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Healthy weight loss can be achieved by taking a scientific approach instead of faddy diets.

Updated on September 27, 2016
Scientific analysis of foodstuff
Scientific analysis of foodstuff
Delicious non fattening foods
Delicious non fattening foods
Ideal result
Ideal result


I’m sure we have all heard the old excuses for being overweight – “It’s my glands”, “I’m just big boned”, “I really eat hardly anything”. Equally we have heard the remedies “Eat less”, “you need more exercise”, and so on.


OK, let’s firstly examine why you are overweight. The undeniable fact is that your food intake does not match your body’s metabolism. In most cases this is true but you must accept this is not necessarily your fault. Not only the type of food you eat, or the quantity has a bearing but the rate at which your individual body metabolises this food into energy or fat.


Nature has decreed that the human is an omnivore and our body, digestive system and energy demands are based on this fact. We are not herbivores and those of us who do not eat flesh do so, mainly, for moral reasons. They may feel that eating only natural vegetables and fruits will give them a healthy body, but sadly things aren’t that simple. By not eating flesh, which the body expects and demands, they are missing certain minerals, enzymes and vitamins essential for the smooth running of the system. Those in the know take supplements to counteract this, but often this is not the case or the types they take are haphazard or based on poor information. On the other extreme we are not carnivores and unhealthy diets of fried chicken, greasy burgers and hot dogs and chips will overload our system in trying to cope with them.


Vegetarians should find it difficult to gain weight by overeating, if we look at the amounts necessary to have an intake of 2000 calories you would have to eat, 13 pounds of Broccoli or 10 pounds of carrots or 30 pounds of lettuce or 16 pounds of cauliflower and so on – impossible amounts. On the other hand for omnivores to also have an intake of 2000 calories they would only need to eat, 1.25 pounds of cheese or 0.83 pounds of chocolate chip biscuits or 1.05 pounds of beef or 0.81 pounds of pork – still quite high amounts but when you add in fizzy drinks and sweets it’s very easy to exceed.


In addition the amount of fat carried is dictated by gender – on average the male carries 15% and the female 22%. This is simply dictated by our genes evolved back in the ice age when women carried more fat to sustain them through childbirth in times of shortage. There is an advantage to this insofar that women are protected by the additional fat against cardiovascular disease and suffer heart attacks and strokes only a third as often as men. This advantage lasts until menopause when some 5 to 10 years later the risk for men and women are similar. The rule used to determine obesity is a body fat of 23% for men and 32% for women.


So let’s accept that a balanced healthy diet of say roast chicken or oily fish, jacket potatoes and a green vegetable is a good start. We are one of the few specie that actively seeks out refined sugar and to our shame eats it to excess. Fruit, fruit sugars and honey is still sugar, essential for energy giving but, in excess, quickly turns to unhealthy fat. Honey is less of a problem but only in the sense that the pure varieties (not Chinese honey where the bees are fed on refined sugar syrup) contains certain useful enzymes and such honey as Manuka has antibiotic properties.


Now I don’t propose to start giving recipes, there are thousands of books that do that, but I will try and guide you as to how you can help your body achieve a healthy weight but still provide you with generous energy levels.


Firstly we need to identify what type of body you have. If you come from an overweight family there may be a genetic imbalance in the genes or perhaps they were all couch potatoes and ate an unhealthy diet of junk food. This is not your fault and you can rectify it.


Examine your diet and how and when you eat it. If you are constantly grabbing snacks on the move or skipping meals the body will protest. It has its own self-protection mechanism and will convert food to fat and store it for when it is starved. You need a good breakfast – no rushing out of the door with just a coffee. You must have a mix of protein, grain and fruit juice as a minimum – this will allow your body to function smoothly and burn the food as energy not store it as fat. A balanced light lunch with some fruit will set you up for the afternoon. If you must snack do so with a handful of nuts or dried fruit – but not too much unless you have an active job. Evening meal should not be hurried, again, something like a small steak with jacket potato again (do eat the skin it is full of nutrients and vitamins) and perhaps try broccoli (it really is full of everything you need). Please avoid fizzy drinks they are full of chemicals and vast amounts of sugar. Quality water or some fruit juice is good, but as a change try coconut water (not milk) it rehydrates superbly, contains no sugar and is so pure it is used as emergency plasma (particularly good if you are diabetic). Just one point, coconut water whilst brilliant is very high in potassium and can give abnormal blood test results.


