We have become a large, amorphous American mass of calorie counters. The main objective in many cases is to jettison one thing or another, whether it be total calorie count, fats of all forms, or carbohydrates in an attempt to align yourself with gastrointestinally taxing diets like South Beach or Atkins. These are all viable ways to drop weight with varying degrees of consequences resulting from each. So for 2011, try dieting for the whole body with not just image, but health in mind.
It’s been documented that some people choose a “soup diet”, and what a time to begin eatinga regular regimine piping hot soup than the winter time, right? Well, most mass produced, low calorie and low fat soups have a hidden demon. Almost each one carries an alarming amount of sodium, in some cases almost covering an entire day in one 180 calorie swoop. For all the weight you might be cutting your veins, arteries, and capillaries are tightening up due to all of the salty, soupy goodness. Making soup at home allows you to moderate the sodium content to a degree.
This next one hits a little closer to home for us. It has been an undulating fad for the better part of this past decade – the South Beach and Atkins diets. These diets promote the notion that fat can be ok, whether it be butter, bacon, oil – whatever – so long as we cut our carbohydrate intake down to almost non existent. The reasoning for this is quite simple. When someone does not work off carbs they ingest the remaining substance builds up and converts to sugar. These diets may be seen as lazy, basically allowing a person to eat what they want without the ticking time bomb that carbs can be to a lazy man getting in their way. What people don’t realize is that with all of these rich, fatty foods comes a toll on both cardiovascular health (obviously) and gastrointestinal health. Foods that are harder to break down create a difficult digestion process and the damage can be seen in the lowe intestines and colon. Load up on fatty foods at your own risk.
Some people try to shock their bodies with an infusion of raw foods or simple things like meals comprised solely of vegetables or fruits. This is a noble attempt, certainly, but keep in mind that when you eat these fruits and vegetables, as good as they may be, you deprive yourself essential proteins and in some cases cases dietary fibers than other foods contain. Eating well rounded meals and, to a lesser degree, snacks can go a long way in ensuring you maintain a healthy intake of proteins, fiber, fats, vitamins and minerals, and sugars. You should be, assuming you don’t have any severe medical problems hindering the intake of certain foods, eating all of these things, but in moderation.
Don’t go overboard with your diet. Eliminating items all together – unless absolutely terrible for you – does not solve the overall problem of not eating healthy. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins is the only way to ensure you stay lean and energetic while eating what you want. You aren’t really dieting, rather, enjoying a new diet. If you really aren’t sure what combination of foods would be best for your digestion consult your gastroenterologist. Be in good health this new year!