The Perfect Diet

By Reliv Product Marketing Specialist Tina Van Horn

healthy food

Do you have some weight to lose? If so, you aren’t alone. Most of us do! According to the World Health European Organisation, worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980 with up to 600 million adults affected in 2014.

Change Your Lifestyle

Changing this trend is a monumental task. Massive public health campaigns have fallen short of curbing our intake of unhealthy foods and motivating people to exercise. Most private medical professionals lack the time and resources to educate individual patients regarding weight loss. Information conveyed by various media sources contains conflicting information that further complicates a subject that has been completely flooded with self-serving propaganda from the food industry. Filtering through all of these messages to find individual solutions to weight loss is a never-ending process.

Despite advances in nutrition science that have improved our understanding of weight management and metabolic health, confusion persists. The diversity of the genetic makeup of humans, compounded by epigenetic (lifestyle) choices that further differentiate us as individuals, explains why most “diets” are not realistic or effective. Is it any wonder why almost no one, including most of the experts, can agree as to what
constitutes your ideal diet?

Here’s a thought — let’s just forget the whole “diet” idea. A diet is something you do short term in order to lose a few pounds and then return to your old eating habits (and gain all the weight back). So if your goal is to have a long, healthy life, you may want to consider long-term lifestyle changes. Rather than trying to change everything all at once, make small, manageable and sustainable changes that improve eating habits over time. Yes, it takes more work and awareness than current eating habits, but change doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by choice.

No-No List

Making healthier food choices does require discipline, but it isn’t about perfection — any nutrition plan which requires perfection is going to be impossible to sustain in the long run. That said, to experience successful weight management, you should try to avoid the following most (80% – 90%) of the time:

Processed Foods: Convenient, but you pay for that convenience with chemical additives, trans fats, salts and refined sugars.

Refined Foods: Refined flours, sugars (high-fructose, white, brown, and the rest) and trans fats. Ingredient labels are a wealth of information about the source of nutrients in your foods.

Alcohol: The body metabolises alcohol the same way it does sugar.

Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Juice Drinks: Soda is liquid sugar, diet soda is loaded with artificial sweeteners and fruit juices often contain added sugars. These are empty calories that often trigger cravings and are not ideal sources of hydration.

Focus on Better Choices

A preferred approach to making dietary changes is to focus on the better choices and use them to “crowd out” the things you want to avoid. Fill your plate with the following suggestions and you will not only feel better, but look better too.

Whole Foods: These have been minimally processed. Shop the perimeter of the super market where you will find foods closer to their original form in nature.

Lean Protein: Every cell in your body needs protein to function properly and repair damage. Dietary protein is needed to build lean muscle, which may help with weight loss. Protein is digested more slowly than most carbohydrates, so it also helps curb hunger. Meat (leaner cuts), milk, fish, soy, eggs, beans, and legumes are excellent sources of protein.

Healthy Fats: Not all forms of fat are “bad” for you. Fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, eggs, avocados, and coconut oil are considered “good fats.” Fats supply your body with energy and provide storage spots for energy in the body. The essential fatty acids in fats also play a role in brain development, blood clotting and managing inflammation.

Natural Sugars and Complex Carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables and whole grains (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.) are natural sources of carbohydrates that provide your energy needs. These carbs are preferred because they are combined with fibre that slows down their absorption and may help minimise blood sugar spikes. These also contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other necessary micronutrients.

High-Quality Nutritional Products: Even when you are doing the best you can and making good choices, nutritional gaps still happen. Fill those gaps with Reliv’s line of high-quality nutritional products.

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