Love Your Fat. Welcome back for the fourth week of learning about your body and losing a few pounds in the process. If you have been following the dietary information in the last three posts you should be feeling a few pounds lighter. Now is the time to bring together the three essential components of any good eating plan: a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. This week let’s take a look at what some people fear more than their mother-in-law. Fats.
If there is one component of food that has been shamefully maligned in the American diet this is it. Americans harbor an unhealthy love/hate relationship with fats, which is ironic since they are the building blocks for your cell membranes, your hormones and play key roles in many other body functions. You need to obtain 20-35 percent of your calories from high quality fats in the form of organic vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and for non-vegetarians, fish and moderate amounts of animal protein. That can look like approximately 60 grams of fat for women on a 2000-calorie per day diet.
Fats make food taste good and leave your body feeling satisfied. Nutritional research has shown that low-fat diets do not work, that trans-fatty acids should be avoided and including Omega-3 Fatty Acids (fish oil, flaxseeds, walnuts), on a daily basis can actually help you to lose weight.
Many years ago I followed a popular weight loss diet of the time. There was no fat allowed in any form and after two weeks I ecstatically weighed ten pounds less. I had eaten well, made all the recipes, exercised and loved my lighter body; but a few days later, I found myself eating mayonnaise right out of the jar. It was my first lesson in what can happen when the body is deprived of what it so vitally needs. Like a rubber band stretched taut it can only snap back in the opposite direction and watch out when it does. Many an eating disorder began by depriving the body of its essential fatty acids.
Water: As you are made up of 70 percent water it is a given that you need to replenish what you lose each day. The U. S. government recommends 11 glasses for women and 16 glasses for men of pure water; but this does not mean drinking this amount. In his column Ask the Doc, for Vegetarian Times, Dr. Neal Barnard explains how your food is a huge source of water in the form of soups, water cooked vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruit and tea. Drink when you are thirsty, 4 ounces at a time, and obtain much of your water from food for better absorption and hydration of the body.
Sleep: Our bodies are designed to get 8 hours of sound sleep each night. Research has shown that individuals who sleep less than this can gain more weight than those who cuddle down for a long night of zzz’s. When your diet includes stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, synthetic vitamins, fruit juice and soda pop, combined with stress, your nervous system will have a tough time relaxing at the end of the day. To counter this there is wine, medication, herbs, or sex to wind you down. Try removing the stimulants so you can eliminate the sedatives and be more alert and active for the sex.
Enjoy having quality fats in your diet, I love a little organic butter on my sourdough bread, and remember that with moderation you can eat a much wider variety of nutrient dense foods. Also, drink enough fluids, get plenty of sleep, even if a quick afternoon nap is required, and continue to chew well. Meet you back here for Week Five.