What do malnutrition and obesity have in common? A lot, actually. It may come as a huge surprise, but the main reason obese individuals and those who fall into the “skinny as a rail” category are similar is because both of these body types are failing to receive the nutrition they desperately need – plain and simple. How could this be?
It all begins with food choices you make. In this country, a majority of the food people consume comes from the processed variety. Most of these “foods” are not really food, but a manufactured or altered form of food that is devoid of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. When you eat like this regularly, your body and health start to decline. If you are eating healthy foods and staying away from processed foods high in chemical and carbohydrate content, your natural weight should be very easy to maintain. As long as you continue to include in your regular diet processed foods, your weight will always be a problem.
Instead of eating processed, convenience foods, start choosing whole foods (and organic whenever possible) – those that are real and not processed. Begin a regimen of preparing foods in your home if you are prone to eating out a lot just for the sake of ease and convenience. When you work these activities of preparing foods at home into your schedule, you will soon start to see the difference and want to take that time to make your food instead of always buying prepared, processed foods. Be certain to include a wide variety of vegetables (both raw and steamed or lightly sauteed), and moderate amounts of fruits. Vegetables should be one of the most common types of foods you eat, and should be eaten with each meal if possible.
Most people are aware that exercise plays a big role in maintaining good health, but lack a complete understanding of why. Exercise not only improves stamina, flexibility, and strengthens muscles like the heart but also causes the body to remove toxins through sweat and reduces insulin levels. Lower insulin levels mean less storing of carbohydrates (sugar) which is converted to fat. When we exercise we should do so according to our own bodies’ abilities – which means we do not start out on an intense work-out without first gradually building up. If you have not engaged in regular exercise for some time or ever, walking or gentle hiking is a good place to begin. Sessions of 15 to 20 minutes work fine for the first few episodes. Over time, work up to a faster pace and longer interval to give your body a chance to adjust to lifestyle changes in diet and sleep as well as a new exercise regimen.
Another critical component in maintaining ideal weight and health is obtaining adequate sleep and sleeping at the proper times. If you are getting less than 6 or more than 9 hours of sleep, or going to bed at late hours (after 10 p.m.) on a regular basis, your weight can suffer. Why? Because insulin levels are lowered during sleep. Conversely, too much sleep will contribute to raising insulin levels. When you retire to bed too longer after about 10:30 p.m., this interrupts a significant job the digestive tract must perform to remove toxins (occurring from approximately 11 p.m. to 1 a.m). If you are awake during that time frame, this cycle cannot occur.
Removal of toxins from your liver and associated digestive system is key in maintaining good health and optimal weight. Obese people are obese due to bad dietary habits and the body’s inability to empty out toxins from the filtering system. Filtering systems such as the liver, blood, and colon become hampered and interrupted by poor lifestyle choices that do not allow that process to complete itself. Cleansing the body of toxins is also another crucial step in achieving good health and maintaining ideal weight. For a good article about detoxification and cleansing, read How Cleansing Positively Affects Your Health on this web site.
Of course, it goes without saying that if you are eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle, you will also avoid products (such as low-fat and non-fat foods) and gimmicks (like diet pills and fad programs) that promise or guarantee a quick way to lose weight. The only way to lose weight effectively is to build a foundation of health from within yourself. Great suggested reading on this topic: The Metabolic Typing Diet. This book could literally change your life.
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