Add foods to lose weight?

Yes! Don't fall into the usual trap of limiting all your best-loved foods and trying to starve yourself in order to lose weight. Take a more sane approach as is being outlined every week in this blog. Start by adding foods, particular foods. Add high fiber foods to your diet daily. Don't worry at all about trying to cut out any foods you're eating regularly. Just concentrate on fitting in more high fiber foods each day.

Tasty fiber: brown rice, cherry tomatoes, spinach.
You pick how much you want to add each day, but maybe a 2-5 gram increase per week will work. Don't rush. Going from eating lots of processed foods and little fiber, to 20 grams of fiber in a day can definitely wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing gas, diarrhea, even stomach pain and cramps. Your body has to have time to adjust to dietary changes -- even healthy ones. So go slowly.

Now don't start balking and imagining yourself eating cardboard and sand! High fiber foods are delicious and many foods you already like are on the list. Consider all the possibilities, and pick several to try this week.
A short list of delicious foods rich in fiber follows. For now, we're concentrating on starting to eat healthy in a way that you can maintain. There are two kinds of fiber, and we'll go into more detail about both kinds later but for now, your only assignment is to add more fiber on a daily basis -- and continue to cut at least one soda (diet or not) from your daily intake.

Healthy foods with fiber
  • FRUITS: apples, peaches, pears, plums (try to eat the skin, too), bananas, berries, guava, kiwis, oranges, pears
  • DRIED FRUITS: Figs, Raisins, Apricots, Dates, Prunes
  • BREADS: whole wheat bread, fiber added bread, whole grain breads and crackers 
  • PASTA & RICE: whole grain pasta, Barilla Plus pastas, & brown rice
  • VEGETABLES: avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, collards, kale, turnip greens, lima beans, mushrooms, potatoes (with skin on), pumpkin, peppers, rhubarb, spinach, sweet potatoes
  • BEANS: black-eyed peas, green peas, chick peas, garbanzo beans, lentils
  • CEREALS: oatmeal, cream of wheat, cold cereals made with whole grains (Cheerios, Total, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, etc)
  • NUTS: almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, cashews
  • Fiber rich snack bars such as Fiber One, Special K
Try adding fiber with at least one high fiber snack each day. Try adding one high fiber food to one meal each day. Remember to increase fiber intake slowly.

To eat healthier you have to eat much less meat and dairy, or preferably none, right?
Not so fast.  
One lesser known fact about healthy eating is that it's not the meat and dairy so much that is unhealthy for you, but the way the animals are raised, fed, and slaughtered that makes the meat and dairy unhealthy.
You hear non stop admonitions to eat less and less red meat, with others pushing people to eat no meat or poultry. These are all high in saturated fat, and very low in the good fats.

Cattle need to graze freely in order to be healthy. Photo courtesy Kevin Hutchinson
Apparently, those voices are choosing to ignore a considerable amount of evidence that shows that when animals are raised humanely, fed appropriately, and slaughtered humanely, their meat and dairy products have levels of Omega 3 fatty acids at least equal to that of tuna. Turns out that cattle, pigs, chickens, lambs all need to be free to graze and roam in order to be healthy -- who knew? And if they are not healthy, their meat, eggs and milk will not be healthy.

Grass fed beef, that is truly "free range" is actually healthy for people. The same holds true for poultry, pork, dairy, eggs.

Check into the many health benefits of humanely raised meat, poultry, and dairy.

Adding more than you subtract from your diet will help you to maintain a healthy balance and prevent the stress of constantly worrying about what not to eat.

Make a list of all the good, healthy foods you already like, but don't eat that often. This will be the first list you work from. Start planning your menus and shopping to add one or more of these each week.
At the same time, make another list of healthy foods that you are curious about but not sure if you will like them. Make a point to add one of these weekly, monthly, or even every other month -- depending on your comfort level with new tastes and how much time you have to learn to prepare new dishes.

Concentrating too much on subtracting foods you love from your diet in order to make it healthy is just too painful and too stressful. That's why most people can't stick with it. Unless you are a true binge eater -- in which case this blog will probably not be as helpful to you -- you can only put so much food into your tummy each day. OK, maybe on certain holidays or for special foods, you can squeeze in a bit more. But the basic truth is that if you fill up with healthy foods you will eventually start to have less room -- and less interest -- in less healthy foods. So stop worrying about cutting out good things. Instead, plan to keep your diet the same, but with the addition of one healthy food each day, that was not a part of your normal diet last month. If you can fit in more on some days, that's wonderful. But all you have to worry about is fitting in one extra healthy food a day, for now.

