It seems daunting to "process" your diet or cut down on your intake of highly processed and packaged foods, but this is one of the most important steps you can take for your health and weight. This includes a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, as well as a significant reduction in body fat.
At Motivation, we strongly believe that the problem is not that we are simply overeating, but rather that we are more likely to be eating the wrong kind of food. Not all calories are created equal – the calories in an avocado don't behave like those in a can of Coke. We also know that certain foods that we eat in large quantities actually make us hungrier. Read more here.
We know that highly refined and processed foods have infiltrated our supermarkets, and this has contributed to the global obesity epidemic we are facing. This has led to chronic inflammation and life-threatening diseases. We may have had more choices on our supermarket shelves since the 1990s, but unfortunately the quality of this food has seriously deteriorated. It's time. Time to regain control and "unwork" your diet.
Start by moving away from processed carbohydrates
The reality is that most of the carbohydrates we are exposed to today – foods like pastries, breads, muffins, cakes (even rice cakes), cookies, bagels, and chips – are extremely refined and processed. They have been stripped of most of the fiber and pumped full of sugar. But shockingly, they have become a daily staple for so many of us and for our children.
It's my fault too – I regularly put bagels in their lunch boxes for my kids. I don't want to sound extreme or alarming, but this affects the immune system. As I write this, it is a reminder for me to step back from bagels and go back to whole wheat bread. No, my kids don't have a weight problem, and yes they do need energy, but not from refined, processed sources that nature didn't intend.
However, it's everywhere and it's getting harder and harder to resist which is a little intimidating. Now when we walk into a petrol station in Ireland, we are often greeted with a “coffee stand” selling pastries, donuts and muffins. That shocked me when I got a J1 visa in the US in the mid-1990s, but unfortunately we followed suit. How can we ever expect to fight the obesity epidemic when our environment is so overwhelming? "Obesogen". In other words, it's an almost fat promoting environment where it's a lot easier to be overweight than it is to be slim.
Become more conscious and take back your strength
We don't have to be passive consumers who don't think and automatically react to clever advertising and marketing tricks that trick us into buying and then continuing to buy. We need to take back our power and make choices that better serve our health. You can start by choosing foods that don't have a long list of ingredients. Start with the vegetable section, then switch to meat, nuts, and legumes. You are already on the right track. It's not that complicated. But it is not easy either, because temptation is everywhere.
I am becoming more conscious of myself today (I admit it is sometimes a process of bringing us back again and again, but that's okay). Today I make a pact with my husband that we won't buy the bagels and muffins and white baguettes for our children's lunch boxes, but go for whole grain or brown versions, such as brown pittas and whole grain slice sambos. Also, for a long time last year we only offered our kids Weetabix or porridge (both unprocessed carbs, still in their whole state), but I've noticed Cornflakes, Special K and Rice Krispies creeping back in. Demon foods, however, offer little nutritionally and, as we now know, can cause inflammation if eaten regularly.
Armed with a new consciousness, we are in control of our health. And this is the attitude we encourage our customers to take when they start their weight loss program:
- We ask them to clean their closets of processed carbohydrates.
- We also suggest they develop new habits, such as avoiding that gas station on a hungry drive home from work.
- We remind them to always have a healthy, protein-rich snack on hand (and only 3-4 hours between snacks and meals to allow blood sugar to stabilize).
This means it will be easier to make a good decision than reaching for a pastry or chocolate bar to "fix" low blood sugar. We work with our clients as coaches to help them make better decisions in this obese environment where refined high-sugar carbohydrates are always on hand. To learn more about how this coaching relationship works, read more here.
Inflammation is the way the body defends and repairs itself. However, it's supposed to be a short-lived process (like the swollen ankle when we sprain it). However, it becomes a real health threat once it is long standing and unresolved. This is known as "chronic inflammation". It is what takes place in so many of our bodies as a result of our modern life and the choices we make. Our lifestyle sends out stress signals, which basically trigger our body's defense systems and thereby endanger our health. This leads to all kinds of diseases like Type II diabetes as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's (read our blog '10 Steps To Prevent Alzheimer's' here: https: // motivation .ie / top-tips / 10-steps-to-prevent-alzheimer's-disease /
Instead, we recommend a diet that will help you lose weight and reduce inflammation. This is one that relies on whole "real food" ingredients that our parents and grandparents ate. Meat, fish (especially oily varieties), lots of vegetables (especially green), eggs, nuts, seeds, some fruit, some whole grain rice and legumes such as chickpeas and red kidney beans. These foods help keep us full and reduce inflammation. We now know that even low rates of inflammation can lead to disease on a chronic basis. So it is time to do something about it. We can show you how to eat an unprocessed diet in ways that will dramatically improve your health and waistline. Contact us today.
To learn more about healthier carbohydrates, choose: Download our free reportThe truth about carbohydrates: the good, the bad, and the ugly here.