Diet. Treatment of obesity centers on developing general healthy dietary guidelines, in addition to making some key adjustments in your relationship with food.
Dietary tips for combating obesity:
- Eat more fiber. Fiber gives you a satiated feeling, helping you to curb food cravings. It also keeps your colon healthy, and aids in proper digestion. Research has shown that obesity puts you at higher risk for colorectal cancer, primarily due to a low-fiber, high-calorie, processed food diet. Incorporate ground flax seed in smoothies, soups, and favorite cereals to increase your fiber intake.
- Skip the low-fat food products. Most of the low-fat, processed foods in grocery stores are typically high-carb foods that are loaded with sugar, salt, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic fat substitutes. Many of these ingredients cause weight gain, rather than reduce it. Read more about food ingredients.
- Add virgin coconut oil to your diet. The natural saturated fat in virgin coconut oil can help stabilize blood sugar levels, facilitate proper thyroid function, and aid in weight loss.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits. Not only are they a good source of fiber, but they contain many naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and amino acids necessary for maintaining optimal health and weight. Watch out for fruit juices, they often contain added sugars that can increase your calorie intake dramatically. Opt for water, or diluted fruit juice (three quarters water and one quarter juice).
- Don’t skip breakfast. Fasting activates the starvation response, slowing your metabolism and increasing the chances that excess fat will be stored to fuel your nutrient-depleted body. Studies now show that women who eat cereal for breakfast maintained their weight better than those who skipped breakfast. The plus of whole grain cereal is that it is a low-calorie, fiber-rich food.3 Obese people tend to lack necessary fiber in their diets.
- Eat frequent meals. Eating five to six small meals throughout the day helps to speed up your metabolism. On the other hand, eating large meals only once or twice a day will actually slow down your metabolism.
Other dietary recommendations:
- Choose high-quality, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free “grass-fed” meats.
- Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acids by selecting wild-caught salmon, minimal-mercury tuna, and fish oil.
- Choose organic, cage-free eggs.
- Choose unpasteurized, raw dairy items that have live, active cultures (probiotics), such as yogurt and kefir.
- Choose sprouted foods such as sprouted whole-grain bread and sprouted nuts and seeds.
- Drink plenty of purified water throughout the day. Chronic dehydration can slow down metabolism.
Foods to AVOID when treating obesity:
- All simple or refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, processed snack foods, etc.). Read more about good carbs and bad carbs.
- All foods containing refined sugar or synthetic sugar-substitutes such as aspartame, Splenda®, etc. These may actually contribute to weight gain, rather than aid in weight loss. Studies now show that artificial sweeteners trick the body into associating sweetness with zero calories. As a result, there’s a tendency to splurge on the “real thing,” because the body loses its ability to associate sweetness with a sense of fullness.Choose a natural sweetener like Xylosweet instead.
- Alcoholic beverages in excess since they hinder the functioning of the immune and digestive systems
- Carbonated soft drinks that cause blood pH levels to become acidic
- Bottom crawlers such as oysters, clams, and lobster that may contain toxic levels of mercury.
- Deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish that may contain toxic levels of mercury. Choose minimal-mercury tuna instead.
- Farm-raised fish that contain PCBs and not enough omega-3 essential fatty acids, due to their land-based diets. Choose wild-caught salmon instead.
- Sodium nitrite found in processed foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in many foods as a flavor enhancer
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) found in many processed foods, deep-fried foods, fast foods, and junk food. Read more about trans fats.
- Excessive caffeine intake. While moderate amounts of caffeine may be beneficial in boosting metabolism, excessive caffeine consumption can disrupt the body’s systems, causing insomnia and digestive irregularity (constipation or diarrhea).
Exercise. The basic rule of weight loss is “Calories in. Calories out.” In order to effectively lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Therefore, exercise—and portion control when eating—are essential components in combating obesity.
If you suffer from obesity, you may have a difficult time keeping up with exercise programs that require flexibility and harsh movements. Fortunately, studies show that long, brisk walks are very effective in losing weight. Once you get to a point where you’re losing weight, you can take on more strenuous or more demanding aerobic exercises. The point is to start exercising, no matter how small your effort may seem in the beginning.
Also, try to incorporate some strength training into your exercise routine. Building muscle mass will help you to burn more calories throughout the day.
Other Tips for Treating Obesity
- Get proper sleep. Sleep deprivation slows metabolism. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try fast-acting melatonin. If sleeping problems are resistant to a quick fix, then see your healthcare professional to rule out any chronic conditions that may be causing insomnia.
- Try light therapy. Circadian Rhythm Disorder can cause hormone imbalances and disrupt your body’s natural hormone production schedule. This may hinder your ability to control your weight effectively. Read more about the Apollo Health goLite P1™.
- Consider removing mercury dental fillings. If you have silver fillings, get an evaluation from a mercury-free dentist who specializes in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury in the body damages immune cells, which can be a contributing factor for weight gain and obesity-related chronic conditions. Find a mercury-free dentist in your area now!