Weight Loss

The holidays are over and many of us are feeling the heavy sluggishness of a few extra pounds, our energy sapped from an excess of processed and refined goodies. New Year’s resolutions are ubiquitous, we are all determined that this will be the year we eat better, lose weight, exercise more, etc. Sound familiar? If not, please keep it to yourselves, the rest of us feel guilty enough as it is!

This month’s issue focuses on rejuvenation and restoration. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, restore means to give back or return, and rejuvenate means to return to an original or new state. While many people want to lose weight and purge their bodies of these recent toxins, cleansing is not the way to go. Spring is the season for cleansing, winter is the season for restoring and rejuvenating our bodies, building and strengthening them so we can fight off colds and flu’s. We should be saturating our cells in nutrients and enzymes from raw organic foods so that we can return our bodies to health. Weight loss, increased energy and reduced stress are simply welcome side effects of eating fresh whole foods as nature intended.

Raw foods promote weight loss in several ways. First, they are low in fat and calories while being high in fibre and water. This keeps us feeling full longer without burdening our bodies with chemicals and additives. Second, many vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots and celery, burn more calories during digestion than they contain. Third, raw foods contain enzymes that help to digest foods more completely, resulting in increased absorption and elimination. When our bodies absorb the nutrients our cells need we don’t eat as much. Have you ever noticed that you can eat a whole bag of chips while watching TV and not be full? This is because our body’s not getting what it needs from processed foods, it is letting you eat more in the hopes that you will eventually provide it with the nourishment that it requires. Fourth, the weight loss experienced during raw food diets has as much to do with the increase of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains that you consume as it does on the processed nutrient deficient high fat/high calorie foods you are eliminating.

When trying to lose weight your goal should be to increase fruits and veggies to 50% of the total food consumed. Sprouted whole grains like steel cut oats for breakfast and quinoa for dinner will keep you full and provide fibre. Nuts and seeds are also beneficial, but be aware of how many you are consuming because fats contain more than double the calories that proteins and carbs provide.

Of course that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat yourself occasionally! Coconut oil, a medium-chain fatty acid, is a wonderful addition to desserts. Not only does your liver immediately convert it into energy, it also increases your metabolism…a dessert that burns fat…sounds like an oxymoron! Don’t forget the tips from the last issue of Synergy Magazine if you need help incorporating warming raw foods this winter. Happy New Year and Rawk on!