The reason why some totally different diets work is as I mentioned before. Some people are better at metabolising protein and others carbohydrates. To be successful at losing weight and, more importantly, keeping it off, you need to discover your metabolic type. This can be done by visiting www.metabolictesting.com


For bodies that are defective in metabolising food into energy we need to look at what can be done to encourage and improve it.


Green Tea – Available in capsule form this product has similar fat burning properties to Hoodia (Hoodia Gordonii a cactus based plant, proven to work well but currently unavailable due to licencing problems – but may be available where you are). Trials carried out in Switzerland proved that taking Green Tea extract over a 10 week period resulted in significant and dramatic weight loss.


CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – Trials have shown use of this to result in an average of 20% reduction in body fat over a 3 month period. In addition it boosts lean muscle mass and increases muscle strength which is why it is also used by body builders. Its action regulates several enzymes used in fat metabolism including lipoprotein lipase which breaks down the fat globules in the blood while at the same time reducing the action of heparin releasable lipoprotein lipase which turns fat into fat cells. In other words it speeds up fat breakdown and blocks fat storage. Interestingly it prompts the body to use its fat reserves as energy. In CLA is a vitamin like nutrient called L-carnitine which controls how quickly the muscles can burn off fat. Sometimes this nutrient is available separately as a capsule.


Kombu – This is a sea vegetable which unlocks the nutritional value of other foods. It is very good for weight loss and has the added bonus of reducing cancer tumours, helping arthritis, high blood pressure, thrush, rheumatism, prostate and ovarian problems and water retention. It is available in supplement form but if you can get the vegetable, it works by cooking (1 hour for the Kombu) with beans which it will tenderise and make more digestible (as well as reducing flatulence).


Mineral supplements – The enzymes in our body need to be allied with certain minerals to function correctly. The primary mineral is Zinc but magnesium and copper are essential also. Do not, however, overdose on mineral supplements, the right amount is better than an excess. The actual amount will vary according to body weight but unless it has been diagnosed that you are suffering from a mineral deficiency stick to the RDA.


Vitamin supplements – basically a good quality multi-vitamin is a good starting point but for weight control we must ensure that we have an intake of vitamins B6, B3 and C.


Finally it is pointless getting a balanced diet if the body is not processing it correctly on a basic level. If you are suffering from on-going diarrhoea then the colon is not extracting enough water from the food and it is passing through the body too quickly for the nutrients to be properly adsorbed. If it has lasted more than a few days it should be checked by a doctor to ensure it is caused by nothing serious. If a simple irritation or stomach upset then try gentle massage of the tummy with massage oil made from Grapeseed carrier oil with Roman Camomile, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Neroli and Peppermint essential oils. With an attack of diarrhoea the greatest danger is dehydration. One of the best products to re-hydrate is coconut water mentioned above.


On the other hand if you are suffering from constipation, not only are you feeling sluggish and unwell but your colon is extracting too much water from the food resulting in hard, compacted waste. Again nutrients are not being adsorbed and toxins are starting to build up. To rectify this problem long-term massage of the tummy with a massage oil of sweet almond carrier oil with Marjoram, Rosemary with small additions of Black Pepper or Fennel essential oil. If it is to your taste several cups of Fennel tea would be helpful.


Obviously sufficient and suitable exercise plays a part in burning fat for energy but when replacing fat with muscle it will actually weigh more, so your body weight may not reduce but it will be more toned and appear slimmer.


Conclusion

When people talk about dieting you automatically think of cosmetic reasons when the most important is for health.

Not surprisingly dieters want the maximum weight loss in the minimum time and with the minimum effort.

The method detailed above helps to address both cosmetic and health and should result in weight loss but also health improvement..

© 2012 Peter Geekie

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    • luisj305 profile image

      luisj305 5 years ago from Florida

      Nice hub Peter, patience is the key for wieght loss.

    • Peter Geekie profile image
      Author

      Peter Geekie 5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear luisj305 - Thank you for your comment - yes I agree and confidence as well.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Lots of good suggestions for weight loss. Make changes to your diet slowly. Do not try and do it all at once.

    • Peter Geekie profile image
      Author

      Peter Geekie 5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Thank you Lipnancy - you are quite right crash diets are not only bad for the body but the weight is unlikely to stay off.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Healthyannie profile image

      Healthyannie 4 years ago from Spain

      Great hub about weight loss - it is really all about a balanced diet and better nutrition. Take care Annie

    • Peter Geekie profile image
      Author

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Healthyannie

      Thank you for your comment - our bodies, metabolic rates and digestive systems all vary so there is no one suitable diet.

      kind regards Peter

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