The hardest part of changing your lifestyle is getting started. Often, we spend our time prepping for a lifestyle change – Why is that? We don’t realize that we set our set up to fail by making our goals unrealistic. Goals don’t have to be anything more than simply starting the journey. Slow and steady wins the race and is the best way to achieve success when it comes to a healthy lifestyle change.
You may heard of the new raw food diet trend that celebrities like Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow are on and are curious on what it means or how it is good for the body. The raw food diet, or clean eating is a fairly simple concept; instead of obsessing over ingesting less or more of particular things (like fewer calories or more protein) you are more aware of the origin of the food that goes on your plate. Cleaning eating is about consuming whole foods, or “real” foods which are “un” or minimally processed, refined, and handled making them as close to natural as you possible. The production of modern food has become so complicated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenge.
Let’s start by defining processed foods:
> Additives of any kind – like salt, sugar, fat to aid flavor and mouthfeel, preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly, and vitamins enriching everything from beverages to breakfast cereal.
> Changing the form of the natural food – removing the bran and germ from whole grains to create refined bread, mashing apples into applesauce, or stir-frying veggies.
> Foods with parts manufactured in a lab.
You probably just realized that processed foods are everywhere from the oatmeal you consume in the morning to the hotdog you grab on your lunch break from that food vendor. And yes, changing the form of natural food includes cooking as well, so even your steamed broccoli is technically processed.
That being the case, why is processing food bad?
It’s not. Or rather, not categorically. Most time processing removes toxins or bacteria; allowing off-season foods to be consume due to freezing or canning. It also includes altering the consistency or taste of food. Yes, that post-workout spiced banana-almond smoothie is processed, even when you add kale and spinach to it. Though pasteurized milk, kale smoothies, and instant oatmeal are process they are not on the same level as honey buns and soda.
Process food is apart of modern diet, but the key is to stay away ‘ultra-processed’; anything food-like product or ready-to-heat.
The problem with ultra-processed foods are they are typical genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
GMOs are linked to cancer and infertility because ultra-processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health. Heavily modified foods are linked to a list of health problems because they tend to have additive that overstimulate the dopamine (pleasure neurotransmitter) produced in your brain causing a vicious cycle of craving junk food. The danger is that ultra-processed foods are marketed in a way that makes it seem good for you (less sodium! no trans fats! vitamin-enriched!) but are more damaging to your health.
> Unprocessed foods:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried legumes
- Farm-fresh eggs
> Minimally processed foods:
- Unrefined grains: whole wheat bread, pasta, popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed
- Hormone-free dairy
Why Eat Clean
Plant-based diets are healthy and can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are linked to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair.
Stick to the perimeter of your grocery store, processed food lurks in the aisles in between. When you are approaching those aisle ask yourself critical questions like: Where did this food or its ingredients come from? How much has it been processed or handled?
The ingredient label should be short, and all ingredients should be recognizable. Scan for easy-to-avoid additives like artificial coloring and flavors. Eating clean (raw) doesn’t mean you need to eat everything straight from the ground; just choose minimally processed foods.
Despite the health conscious movement, people are become less active; whether it’s sitting down at work or sitting down in front of the television, most Americans are not getting enough physical activity. The westernize way of life creates sedentary habits and more than 50 million Americans are at risk of developing health problems associated with it. The main way to avoid the hazards of sedentary lifestyle is a dose of physical activity. Here are some reasons why:
- Those who are physically inactive have an increased risk of colon and breast cancer. A study showed a 40% decrease in cancer mortality in persons who were physically active compared to those who were inactive.
- Physical activity helps prevent insulin resistance, the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes. A recent study reported that for every 2 hours that TV the risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 14%.
- Regular physical activity reduces the risk of dementia in old age. It’s reported that it’s a 50% reduction for persons who maintained regular routine of physical activity
- Highest rate of heart attacks are found in people with sedentary lifestyle by being active 3 hours or more per week you cut the risk of heart attack in half.
- Lack of physical activity increases the loss of lean muscle tissue, making activities of daily living (dressing and bathing) and instrumental activities of daily living (grocery shopping, performing transfers) much more difficult to perform. Loss of vital lean muscle tissue also makes it more difficult to maintain body weight.
