No one diet works for everyone. But there are dietary principles that help most people. The perfect long term weight loss amount is about one pound/half kilogram a week. Most people achieve far more than this initially as the potassium/sodium ratio changes in the body. The change in potassium/sodium ratio enables you to excrete excess fluid, water retention levels fall.
The change in diet should also increase your bowel movements and their bulk. An increase in bowel motions is a positive function as this represents an increase in functional elimination of waste. A pound lost in a week sounds very little, but it is a lot as far as the body is concerned. Take a pound tub of margarine or butter and imagine the same amount being cut out of you four times a month. It would amount to a massive operation.
Managing Your Diet:
The first thing you should do is start a food diary. Every thing you eat and drink should be recorded for a month and then listed. Divide your foods into these five categories: 1. meats/fats and anything made from them, sausages, ham, eggs, beef, chicken, lamb, fish, pork, burgers, butter, margarine, cheese, etc, etc. 2. starches/sugars anything made for them bread, potatoes, pastry, cakes, cookies, flour, bananas, pasta, jams, Jell-O, honey, cooked root vegetables parsnips, carrots, sweet, candies, chocolate, etc. 3, beverages, coffee, tea, colas, pop, sodas, carton fruit juices, beer, alcohol, energy drinks. 4. raw fruit and raw salad items cooked vegetables (not root vegetables, they come under the starch category). 5. mineral water, filtered water.
Now take the five categories and total them up by weight. The ratios you have should be: Raw fruits, vegetables and salads 3 Meats and fats 2 Starches and sugars 1 Beverages 1 Water 3 If you are not in the 3-2-1 or the 1-3 ratios its time to consider a change. You can ignore soups as they are usually a combination of foods. This is not a very exact method but it is simple, as you only need to remember the 3-2-1 rule and the 1 to 3. By keeping it manageable you make it doable. So every day your food consumption should fall into the 3 of raw/cooked vegetable and fruit, 2 of protein/fat , 1 of starch ratio. Your fluid intake should be 3 of water to 1 of beverage. I have added a simple exchange list below to give you a few ideas of how to swap for healthy options.
A selection of shopping items:
These foods are available in most health food shops as sugar free, salt free alternatives.
Breakfast cereals: plain sugar free cornflakes, puffed wheat/rice, Kashi etc, sugar free muesli, Heritage O’s etc.
Breads: whole meal wheat, rye, pumpernickel, vogel, rice, barley, spelt, farro, kamut, nan. Grains: brown rice, whole wheat, whole oats, jumbo oats, barley, spelt, farro, kamut, buckwheat (plain and roasted) millet, maze. Unbleached wheat flour.
Pasta: whole wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, farro, kamut, millet, bean and vegetable flour pastas.
Drinks: coffee (any water washed decaffeinated coffee is okay), decaffeinated tea, herbal teas, barley cup, caro. (Tesco carry pharmaceutical grade herbal teas), Biota vegetable juice.
Snacks: oatcakes, brown rice cakes, ryevita, rye biscuits, falafel, walaby bars.
Flavourings/Seasonings: all fresh herbs, Schwartz’s Italian seasoning, black and white pepper corns, olive pate, pesto, anchovy paste, tomato paste, vecon, marmite, tomato paste, mild curry paste, basil. Fibre: Allisons Bran plus
Spreads: fresh ground peanut butter, cashew nut spread, carob and nut spread, sunflower seed spread, tahini, houmus, German and continental fruit conserves made with fruit only. Some Shiphams fish pastes are okay check the label.
Sweeteners: Molasses, molasses sugar, muscavado sugar
Butter/Margarine: New Zealand butter, granose margarine, vitaquell, vitaseig.
Dairy: organic cow’s milk, goats milk, sheep’s milk, plain organic cow’s milk yoghurt, Greek sheep’s yoghurt, goats yoghurt, sheep’s and goats cheese both hard and soft. Soya milk, Provameal, granose, soya cheese, Soya cream etc.
Meats: tinned and fresh mackerel, sardines, pilchards, salmon, tuna, anchovies. Organic lamb, NZ lamb, organic chicken, turkey, rabbit, hare, game, venison, goat. Some smoked meats are ok make sure they are not made with synthetic flavourings or colorants Tofu, Quorn and temphi can be used as meat substitutes.
Oils: cold pressed olive oil, sunflower, safflower, grape seed and pumpkin seed oil.
Nuts and seeds: (as long as the nut or seed is unshelled and not roasted it will be okay) almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds. Spelt, farro and kamut are all primitive grains and as such are very low on the index of common allergic foods. Quinoa is a South American seed, used as a grain substitute, called by the ancient Incas ”the mother food”. It is gluten free and has a high protein content. Look out for the “Stamp Collection” of breads, crisps and goodies by Terence Stamp!
Chocolates & crisps: Organic, dairy free, sugar free yum, yum! Remember always try to eat fresh organically grown foods.