As you may know, I've been hard at work finishing my latest book, “Your Body Needs An Oil Change”, over this past year. I'm very excited to tell you that I'm getting closer to handing it over to the publisher.
Below is an excerpt that you may find interesting, especially if you are curious about weight – gaining it, losing it or maintaining it.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
A Better, More Effective Plan
What’s the right approach to weight management? How should you eat to maintain or regain your health and normalize your weight? The answer is simple: Health can replace or displace disease. Normal body weight can replace excess body weight. Shape can replace out-of-shape. Attractive can replace unattractive.
Is there a diet that can do that? Yes, and it’s easy to design. The issue is not only about creating such a diet but is also about addressing eating habits and beliefs.
The health-building, weight-normalizing diet is simple. All you need to do is deliberately eat, drink, breathe, and act in line with nature. Why does it work? Health is the natural state. Just as in light there is no room for darkness, in health there is no room for illness or overweightness.
A diet for healthy weight emphasizes mostly plant-based, whole, organically grown, non-starchy foods. People often say that plant-based food (rabbit food!) has no taste. That statement is so untrue that it is patently ridiculous. The truth is that burned flesh almost always has the same bitter, acrid, scratchy, disgusting taste, while cooked or raw meat pretty much all have the same bland flavor. To add flavor variety to these bland foods, you add . . . Wait for it.
Vegetables. Spices. Herbs. Like mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mustard, ginger, pepper, cayenne, rosemary, and many more.
Plant foods have unique and widely varying sweet, sour, salty, bitter, tart (astringent), pungent flavors, and endless combinations of wonderful fragrances. Plants also provide widely varying textures. On top of a great variety, plant-based foods are better for both health and longevity than animal-based foods.
In order of importance, your health and weight normalization diet will provide greens for minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and gene regulators; good oils for energy, hormones, and cell membrane construction; and proteins from whole foods for muscles, receptors, signaling molecules, and enzymes (from the right kinds of seeds and nuts as well as all whole foods). Your healthy diet will limit your intake of carbohydrates (the least important food, and not even the best source of energy) to the amount you burn through physical activity.
The diet makes liberal use of herbs and spices that bring thousands of mouth-watering flavors into foods and provide tremendous health benefits.
To lose excess fat and water, you must deliberately choose a health-promoting, weight-normalizing diet. Some foods you can grow in your garden next to your house. Alternatively, you can get what you need to be healthy and fit from organic farms and organic, fresh whole food stores.
One weakness is that stores also carry a wide variety of processed, partitioned, adulterated, and preparation-damaged foods, that are tempting to choose for their convenience or marketing-driven misinformation, instead of avoiding all foods that are no longer in their natural state.
When you deliberately choose fresh, whole, organic foods with your health and fitness foremost in your mind, you get results.
When to Stop Eating
Second, you may not have learned to rightly identify your body’s signals for when to stop eating.
People tend to use one of the following signs to stop eating:
- All the food is gone: This would be a good sign to stop eating only in a situation where there is not enough food, a situation that has been largely eliminated in rich Western countries.
- Your craving is gone: This would work if you ate slowly and limited your intake of carbohydrates, but this sign works against you on carb-rich diets, which create these cravings because of excess.
- Your stomach hurts: This happens because you stretch its size with excessive intake of foods that trigger high blood sugar, fat production, and low blood sugar, which create cravings. When you then eat too fast, you’ll eat more than you need. By the time your blood sugar is normal again and the craving is gone, you’ll have set yourself up for another round on the cycle of carbohydrate addiction.
- Your hunger is gone: This is the right way to eat. Take small portions. Eat slowly. Chew well. Stop eating when the hunger is gone. With this kind of discipline, weight can be effectively managed, even if the foods are not as healthy as they could be.
In addition to knowing when to stop eating, you also need to know when to drink water instead of eating food. Many people have not learned to differentiate between the signals of thirst and hunger. Here, the remedy is to drink water first, continuously, all day long. Some experts suggest that whenever you feel hungry, you should first drink water, and turn to food only if water does not make the “hunger” pangs (which may have been thirst pangs) go away.
Eating the Blues
Many people eat when, or because, their heart aches. Eating food does not relieve an aching heart, because heartache is not a physical hunger, but a hunger (desire, yearning, blues, emptiness, want, restlessness, longing, loss, sadness, grief) you feel in your heart. Eating the blues is eating as a distraction, to bury uncomfortable feelings. This is especially intense whenever you have lost someone or something near and dear to you.
When this happens, you’re being reminded of the loss of your connection to your essential self. It is your heart calling your attention to come back home to life. No amount of food can bring you home to yourself. What you need in this case is an awareness practice that takes you inward into the full richness of your being.
Ever notice that you eat more when stressed? You’re loading up on fuel to prepare for fight or flight. When the stress is mental rather than physical, you’re less likely to work it off with intense physical activity, in which case the extra fuel gets turned into fat and stored in the cells in your adipose tissue.
Imagine what chronic stress will do? Most of you don’t have to imagine because you already know.
The solution is to find effective ways to disconnect stress triggers, don’t take on stress by leaving it outside, or stay focused on the part of your being that is calm and stress-free in its nature.
We never call our friends to go out and just meet to breathe together. We also don’t take people out for a splendid drink of pure water. We most often go out for meals. This is true even though we need air and water more than food. Without air, we die in five to ten minutes. Without water, we die in seven or eight days. Without food, we can live for at least one to four months.
A lot of overweightness is the consequence of going out to eat with friends when not even hungry. This is a factor in addition to eating too much of the wrong kinds of carbohydrate-loaded foods like sweets and starches.