Use these 5 ground-breaking ideas from the field of Integrative Nutrition to help you lose those unwanted pounds and attain higher energy throughout your day.
- Think “NUTRITION” not Dieting. Diets fail not because of your will-power but because there is no way that limiting certain macro-nutrients like fats, carbs or proteins will not eventually rebound into serious uncontrollable cravings for the food that you have been limiting. I myself tried to live on a low carb diet for several months but found myself unhappy without carbs in my life and eventually the cravings told me that this was not sustainable. Today, I always think “nutrition” and try to eat foods that I believe would nourish my body including healthy dose of carbs. (I’m much happier as well.)
- Eat your food slowly and taste and enjoy of your food. If you take time to enjoy the taste of your food, the food will satiate the cephalic phase of your digestion so that you will fell satisfied. Eating slowly also allows the neurotransmitters from your stomach to travel to your brain and tell the brain that you are full. Another great idea is to put down your fork between bites and chew your food at least 50 to 100 times. A lot of foods only breakdown with good chewing so be sure to unlock the nutrient potential of your food with a lot of chewing.
- Slow down your life. Get off the treadmill. Don’t worry about keeping up with the neighbors. We feel stressed out when we maintain unrealistic expectations that we can’t achieve. Some stress is healthy but when stress gets excessive, our bodies secrete excessive amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone. From an evolutionary perspective, our bodies interpret cortisol as a marker that famine or harsh conditions are ahead and we must store food to survive the famine, breakdown muscle, collagen and skin to survive the famine. Also, cortisol will increase your appetite. You will also notice that if you’re stressed, your breathing will be more shallow and faster. Breathing deeply and slowly before a meal will help to suppress cortisol secretion and limit the cortisol response.
- Hydrate for Weight loss. Even a mildly dehydrated state, can trigger the body to secrete cortisol which as we have seen will lead to increased appetite and fat storage. Also, water is a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water each day will help to suppress unwanted food cravings, help with food digestion in the stomach, eliminate toxins from the body, and will make you feel fuller faster with each meal. In fact, many times the hunger that we experience may actually be a misinterpreted signal that we are dehydrated.
- The Golden Rule is eat the highest quality most nutrient dense food you can find Your focus should be on eating the most nutrient dense food that you can possibly eat. Nutrient dense food comes best from whole unprocessed foods. Nutrient dense food comes from the ground to your table and not from a factory. Fast Food is not nutritious (as you know). Fast Food is junk food. It is mass produced and over processed stripping the food of any nutrient value and adding fillers and sugar to counteract the taste of all the preservatives to maintain shelf life. After eating fast food, your body will be calling out for the nutrients it requires but the only word it knows is “hungry.” Your body will call for more and more fast food to get the nutrients it requires, but as an unfortunate side effect of all these cheap calories your body will get fat from all the unwanted calories from the sugar and fillers found in fast food.
Remember as Socrates said, “Food is Medicine.” Eat the highest quality food that you can find. If you are going to have pizza, eat the best quality gourmet pizza you can find. The one with real organic tomatoes and ingredients. You will feel satisfied with your meal and you will eat less because it will be more nutritious and taste better. Finally, Indian yogi’s teach of eating to the point of energy. This is a simple concept that emphasizes stopping before you get too full which can be draining.
My personal journey with food has led me to believe that eating should be done with the family and done slowly with calm and much laughter. We pray before our meals and are thankful for food that is prepared with love and care. My wish to you all is that you will take time to eat great food with your families and enjoy the right food.
Alvin Antony, MD
Owner and Founder
Carolina Sports and Spine, PA