Natural Weight Loss Diet

One of the main causes of weight gain is dieting. Dieting makes you fat. As you reduce your food intake to lose weight, your body put itself on 'famine alert'. It gets the impression that food is scarce and therefore it slows down your metabolism to get the best use of the small amount of food it is receiving.

When you say you want to lose weight, what you actually want to lose is fat. If you lose weight rapidly, almost 25 percent of that weight loss can be made up of water, muscle and other lean tissue.

The reason for this is that your body is actually programmed to hold on to fat. So in times of what your body considers to be a 'famine', it will actually go as far as breaking down muscle and losing water in order to hold on to its fat reserves. Faddy diets suggest that you can lose up to 10 pounds in a week, but remember this: it is physically impossible to lose more than 900g (2lb) of body fat in a week.

Furthermore, if you lose weight quickly by restricting your intake and then go back to food eating normally, a much higher percentage of the food you eat is laid down as fat. Why? Because your body wants to build up extra fat stores, in case this type of famine occurs again. There's also the question of metabolism. When you crash diet, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy and make the most out of the small amounts you are eating. What happens when you go back to eating normally? Well, everything you eat is being dealt with at a much slower rate and more fat is stored.

Researchers have found that fat and thin people can eat roughly the same number of calories, but it seems that the type of food they are eating is different.

There is a very popular theory that goes something like: too much fat makes you fat. This may be right in principle (large amounts of saturated fat in the diet are not healthy), but it's important to remember that some fats are absolutely essential, hence their name: essential fatty acids.

The result of this theory is that women go on low-fat and no-fat diets, which are dangerous. Furthermore, no-fat and low-fat food tends to be high in sugar and salt, which is required to make it palatable. This is the type of thing that makes you fat. In fact, it's sugar and other foods that are 'fast-releasing' that will encourage weight gain, and here's why:

The speed with which a food increases blood sugar (in other words, whether it is 'fast-releasing' or 'slow-releasing') determines whether or not it will cause you to gain weight. If your blood sugar levels rise very quickly your body has to secrete more insulin in order to control it.

Every time you eat, your body has a choice: it can either burn that food as energy or store it as fat. Researchers have found that high insulin levels cause you not only to change your food into fat, but they also prevent your body from breaking down previously stored fat.

These fast-releasing foods include anything that contains sugar and refined flour, such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, and other 'treats'.

If you crave sweet or starchy foods, feel tired during the afternoon, light-headed, dizzy or shaky if you miss a meal or wake up feeling tired after a full night's sleep, then your blood sugar levels are probably fluctuating too much.

Follow the recommendations from the nutrition section. In particular, reduce or eliminate foods made with white flour or white sugar, and avoid refined foods where the fiber and goodness has been stripped away. These are 'fast-releasing' , and can have detrimental effects on blood sugar and then your weight.

Cut out all sugar and artificial sweeteners. You will have to become a label reader because sugar can be added to almost anything, including savory foods such as baked beans, tomato ketchup, and even bread. In order to make sugar content appear lower, manufacturers list all the different types of sugar separately (look for words ending in -ose, such as fructose, glucose and sucrose). Don't be fooled. They all have relatively the same effects on our bodies.

A very simple tip to help with weight loss is to chew well and to take your time when eating. It takes your brain 20 minutes to register that you are full, so if you eat more slowly, you will actually want to eat less.


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