Achieving Your Ideal Weight Naturally - Part 2

Achieving Your Ideal Weight Naturally - Part 2

Whole Plant Foods

You can eat all you want and still lose weight, if you choose only whole plant foods. In one study eating unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables led to a fourteen pound weight loss over six months and seventeen pounds over twenty five months..

Fruits and vegetables are the mainstay of successful weight loss. In one 2- year study, individuals on a vegan diet lost 3 1⁄2 times more weight than those on just a low-fat diet.107 Eating more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains improves weight loss and maintenance of weight loss, cholesterol and triglycerides and blood pressure.108

Low energy dense foods aid weight loss. Weight loss is three times greater for people who eat low energy dense foods than for those who just choose “low-fat” foods.109 Caloric or energy density is the key to satisfying cravings and weight-loss. Caloric density is a measure of the number of calories per gram in a serving of food. Studies show that normal-weight persons eat lower energy dense foods than obese persons. Persons on a diet high in fruit and vegetables have the lowest energy density values and the lowest amount of obesity.110 Energy density is key to understanding why eating fruits and vegetables can help in a weight management program. Energy density is the number of calories a food has for its weight. Foods with high calories for their weight, such as oils and fats, are high-energy-dense foods. They usually have between 4 to 9 calories per gram. These include snack foods, cheeses, butters, meats, and gravies. Medium-energy-dense foods have fewer calories per gram of weight, usually between 1.5 to 4 calories per gram. These foods include bagels, whole grain breads, hummus, dried fruits, and vegetarian ravioli . Low-energy-dense foods typically range in calorie content from 0 to 1.5 calories per gram and include fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains. In one study, people given a low calorie dense, unrefined diet ate 50% fewer calories. What’s more, they took 33% longer to eat their food, increasing satiety (satisfaction).111

Make a trade agreement that will boost your health index. Reduce the number of daily calories consumed by substituting low-energy-dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes for high-energy-density foods.112 Eat your fruits and vegetables. Fat content increases the energy density of foods.

Water and fiber in foods increase volume and reduce energy density. In their natural state, fruits and vegetables have high water and fiber content and are low in fat and energy density.113

Feel satisfied on fewer calories. People tend to eat the same volume regardless of the calorie content.114115 It is volume more than calories that makes people feel full.116 Eating low-energy-dense, high-nutrient dense fruits and vegetables brings satisfaction without the calories.

Energy substitutes can slash weight gain. To lower the energy density of foods, such as soups, sandwiches, and casseroles, substitute fruits and vegetables for some of the ingredients that have higher energy density, such as high-fat meats, cheeses, and pasta.117

One high-energy-dense calorie source is juice. Juice drinkers consumed calories eleven times faster than whole fruit eaters. Whole fruit contains fiber while juice has none. Sauce eaters consumed calories three times faster than whole fruit eaters.118 The appetite is satisfied better with whole fruit.119

Canned food is a poor substitute. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are good options when fresh produce is unavailable. Choose items without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or salt. Salt can make you eat more and go for calorie-laden drinks.120

Vegetables dominate the low calorie class. Vegetables tend to be lower in calories than fruit. Substituting more vegetables than fruit for foods of higher energy density can be helpful in a weight management plan.

Don’t get blitzed by hidden calories. Some desserts that include fruit may also have high calorie, fat, and sugar content. Breading and frying vegetables or adding high-fat dressings and sauces greatly increase the calorie and fat content of the dish.121 You can have variations on the dessert theme. Desserts tend to be very energy dense.122 The stomach actually increases in volume when sweet, sugar laden foods are eaten at the end of a meal.123 Fresh fruit makes a good, weight sensitive, dessert substitute. In one study, overweight people were more likely to order dessert if the waitress provided an appetizing description and encouraged them to order it.124

You may be wondering, “Should I avoid nuts?” given their high calorie content. And while I would urge moderation, in one study participants who ate nuts two or more times per week had a 30% lower risk of weight gain. Nuts have been found to be cardio-protective125 and to reduce diabetes risk.126

Fiber: A Dieters Friend

Fiber contains no calories; is not a nutrient, but is vital for good health. A 14 gram increase in daily fiber intake reduces calorie consumption by 10% and promotes weight loss.127 Increased fiber consumption from whole grains cuts the risk of weight gain in half. Refined grain products have the opposite effect.128 Other benefits of fiber are: enhanced blood sugar control; decreased insulin levels;129 lower cholesterol;130 reduced calorie assimilation by the body;131 and reduced hunger.132

Toast cuts blood sugar levels. Toasting bread lowers blood glucose response by 25%, which is a good thing.133

Chew On This

Appetite is reduced by nerve feedback to the brain stimulated by chewing.134 The more you chew, the less food it takes to satisfy you.135 Choosing foods that require more chewing can help reduce calorie intake.

