The good news is that you don't need a diet program to tell you how to lose weight. We have really complicated life by allowing ourselves to be sucked into the general “diet” beliefs, such as counting calories to lose weight, low-fat foods to lose weight, sugar-free foods to lose weight – the list goes on. But all you really need to know to lose weight naturally and effortlessly is what foods to eat, what exercise to do, and how to change the way you think about food.
What food should you eat to lose weight?
I once went on a 3 month natural raw food diet. The only cooked food I ate was a little feta cheese and chickpeas. I lost a lot of weight and felt really good! It was so liberating being on this raw food diet, because I stopped thinking about dieting and losing weight, and just ate whatever I wanted – as long as it was raw and natural. I can say quite comfortably, that you can eat the following in any amount whatsoever, as long as you stick to what's on this list – the rule of thumb is that it simply has to be any unprocessed, unrefined food, so I may have left off a few foods, but be your own judge.
Food combining (not eating specific foods together) also works well, because it ensures fast digestion, which influences weight loss.
But the most important aspect to losing weight naturally, is to eat what God intended the human body to consume – natural, whole foods free of additives and other toxins. In other words, the best foods to eat are those which rot in a couple of days. This of course, does not include tinned veggies which can last for years! Please understand that if something has a long shelf-life, you have to ask yourself what's been added to it to make it last!
Here is a list of what's good for your body, and which will help you lose weight almost automatically:
Gem squash, peas, corn, onion, garlic, broccoli, baby marrows (zucchini), cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, peppers, carrots, butternut, pumpkin, pattie pans, baby gems, rhubarb, asparagus, mushrooms, artichokes, beetroot, celery, collard greens, spinach, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger, green beans, kale, leeks, spring onions, lettuce, olives, tomatoes
Dill, fennel, rocket, parsley, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme
Nuts: (must be raw, never salted)
Almonds, cashews, macadamias, brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts
Seeds: (must be raw, never salted)
Flax seeds (preferably crushed or the body cannot make use fully of all their goodness), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
Figs, grapefruit, naartjies, apples, lemons, grapes, kiwis, limes, oranges, papayas, pears, pineapples, cherries, plums, prunes, raisins, mango, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, bananas, apricots, peaches, cranberries
Cold pressed olive oil, cold pressed sunflower oil, cold pressed flax seed oil, hemp seed oil
All herbal teas – check that nothing processed has been added (like flavourants)
Honey, stevia, agave syrup, xylitol
Sweet potatoes, brown rice, unrefined oats, potatoes
Beans and legumes:
Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soybeans
Use sparingly, if at all:
Meat, chicken, fish, dressings, sauces, butter, cow's milk, cheese
Do not use:
All processed foods (sweets, savoury snacks, chips, cereal bars, white bread, white flour, fatty meats, processed meats, margarines, artificial sweeteners (aspartame)
What exercise should you be doing to lose weight?
Different exercises do different things for the body. Ideally, you need a combination of cardio (anything that makes your heart beat faster), as well as weights and stretching. You should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, and you should be exerting your body in these exercises, which means a bit of heavy breathing and perspiration!
Changing the way you think about food:
This is key for permanent weight loss. Food needs to be thought of as necessary for survival. It should not be used to fulfil an emptiness inside, or as entertainment when bored, or for comfort. As I mentioned, I went on a 3 month raw food diet, but I had not addressed the way I related to food, so when I ended the raw food diet, I put on all the weight I had lost, and more. Without addressing this vital aspect, you are not likely to lose weight permanently.
Once you have grasped the simplicity of eating for nutritional value, together with portion control, your life will be made far more simple and instead of counting calories for each meal, you can begin to start living your life and doing far more important things than measuring fat grams!