Health » We Know That We Must Eat Less To Lose Weight

We Know That We Must Eat Less To Lose Weight

Alva2 gifPeople say that we should change what we eat and eat less but how exactly do you do that?

 

Since time began man has had a natural craving for fat, salt and sugar but we now eat far too much of these things in snacks and ready-made meals causing massive weight gain. We live in an affluent environment where we can pick and choose to eat the most desirable foods from all over the world, ready-made. Is it any wonder that with this temptation we want to pick and choose food that tastes good and make us feel good?  Food manufacturers want us to buy more of their foods so they often add high levels of sugar, fat and salt to their ingredients so that we enjoy them more and buy more. The result is that we become sugar, fat and salt tolerant and then need even more of these ingredients for food to continue to taste good;. Over the last 20 years our tastes have changed and due to the marketing of ready-made foods sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks, our taste buds have learnt to desire and crave food high in salt, fat and sugar.

 

This is a very natural desire but we have to find a way to control our eating habits. The fact is: keep our bodies healthy and strong and protect them from modern diseases such as diabetes we need to control our craving for food high in salt, fat and sugar. If we do not find a way to control our desire for these foods we will end up overweight or clinically obese. Being overweight causes illness and suffering that will shorten our lives and diminish our pleasure in the wonderful world that we live in. Women working means they have less time for cooking and ready-made meals have become highly popular with families. 

 

What is the sweet problem of sugar?

According to a Harvard University study, the average American consumes, on average, 20 teaspoons of sugar per day. In a 2011 study in researchers in the United Kingdom found that if you drank a sweetened drink for a month you would then crave sugar in your diet. Many people say, “I have a sweet tooth and that's my excuse for eating sweets deserts and chocolate”.

But can you really control that desire and retrain your taste buds; or will you always crave sweet things? The answer is yes: you can retrain your taste buds.

 

Throughout my years of running a slimming club I have found that making gradual changes is the key to success. For example, if you suddenly cut out all sugar you will probably feel withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and an excessive craving for sugar; and this will possibly make you want to indulge more. But if you cut down gradually your body will accept gradual changes. A good way to start cutting down on sugar is to start by cutting sugar from you tea and coffee.

 

sugar gifMany people enjoy a cup of tea with sugar and a biscuit or chocolate routine. This is their reward. This is how they relax. But if you are doing this 3 and 4 times per day you are taking in too much sugar and putting on weight. Drinking tea with sugar 6 or 7 times per day is not a treat but an unhealthy habit causing weight gain and tooth decay. 

 

Becoming 'sugar tolerant'

People who routinely eat lots of sugar become 'sugar tolerant'.  This means they need more and more sugar in food and drinks before they can taste it. People who don't eat much sugar can taste it in relatively small amounts and find big amounts too sweet and sickly. This means the more sugar you eat the more sugar you crave. You need to 'retrain taste buds'. The first step is to convince your brain that giving up sugar in your tea is a good idea. I remember giving up sugar in tea and coffee for a month and for the first few days they tasted pretty awful; but gradually I began to come to like the real taste of the drink. Now if someone gives me tea with sugar by mistake I find it so sweet I cannot drink it. It is the tea I want to taste.

 

If you need to lose weight it is a good start to cut down on sugar (rather than cutting it out altogether which will probably give you cravings). Sugar is instrumental in triggering the overproduction of insulin that leads to peaks and trough in energy levels which cause you to want to consume more sugar.

The retraining of your taste buds can also work with salt: if you stop putting salt on the table or in your food for a month you will start to enjoy the real taste of your food without salt and in time you will not miss the salty taste. Studies have shown that people who eat a low salt or sodium diet for several months wind up preferring less salt in their food.

You can also retrain your taste buds to desire less fat. I have found many people in the Middle East have a taste for fat and they tell me that if there is no fat the dish has no taste. But by adding less fat you soon begin to enjoy the food more. You can also bake food and add lemon and herbs for taste.

 

Everything in moderation is the key. Cutting down gradually leads to success. If you cut down gradually you will enjoy your food with less fat.

 

 

Ask Alva

 I am losing lots of hair due to stress and notice my hair getting very thin. I am taking a supplement for hair loss but can you explain how scalp massage can help. Clare

 

Many women lose hair due to stress and tension; stress can cause the scalp to become tight which restricts the blood flow to the hair roots.  Massage is very effective in this case and I recommend Permea Plus Hair Repair Massage Oil; it is an extra light oil and contains 6 oils that feed the roots. Massage into the scalp to maximise flexibility and release tension. This will promote strong healthy hair growth within weeks.  For a fact sheet on hair massage email me at hairofo@ardenhealth.com. Alva



  “HEALTHLINES is a monthly column devoted to healthy living, diet and exercise. Reader’s questions (send them to alvafujairah@ardenhealth.com) are appreciated and a selection will be replied to in the column by Alva Carpenter, a nutrition and fitness expert with long experience of health problems associated with Gulf countries.   Alva trained in optimal nutrition in London. She counselled ladies in Dubai on how to successfully manage their weight. She now has a counselling service on slimming, diet, and exercise, based in Somerset, England. Readers can visit www.ardenhealth.com for more information on healthy living.”  


 

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