Food Additives: Better Living Through Chemistry.

Mono sodium glutamate (MSG) may cause obesity.136 MSG is used in laboratory animal to induce obesity and diabetes.137 Fructose is another culprit.138 Fructose ingestion increases obesity—especially abdominal obesity.139 It also increases triglycerides and cholesterol,140 oxidative stress,141 diabetes and diabetic complications such as retinopathy.142

Liquids and Liquid Meals

Ditch the soda if you’re trying to lose weight. Sodas decreased the feel of being satisfied and increased subsequent overeating.143 One additional soda per day raises the risk of obesity by 60%.144 The calories of two sodas consumed every day can add 30 lbs in a year.

Dehydration and salt overload are associated with increased obesity.145 Thirsty people tend to drink soda and eat when what they really need is water.146 Dehydration increases cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.147

Water is still the best beverage. Historically water is the only liquid man consumed after being weaned. Modern man consumes a variety of liquids that require digestion. The body does not handle liquids that require digestion as well as solid food.148 Our recommendation is that only water be consumed between meals. Digestion is better if a meal has not been diluted with any liquid. Water, taken thirty minutes before mealtime has been shown to significantly reduce calorie intake.149

Snacking: Is It A Culprit In Your Diet?

Snacking between meals dramatically increases the number of daily calories consumed. Obese individuals consume significantly more sweet, fatty snacks.150 Snacking women have a 38% higher risk of obesity and snacking men have a 88% higher risk of obesity.151

Trigger Foods That Can Ignite A Raging Appetite

The taste of fat increases the amounts of food people eat.152 Sugar and fat work by weakening food satisfaction signals to the brain and activating hunger signals.153154 Dietary fat intake affects obesity.155 Obesity rates of countries can be predicted by how much fat their population eats. In one study, cutting fat intake by 10% (from 37% down to 27%) led to a quarter pound loss per week.156 One source of high fat, low fiber food is fast food. Watching television three hours/week and eating fast food twice/week increases the risk of obesity and diabetes by 160%.157 Another source of high fat, low fiber food is meat. This is why carnivores carry more weight. Meat eaters have been shown to weigh significantly more than vegetarians.158 High fiber cereal, fruit, and overall fiber intake are associated with lower BMI. Hamburger, beef, fried chicken, eggs, bacon or sausage, and hot dogs are all associated with higher BMI.159160

“Gotcha” foods that won’t let you go. You need to be aware of some foods that have addictive properties. Addictive foods include chocolate, dairy products (especially cheese) and refined carbohydrates.
Chocolate is just as addictive as drugs.

To increase addiction, chocolate stimulates the same opioid receptors in the brain as morphine.161 Another drawback is the amount of sugar and fat it takes to make chocolate palatable.

The addictive nature of sugar generates phenomenally high levels of obesity.162 Like cocaine, sugar elevates the addiction hormone dopamine in the brain.163 The body can actually get caught in a vicious cycle of sugar consumption.

Refined carbohydrates such as sugar, but not just sugar, elevate insulin. Insulin increases abdominal obesity and carbohydrate craving.

Abdominal obesity increases insulin resistance requiring the body to produce even more insulin. Higher insulin levels stimulate more carbohydrate craving. And the saga goes on as the weight piles up and diabetes ensues.164

The addictive world of animal products is a real source of obesity. Morphine like substances (beta-casomorphins) in dairy products, especially cheeses, make them very hard to give up.165

Beer Belly

Everyone should know the facts about alcohol and obesity.166 Alcohol intake is associated with abdominal obesity and elevated diabetes risk.167

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together

Eating with others can be a source of uncontrolled calorie consumption. If eating with others, choose dining companions who share your weight control values.168

For those who like to be aware, the midcycle binge can be a source of uncontrolled calorie consumption. The ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle is associated with significantly more food intake.169

Portion Size Inflation

Can food sneak up on you? Portion sizes sure have. Portion size inflation has definitely occurred between 1977 and 1996; french fry serving size is up 16% or 70 kcal; hamburger sizes is up 25% or 100 kcal; soft drink size is up 50% or 50 kcal; total calories consumed by Americans is up 11%; and the number of calories eaten away from home is up 53%.170 Size does matter. Here are some tips on portion size management: all food to be eaten at one meal placed on plate at the beginning of the meal; purposely reduce customary portion sizes; substitute low-energy-dense foods for high-energy-dense foods; and chew the smaller portions for the same amount of time normally taken to eat larger portions.171

One Of Each Please—Variety Stimulates Gluttony (There Go The Potlucks!)

