Empowering Resolutions: Weight Loss Nutrition
1. Grapefruit: In a 2004 study at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California,
researchers investigated the effect of grapefruit on weight loss and found that
eating half a grapefruit before a meal can help us lose weight. The researchers
studied the effect of grapefruit capsules, grapefruit juice and real grapefruit.
All three seemed to help, but eating the real grapefruit got the best results.
Grapefruits also contains cancer-fighting compounds like liminoids and lycopene,
and red grapefruit has been shown to help lower triglycerides. Half a grapefruit
has only 39 calories. This makes it a great breakfast food, a super snack
between meals or make it a dessert!
2 Sardines: Sardines are high in protein, which helps stabilize blood sugar,
making you feel full and helps stimulate metabolism. They're a great source of
omega-3s, which not only strengthen the cardiovascular system but also are
helpful in boosting mood. Sardines are also free of contaminants, such as
mercury and heavy metals.
3. Pumpkin: is considered one of the greatest weight-loss foods ever. Canned
pumpkin is absolutely loaded with fiber and has only 40 calories. Dozens of
studies show that high fiber intake is associated with a many health benefits,
including weight management. Pumpkin is also among the easiest food in the world
to prepare. You can sweeten it with your favorite low or 0-calorie sweetener,
sprinkle it with blood-sugar-lowering cinnamon and nutmeg for good measure,
throw in some healthy almonds and make it one of the best tasting weight-loss
treats around. It's filling and delicious. Makes a great dessert, snack or side
4. High-protein diets are associated with weight loss for a variety of reasons:
Protein stimulates metabolism, helps you feel full longer and helps decrease the
desire to overeat. Protein is important because it allows the brain to synthesis
the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which help keep your mind
attentive and alert. Excessive protein levels make the organs of digestion work
much harder to process this food and robs your energy stores. Find the balance
for YOU. Listen to your body! It will tell you what makes you feel good and what
does not. Especially in the long term. Consider these great protein foods such
as lean beef, lean pork, chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, and sardines.
5. Carbohydrates provide glucose for energy. Excessive carbohydrates can
increase blood sugar levels to dangerous levels, which then makes your body shut
down to protect itself. Again, find the balance that is right for YOU. Listen to
your body! It will tell you what makes you feel good and what does not.
6. If you have issues with excess heat, (sweating, red face, red skin,
inflammation) look at eating foods that have a cooling nature. If you have
excess cold (cold fingers, toes, hands, feet, cold abdomen, especially below the
navel), look at eating foods that have a warming nature. Neutral foods help to
regulate our system.
7. Green Tea is a natural weight-loss stimulant and is a great slimming solution
Green tea is rich in antioxidants, promotes heart health, assists digestion and
regulates blood sugar and body temperature. It raises the metabolic rate and
speeds up fat oxidation, and therefore helps people lose weight. Drink it daily
to boost your metabolism. Some research has shown that five cups a day is the
magic number for fat loss. As an added benefit, the theanine in green tea is
also a great natural de-stressor.
8. Apples and Pears are both great foods for boosting metabolism and weight
loss. Apples contain naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as
phytochemicals, polyphenols, or flavonoids, some of which have been proven to
have antioxidant activity that inhibits, or scavenges, the activity of free
radicals in the body. Cell damage from free radicals can be a factor in certain
cancers, heart disease, strokes, and other conditions. The major antioxidant
components in apples are polyphenols contained mainly in the skin known as
quercetin glycoside, phloretin glycoside, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin.
Water rich fresh fruits such as pears, will dilute the calories in your foods,
so you can eat more and not overdue the calories. This high fiber fruits is
nutritious and keeps the digestive system on track as well as helps to steady
the insulin levels, which is going to prevent fat storage. Overweight women who
ate the equivalent of three small apples or pears a day lost more weight on a
low-calorie diet than women who didn't add fruit to their diet, according to
researchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Fruit eaters also ate
fewer calories overall.
9. Soups are super! According to a Penn State University study, soup is a super
appetite suppressant because it's made up of a hunger-satisfying combination of
liquids and solids. In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks
before lunch. Women who had chicken and rice soup as a snack consumed an average
of 100 fewer calories than those in the study who opted for a chicken and rice
casserole or the casserole and a glass of water.
