The word is finally getting out. Approximately one third of Americans are overweight. As a result, they suffer from a number of metabolic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The health problems arising from this condition result in literally billions of dollars in additional health care costs.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, beginning at 5:30 PM PST I will offer a free 1½ hour webinar on safe, balanced weight loss. Please register in advance for participation.
In advance of that webinar, I would like to offer a few ideas that you might find useful and that we will talk further about during the webinar. Even incorporating a few of these into your daily routine can make a big difference in your ability to shed those unwanted pounds over time.
Foods and food quality
Eat whole, pure foods. Before you reach for that extra fatty, sugary, starchy something ask yourself the questions, "Is it worth it?" and "Am I willing to wear it?"
Eat as many fresh vegetables and fruit as you can.
Everyday, be sure to eat quality protein, such as a 3-ounce serving of meat, 2 eggs, dairy including milk and yogurt, or beans.
Satisfy cravings with proteinaceous foods such as nuts, hard boiled eggs, and non-fat yogurt.
Try to eat more slowly, giving your appetite time to catch up with your hunger.
Don’t be afraid to discard or donate excess food. For many of us in our time and place, overeating is more of a problem than starvation and the earth is always ready to renew itself with our discarded waste and food. Parents: don’t eat your children’s leftovers. This can be the bane of many parents who fail to lose weight.
Restaurants are notorious for large portions. In most cases, you can easily eat only half of what is given and save the leftovers for a delicious meal the following day.
Whenever possible, share desserts.
It is often better to have a small bite of something that may not be so good for you in your adventure in weight loss than to struggle with unsustainable self-denial.
Do snack. Studies have shown that eating small amounts throughout the day charges your metabolism. For such occasions, carry a bag of seeds or nuts to help satisfy some of those hunger cravings for things that are not so good.
Don’t miss meals! Having said this, while breakfast is usually considered the most important meal of the day, if you are not hungry or have overeaten the previous day, you might wait until midmorning brunch and or have something light such as fruit or a low-calorie high-protein fruit smoothie.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Whenever possible, drink first and eat later, or better yet, learn to recognize the difference.
Keep a diet diary or use one of a number of online diet diary calculators. Most of us get fat because we lose awareness and control over what we eat.
Check the scale regularly, one to three times weekly.
If you begin an exercise routine, keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat; with added muscle, the body tends to have higher metabolism and burn calories more efficiently. Do not get discouraged because the scale does not reflect weight loss. Instead, use a tape measure to measure your abdomen, arms and thighs and track your progress that way.
Adequate sleep is vitally important to any weight loss program. One of the reasons we eat so much is because we are chronically tired and we learn to use food as a temporary metabolic stimulant. I think this is one of the biggest reasons many people are over their healthy weight.
On the other hand, make it a habit to get at least 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a day. Gardening, by the way, is fabulous exercise. Find ways to get more movement in your life such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator. Consider listening to audiobooks while exercising, jogging or walking.
Triphala and Garcinia
Triphala and Garcinia cambogia are traditional and the best supplements to use for weight loss and weight maintenance. I’ve put these two herbs together in Planetary Formulas’ Triphala-Garcinia Program. I know the research doesn’t support the extravagant weight loss claims attributed to the use of garcinia, but taking three 1300 mg tablets of this formula along with an 8-ounce glass of water a three times a day, a half hour before meals is an effective supplement when accompanied with a comprehensive dieting and lifestyle program.
Among Triphala’s myriad uses as a key treatment in Ayurvedic medicine is weight regulation through whole body detoxification. Triphala, comprised of three fruits, amla (Terminalia emblica), haritaki (Chebulic myrobalan) and bibhitaki (Beleric myroblan). Each fruit corresponds to each of the three doshas or humours of the body, harmonizing, detoxifying and eliminating all excesses in a balanced way. It is the most effective herbal antioxidant and among its many uses, it optimizes digestion, assists liver detoxification, prevents accumulation of fatty deposits throughout the body including the circulatory system, and normalizes bowel function with no dependency.
Garcinia inhibits the liver enzyme that turns carbohydrates into fat. It also quells hunger.
The basic strategy for the use of herbs for weight loss is to help digestion and promote detoxification. Additionally, many overweight people have an underactive thyroid gland, which causes low metabolism. Because of its iodine content, kelp or bladderwrack provide the essential nutrients necessary for the production of thyroid hormone. These are all found in Planetary’s Triphala-Garcinia Program.
Kichari: An Ideal Food for Balanced Weight Management
Kichari is an ideal food for all healing and is especially useful for promoting balanced weight loss, treatment of insulin resistance, Syndrome X and diabetes. It makes an ideal food consumed occasionally or as a mono-diet over extended periods of time.
Kichari, commonly known as "mung dahl" in Indian restaurants basically consists of split yellow mung beans and white basmati rice cooked with the three basic spices of turmeric, cumin and coriander, rock salt and ghee or clarified butter.
This basic recipe can be served alone or with the addition of complementary spices such as asafetida, and various vegetables to make a stew. As such the combination of carbohydrate and beans make a complete protein with which the addition of ghee and spices are easily digested.
For much more on kichari, plus multiple recipes, please see my previous blog:
High-Protein Breakfast Smoothie
I often like to start the day with a breakfast smoothie using 1 cup of whole or non-fat milk (lower calories), or a nut milk such as almond milk.
Next I add a protein- vegetable- and fruit-rich powder. Often, I use two scoops of Orac’s Protein and Greens which contains 17 grams of pea protein. To this I add:
6 walnut halves
1 teaspoon of bee pollen
1 tablespoon of brewer’s yeast
Berries, frozen or fresh
Perhaps an occasional mango
For digestion and metabolic warmth I might add ½ teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
Starting the day off with this high-energy superfood will usually satisfy all my hunger urges for a half-day or more.
The next two meals might consist of a bowl of kichari.
Be sure to register for the weight loss webinar on Oct. 1 where I will present traditional natural approaches to weight management based on ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and modern naturopathic approaches!