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Speed Up Your Metabolism

Being overweight is not always just a matter of being lazy or eating too much. Sometimes there are other issues that cause people to become obese.

The problem is that no one on diet automatically recognizes the difference between how a fat person’s metabolism operates and how a thin person’s operates. In essence a thin person and a fat person could eat the same meals for a week and the thin person would not gain weight while the fat one would.

Fat people often have abnormally low metabolisms and this means they have problems burning food as fuel. When it is not burned the excess is converted into fat. To correct this you need to embark on a healthy diet.

Yet another factor that plays into weight gain is that people with abnormally low metabolism are always hungry. The pain of their cravings is very physical and very real. The reason fat people crave food is because they do not feel full after eating. It is because their body is not using the nutrients in the food to nourish them. It is not uncommon for overweight people to become immediately hungry after eating even a very large meal!

Stop Feeding Your Emotions

Another very real cause of being overweight is emotional overeating. This is the tendency to “eat your anger.” Evolutionary biologists describe this as the need to “bite into something” when we are angry or stressed as that is exactly what are cave man ancestors did.

Food can also take the place of approval, love or sex or even a parent’s love. People who are overeating for these reasons are often very miserable when they go on a diet because they associate food with love and feel deprived with love once the diet requires them to restrict their calories.

The idea is to adopt a non-acidic diet so that you are free of these cravings, which can become a vicious circle. Eating a non-alkaline diet will put you back in control of these cravings. It is a very freeing experience that puts you back in control when it comes to choosing to eat what you want and when you want. You also won’t overeat because you will always feel nourished and being properly nourished is absolutely key to stopping those hunger pangs that can lead to weight gain in the first place.

Calorie Deprivation Diets Don’t Work

calorieAlmost all diets are based on calorie restriction one way or another. These diets simply do not work because they are based on self-denial. Sooner or later we give in to temptation, as it is human nature to simply crave variety when it comes to food. It is also too much of a punishment to be denied food as well as it is a natural urge to fill our bellies.

Psychologically and physically it is too hard on us as humans to stay hungry or not eat enough. We punish ourselves by not eating enough fat or calories or just a single food. This can cause psychological problems and compulsive behaviors like bulimia or anorexia.

The worst diets for your nutrition are the ones that force you to eat a single food only. A good example of was the Cabbage Soup Diet. We were led to believe that eating some magically fat burning combination of cabbages, V8 juice and Lipton Onion Soup Mix combined with eating only bananas one day or only drinking milk another would lead to weight loss.

This is a great example of a diet that is based completely on calorie deprivation – about 800 to 1000 calories a day. Starvation leads to rebound weight gain even if you lose a bit of weight at first on this type of diet. This is because after denying yourself of the fats, oils and carbs that you crave all day you tend to binge on them even more.

Another good example is the classic Grapefruit Diet, which is largely all meat, no carbs, grapefruit and black coffee. It is also a diet that is below 1000 calories a day. Any diet that is that low in calories is bound to be ineffective and it can also make you very sick. All humans need a variety of foods to function properly.

Think Weight Watchers is the healthy way to go? It isn’t. The problem with the Weight Watcher’s Program is that you are still limited in calories and that the foods that you are allowed to eat or given to eat are often very acidic in nature. The result is that your body becomes more vulnerable to disease in general because the body is more prone to losing weight and staying healthy if it is in an alkaline state. The prepackaged food involved with Weight Watchers is not that healthy either.

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Anorexia Nervosa

To keep your body in an alkaline state you need to eat in a healthy way that includes the consumption of organic vegetables and juices. Find a diet that is vegetarian or based on the European food pyramid and you will be much healthier.

Natural Weight Loss and Ephedra

Should taking Ephedra be part of a natural weight loss plan? Although it is true that it is a natural herb you should need consider that not everything that is natural is good for you.
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Ephedra is sought after because when it comes to weight loss it really is a magic bullet. It definitely causes the pounds to peel off. However this is one of those bullets that can really kill you.  Ephedra does have lots of side effects and at one point was banned by the FDA. This is because some people who took the weight loss drug were having heart attacks and dropping dead.

People take Ephedra because you can lose up to five pounds a week without having to follow some kind of starvation diet. You have the type of weight loss that makes others notice.  It is also the kind of pill that can help you lose pounds practically overnight so that you can fit into a size 8 dress before a special event.

The key to taking Ephedra wisely is to take it in moderation. You do not have to lose five pounds a week! How much weight loss is possible is completely up to you. If you take less you might get yourself to the point where you lose two pounds a week instead of a harmful five pounds a week.  This rate of weight loss is healthier and more natural for you. In fact doctors recommend that you only lose two pounds a week to stay fit.

chronic_fatigue_syndromeThe thing about Ephedra is that it can cut your appetite so much that you end up being starved of the nutrients that you need to survive and be healthy.  Whatever you do make sure you are consuming at least 1200 calories a day. This is the minimum amount that you need a day to function normally.

If you consume any less your body could start to conserve your body fat. This is because your brain will interpret the limited caloric intake as a state of famine and give your system the mess.  If you do decide to embark on any diet that is below 1200 calories a day be careful. You should never do it without your doctor’s approval.

Ephedrine is safe for some people to take and not for others. People that should avoid it includes pregnant or nursing women, people taking antidepressants and people with the following: chronic conditions –heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression or other psychiatric conditions, glaucoma, difficulty in urinating, prostate enlargement or seizure disorder. It can cause mania if used in combination with St. John’s Wort. It should also not be taken with cough or cold medicines or if you are allergic to aspirin.

Do’s and Don’ts of Fasting for A Healthy Weight Loss

fastingAre you thinking of doing a fast to lose weight?  Before you embark on this more drastic form of detoxification (that can lead immediately to weight loss) there are a couple of things you should know.

First of all the results that you end up with could greatly depend on the length of your fast.

•    A three day fast helps rid of the body of toxins and cleanses the blood

•    A five day fast jump starts the process of healing and rebuilds the immune system

•    A ten day fast really helps you shed the pounds and fight off illness

So if you really want to lose weight naturally and keep it off then you should do a ten day fast.

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The ten day fast can be a long haul so here are some tips for getting through it with relatively little discomfort–

1.  Don’t fast on water alone as that will give you headaches.

2. If you are going to do the ten day fast then consult a physician first to see if it is right for you.

3. To prepare for a fast eat only raw vegetable for a few days before starting it. This will make the starvation aspect of the fast less of a shock to the system.

raw4. Drink at least eight eight ounce glasses of steam distilled water a day and add another four servings of herbal tea a day.

5. It is easier to drink juices during a fast if you dilute it. One part water to three parts juice is ideal for reducing the number of calories that you take in during the fast.

6. Do not drink orange or tomato juice during a fast as these juices are hard on an empty stomach.

7. Avoid all juices made with sweeteners and other additives (like cranberry cocktail.)

8. The very best juices to use for a fast are fresh apple, beet, cabbage carrot, grape and celery juices.

carrot apple9. If you do have stomach upset or ulcer like symptoms during a fast then try adding cabbage juice to the equation.

10. Herbal teas like burdock chamomile, dandelion, milk, clover and rose hips can help support liver cleansing and fat loss during your fast.

11. If you absolutely cannot stand being hungry then try eating a piece of watermelon.

melon12. Take a fiber supplement on a daily basis before and after your fast but not during your fast.

Doing a fast to take care of your weight problem can also reduce your likelihood of developing other disorders like joint pain, lower back pain and heart disease.