Food, The good, the bad, the ugly…
As a naturopath of many years I have seen many people regarding diet, allergies, intolerances and weight gains or losses. Through the years I have read about all sorts of diets. The list is almost endless it seems. So many different diets, so many different people, with so many different life experiences, good and bad.
The diets range form the 5:2 – Eating up to 500 calories on two days and normal food for the other five. This is similar they say to how we used to live, regarding sometimes there is famine and sometimes there is feast. Aitkin diet where you don’t eat any carbohydrate at all and so the body goes to a state called ketosis, this is where the body uses fat as an energy source. Fat gives 4.2 times more of energy than carbohydrate this means the body will start burning off the fat and you loose weight. This can be very hard to sustain and what I have noticed is that once the weight is lost the body then starts getting weaker and can start using muscle as an energy source- this is not ideal and people can get sick by this stage. Another is Weight Watchers, this is based on a point system. You have to be really aware of which food has so many points and adjust accordingly. Jenny Craig provides food for you and the calories are counted. This is great for the people who don’t want to think too much about it and the food is all worked out. But what happens once you have reached your optimum weight?
What I have noticed is that once you stop then generally normal eating patterns start back and the body lays the fat back down again as it believes it may be subjected to famine again (the restricted diet) and so weight gain is inevitable.
As I have been obese myself (about size 20 in clothes) twice, (I am now about size 11/12) I have tried most of these diets. In the end the ELF diet seems to work the best, Eat Less Food in other words. Ideally these foods should be fresh, non processed and whole. It seems to be the processing of our foods with the hidden chemicals and parabens – these can block the absorption of major nutrients in the gut and so you still feel hungry. So you eat again as the appetite is not sated. Sugar is in a lot of our foods and is hidden. Again because this is a processed food the body doesn’t really know how to deal with it unless you use it between 20 mins and 90 mins as a source of energy to do exercise.
Stress is a major factor in weight gain as the cortisol makes the body store fat, particularly around the middle. Next week I will explain more in depth about stress and weight gain in relation to our emotional self. Eat fresh .... :)