Friday, July 21, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 2

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss - Step 2 (cont'd)

Diet Composition

Your diet must consist of foods from all food groups (e.g. meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts/seeds, legumes). If you’re a vegetarian, you can still get sufficient amounts of protein from legumes, soy bean products and whole grains.

In a French study, evidence suggested that diet variety was one of the reasons French people were less obese and had fewer occurrences of heart disease than Americans. Another important factor was the diversity in their diet. Overall, the French diet contained more foods from all food groups and consisted of more types of food and food products compared to the American diet. (1)

Furthermore, the French seemed to enjoy their food more. Their meals were like special gatherings, celebrations, meant to be enjoyed by all. They typically didn’t eat very fast. They seemed to enjoy their food more; it’s as if time stood still during their meals.

This method of eating accomplishes several things. For one, eating slower and being more relaxed during meals increases chewing time. In addition, by slowing down the pace of a meal and chewing more, you are more likely to get a feeling of fullness while eating less quantities of food. In contrast, North Americans, very often eat on the run.

The other benefit of the French eating style is that it aids the digestive process by reducing workload and improving the efficiency of nutrient distribution throughout the body. An increase in food variety and diversity decreases the percentage of bad foods (saturated/trans fats, unrefined carbohydrates) present in your digestive system.

Moreover, increased fiber content from fresh foods (fruits vegetables and whole grains) also sweeps up and pushes out bad foods quicker, leaving them less time to be absorbed by the intestines and therefore becoming less harmful. As a result risks of developing chronic diseases, such as various forms of cancer and heart related diseases are also reduced. (2)


References:

1. http://www.sciencedaily.com, “Healthy diets need fat, according to new study”, retrieved 22 June 2005 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980424031929.htm

2. http://www.ajcn.org, “Cereals, legumes, and chronic disease risk reduction: evidence from epidemiologic studies”, retrieved 15 August 2005 from http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/3/451S
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