Greater variety is associated with greater food consumption and greater body weight.172173 Do not have too great a variety at a meal; three or four foods are plenty.

Caloric Restriction

Reducing the number of calories you eat in a day is referred to as caloric restriction. Calorie or energy restriction can restore an immune system impaired by obesity. Obesity impairs the immune system. Caloric restriction has been shown to help restore the immune system.174 The Okinawan experience has taught us a lot about caloric restriction. The Okinawans eat 40% fewer calories than Americans, have 80% fewer breast and prostate cancers and 50% fewer ovarian and colon cancers.175 There are some cautions to SEVERE caloric restriction. Some people just eat less of their malnourished diet—the same diet with nutrient deficiencies that leaves them craving food even though they are getting heavier all the time. Side effects of severe calorie restricted diets include: orthostatic hypotension (lightheadedness upon standing), fatigue, cold intolerance, dry skin, hair loss, menstrual irregularities, cholelithiasis (gallstones), cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).176

Meal Times

Eveningwear: you tend to wear the food you eat in the evening.177 People who eat in the evening gain more weight.178

Breakfast precedent: start off on the right foot. People who eat high-energy dense breakfasts eat higher energy dense lunches, whereas people who eat low-energy dense breakfasts eat lower energy dense lunches.179 Skipping breakfast
increases insulin resistance and raises fasting cholesterol levels.180 Skipping breakfast increases student obesity 120%.181

Punctuality pays off in meal patterns and frequency. Meal regularity significantly lowers the risk of adolescent obesity.182 People who eat their meals at the same time everyday; consume fewer calories; have better insulin sensitivity; have lower cholesterol levels and maintain a higher fat burning metabolism.183 We recommend two (preferable) or three meals a day, eaten at exactly the same time every day. A two meal a day plan lowers cancer risk. Compared to the two meal a day program, colon cancer risk rises 70% with 3 meals a day, and 90% for 4.184185 The risk of colon cancer is increased by snacking. For each time snacking is engaged in throughout the day, the risk of colon cancer goes up 60%.186

“But I’m hungry, I don’t want to wait till mealtime.” Throw a wet blanket on persistent hunger. Hunger, other than at meal times, can often be quenched with a glass of ice-cold water. If you feel that you must eat at night, take a drink of cold water, and in the morning you will feel much better for not having eaten.187

Emotions and the Body

Happy, sad, bored, lonely: bring on the food! Some people are emotional eaters, meaning that they eat more when experiencing certain emotions. When these people are stressed or emotional they eat more sweet/high-fat foods and consume meals that have higher energy density.188 These emotions often have their basis in childhood experiences. A ten year study of 9 to 10 year olds showed that: parental neglect: increased the risk of adult obesity 7 times (700%). Children characterized as “dirty and neglected” had 10 times the risk of adult obesity.189 Obesity can be triggered by
childhood stress.190 The obese are more likely: to be depressed; to report childhood abuse histories; to have non-secure attachment styles; and report eating in response to anger, sadness, loneliness, worry, and being upset.191 Abuse raises the risk of obesity 23% higher for verbal abuse; 27% higher for physical abuse; and 34% higher for sexual abuse.192 In some cases, obesity is an individual’s way of dealing with fear of intimacy. It is a way of keeping others at a distance.

Obesity: feast or famine? Being insecure about the availability of food is associated with a 30% increase in obesity.193 Many of us have been programmed, possibly as a result of the great depression of 1929, to save for the future. Fear of want or loss drives a lot of our decisions. The Bible addresses this propensity to trust to what man can do in this way, “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”194 Jesus Christ came to put these fears away and give us peace and rest.

