Losing weight seems to be the most important thing to anyone who is paying attention to the media. Obesity is at an all time high, and hyperbole aside, there is correlation between what you eat and how your body looks. To be blunt, the foods of today are not real food and are more an amalgamation of chemicals and preservatives. The greatest threat to your health lies in all of the hidden sugars making up more than a few ingredients in many foods. Sugar is no longer sugar – it can be called corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and fructose. A diet for real weight loss looks to wean you off of an unconscious dependency to sugar.
Education will take you from your food ignorance into knowing what exactly you have been ingesting for, most likely, years. It is not your fault however because their are no comprehensive programs discussing what a healthy diet. The food pyramid? For most people it hardly makes any sense and many nutritionists would argue that the advice is outdated and relies too heavily on an over consumption of processed carbohydrates. Relearning to eat means relearning how to approach your grocery store.
This means living and shopping on the fringe. Why? Think of what is within the perimeter of a grocery store – dairy products like milk, creams, and butter; the meat section, an in house bakery filled with freshly made items, and of course a produce section over flowing with fruits and vegetables. These are whole foods and that just means that they are natural and not overly processed.
This is not to say that all processing as bad, canned tomato sauce for instance does not contain many ingredients. A good rule of thumb of processed food is to see if you can recognize the ingredients. Eating something with only five ingredients is infinitely better than going for the food that contains over twenty and is unintelligible to those who are not food scientists.
Buying whole grain pastas and rice will have to wait two weeks. Also, this moratorium extends to your drinking habits. It should be water only for about two weeks and if you cannot do that then there are sugar free flavorings, while not ideal, can help you get used to not drinking bad things like soda. Soda and diet soda must be thrown out immediately. These drinks, if ever drank, should be something that is only ingested once in a while. Even diet soda, with its absence of calories, can be bad for you since studies have shown that the sugar substitutes therein can make you more hungry.
So outside of water what can you eat? Almost everything! Protein is key in keeping you full and this encapsulates pork, chicken, lean beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, and fish. Think of all the recipes you can make with these protein sources! For accompaniment the first week, eat as many vegetables as you want. There is no limit when it comes to vegetables.
This is not to say that you should bypass flavor. The best foods are full of flavor, but that comes from cooking technique, like roasting as well as any added spices. This is the time to see what you can do when you are not relying on something prepackaged.
This is also not a carb free week, you can incorporate carbohydrates that are good for you, like the aforementioned whole grains. Potatoes are fine, but sweet potatoes are better and with these you will get some natural sugars. Your second week in, start bringing in some fruits and you will have a better appreciation for the taste of real sugar. This will make you a more conscious eater which is all part of a diet for real weight loss.