All weight watchers try to master the fine art of weight loss with varying degrees of success. What many of them do not realize is that a back-to-basics method works best when trying to shed extra pounds.

Whole, natural foods have found their way into dieters’ stomachs and hearts. If you relish processed ham, the words “whole foods” may make you skeptical.

The benefits of these foods, however, are many. Bringing your weight down is one of them. If you are game to give the Whole Food Diet a try, a few pointers will come in useful.

Unraveling the whole food diet

The Whole Foods Diet is not puzzling, like one of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Described simply, it refers to eating food it is most natural state, without additives or preservatives.

The earliest production of whole, organic foods was in 1946, in a farm owned by food writer F Newman Turner. He founded the Consumer Whole Food Society and served as its president.

The Whole Foods Diet trend is one which caught on in recent years. Followers of this diet suggests a controlled intake of refined grains and sugar. They advocate a moderate intake of starch, fat and protein. Experts consider it suitable for those with various levels of obesity.

Following the Whole Foods Diet means eating whole instead of refined grains. Fruits, without preservatives, will supply nutrients instead of artificial supplements. A real potato takes the place of unhealthy, heavily salted potato chips. Whole Foods Diet fans will savor real raspberries, but not raspberry pastries with sugar and other additives.

raspberries

Why turn to whole foods?

When it comes to eating, make it “real”. You may have more reasons to eat “real” food than you realize. Whole, natural foods have a myriad of benefits.

Plant-based, “real” protein, found in nuts, has fiber which regulates blood sugar. Refined sugar is an empty carbohydrate that has no nutritional value. Conversely, the carbohydrates that come from the fiber in nuts, legumes, seeds and beans slow digestion and stop insulin spikes, because fiber takes more time to break down. This reduces the strain on your digestive system, and satisfies your hunger for a longer time.

With less stress on your digestive system, your body has more energy. Former triathlete Brendan Brazier discovered that eating plant-based whole foods enhanced his training. The nutrition consultant, who works with athletes, removed pasta and other starch forms from their diets. He substituted them for plant-based whole foods such as quinoa, buckwheat and wild rice. The process increased their flexibility. Brazier reported that his suppleness increased after eating plant-based whole foods himself.

These foods fill your stomach and make your mouth water. There are a great variety of whole foods, including nuts, beans, seeds and legumes, in the produce section of your local supermarket. These foods, delicious on their own, do not need enhancements like dressings, gravies or sauces.

This aside, find all the nutrients that your body needs in whole foods. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids and fiber. These nutrients come together to help your body to work.

Whole foods are low on calories. Studies show that protein boosts metabolism. A study by George A Bray et al, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that resting energy expenditure and lean body mass increased in those who took in protein. So saying, it helps with weight maintenance.

This also means that whole foods can lower the risk of obesity related issues, including heart disease. Researchers in Northwestern University examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They took a representative sample of 11000 adults who consumed whole foods. The researchers scanned their diet, blood pressure and total cholesterol details before using a formula to predict their lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease. The risk was lower in younger adults.

Whole foods also counter obesity-related issues. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, those who consumed whole grains decreased their weight by 2.4 lbs over an eight-year period. Researchers from Finland found those who took in whole grains had a 35% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Plant-based whole foods reduce pain and inflammation. They lower the acid levels in the body, keeping it alkaline. This prevents inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis.

Perhaps the most important boon of whole foods is that it reduces the risk of colon cancer. A survey of 61 000 women, conducted by Swedish researchers, found that those who consumed whole grains had a 24% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.

In this video you will get some tips on how you can still eat whole foods on a budget.

Real food which will bring your weight down

Whole foods and weight loss have a clear association, but you may still have questions about which ones work. Use these whole foods to further your weight loss goals.

1. Fruits

An apple may keep a doctor further away than you imagine.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) involved collecting data from 120, 000 participants, who included fruits with every meal. These participants lost a total of 0.49 pounds after four years.

2. Lentils

The same study showed that vegetables, high in fiber, fill the body and slim it down. Participants, who included vegetables with every meal, lost 0.22 pounds after the four-year trial.

