Continuing on with some interesting facts from the nutritional course from Kary Odiatu and Dr. Uche. I find that there is so much information on foods, exercise, what to do, what not to do; that it gets all jumbled up and confusing. Then, in the midst of trying to figuring out all of this, you are supposed to eat a percentage of this food group and this much of another. I’m going to try to simplify all of this and make it a bit easier.
To start, we should have around 2300 calories a day. This can differ a bit depending on how much exercise you get in a day, but overall, this is a good number to try to live by. Problem is that most adults are eating between 2900-3500 calories a day. Also, back in the 1940’s, 1950’s each person, each year ate about 4 pounds of sugar. Now, with all the fast food, processed foods, and so on–each person, each year is eating around 125 pounds of sugar. Insane! No wonder there are so many people who are overweight or obese. Check your BMI here to see where you are. A BMI of 25 and under is ideal, 25-30 is overweight, 30+ is obese and 40+ is morbidly obese.
Now, we want to either maintain or lose weight. To make it easier to follow, you want to eat many vegetables throughout the day and incorporate some fruits. Through a plant-based diet you can get all the protein, fat, carbs, iron, calcium that you need. Really focus on trying to eat a rainbow of colors during your meals. The brighter the color, generally the more potent of healthiness you get. The reason I say some fruit is that there is a good amount of sugar, although natural, it is still sugar and too much can make you store fat. If you are meat eater, you should only try to eat organic, grain fed, free roam meat and eggs. This will reduce the amount of steroids, antibiotics in the meat. Also, this type of meat is generally smaller. You should only have about 6 oz of meat a day. Weird to hear, but too much protein can actually make you fat. The link provided is a great read on what the overuse of protein can do and can be harmful.
Also, you should pay attention to low or high glycemic foods. Foods with a high GI are digested quickly and cause a significant spike in our blood sugar levels. This in turn causes a corresponding spike in insulin to bring those sugar levels back down. Low glycemic index foods have less of an impact because they are digested and absorbed more slowly, so your body needs less insulin to control your blood sugar levels.Your diet should focus on a low glycemic diet. For instance, 100% whole wheat pastas, rice, NO white flour, pastas, rice. I have really grown to enjoy spelt and kamut pasta, kamut bread, sour dough bread (low glycemic), orzo and quinoa. This link is a great resource for what is high, medium and low glycemic foods. Our bodies work best when blood sugar levels are kept constant rather than big spikes up and down. Eating a diet high in the glycemic index is strongly linked to an increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organization has recommended that people in developed countries consume as many low-GI meals as possible in order to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Voila! Pay attention to what you eat, keep it low glycemic, your insulin doesn’t spike, takes longer to process, better digestion and full longer.
Some outside influences to weight can be helpful or hurtful as well. A good way to start is to start a food diary and for 3 days mark down everything you eat and drink (yes, what you drink–pop, add sugar and/or cream to tea/coffee, etc). Then, start to look at where you could trim some of the calories down, eat lower glycemic and increase your calorie burn (exercise). Stress and sleep play a major role in weight. The more stress you have, the more fat is added. Stress can be overcome by deep breathing, yoga, endorphins from exercise, going for a walk, making a list every so often of things you are thankful for. Focus on what you are thankful for rather than things that bother or upset you. Sleep is another way to gain weight. If you are not getting your needed amount of sleep, your body can begin to store fat in case it needs it later. Make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of constant sleep per night. Also, eat many small meals a day to keep your metabolism burning and to keep your body from storing fat b/c it is storing for a famine.
Well, a lot of info, but I hope I have simplified it a bit for you. Some small changes, may be uncomfortable at first, but will become natural the more you do them, could be the answer to a healthy or unhealthy weight. Make the choice to make the changes and live a longer, more fulfilled, happy life.
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