Every day you wake up it’s the same old thing. Your thoughts are,” Today will be different. I will start my diet and lose weight.”
Then what happens? You either starve yourself all day and eat from dinner time to bedtime or you blow it within an hour of getting up. You are in constant turmoil about what you eat and how much you weigh. There is a solution which is sustainable and enjoyable. No counting calories, no counting fat, no counting!
The easiest way to accomplish your weight loss goals is to engage in a plant-based diet. This way of eating meets the criteria for a successful and healthy lifestyle. Simply abiding by some general guidelines will bring you success. It really works. You will have more energy, lose weight and look great!
What Do I Eat?
Center your diet around fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Eat until you are full, but as with any dietary plan, do not overeat! Plant-based foods are low in calories and nutrient dense, so portion control is usually not an issue. These foods are also high in fiber which leads to feeling full and satisfied! After you lose weight and are free of any health problems you may add a little avocado and English walnuts into your diet.
A plant-based diet is high in antioxidants, phytochemicals and supplies almost all of your nutrient needs. Vitamin D and B12 are the only things that need to be addressed. Your body synthesizes vitamin D from the sun which can be accomplished through safe, moderate exposures. There are also foods fortified with vitamin D, e.g., plant-based milks. B12 must be obtained from a supplement. Everyone can benefit from B12, not just those on a plant-based diet. This is especially true if you are 50 or older, as we are not as efficient at metabolizing B12 when we get older.
One of the buzz words in natural health today is omega-3s. One tablespoon of flaxseed meal and generous amounts of green vegetables, especially dark green vegetables, will give you your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for good health.
Natural foods are your best resource. Organic natural foods are even better. You can also give yourself a little boost by partaking in a protein shake which supplies important nutrients. Matrix Meal Superfood protein shake is a good choice which is available at your favorite on-line organic market; TrueFoods Market.
How Many Calories Do I Need?
It is not necessary to figure out how many calories you need if you follow the basic guidelines of the plan; however, some of us are more comfortable knowing how many calories we should be eating.
A simple calculation to figure out your basal metabolic rate (BMR) (the amount of calories you need just to keep breathing), is to multiply your weight times 10. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, multiply 140 by 10 to come up with 1,400 calories. The next step is to factor in your activity level to find your total daily calorie requirements.
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
This number is the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight.
How Do I Lose Weight?
There are 3,500 calories in one pound. If you want to lose one pound a week you need to eat 500 fewer calories a day. Slow steady weight loss is the best way to regain your health. You do not want to put your body into starvation mode. Your body’s reaction to not eating enough is to hold on to its’ fat stores. This is a survival mechanism originating from our ancestors. Do not be scared to eat! Eating fires up your metabolism and keeps it going. Exercise does the same thing. The more you exercise the more you can eat!