Ditch the Additives, Ditch the Weight

By now it’s obvious that we believe whole, unprocessed foods to be an integral part of a healthy diet, but here’s another reason to ditch the packaged foods-even those that claim to be ‘diet’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘low in fat’: it seems that additives and food enhancers so common in these products actually are making us fat, not to mention causing a wide range of health problems. Yep, it’s true. And many of these additives, because they can be manufactured from natural products, slip right under the radar and into many ‘health’ foods that claim ‘all natural’ status. So make a list of the following names and scan the ingredients of your favorite foods for likely offenders-or better yet, skip buying anything with an ingredient list that you can’t pronounce. When it comes to food, simpler is most often better!

MSG: Ah, this one has been on the offenders list for years, primarily for giving people headaches, but this flavor enhancer, the most popular in the world, is now suspected to cause weight gain, according to scientists. Mono Sodium Glutamate has been shown to cause obesity in lab rats by damaging the appetite regulation center located in the hypothalamus area of the brain, thus causing resistance to Leptin, the hormone that tells us how much to eat. It’s a pretty good bet that if something has MSG in it, it probably is not very good for you, as MSG is typically used to make unpalatable foods more appealing-it does this by releasing more dopamine into the brain, tricking you into a sense of well-being. Besides weight gain, MSG is also thought to cause a rash of other problems including liver inflammation. Since MSG is a natural substance, it can be snuck into many foods you wouldn’t think would have it and this practice is condoned by the FDA-it pays to read the labels. Other names MSG goes by in food products- hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, plant protein extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured whey protein, and textured soy protein, spice, and yes, even the words natural flavor.

Aspartame: This is one sugar substitute that is surprisingly still found in everything from chewing gum to diet sodas. Like MSG, Aspartame is an excitotoxin, meaning that it causes the brain’s neurons to be overexcited, causing early cellular death. It is suspected of causing weight gain by destabilizing blood sugar, making us crave sweets, and making us retain water and look bloated. Of course, that’s not all- the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a list of 61 reported adverse reactions including: chest pains,depression asthma, arthritis, migraine headaches, insomnia, seizures, tremors, and dizziness. Time to ditch the diet soda along with the full sugar versions.

Pesticides: Along with chemicals in our detergents and plastics, the pesticide residue on our fruits and vegetables-as well as on the corn used in many packaged products and in high fructose corn syrup-is now being studied and tested with the preliminary theory that it is causing the rapid weight gain seen in the last twenty years. Many pesticides end up in our liver, disrupting the function of our metabolism and endocrine system, especially our thyroids and many mimic hormones that cause the body to gain weight and/or increase appetite. While eating organic is more expensive, the health benefits are numerous-organic food contains more vitamins and minerals than conventional food.

Bust Out Of The Diet Rut

Healthy eating can become a boring rut if your not careful. Your body becomes accustomed to the same foods you put in your system so putting new twists on eating right can keep you on your toes.

Here are some ideas to try:

Shake up your routine. If spaghetti with meatballs is the Friday night dish for your family tweak the recipe and serve spaghetti squash with mushrooms followed by iced peach smoothies.

Find the winters farmers market if that is the season. You love the summer farmers markets but you can still find some great produce at the winter markets and they are becoming more available.

Just like a relationships your diet falls into cycles, good habits and bad habits. Having an unvaried menu can lead to choices like the candy bar from the vending machine at two o clock in the afternoon. Opt for organic snacks, yes you will spend more money on them but the vending machine wont be part of the drill anymore. Go to a you-pick-it farm get some exercise and some apples to boot!

A few new recipes, an open mind to trying different foods, and bit of education will break the diet rut. Nobody wants to be stuck in one. You can free yourself from the ditch with small modifications. Don’t use mayonnaise when you make a sandwich. Switch to whole grain products, even pastas, crackers and cereal are available now in whole grain. Try a unique fruit or cheese you have never tried before. Pay attention to what works for you, and please send some of those tips to us.

Re-fashioning your foods will bring new things to your life. You will become a more interesting person.You are what you eat, if your food is interesting so are you. The knowledge you gain will give you an edge. Diet is a dreaded word, you think reduce, eat sparingly and depriving yourself. Dropping a few pounds can be a gratifying bonus to being out of the trench. Little tips like adding a slice of cucumber or lemon to a glass of water can be slimming. Try a tea tree tooth pick when you just have the munchies and truly don’t need to eat. Remember,” Variety is the spice of Life!” Take a few of these tips and climb out of the rut!

Ditch the Diet – Choose Health Today

Diets don’t work. Do these words surprise you? Depress you? Make you want to throw up your hands and eat a box of Twinkies out of sheer frustration?

It’s no wonder so many people who embark on traditional diets give up after only a few days or weeks without experiencing the results they so desperately want. Most weight loss programs require you to change a large number of deeply ingrained habits, give up your favorite foods and/or count calories, points, carbs, etc., until the entire joy of eating is gone! This approach generally results in participants feeling deprived and poorly equipped to permanently adopt healthier behaviors. Eventually, many dieters give in to their cravings and are left with an overwhelming sense of failure.

So, if diets don’t work, what does?

Experiencing the essence of what you want right now by choosing to BE healthy with a non-diet approach!

Identifying what “being healthy” means to you is an important and powerful step in achieving your goals. For example, do you want to be more active? Have more fun with your kids? Spend some time in nature each day?

You can transform your dreams into reality by using the BE-DO-HAVE model. This is a shift from the old HAVE-DO-BE paradigm many of us were raised with, where our desired state of being, such as happiness or vibrant health, hinges on what we have or don’t have. For example, if only I had money, I could join a gym and lose this excess weight…and then I’d be happy. If only I wasn’t overweight, I could play volleyball…and then I’d be healthy.

The trouble with this old way of thinking is it ties our sense of well-being and accomplishment to a set of external circumstances outside ourselves, rather than linking them to our inner thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, which we can change to improve our lives and create the outcomes we want. Diets don’t work, because they start DOING before embarking on the intention and commitment involved in the BEING stage of the process.

Reality is actually the reverse of the old paradigm. Under the BE-DO-HAVE model, BE comes first. BE is nothing more than energetic reality – you can choose and shape it at will. When you decide what you want to BE, you take control of your life by identifying what you want your reality to look like and giving yourself a clear picture of the goal you are working to achieve. If you want to release weight, first decide to BE healthy. Then act as if you’ve already achieved your intention. Support your desired state of BEING with positive behaviors, such as visualization and guided imagery, that reinforce your goal.

Once you’ve determined what you want to BE, the next step is to DO things that are congruent with your desired outcome. For example, to BE healthy, DO activities that health-conscious individuals engage in, such as exercising regularly, eating appropriate portion sizes, being mindful, and getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

Keep in mind that using a non-dieting approach means foods are neither good nor bad, just as you are neither good nor bad for eating them. The key is choosing what you eat mindfully and with joy in every bite. If you want a piece of cheesecake, go ahead and enjoy it – provided you’ve made a conscious decision to eat it.

When you act consistently with your desires, you ultimately transform them from energetic reality (BEING) into physical reality (HAVING). This approach is about choosing activities and behaviors that are aligned with what you want. You, not some frustrating set of external circumstances, are in the driver’s seat. The more congruent your actions are with your desired state of BEING, the more quickly you will see your life transform.

You can, once and for all, throw dieting out the window and achieve your perfect healthy body. As you begin to experience success, your confidence will soar, and you will feel a heightened sense of joy and well-being. So forget dieting. Allow the BE-DO-HAVE model to help you create the life you truly want.