This is not a diet plan, it's a way of life. There's no particular order.
This blog is not written in any particular order because it's important to realize there is no particular order. All you are trying to do is learn to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and maintain that healthy balanced diet for life. So, you can start at any point you feel most comfortable. Don't try 5 pages from this blog all at once, unless you honestly feel each of the five steps is something that will be very easy for you.This will work, if you follow it. Even if you lose interest half way through, you will still have succeeded in making some healthy changes to your life. And anyone who seriously wants to change to a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits will find this method easy, sensible, and painless.

What to do now:
  • make lists of healthy foods you like and those you'd like to try
  • try to give up one soda each day
  • try to add one healthy food each day to your normal routine
  • do not worry about cutting things you love from your diet

Getting started on your new healthy eating plan

The key to starting and maintaining a healthy diet is keeping it simple and moderate. Some people make this so hard, almost no one can do it! You don't have to immediately switch everything to organic, throw out all processed foods, all sugary foods, and all fats! Just make simple, one step at a time, changes.
Here are some basic rules for eating healthy:
  • don't take away a lot of foods, just add better ones
  • few foods are bad, many are just better
  • there are no mistakes, but there is always room for improvement
Sodas: possibly the biggest drawback, for some people...

Since this is the beginning when people typically have more fortitude, let's get the one big giant negative out of the way now. You don't have to do this one all at once, either, but you will have to face it if you are going to truly eat healthier. 
You'll have to get rid of the soda.

This is the one thing that you should make a huge effort to stop altogether. That isn't really as hard as it may sound, but it is not going to be the easiest thing for many people. Sodas have no value or redeeming quality at all, except perhaps if you need a little carbonation for your tummy. 
Don't reach for the diet sodas instead. This is one case where the best thing is to avoid this drink completely. If this seems overwhelming to you, don't panic and leave this site, never to return. You'll learn slowly to give up those sodas painlessly, and I am promising you that as someone who once drank almost nothing but Coke or Sprite nonstop, from the time I woke up til the time I fell asleep. I was rarely seen without a soda in my hand.

Sodas cause you to put on weight, and the evidence is showing that diet sodas also cause you to put on the weight. Furthermore, they ruin your teeth, and who knows what they might be doing to your digestive system. These drinks are very corrosive. You don't have to give them up 100% forever. But you need to commit to giving them up most of the time, permanently, if you really want to be healthy.

How to give up soda, especially if you're addicted? One step at a time, just as you will do everything else in your quest to eat healthy.  
At first, just think it over for a week or two -- or longer if needed. Let your mind get used to this new idea. Thinking about it and planning helps you to think of other drinks you like, and helps you prepare yourself mentally for the big change. Once you've thought it over, buy some other drinks. It's even OK at first if you switch to something sweet like juice or Kool Aid! Just get off the carbonation. Then we'll worry about the sugar. If you like bottled water, it would be best to switch right over to that, but if you can't, don't push it. Now, you've decided on some drinks to replace some of your sodas, bought them and thought it over. You're ready to start. 

Simply replace ONE soda each day with water or with your chosen new drink. That's all. Don't go whole hog and try to cut out all the soda if you are used to drinking soda all day and all night. Figure out the time that works best for you. If you're so accustomed to the taste of soda that you can't believe that any other drink even tastes good at all, then try cutting out the first soda during a meal, when you will have other flavors to occupy your taste buds.
Each week or so, omit one more soda from your daily intake. As you drink fewer and fewer sodas, you will find your taste for them is beginning to disappear. Eventually, you will think you miss them, but if you decide to have a soda you'll find you won't enjoy it nearly as much. Oh, it may taste good, but not the way it was in the past. 
Do this slowly -- or you won't find your tastes changing. 
This does take a little will power for the hard core soda drinker, but not so much that it will make you crazy. If you find it hard to omit that one drink each day, just remind yourself that you get to have your regular soda at the next normal time -- it's just one soda you're giving up, one time! If even that is too hard, allow yourself as many sodas as you want -- but only after you drink a glass of water first.
The Mindful Meals Diet: A mind/body plan to develop new healthy eating habits
The Skinny on Willpower, How to Develop Self Discipline       

What better time than now to start your new healthy lifestyle!
People make so many plans for healthy lifestyles, healthy eating, dieting and exercise and unfortunately, many of those plans fall by the wayside quickly.

This blog will help you change that, and make all those healthy eating plans actually stick this time around.

It really doesn't have to be as hard as many people, including some of the experts, make it. You just make a small start, and you keep building on it.
Sure, it helps to study a bit, and learn more about what is healthy and what is not. But you don't have to overwhelm yourself, and you don't have to change your entire eating pattern and menu at once.

If you follow this blog, you will eventually, almost painlessly, have changed from a poor diet to a healthy, nutritional pattern of living and eating that will be easy to maintain and easy to live with.
What's the plan for now?  HEALTHY EATING, THE EASY WAY -- WITHOUT GUILT.