Experts shared that a cup of lentils supplies 35% of the iron that the body needs daily. According to food writer Tammy Lakatos, the body needs iron to work efficiently and boost metabolism.

3. Nuts

almondsThe study in the NEJM collected further proof that nuts are high in slimming, monounsaturated fat. They ranked highly among foods that slowed weight gain.

4. Hot peppers

Spice up your whole food diet with chilies. Capsaicin, which gives chilies their spice, burns excess calories.

Researchers at Laval University in Canada showed that capsaicin causes thermogenesis, or heat production. This may prompt watchers to do war whoops, as it means that the body burns calories after they take it in.

These researchers also found that capsaicin helped to decrease appetite. The men and women they surveyed reported feeling less hungry after eating food doused with chilies. The study also found that adding chilies to a low-fat meal can help to satisfy the body’s need for oil.

5. Lean meats

Building muscles like Superman’s is not such a bad idea.

Lean meat has a high thermogenic effect. Researchers TL Halton et al reviewed random investigations on the effect on protein diets on thermogenisis. The investigations showed that a higher protein intake increased thermogenisis, built muscle and hastened weight loss.

6. Low-fat Dairy foods

The next time someone steals your low-fat cheese and yogurt from your refrigerator, find out who it is. Stocking up on milk and cheese makes it easier for you to lose extra pounds.

Professor Michael Zemmel of the University of Tennessee found that obese adults on a low-fat dairy diet lost a lot more weight than those who avoided dairy. Three or four dairy product servings generated weight loss more effectively than calcium supplements.

7. Whole grains

Whole grains will never lose their fat-burning status. Studies constantly prove its ability to trigger weight loss.

Scandinavian researchers collected health data from over 2000 people and discovered that those who took in whole grains had much lower amounts of LDL (Low-density Liproprotein), or “bad” cholesterol.

8. Green tea

To lose weight, go green. Green tea, that is. It is a must-have addition to a whole food diet.

Green tea has gained unwavering popularity as a weight loss booster in recent years. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks. ECCG, a compound in green tea leaves, speeds metabolism after you drink it.

Eating whole foods to lose weight: What you need to know

There is little doubt that whole foods help with weight loss. If you want to follow the Whole Food Diet, these suggestions will help to make your attempt a success.

1. Prepare your meals

Cooking whole foods is enjoyable, but cramps a busy schedule. A way to ease the process is to plan your meals in advance. Cutting and storing meats will help to decrease food preparation time on busy days. Prepare beans and lentils for dishes like black bean soup.

2. Use slow cookers

Slow cookers are time savers, because they allow you to prepare your meals at the beginning of the day. Get your whole food meal ready by the time you return from work.

3. Store whole grains and healthy staples

grain-1

Whole grains are not only healthy, but also hardy. Store them, in portions, for up to a month. Take one out to cook when you need to. Stock up on staples like whole wheat pasta and satisfy your body’s need for carbohydrates

4. Make use of leftovers.

Eating a whole food meal at one go is no easy task, unless you have Samson’s appetite.

Have chili-doused chicken breast for dinner and tuck it into a taco for lunch the next day. Make sure that you use a whole grain taco.

5. Get healthy fast food

Being on a healthy diet does not mean that you have to forgo fast food options. Salad stalls dish up delicious Ceasar’s and tuna salads daily. Grab a bowl for lunch.

6. Make lists of food you can and cannot life without

Allow yourself an occasional treat. You may find it hard to live without sausages, and avoiding them completely may make your whole food diet a failure. You may find sticking to it a task.

Make lists of food that you can and cannot live without. Have the food you cannot live without on weekends or special occasions.

7. Balance

The Whole Food Diet encourages variety and balance. Make sure that you include lean meat protein, vegetables, healthy fat and monounsaturated oil. Take in whole food starches to satisfy your carbohydrate needs.

8. Do not get rid of nutrients

Some diets suggest getting rid of carbohydrates altogether, but you need them to boost your energy. Do not ditch them, but substitute them for wild rice, squash or quinoa instead.

Make the right whole foods part of your diet. You will look at a slimmer you in the mirror.

All images are under a creative commons license in this post

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