While Effective Health is a combination of what you eat (and drink) and fitness I’ll treat each separately but both in my opinion are as important as each other for reasons that will be come clear as I progress.
However from a fat burning and effective health perspective what you consume is 80% of your weight management (proper effective exercise being the other 20%).
Here’s a shocking statistic; obesity has now overtaken malnutrition as the number 1 global health issue according to the World Health Organisation.
The Western diet
We really are what we eat; the western diet of carb-rich highly processed foods is the root cause of many of societies chronic diseases and ailments. I used to be uninformed and believe mainstream media and advertising as to what was good for me. I drank pop on a daily basis. I ate bread with margarine spread and pasta believing they were healthy. I did my bit by eating Special K, low fat yoghurts and drinking Diet Coke thinking they were doing me good. Oh how wrong was I!!
I’ve done a lot of reading and informed myself as to what’s good for me and what is bad. In it’s simplistic form you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. Avoid refined sugars and fructose, and increase the amount of healthy fats in your diet.
You don’t need to eat less calories in order to lose weight as not all calories are created equal. In it’s simplistic form if you do the following you will shed unwanted body fat (combine that with PEAK 8 exercise and you will torch that fat) and encourage better health. It’s safe to say that this isn’t a ‘diet’ it’s a lifestyle change. It’s about being informed as what is good for you and what’s not.
Statistics and research
Our doctors are not trained in nutrition and traditional beliefs and government and medical rubber stamped recommendations are somewhat now outdated; clearly considering the obesity statistics. Established diet and nutrition theories are being overturned on a daily basis but our food manufacturers and governments (and the World Health Organisation strangely enough!) are slow to respond if indeed they respond at all to latest research findings.
Focussing my diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods, reducing/avoiding refined sugars and fructose, and increasing the amount of healthy fats in my diet has worked for me.
Future posts will go into specifics on the science behind all of this (It’s a whole new world!) but as a starter for 10 consider undertaking the following:
Start eating the good stuff
- Eating more raw green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, watercress, green beans, beetroot (yes I know it’s not green but humour me a little!) etc.
- Eating more healthy saturated fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, grass fed butter, grass fed beef, oily fish, macadamia nuts etc.
- Organic or pastured eggs.
- Go organic.
Stop eating the stuff that destroys us
- Remove additional refined sugars from your diet. Refined sugar makes us fat. Sweets, fizzy drinks, fruit juices (yes fruit juices! they contain as much sugar as your fizzy sodas) etc. Check food labels for additional refined sugars such as syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, glucose, any added sugar thats not natural to the ingredients.
- Reduce (not eliminate) the amount of fruit you consume as it’s high in fructose.
- Remove or at least significantly reduce consuming wheat and grain products. Bread, pasta etc. (breads and pasta turns to sugar).
- Breakfast cereals. Wheat, grain and corn based plus loaded with sugar.
- Stop taking “diet” or low fat foods. They are loaded with sugar!
- Milk, cheese and yoghurt (the one exception is natural plain Greek yoghurt)
- Stop drinking diet fizzy drinks; aspartame is a nasty product that the body has an even harder time getting rid of more than sugar.
- Polyunsaturated fats and oils such as canola/rapeseed in the UK, corn, peanut, safflower, sunflower, soybean and all other vegetable oils
- Genetically Modified foods.
Ditch the sodas
It’s a minefield and don’t think you need to make all the changes overnight; you don’t. You have to be practical. I started this journey in mid 2013 and I’m still learning about and still tweaking what to eat and what not to eat and drink. But the biggest change you can make straight away is to throw out your fizzy pop and fruit juices (drink water instead) then introduce other changes. Your body will thank you for it
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