Don’t go crazy: weight loss reduces psychological symptoms. One study revealed that weight loss was associated with improvements in: psychotic traits; paranoid ideation; irritability; interpersonal sensitivity; emotional stability; nervousness and sociability.195

Dealing with obesity may involve dealing with stress for many people.196 Stress management is more successful if accompanied by improvements in spiritual health.197 Maybe this is because of Jesus’ promise, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”198 Joining a group with a leader and organized activities reduces stress and improves weight loss.199 Successful stress management has been shown to improve cholesterol, triglycerides, hemoglobin a1c (in diabetics), hostility scores and weight reduction.200

Higher Long Term Success

Studies of people with longterm weight loss success show that they: exercise 30-60 minutes a day regularly, including some weight lifting; plan their meals, maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends; track calories, fat, and portion sizes; eat low-calorie, low-fat foods; eat breakfast regularly ;and self-monitor weight. Studies of people with longterm weight loss success show that they do not make excuses for not exercising like: no time, too tired to exercise, no one to exercise with, or too hard to maintain exercise routine. People with longterm weight loss do not make excuses for not dieting such as: eat away from home too often, or diet/health food costs too much. Studies of people with longterm weight loss success also show that they do not use over- the-counter weight loss products.201202 One of the best predictors of success in weight loss is the monitoring of food and activity. Diary keepers score big.

Brain scans shed light on why people overeat. Self-control is a function of the front part of the brain, the frontal lobes. People successful at restraining their appetites and losing weight have been shown on brain scans to have more active frontal lobes.203 We have been given the power of choice. With exercise this power is able to help with weight control. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”204

TV down time: down the chips, down the cola, down the beer.205 Television viewing while eating increases food intake by an average of 228 kcal.206 Television viewing, two or more hours per day, increases the risk of weight gain by 35%.207

Power To Succeed

Temptations to the indulgence of appetite possess a power that can be overcome only by the help that God can impart. But with every temptation we have the promise of God that there shall be a way of escape. Why, then, are so many overcome by temptation? It is because they do not put their trust in God. They do not avail themselves of the means provided for their safety.208

The standard is Jesus Christ. After fasting for forty days in preparation for ministry he said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”209

One of the principles He taught and lived was to think outside of ones-self. His philosophy as expressed and lived was, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”210 One way to think of this in respect to obesity is that in this world we are to be producers rather than just consumers. Is the world going to be a better place for our having lived in it?

We must recognize and own our problems. When we see ourselves in contrast to Jesus, we feel shame and come to Him in repentance and confession. We admit that we did it to ourselves—that our habits and cravings have controlled us and that without His power to overcome we are doomed to obesity.

Yield To Victory: Choose Life. Seeing Him as the great pattern of goodness and temperance we yield our whole heart to Him and choose to serve Him—make Him Lord of our life. In choosing to serve God, in giving Him the choices of our will, our whole nature comes under His power.

Take Life! We cannot of ourselves excuse the past that has brought on obesity or change our hearts; but having given ourselves to God, we believe that He for Christ’s sake does all this for us. By faith we became Christ’s, and by faith we are to grow up in Him—by giving and taking. We give all; our hearts, our wills, our service, give ourselves to Him to obey all His requirements; and we take all; Christ, the fullness of all blessing to abide in our hearts, to be our strength, our righteousness, our everlasting helper; to give us the power to obey, the power to overcome the habits and cravings that leave us obese.

Die to self, appetite, and inactivity. When the craving comes, die to the temptation and choose the power of God to resist. The advice is, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”211

Have a replacement. When the urge comes to violate your good judgment, be ready with an alternate activity or plan. Ask God for power and when you have an urge to eat; take a walk. When you have an urge to snack, drink cool water. When the urge comes to take more food than is wise, take even less.You will need to come up with your own alternatives with God’s help. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”212

Here is a valuable promise, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”213

In this way you will find true satisfaction. If you are not right with God, “ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.”214 On the other hand, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.”215

Once you are on the track to optimal health (and you WILL be on the track to optimal health) find someone else to help, its part of the program. “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”216

We are blessed in blessing others. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Bottom Line

Obesity is at an all time high, largely because people are eating high calorie foods while engaging in little or no calorie burning physical activity.

The key is to replace high-energy food items with unrefined whole plant food items, replace all beverages with water, and replace sedentary habits with physical activity.


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Comments ( 1 ) Leave a Comment
  1. 1 June Nov 1, 2012, 8:01 AM PDT

    This is the most encouraging thing I’ve read and I know the Lord brought this to me today. I have gained 10# in 4 mos. Already had triple bypass surgery, diabetic, obese . . . THANKS - I really needed this.

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