10. Low-Fat Yogurt has shown to boost weight loss efforts, according to a study
in the April 2006 issue of Obesity Research. People on a reduced-calorie diet
who included three to four servings of dairy foods lost significantly more
weight than those who ate a low-dairy diet containing the same number of
calories. Low-fat yogurt is a rich source of weight-loss-friendly calcium,
providing about 450 mg (about half the recommended daily allowance for women
ages 19-50) per 8-ounce serving, as well as 12 grams of protein. It includes
calcium, protein and a ton of other nutrients as well as good bacteria for you
Water should be a very important part of any nutritional program. 6-
8 8 ounces per day. Water allows for the cleansing and hydrating of
the system. It is also filling and a good substitute for soda or
sugar-laden drinks. Although it may seem counterintuitive, drinking
water helps you burn fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water
intake, will cause fat deposits to increase. Without water, the
kidneys cannot effectively filter out the waste products and other
chemicals which build up in the bloodstream and interfere with the
liver's ability to metabolize fat. As a result, you become more
likely to store fat and less likely to burn it.
Ironically, drinking more water is the BEST remedy for water
retention. When your body is low in water, you retain pockets of salt
and water under the skin, as a defense mechanism. For your body does
not know when it will get its next drink. This stored water and salt
under the skin will create a puffiness and looks like fat. Drink
plenty of distilled water or low sodium water and avoid high- sodium
The FDA recommends limiting your intake of fat to 65 grams per day.
By safely and carefully selecting your foods so that your fat
consumption is about 30 grams per day, you can see a significant
amount of weight loss, depending on your body mass index.
Your body expends a certain amount of calories upon digestion.
Proteins are burned at the highest rate-20-25%, Carbohydrates 8-10%,
and Fats only about 2%. This is known as the Thermic Effect of Food.
This fact cannot be stressed enough: EAT five or six small meals a
day will prevent hunger pangs, provide constant energy, increase your
metabolic efficiency, improving your fat losing abilities and
decrease your risk of heart attack.
Consume lean sources of protein such as skinless white meat poultry
or fish, with fibrous water rich vegetables such as string beans,
tomatoes, cucumbers. Protein shakes or meal replacement bars work
well as one of your small meals. Be aware of the carbohydrates in
most bars and shakes for they can be extremely high. Medium to low
amounts of carbs 2-14 grams a bar is sufficient.
Reducing fat in the diet is an important component of weight loss.
Foods with a high proportion of calories from fat should be
eliminated or limited in the diet; these include red meat, poultry
skins, dark poultry meat, fried foods, butter, margarine, cheese,
milk (except skim milk), junk foods, and most processed foods.
Vegetable oils should also be restricted, as should nuts, seeds, and
avocados (although these foods are healthful for people who have no
weight problem). Instead, the diet should be based on fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat dairy products (and low-fat
fish for non-vegetarians).
Hydrogenated oils are very bad, for two reasons. First reason is that
hydrogenated fats are saturated fats, and saturated fats raise total
cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Second reason is that hydrogenation
also produces what are called "trans" fatty acids. Although these are
unsaturated, with one double bond, they act the same as saturated
fats. Some margarines are now available without trans fatty acids,
these are better. a lot of convenience foods are made with
hydrogenated fat, like cookies, crackers, etc. This increases the
shelf life of the product but is bad for human life. Good question.
We need labels that show amounts of trans fat as well as amount of
A reduction of 25% of total calories will usually promote slow,
steady weight loss. For some, weight loss is easier by changing the
dietary content. By this, I mean reducing carbohydrates by 25%-30%.
In my opinion, for the long-term, it is important not to increase fat
when decreasing carbs. Most people who restrict carbohydrates tend to
maintain the same total daily calories by increasing dietary fat.
Avoid all breads and pastas (flour-containing carbs) and unprocessed
Avoid artificial sweeteners and synthetic fat substitutes and the
foods made with them. They are unhealthy and not conducive to the
kind of good eating habits you need to form in order to slim down and
stay that way. Stevia is a natural sweetener that is 300 times
sweeter than sugar but contain NO calories. It is also safe for
people with diabetes and hypoglycemics.
Eating adequate amounts of fiber is believed to be important for
individuals wishing to lose weight. Fiber contains bulk and tends to
produce a sense of fullness, which allows people to consume fewer
calories. However, research on the effect of fiber intake on weight
loss is conflicting. Some studies have shown that supplementation
with a source of fiber accelerated weight loss in individuals who
were following a low-calorie diet. In another study, supplementation
with a bulking agent called glucomannan (1.5 grams before breakfast
and dinner) promoted weight loss in overweight individuals who were
not following a special diet. However, other researchers found that
increasing fiber intake had no effect on body weight, even though it
resulted in a reduction in food intake. Different types of dietary
fiber are available from a variety of sources, and the amount
recommended depends on the kind being used. Individuals wishing to
use a fiber supplement should consult with a nutritionist.
Juice Therapy is an excellent way to get your fruits and vegetable
fresh and in their natural form. Blending fruits and/or vegetables
into a great juice creation or smoothie can be an excellent snack or
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac