7 Principles of Weight Loss

The bulk of our food should be plant-based. Vegetables, cooked and raw, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds are all wonderfully nutritious foods which are nutrient- dense yet generally low in calories. They give us more bang for our buck.

Flesh foods, which are chicken, fish, red meat, milk, eggs, cheese and dairy foods, should be consumed minimally. It is recommended that these foods should account for no more than 4-5 meals per week, out of a possible 21. When eaten, they should be small serves (4 ounces), ambushed by liberal servings of cooked or raw vegetables (4-6 in number).

It is best to avoid dairy food altogether for the initial few weeks. Plain yoghurt if you must would be the best of a bad bunch.

Caffeine ( see article The Effects of Caffeine) and alcohol are best totally avoided for a few weeks as your metabolism gets back to normal. The same with refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white flour products and sweets (see document Nutritious Meal Suggestions).

2) Eat when hungry. This is obvious but misunderstood. Hunger is NOT an empty or rumbling stomach. It is a sensation in the mouth. True hunger is where we salivate. We could lick our lips we are that ready for food. DO NOT SNACK! The only time we should snack is if we are truly hungry.

3) Drink when thirsty and NOT with meals. Wait 45 minutes or drink 10 minutes before eating. Contrary to popular belief, we should not drink continually. In fact, the USA Track and Field has revised the earlier recommendation to drink continually by stating that that advice is now WRONG! This is because over hydration causes the blood to become too dilute. Sodium levels in the blood drop and this can cause life- threatening consequences. Many scientists have been very vocal in warning people of this hyponatremia( low blood sodium), including Dr David Martin at Georgia State University, Dr Heinz Valtin at Dartmouth Medical College and Dr Tim Noakes at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

4) Get more sleep and rest than you normally would. This is critical, even more important than exercising at this stage. Remember: TIRED PEOPLE RARELY LOSE WEIGHT! It has been discovered that sleep “deprived children (i.e. tired) are far more likely to be overweight than their energetic friends and it is not the extra weight that causes the initial fatigue, although this does have an effect on energy over time.

Over the years I have seen hundreds of tired, overweight patients lose considerable weight quickly, to their delighted surprise, when they rested more, exercised less and followed the no-stimulant, high-nutrient nutrition program. Most people are tired these days, particularly those carrying extra weight, so more rest means more energy and more energy means more weight loss. As energy increases, the next principle follows.

Slow down! Limit your commitments! Do a little less and do not feel guilty about this. When you are lighter, fitter and more energetic, you will be a pleasure to be around and life will be enjoyable. Then you will be able to add other commitments. It will all be worthwhile.

5) Exercise! Start with walking if you are sedentary. Aim for 4-5 walks of 20 minutes minimum and we build on that. Speed and distance increases as fitness improves and weight comes off. When ready, we then discuss other activities which burn fat, gain muscle and therefore improves shape, contour and appearance.

REMEMBER– When fatigued, do not exercise.

6) Guard your MIND! Be aware of negative thoughts, moods and attitudes. They creep in to all our minds at times but we must not entertain them. Acknowledge their entry and then evict them. Being aware of them is the first and most important step. Understand yourself. Weight loss (and life) becomes easier when we truly start knowing ourselves. Remember, our attitudes are the only thing we have full and total control over!

Recommended reading: Personality PluS by Florence Littauer.

* Highly recommended.

7) Follow the 11th Commandment of Health For Life:

Thou Shalt Not Bash Thyself Up!

As a person, you are no better with or without extra weight. No better with or without extra money. No better with or without extra anything! You are a worthy human AS YOU ARE! Accept this without qualification. When you are lighter, you will be healthier, more energetic and less prone to illness but you will be the same person of value that you are now. No more worthy or less worthy than you were before. By understanding this and accepting it, you will lose weight more easily and life will be more peaceful. Things will flow better and your weight loss will be permanent. The torment of YO-YO emotions and weight gain and loss will be but a memory.