- Bone loss progresses much faster in people who live sedentary lifestyle because bones require regular exercise to maintain mineral content and strength
- People who live inactive lifestyle are more likely to suffer from depression. Physical activity is a good way to reduce mood swings and helps a person maintain a sense of emotional well being.
- Lack of regular physical activity are more likely to gain excess weight. An hour of walking daily cut the risk of obesity by 24%.
- Physical activity increase efficiency of the immune system, which helps ward off various disease and illnesses such as colds and the flu.
One out of every five children in the United States is overweight or obese and this number only continues to rise. Naturally, children are prone to have far few health and medical problems than adults, however, overweight children are at a higher risk of being overweight adolescents and adults. They risk developing chronic disease like heart diseases and diabetes. They are also more likely to struggle with stress, sadness, and poor self-esteem.
Causes of Childhood Obesity:
Commonly a lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two. It is rare that childhood obesity is caused by a medical conditional and it can be ruled out with a simple physical exam can rule it out. Though weight problems can be genetic, not all children with a family history of obesity will be obese, their risk just increase. It normally has to do with shared family diet and lifestyle.
Inactive lifestyle is the major role in determining a child’s weight. Today, the average child spends four hours in front of a television, and now that computers and video games are becoming the forefront of entertainment, the hours of inactivity have increased.
Risk of Childhood Obesity:
High blood pressure
Early heart disease
Skin conditions such as heat rash, fungal infections, and acne
Detection of Childhood Obesity:
The family doctor will notify if your child is overweight. Your child height, weight, and BMI (body mass index) will be compared to standard values and if they suffer from childhood obesity your doctor will consider also your child’s age and growth pattern when coming up a unique weight loss solution for them.
Aid of Childhood Obesity:
If you discover your child suffers from childhood obesity, you must be supportive. How children feel about themselves is directly related to how their parents feel them. Having a open line of communication where your child can here the importance of weight, but also where they can discuss their concerns is key.
Isolation of your child can be detrimental to your child confidence, so focus on changing family activities that engage them physically. A change of diet and lifestyle habits will teach the whole family a healthier lifestyle the overweight child won’t feel singled out or alone.
Engaging Family in Healthful Habits:
Increasing the family’s engagement of physical activity is important. Here are some ways to accomplish this:
- Lead by example. If your children see that you are physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active and stay active for the rest of their lives.
- Plan family activities that provide everyone with exercise, like walking, biking, or swimming.
- Be sensitive to your child’s needs. Overweight children may feel uncomfortable about participating in certain activities. It is important to help your child find physical activities that they enjoy and that aren’t embarrassing or too difficult.
- Make an effort to reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities.
A unique weight loss has a lot of physical benefits, but it also has quite a few mental benefits. A healthy body produces a healthy mind.
You have every reason in the world to approve your weight – add mental health to the list! Weight loss is a confident booster; winning the battle with your BMI (Body Mass Index) or breaking that unhealthy relationship with food is fulfilling and mentally freeing. Let’s explore the reasons improving your physical health can improve your mental health.
You gain self confidence which means no more pinching at problem areas in disgust. No more body shaming at the beach or pool. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have the body you want, but that you are comfortable with it. It comfortability creates a healthy body-image of self, a realistic one.
- Endorphins!! Working out makes your brain happy! Exercise puts you in an amazing mood and in your amazingly new body. You will experience new highs of happiness…exercise high that is.
- Ending that toxic relationship you have with food will put you in good spirits. Food can be a crutch and can create a vicious cycle of consuming to feel better then feeling and looking worse because you consumed. “Comfort Food” is a friend to none, especially when you gorge based on your stress levels.
- While on the topic of relationship, people who battle with weight tend to opt out of relationships. Adopting a healthier lifestyle will create the confidence needed to go out in large groups and/or dates. And just like that, your social calendar is completely booked.
- A sense of accomplishment — you look good because you made yourself look good! Through exercise and discipline you achieved a goal that you set. Achievement is an emotional superfood.
Weight loss is a mental gain that improves your social life, your confidence and, above all, yourself. What an unique weight loss?!