Eating to live, not to lose.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Ok, did everyone wake up a little upset at losing an hour or was that just me? Well at least it’s still Sunday and a little gloomy, which equates to bumming around in my robe and slippers all day. 🙂

I just finished reading Eat to Live, by Dr. Joel Furhman after hearing about it from fellow bloggers and nutrition enthusiasts like myself. Actually, I’ve read it 3 times already since I got it last month. I could not get enough of all the interesting insight Dr. Furhman discusses. Topics from using food to prevent disease and break free from food addictions to using an abundance of food for successful weight loss/maintenance, Eat to Live presents readers with the facts necessary to see the whole picture about living a healthy life.

The whole concept of the book is to rethink the way you view food and eating. We have this misconception that to be healthy and lose weight everything in moderation. Regardless of what it is, no matter what it’s made of, we can eat it all the time in moderation or small serving sizes.

Most of you are probably thinking, what’s wrong with this idea? Plenty.

Rather than limiting ourselves to “portion controlled servings” of low-nutrient foods, we should be consuming limitless amounts of high-nutrient density foods. Rather than constantly trying to measure, scrutinize, and count, we should be simply giving our bodies what the Earth has so lovingly given to us.

There has been research done on sustained weight-loss and health on those who have undergone a diet whose premise is portion control and the results show that most participants do not maintain the loss and health status. There are many reasons to this, but the main is because of inadequate amounts of nutrients. It is not calories that makes us feel full, but nutrients and density. When we are nutritiously satiated and our stomachs full, we feel full. Here’s an example:

You could consume 400 calories from refined oils at 3 1/2 tablespoons (yes, even the supposed God of oils, the olive oil) and your stomach would basically be empty causing you to want more. Not only would it be empty density wise, but it would send a message to your brain to eat more because their is little nutrient density, thus overeating and overweight. Same goes for 400 calories, or 8 oz, of chicken. Your brain would continue to send the signal to eat more because your body has not received the nutrients needed to sustain healthy function. On the other hand, consuming 400 calories of vegetables, or roughly 1 lb of whole food, allows you to actually feel full and receive all the nutrients you need to live a long and healthy life.

If we eat the standard American diet, or SAD, even in “moderation” we still come out fighting a losing battle. When we eat highly-processed, over-cooked food with little to no nutritional value we feel guilt, lethargy, and are unsatisfied both emotionally and nutritionally causing us to eat more because we’re left seeking energy (which we only, I REPEAT ONLY, get from food) and physical and emotional satisfaction. Around and around and around we go, digging ourselves deeper and deeper into a state of nutritional depletion. And for some of us into a state of relentless depression and constant feeling of failure. That same feeling of failure combined with a lack of physical and emotional satiety is what keeps most people stuck without any idea what to do, what or whom to believe, and where to go with their lives.

Again, around and around and around…. you get the point.

Try this on for size, eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can dream possible followed with a moderate amount of beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains, and you are bound to live a healthy life without the struggle of weight, disease and dis-ease. Don’t measure, count, tally, point, calculate anymore, but pile your plate high with whole foods.

But I don’t like vegetables and all that healthy stuff. 

Of course we all have emotional attachments to food, but just like any addiction, it takes some time and adjustments to heal (and yes, unhealthy refined food is an addiction). Rather than relying on the excuses, find a solution (healthy versions of your favorite recipes, sneaking in more fruits and vegetables, etc) and live the life you want.

And maybe read Eat to Live for some inspiration and some of those solutions you might be looking for. Or try some of my recipes which are all whole-foods based. Either way, try looking at eating and food in a different light. Eat to live, not to lose. Or better yet, eat more to lose. That’s my kind of living.

What’s holding you back from the healthy life you want?

Tell me about you.

Be gentle. Be kind. Be loving to you.