1. Sodas/Juices/Energy Drinks - Our bodies are not designed to drink our calories. Sodas, juices, sports drinks etc. are all filled with sugar or even worse, fake sweeteners. When you drink these products, you are still thirsty and you have not given your body any real food to sustain itself. The best and easiest way to lose weight? Drink water, we do not need to drown ourselves in it, but if choose to only drink water then you cannot go wrong.
2. Fast Food - If you eat fast food then you will most likely struggle with your weight! Fast Food today is essentially a product devoid of most of its nutritional value, it is a chemically processed food and for the most part, it does nothing but add empty calories to your diet. Think about it this way, how can McDonald’s serve a “Big Mac” for the same price it did 20 years ago? They only way they can do this is by using a food that is completely altered and is no longer a real food. Fast food is designed to stay “fresh” for a long time by altering its composition.
3. Sugar - Sugar is one of the largest contributing factors to obesity today. Sugar and its 40 or so associated friends are hidden in everything these days. It is estimated that almost 80% of the foods today contain some form of sugar. Sugar is used to make food taste better, substituted for missing ingredients such as fat and used as a preservative. Sugar creates problems for the body because it raises insulin levels which drive increased fat stores. This is also true for sugar substitutes that can actually be worse for you because of the chemical composition and very little is known about the long-term health effects to our bodies.
4. Fat - Dietary fat does not equate to body fat! Fat in your diet is not a bad thing; our bodies actually need fat to stay healthy. How long have we been told to eat low fat foods only to see a huge increase in obesity in America! Eating fat should take place in its natural form; nuts, seeds, avocados, olive and coconut oils, butter, cream etc. When you see products labeled "low fat" or "fat free" then buyer beware, there is usually sugar and many other chemical hidden in the food to make up for the taste.
5. Nutritional Information & Whole Foods - Food labels have become a long list of unrecognizable chemicals and food derivatives. If you read food labels, do not focus on calories or fat, but focus on ingredients. Any product with more than six or seven ingredients should be avoided. Any food label with ingredients that you have never heard of is a problem! Focus on eating whole natural foods. Go back to eating the way we are supposed to, from the garden. Stay away from the middle isles in the grocery stores and you will make better choices. Making meals is easy if we keep the ingredients simple.
6. Diets - Diets do not work, lifestyle changes do! If you continuously chase the latest fad, diet, new food report about supper foods etc. then you will continue to get frustrated. Diets are temporary and usually create stress on the body because your body thinks that it is starving. When you starve your body, your body will do everything it can to retain the fat stores for survival. We cannot change the basic instinct to survive. The only way to lose weight and not starve your body is to change what you eat.
7. Exercise - Exercise is very important today because of our lifestyle and conveniences. Our bodies where designed to move. Because we sit at desk, drive cars, go through drive thru’ s and use elevators our bodies are not moving like they used to. To make up for this, just get out the door and exercise. Whether it is running, walking, hiking, cycling or going to the gym, get out and move every single day! If you do take up an exercise program, take it slow and easy. The biggest mistake newbies make is going out to hard and getting injured or hurt.
8. Calorie In / Calorie Out - We are taught that a calorie is a calorie. This is not true, if it were, then we could eat 2000 calories of sugar and be done for the day right? If you use calories restriction to lose weight then you will quickly find that it is not sustainable. Your challenge is to eat high quality foods and the calories will take care of themselves. The problem is when we eat foods devoid of nutrition, i.e. processed, then the body is still hungry and we need to eat more. When you eat whole natural, high quality foods, you will actually eat less food but be healthier in the process.
9. Drug Problem - We have a huge drug problem in America. We get sick, we take a pill, we have a chronic illness, we take a pill, we cannot sleep, take a pill. How about this approach: if you are sick then look at what is causing it. Chronic illness such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, impotence, sleep disorder, headaches etc. can almost all be alleviated or at least reduced to manageable levels by changing our diet. Not only can we cure these diseases we can also have a huge impact on long-term illness such as cancer and obesity.
10. How to get started – Starting today, do something to get you going. You know what you need to do, you just need to start doing it! I did not make all of these changes in a day, as I stated before it is a journey. Take one idea above and embrace it. Make it your own and try it for a month. What I found through my journey is this, when I made a change and felt better; I then wanted to do more. Then I changed another thing, and so on. It does not have to be difficult or painful. I enjoy life more today because I am living to my fullest potential. I sleep better, feel better, have more energy and I have not been sick or injured in 2 years! How is that for living proof!