Health News – Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor
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Trying To Loose Weight? Focus On The Following:

Most of us are constantly worry about weight gain or not being able to loose weight. We also dread putting ourselves through ridiculous diets and exercise regimens, when all we want to do is: loose weight and not have to put as much effort into it, right? Here are some simple and easy modifications you can focus on, on a day to day basis and see how those pounds melt away:

1. Eat slowly and chew your food properly. For each bite you take, chew at least 11 times. This allows the food to break down into smaller particles and also allows the digestive juices in the saliva to start working on digesting the foods – especially starches.

2. Have a glass of water with a squeeze of lime or lemon before each meal and before each second helping. This will help you decrease the number of calories you would otherwise consume and make you feel fuller faster as well. However, make sure you are not drinking water with your meals, as this will have a negative impact on digestion, as the water will dilute your digestive enzymes.

3. Try to practice food combining. Simply put: Eat your foods in a way that is most favorable / optimal for your digestion. Here are the three simple rules to go by:

– Eat fruits with fruits.
– Eat carbohydrates (potatoes, starchy vegetables, rice, noodles and pastas) with vegetables, and not with protein (meat, fish and vegetarian proteins).
– Eat proteins with vegetables, and not with carbohydrates.
I know, at first you might think – that you have been eating your carbohydrates with proteins all your life, and its been fine. Try to eat for a week with the three simples rules above and let me know what you feel as a difference in your digestion.

4. Avoid foods you are intolerant or mildly allergic to. When you consume foods that you are sensitive or allergic to, you will experience quite a few symptoms including not limited to weight gain and water retention among others. A simple blood test can reveal what your food intolerances and or allergies are. Once you have identified these, try to eliminate them for a few months, and also try to rotate the foods you are eating and add variety to your diet. Do not eat the same foods everyday.

5. Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces or about 8 – 10 glasses of water daily. Hydration is key. Quite often the body mistakes hunger for thirst, especially if you are not used to drinking water, and this leads to consumption of empty calories.

6. Plan your healthy meals and snacks ahead of time. I find this very helpful especially if you are going to be out and about or working long hours daily.  When you have healthy snacks around – you will be less tempted to go and buy unhealthy calorie laden junk foods.  Here is a list of 5 snacks that i usually carry around and love, maybe you can give these a try: dried cherries mixed with cranberries, sliced cucumbers, carrots and peppers with a dash of herbamere seasoning (sea salt with dried herbs), rice crackers with babaganouj or hummus, raw almonds with cashews and walnuts, sliced mangoes or green apples.

7. Try to have most your calories in the early part of the day, for the best utilization of the calories in the food, and spend at least 20 – 30 minutes to eat  your meals and snacks, as opposed to eating too quickly and stuffing the stomach. Try to avoid having snacks while you are engaged in doing something, as this leads to consumption of extra calories you would not have otherwise consumed.

8. Exercise is important, but not if its going to create stress in your life, in an already packed schedule. Try to get at least 10,000 steps in a day – be it walking, brisk walking, jogging, among other activities. If going to a gym is not your thing, take a look at various different activities available and see what you feel drawn to and feel comfortable with. Try it out, you never know, you might actually like it! Talk to your naturopathic doctor about your health goals, and how to optimize your health and well being, using diet and exercise, and also get them to look at your hormone, thyroid levels and metabolism levels, as these could be an issue if you are trying to loose weight at no avail. For more information on weight loss and how to loose weight, please click here.

By: SUSHMA SHAH, Toronto Naturopathic Doctor.

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