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Cut back on these two foods to lose weight this spring.

These two categories of foods seem to find a way into everyone’s diet, and they definitely put on the weight!  Here’s the info to beat it!~
1) Sweet drinks, including juice!

Here’s a brief reminder why – Sugar is fuel that is available instantaneously.  Assuming you are not exercising at that very moment, sugar is converted to fat to be used as fuel later.  These days, such a huge portion of daily calories come from drinks!  The obvious are sodas, but what about all of these other ‘natural’ drinks?

Examples – flavored water beverages, sweetened tea and coffee, packaged smoothies, bottled fruit juice.  These are so common!  And at the end of the day these calories really add up!  Yes, some of these drinks are a natural sugar, but when it comes to weight loss, many kinds of sugar are in the same category.
One source of sugar that may be of surprise is fruit juice.  I am referring to juice in packaged containers.  Of course, fresh pressed juices are in an entirely different category.  Remember beneficial properties of fruit are heat sensitive.  For fruit juice to be bottled and stored at room temperature it must be pasteurized. This is the heating process to essentially sterilize it.  Popular examples would be orange and apple juice.  In their fresh raw state they’re awesome and loaded with nutrients and enzymes!  But once cooked, beneficial properties are gone.

I’m not saying to eliminate sugar from your diet all together!  Sugar is important.  It’s instant fuel for the brain!  Let’s just stick to the good stuff!  Examples – a fresh fruit smoothie with superfoods, a small amount of fresh pressed fruit juices, a little coconut sugar or honey in your tea.  The big picture is to keep your sweet tooth happy with foods and drinks that have nutritive value and are less sugar concentrated.

* Note – I do not consider zero calorie sweeteners to be a solution.  We know many of them to be toxic.  And there are increasingly more that are marketed as ‘natural’.  Really?  This is another newsletter altogether.  The exception is Stevia which is simply a plant food.

2) Processed Starchy Foods!

Why?  It’s a similar biological reason as sugar.  Processed starchy foods burn quickly, only to then be stored in the body to be used as fuel later.  And remember how it’s stored?  Fat… quite inconvenient.

For most people the biggest one is Cereal!  Cereal is in almost everyone’s diet!  At the grocery store there is a whole isle dedicated to just cereal.  Why is it a weight gaining food?  It’s all in the ingredients!!!!  The front of the box markets the cereal as ‘natural, whole grain, low fat’.  But look at what its made of!  Notice the tiny ingredient list hiding on the side of box in a 8sq inch rectangle.  Most common processed grains you can look for are wheat, corn, oats.  The other common ingredient is ‘evaporated cane juice’.  Are you serious?…”’Evaporated cane juice”’?!!?!  This is nothing other than straight-up processed sugar, disguised with a natural sounding name.  Naming ‘evaporated cane juice’ on labels is now under review by the FDA and will likely become illegal.

Further down the list of ingredients we typically find canola or safflower oil.   Remember from reading my previous articles, these oils are rancid and irritate the thyroid.  Not good for weight loss.

Possible replacements? How about oatmeal (NOT instant oatmeal or granola).  Add a healthy, heat stable oil like ghee or coconut.  Add raw nuts, seeds, unsweetened yogurt.  And get some of your healthy sugar with sliced berries.   Now this is sounding more like a balanced meal!

The other big culprit is Bread!  It’s a mystery how we have become convinced that we are doing something good for ourselves when eating whole wheat bread.  It’s a heavily processed food that is devoid of any nutritional value other than the added artificial ‘nutrients’.

A possible solution for wheat bread is Rye bread.  But wait!!!!  If you look in the bread section at the store you will see numerous options that are labeled ‘whole rye’.  Remember to read the ingredients!!! Most often wheat will be the first ingredient and rye will be way down the list of the 30 other ingredients.  Proper rye bread is heavy like a brick and is made almost entirely of rye.  I consider it a better alternative because it is more satisfying per calorie and it does not burn so quickly.  Another possible solution is to simply put the foods that would normally be in your sandwich into a salad instead. And then enjoy it with flax seed crackers!  Note about the gluten free products – I do not consider most of these gluten-free bread alternatives to be superior.  Again, just look at the ingredients – potato starch, rice flour, buckwheat flour – just more of those starchy lifeless foods.

Other common foods that fall in the starchy category are chips, crackers, cookies, muffins, and bagels.  What makes them difficult to avoid is they are labeled ‘natural’, ‘low-fat’, ‘gluten free’, ‘whole grain’.  As for what’s truly healthy, there’s more to it than that.  Remember all of these foods are comprised primarily of processed grains.  Starchy snack foods are so easy to overdo simply because processed grains do not satisfy our appetite like plant foods, good protein and healthy fats.

*Note – If you have some of these processed foods occasionally when traveling or out with friends, then no big deal.  It’s not going to make much of a difference.  Plus being too stringent has social compromises.

 I understand a complete dietary overhaul for some of us may be out of the question.  Ok, Fine.  Let’s make it practical.  What do you say we cut back 50% on these processed grain foods and sugary drinks.  And why not try it for just a month.  Let’s call this STEP 1.  In a month let’s re-evaluate.  Does that sound possible?  Or if you’re determined enough, just cut the majority of these foods out of your diet and give it a few months.  If weight loss is in fact a priority for you, I’m quite confident you will be impressed.  Not to mention it will have other health benefits as well.

 

Yours Truly,

Billy