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.

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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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Trying Too Hard Sabotages Weight Loss

ImageMost weight loss attempts fail simply because people try too hard. They set up high expectations of themselves and then gorge on the wrong foods when they cannot stick to the diet. This just makes their obesity problem worse.

If you want to lose pounds for good you need to forget about fad diets and lose weight he natural way.  This means applying the principles of natural eating to your life.  For some that means eating a vegan diet and for others it means including some meat in the diet as a protein source. Every individual is different when it comes to deciding what their body requires to survive.

Eating better often involves big lifestyle changes.  Big changes are not accomplished overnight. You also can’t get anywhere if you insist on counting each and every calorie. Forget any ideas you may have about this entailing sacrifice, deprivation or days and days of eating nothing but a bland diet. Trying too hard like this simply does not work.

The key is that if you are eating vegan there is no need to count calories. Your body naturally knows what to do to keep you at a healthy weight.

Furthermore you will NOT ignore your body’s cues to eat as is true of other dieting.  Feeling hungry is a sign that is something wrong. Part of a healthy weight loss plan is listening to your body’s messages.

Don’t ever think for two seconds that staying hungry will keep you thin. In fact the exact opposite happens. Your body slows down the burning of your metabolism to a very slow rate.  It is a defense mechanism against hunger.

You can also think of eating a vegan diet as a worry free way to eat because your body knows what to do with the substances that you are ingesting. This is because you are consuming nutrients and not chemical.
The reason your body is more efficient with these types of foods is because fruits, vegetables and grains are much less dense in energy than animal foods. They simply pack fewer calories per cupful or spoonful.

This is because fat has nine calories per gram while carbs and protein only have four calories per gram.  In addition good carbs like fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain great amounts of fiber.  Fiber makes you feel full and adds almost no calories to your meal.

In some studies, those who follow whole foods, low-fat, plant-based diet consumes fewer calories. It’s not because they’re starving themselves. In fact, they will likely spend more time eating and eat a larger volume of food than their meat-eating counterparts.  Image

This means that every time you eat a healthy meal, you may reduce the calories that you consume, digest and absorb, even if you eat significantly more food at one sitting.

Food deprivation just does not work. The beautiful thing about a vegan diet is that you do not deny yourself food. This is because weight loss due to calorie restriction almost never leads to long-term weight loss.

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.

Why Are Some Cultures Thinner Than Others

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It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

The problem with the notion of dieting is that it does not address the lifestyle changes that need to be made in order to permanently take the weight off. Losing weight is not something that can be bought or sold. It is not a commodity. Sometimes the problem is cultural. We become trapped in old habits that have us eating unhealthy foods for a lifetime.

The key is to adjust your lifestyle. This means eating a plant-based diet based on whole foods and embarking on an exercise program… There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to obesity. Once you are diagnosed with it chronic disease it can set in quite quickly and the longer you wait to embark on a natural weight loss plan the harder it will be on your health in the future.

You only need to look around you at the people you know to determine who is healthy and who is sick because of their fat accumulations.

Think of the people that you know who are fat. Are they sick all of the time? What is his or her diet like? They probably eat a lot of sugar, salt, and junk food. They possibly also drink a lot of alcohol.

Now think of people that you know who maintain a healthy weight. You will notice they do not eat a lot of junk. In fact you might have noticed that these are the vegans that you know or the people who you know who like to consume Italian, Greek or Asian diets.

Traditional cultures from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia know how to eat without gaining weight like Americans do… Think of the traditional Asian body and how svelte the physique usually is… In China, Persia, Japan and India people have been eating a mostly plant based diet for thousands of years and it seems to keep the majority of these massive populations fit.

After you are done picturing the body shape of the average Asian then picture what your average American looks like. Then picture him eating snacks at a baseball game. Visualize the beer full of calories and the hotdog full of fat. This is not health food and this is typical of the unhealthy eating habits of the average American.

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To meat or not to meat?

When was the last time you saw a really fat vegan? Then ask if you could handle being on a diet that was had more vegetables rather than meat. That is your first step towards embarking on a fully effective, yet natural weight loss plan.

So just how much weight can you immediately lose if you become a vegan? During a study at the Pritikin center there were 4,500 patients who went through a program of eating as much as they wanted of low fat, plant based whole food lost 5.5% of their body weight. They also lost an average of seventeen pounds!

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.

How Dieting Can Make You Unhealthy

402-food-choices-cartoonDieting to lose weight is simply not the way to go if you want to maintain your health and it is especially not the way to go if you are trying to recover from an illness. You can do yourself more harm than good if you put yourself on any kind of calorie restricted food regimen.

First off the very nature of being on a diet is that you are deprived of the calories and nutrition that you would normally be taking in if you were not overweight. This means that you are running your brain and body on less fuel than usual. The result is that you can expect your physique to be a little less efficient because you simply are “running on empty.”

diet cartoon 2When your body is “running on empty” there are a number of consequences. First of all you may feel quite tired and like you can’t get through the day. This is especially true if you also quit fattening caffeinated drinks like coke and coffee as well. Many people also feel foggy and dull and like they can’t focus. This is because their brain may not be getting the sugar that it is used to in order to function. The result of being deprived caffeine and sugar is withdrawal. Many people become moody and cranky. This side effect of dieting can become so bad that some have to leave work or feel that they cannot get out of bed in the morning.

Yet another consequence of the food deprivation associated with dieting is a lowered immune system. You may simply be more vulnerable to catching a virus because your body does not have the energy it needs to fight problems off. If you are already sick then dieting is not a good idea. Although some diets are cleansing they should only be used for the short term and under a doctor’s strict supervision. Diets that restrict what kind of foods you eat are also not a good idea if you are recovering from an illness as the vitamins and minerals that you will need to heal are found across a broad spectrum of foods.



obIronically dieting can also cause weight gain simply because food deprivation gives your body the message that there is a food shortage. Your brain tells your body to pile on the fat and save it in reserves so that you can live on it despite the lack of food resources.