12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - December 20-31, 2011
To create a structure and formula for success in a health and fitness program, providing helpful tools, resources, and guidance to turn goals into reality, making New Year’s Resolutions come true.
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Winning at Weight Loss with a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet by Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T.
Weight management has reached a critical impasse. After decades of searching out the perfect diet- from the low-carb obsession to the crazy hCG fad - our nation is growing larger, sicker, and more discouraged. No matter which magic diet plan you analyze, a common theme can be recognized…the concept of quantification. Whether it's counting calories or grams of carbohydrates, or weighing and measuring portions, our society has become obsessed with numbers when it comes to losing weight. Obviously, this has not been successful.
Thus, it is time to change our modus operandi. What if we change the emphasis to quality
instead of quantity? A low-fat whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet is a win-win solution for achieving and sustaining optimum health and weight. In fact, several studies have now shown that this type of eating plan does, indeed, produce the most favorable outcomes for people, and that is even without
changes in exercise or portion parameters. In other words, researchers such as Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have found that those following an ad libitum intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes achieved greater weight loss than their control counterparts. (Imagine when you put exercise and a WFPB diet together? Talk about a perfect pair!)
Here's how eating a diet of whole plant foods is effective for weight loss:
• Plants are naturally low in calories (except for high fat nuts, seeds, avocados and olives, which should be eaten in moderation).
• Eating foods high in fiber and low in fat enhance satiety…meaning you are full, satisfied, and eat less!
• Unprocessed plant foods are not full of addictive, stimulating substances (like sugar, salt, and casein), which promote cravings and overeating.
On the contrary, animal products, oil, and processed foods are high in calories and contain zero fiber. They also contain elements that are health-damaging. Animal products are high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and toxins such as hormones, antibiotics, and sodium. All of these negatively impact weight loss and are factors that contribute to most chronic diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 Diabetes, and autoimmune disease. Further, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are very low in micronutrients and have no phytochemicals or antioxidants. In fact, they act as pro-oxidants with their high iron and animal protein content.
Oil, although touted for its health benefits, is extremely low- if not devoid- of nutrients. All types of oil are 100% fat. In fact, one tablespoon contains approximately 120 calories of pure fat. When attempting to lose weight, this adds up quickly and can be counter-productive. Of course, we need to consume some fat for regular metabolic functions like absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and producing hormones, but the amount required is minimal and can easily be met by whole foods. Nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives are filled with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Even leafy green vegetables contain the more-difficult-to-obtain omega-3 fatty acids! Just one-to-two tablespoons of flaxseeds or a quarter cup of walnuts provides an entire day’s worth of omega-3 fatty acids. For anyone working towards weight loss, oil is an easily avoidable processed food. The good news is that cooking and baking without oil is incredibly simple and you won't even miss it.
Other processed foods typically come without fiber and water but are filled with added sugars, colors, flavors, fats, and sodium. Again, these are fat-promoting and health-degrading substances. Although there is a wide range of products that may be defined as “processed”, with a variety of different harmful versus healthful ingredients, it is ideal to minimize all processed foods as much as is possible in order to promote weight loss and achieve a state of nutritional excellence.
Ultimately, the way Americans are currently eating is not conducive to weight management or to health-promotion. Micromanaging macronutrient intake by counting carbs, fat grams, or calories is a futile method that is frustrating and unsustainable. Taking weight loss to the next realm requires a completely revised perspective…and according to the science, a diet based on whole plant foods offers the key to success.Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T.
The Plant-Based Dietitian http://www.PlantBasedDietitian.com
Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
Executive Director EarthSave, Int. http://www.EarthSave.org
Co-Producer of To Your Health http://www.GoingVeg.net
@PlantDietitian on Twitter
Amazon.com Link to Julieanna's book: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-G ... 280&sr=8-1Check back for tomorrow's updates!http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/forum