Rapid Weight Loss
Is it safe? If not, what are some safe and natural alternatives?
We’ve all seen the eye-catching headlines for the ‘latest’ diet plans, claiming you will lose a lot of weight in little to no time? Have you been tempted and considered trying them, or bought the book and actually started one? Certainly they might promise rapid weight loss, and that they may deliver… however, they don’t always disclose the unwanted side effects.
Yes, there are a multitude of ways to lose weight quickly, but it is not healthy.
Most often they are extremely restrictive, deficient in essential vitamins and minerals, and are not sustainable long term. Sadly, your weight loss will be mostly water and lean muscle tissue. You might lose 5 kilograms, but if you’re sacrificing muscle then you’re asking for trouble; considering muscle assists in maintaining our metabolic rate (the rate which we use or store fat as energy), a rapid weight loss plan would therefore be metabolic suicide!
How can this be? Our bodies are magnificent machines; fine-tuned to store fat in case of starvation from ancient times. Subsequently, to diet excessively without balanced nutrition, cardiovascular exercise or resistance training to maintain lean muscle, our body begins to use whatever sources of energy available; even if that means it’s own tissues!
If you wish to lose weight safely, your nutrition should incorporate the right balance of macro and micro nutrients. Embrace your new healthy lifestyle by creating meal plans incorporating the right quantities and ratios of protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates (yes – we do actually need them). To successfully release weight, sensibly reducing our energy intake by 10-20% and increasing your energy expenditure via exercise, is what will create lasting results.
The best foods for boosting our metabolism are in abundance, coming right from nature. You won’t find a bar-code on them! Not only do these foods assist in fueling your metabolism, they also enhance your general health. Because these foods are nutritionally dense and low in calories, you’ll find that they will also increase the volume of food you can eat. The benefit of this is that you’ll not only stay feeling full for longer, but they will also use energy just to digest them!
Often people find they aren’t losing weight, because they are eating the wrong type of foods. Some are eating small portions regularly of the ‘wrong’ foods, whilst others are eating too much of the ‘right’ foods. We need to know exactly what are the best thermogenic (fat-burning) foods, and plan our meals to incorporate them.
Some of these foods are as follows:
Foods that help maintain lean muscle mass, boost the immune system and assist with growth of hair, skin and nails.
Lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy and natural protein powder supplements.
Energy Boosting Foods
Sprouted grains, millet, sweet potatoes and rice.
Fibrous fruits and vegetables – they provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Healthy (Good) Fats
Small quantities of real butter, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, whole eggs (the yolk contains fat soluble vitamins A, D, E & K) and avocado.
What to avoid:
One of the most detrimental foods to our health and fat-burning is refined sugar.
Processed/Refined sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever. It is devoid of vitamins and minerals. If you must add some sweetener, use natural sweeteners such as: raw honey, coconut palm sugar, xylitol, or stevia.
It is interesting to note that some of the foods we consume daily, such as juice, breads, cereals and low fat dairy products, are really among the foods that will cause your body to store fat. This is because they often have a large quantity of added sugar. These foods and others like them will rapidly convert to sugar in your body and cause your blood sugar levels to elevate. The body responds by producing high quantities of insulin to lower the sugar spike, and excessive insulin causes the body to store fat.
There are no shortcuts to weight loss; not if you want to take care of your body in the long term. It actually is much easier to control once we realise that it is just a simple equation:
Energy In (the ‘right’ fuel) – Energy Out = Weight Loss or Weight Gain.
This sounds simple in theory, but to achieve lasting success, our attitude towards our food, exercise and their inter-related relationship with our body must be considered. Just as we ensure our cars run optimally by supplying them with the correct fuel, our bodies operate in the same manner. Use the right fuel and your body will thank you.