Weight Loss v Healthy Eating

strawberries 2012Healthy eating should not be confused with losing weight although they often go hand in hand. Many individuals make the mistake of cutting back on calories without any thought as to whether the food they are eating is nutritious.  Many a time I have heard someone say they had a chocolate bar and a bag of crisps for lunch as they contained fewer calories than a traditional meal. We need to think about the vitamin and mineral content of foods to asses whether they are good for us.  This doesn’t mean we have to be experts about the content of every piece of food we eat but just to stop and think whether a chocolate bar for instance is likely to contain any health properties. So it is often the types of foods we are eating rather than the quantity. (although this could be a problem too!)

For instance it is a fallacy that we need added sugar in our diets. Sugar became fashionable in the 15th century when it was seen as a luxury that only the rich could afford.  To have lost a tooth to excess sugar became a sign of wealth! Our modern day diets are often full of unnecessary sugar – any foods that are pre prepared usually have added sugars to improve the taste.  Likewise cakes, biscuits, breads and sweets all contain sugar that we don’t need.  If we eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, balanced with the correct amount of unrefined carbohydrates then the body will consume sufficient sugar for its needs.

Refined foods are also to be avoided – these are foods such as white bread, white sugar, white pasta, white flour, white rice – in fact anything that has been processed.   Most of these foods have had the nutritious bits taken out and thrown away. If we think of food as fuel and medicine then many of the modern day’s products which we consume would not even be considered.

We all need to change the way we view food which also includes its preparation. We need to make time to prepare nutritious foods not just buy something that has been made by in a factory in bulk. We find time to watch the TV or go on Facebook but often say that we have no time to prepare food. A lot of healthy, nutritious meals can be prepared in half an hour – it just takes some thought to make sure you have the right ingredients.

Often eating more nutritious foods will lead to weight loss if it is needed.  I had fruit againa client recently who reported that she lost two stone after I made just a few changes to her diet.  It wasn’t why she first came to me but the type of food she eating was making her ill.  By changing to more natural foods the weight just fell off.

We are bombarded by what we should and shouldn’t eat so that many of us are confused as to what is right and wrong. It is good to remember that products being sold which claim a certain health benefit are being sold commercially for profit – they are hardly going to tell you that they have no impact whatsoever! A classic case of this is no added sugar products – they often contain unnatural sweeteners instead such as aspartame which has been linked to many modern day health problems such as fibromyalgia, cancer and Parkinson disease.

Eating nutritious food is so important to our health – it should not be an option but a necessity. Changing what we eat on a long term basis will have a huge impact on general health both now and into the future.

 

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