Nutrition Principles for Weight Loss
- Ask yourself these three questions, if the answer to all 3 is “yes,” then go ahead and eat:
- Is it healthy for me?
- Is it the right time to eat?
- Is it the right amount?
- Nutrition plays a leading role in gaining and maintaining health
- Eat to live (because it is healthy), but do not live to eat (simply because it tastes good)
- The mental and spiritual are inseparable from the physical, so good nutrition leads not only to improved physical health, but also to improved mental and spiritual health
- Good nutrition doesn’t just happen. It is the result of repetitively choosing that which is best
- The body needs regular set times for meals each day
- The stomach needs 4 hours to digest the food, and at least 1 hour to rest prior to the next meal; therefore meals should be spaced at least 5 hours apart
- Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime
- Avoid eating shortly after vigorous exercise or labor
- Eat nothing between meals
- Eat slowly and enjoy your food
- Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing
- Avoid drinking with your meals
- Avoid combining many types of foods at one meal, especially fruits and vegetables
- Give thanks for your food and eat with a grateful/cheerful attitude
- Eat an amount of food that will leave you satisfied (still a little hungry), but not “full” or “stuffed”
- For weight loss, place on your plate the amount of food you need and don’t go back for more
- Eating too much of even good food is not good for you
- Eat two meals daily: breakfast and lunch
- Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day, lunch medium, and supper (if at all) very light
Foods to Eat
- Whole grains – (brown rice, oats, barley, whole wheat products, whole grain pasta, corn, etc.) are rich in fiber and nutrients. They can be cooked and mixed with other food groups, and can be eaten with each meal.
- Fruits – (banana, apple, papaya, mango, berries, melons, etc.) are rich in natural sugars, antioxidants, and fiber and are easily digested. These can be eaten with breakfast or for a light supper.
- Vegetables – (carrot, beet, potato, green bean, cabbage, lettuce, etc.) are full of minerals, starches, and fiber and are excellent for the mid-day (lunch) meal.
- Legumes – (peas, beans, lentils, soy products,) are high in healthy proteins to provide the building material for the body. Legumes and whole grains together make a complete protein!
- Natural Fats – (nuts [cashew, walnut, almond, coconut, etc.], seeds [flax, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.], avocado, olive, etc.) eaten sparingly (handful daily) they provide you with natural, healthy ways of getting your fat intake while at the same time improving your cholesterol profile.
Foods to Avoid
- Flesh Foods – (Pork, beef, chicken, fish, etc.) include those things that could run, fly, or swim away from you if you try to kill them. These are high in saturated fats and cholesterol (even fish), and many diseases (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, cancers, parasites, bacterial & viral infections, toxins, etc.) are related to their consumption. A healthy substitute is combining legumes and whole grains together to get your complete proteins without the negative health affects of flesh foods.
- Dairy products – (Milk, cheese, butter, eggs, ice cream, etc.) are made from “stuff” that comes from animals. These products as well are high in saturated fats and cholesterol and many similar diseases result from their consumption. Healthy substitutes include soymilk, rice milk, nut butters, flax seed, blended frozen fruit, etc.
- Spices – (black/hot pepper , cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard, etc.) cause irritation of the stomach and digestive organs, which can lead to or worsen esophageal reflux, gastritis, and ulcers. Healthy substitutes include herbs such as basil, thyme, sage, paprika, and others.
- Vinegar – (including apple cider vinegar, pickles, distilled vinegar, salad dressings, condiments, etc.) is the result of fermenting (or rotting) alcohol to acetic acid. It, as the spices do, erodes the delicate lining of the digestive tract. A healthy substitute is lemon juice.
- Refined carbohydrates/sugars – (cookies, pies, cakes, sweet breads, pasta, white bread, crackers, candy, chocolates, table sugar, jams, jellies, syrups, white flour, etc.) are easily digested/absorbed into the blood stream and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. They are also are high in calories. This leads to diabetes and obesity. Additionally, refined sugars decrease the immune system’s ability to combat disease. A healthy substitute is to use whole grain products instead of refined products, and naturally sweet fruits in exchange for sugars.
- Fried/high fat foods – (chips, french fries, margarine, oils, shortening, lard, etc.) are high in trans fats or cholesterol or saturated fats, which increase your bad cholesterol, decrease your good cholesterol, and promote inflammation that predisposes people to develop plaques in their arteries. Healthy substitutes include “frying” on a nonstick skillet with light, non-stick spray and using water and herbs for seasoning. Also, baking instead of frying, and using unsweetened applesauce instead of oil in baking recipes.
- Artificial sweeteners – these have been proven to increase appetite, leading to increased calorie intake, and change the bacterial composition of the gut, leading to issues of diabetes and obesity.
- Daily drink 1 ounce of water/herbal teas for every 2 pounds you weigh
- Avoid drinking carbonated (soft drinks), caffeinated, and/or alcoholic beverages
- Avoid drinking juices or any other calorie-containing drinks.