Surfing the internet because you are desperate to lose weight? You feel that you have tried it all and nothing works? You have tried every diet, suffered, sacrificed, and managed to lose a few pounds, but then you gain all the weight back and then some more? Yes, I know! That can be very frustrating.
As a registered dietitian with 20 years of experience helping patients sort out these issues, I can tell you for a fact that diet cleansers, detox diets, and very low-calorie diets do not work. Some might work for 5 to 7 days, and you can see the pounds shed off. But later, when you go back to your regular diet, the magic is gone.
And who can survive on vinegar, water with lemon, or cabbage soup? No one! Some people don’t even make it for the number of treatment days suggested. Here we explain why.
Consequences of Cleansing
When you detox or cleanse, you deprive your body of calories and essential nutrients, this triggers cravings, slows your metabolism, and you start burning less energy. In the short term, you lose weight, but this is not a definitive solution.
On the contrary, I know many people that after years of detoxing, dieting, and trying weight loss supplements, and home remedies, become immune to weight loss. After all, food is our preferred energy source, is like water for plants. Would you give a plant something other than water?
Why Do You Experience Cravings?
When you start restricting yourself from your usual food from one day to the next, your mind and body start to miss the food, and it becomes hard to manage cravings. When you detox, you start missing your favorite foods; they can even start to appear in your dreams!
Cravings get so strong that you start wondering if something is wrong with you. If you survive the cleansing or detox symptoms, and you meet your weight loss goal, you probably can’t wait another day to indulge in the foods you really like.
Why Does Weight Come Back?
Once you go back to your usual diet, if it is abundant in fatty foods, sweets, starches, sodas and juices, and scarce in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, the final result is that the pounds come back. After all, that is what you were eating to get you to the weight you wanted to lose, correct?
What About Cleansers That Don’t Leave You Hungry?
There are some cleansers that make you feel satisfied, but still, if you aren’t eating “real food” you are just setting a time bomb to explode when real food shows up. Some people start eating bigger portions, and even some foods that they haven’t had in a while.
Bigger portions provide more calories. Carbohydrates, including starches and sweets, junk food, fried foods, and sweet beverages, also give you many calories.
It’s Not About Suffering…
Many people believe that to lose weight one has to starve and sacrifice. Others think that weight loss has to hurt. It is not true. You can cleanse, keep the lost weight, eat, and be happy, all in one.
You think I am joking, right? Here is how. Try the one and only cleanser that will not fail you. It’s the cleanser that will do the work while you are still eating what you like: Dietary Fiber!
What is Dietary Fiber?
Dietary fiber is the roughage in plants; it’s the natural super cleanser. It’s the part of the plant that cannot be digested, and it has great benefits for your health.
There are two types of fiber:
- Soluble Fiber dissolves in water and binds little food particles that are not needed in the body, such as food waste, cholesterol, extra salt, and sugar. This helps to reduce cholesterol and sugar levels and prevent heart disease.
- Insoluble Fiber doesn’t mix with water. It adds bulk to stools and prevents colon cancer. It also gives a feeling of fullness that helps you eat less and lose weight, and have more frequent and softer bowel movements, preventing constipation.
Where To Find Soluble Fiber?
All fiber is in plant based foods. Women need about 25 grams of fiber per day, while men need 38 grams per day.
Food sources of soluble fiber are:
- Cereals: oat bran and barley, quinoa
- Nuts: peanuts, walnuts
- Seeds: flaxseed
- Beans: red beans, kidney beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, peas
- Fruits: oranges, apples, pears, mangoes, bananas, apricots
- Vegetables: jams, sweet potatoes, turnips, beets
How To Use Fiber To Lose Weight?
Eating foods that contain fiber on a daily basis is essential:
- Instead of white rice or pasta prefer brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
- Switch your white bread to whole wheat.
- Add beans to your meals, either as soups, stewed, dips or in salads.
- Cut down on the starch and meats and add half a plate of vegetables to each meal. If you feel half a plate of vegetables is too much, eat a quarter of your plate with vegetables and eat fresh fruit instead.
- You can also fill half of your plate with salad or salad and vegetables or fruits.
- Eat fruits for dessert, and also as snacks if you are hungry. Fruits like mango, pineapple or kiwi have lots of fiber and can be very sweet.
- Add vegetables to your rice, pasta, stews, and your favorite dishes. This will add color and flavor to your meals.
- Instead of soda or processed juice, blend fruits and vegetables with water and make fresh juice. Do not use a juicer. When you juice, the juicer takes out the fiber.
- Eat nuts as snacks and add them to preparations and salads.
- Try a variety of vegetables, salads, and fruits to keep your meals interesting.
If I Eat Fiber, Can I Eat Everything Else I Want And Lose Weight?
There is no magic bullet for weight loss, which includes dietary fiber as well. The more you eat, the more weight you gain. While you get four calories per gram of starch, and nine calories for each gram of fat, fruits, and vegetables are much lower in calories.
When you eat different fruits and vegetables while cutting down on starches and proteins, you are reducing your caloric intake, and this helps with weight loss.
Think About Making Changes That Last
Losing weight doesn’t have to be harsh, but it requires hard and constant work – on a daily basis, and long term. If you see weight loss plans that require strenuous exercise, or diets that are very restrictive, be aware that they don’t give long-term results.
Only when you make changes that last a long time is when you obtain results that stay. And these changes need to allow for you to eat a variety of healthy foods.
- To lose and keep the weight off, start by identifying your areas of improvement: Do you feel that you have been eating too much candy? Or drinking too much soda? Eating lots of snacks? Are you buying take-out too often? Once you identify your problem areas move on to set your goals.
- Choose to start working around the foods that you are ready to give up. You don’t need to tackle them all at the same time. Start with one or two foods or food groups, and work hard on them, before moving to your next goal.
- Then, make gradual changes. You might, for example, feel that you need to cut down on sweets because you are eating a chocolate bar a day, try eating the half bar and save the other half for the next day. Instead, you can have some sweet fruits or munch on some popcorn, which is rich in fiber. Once you feel that that is easy to do, cut down to half a bar every other day or move on to another goal.
Keep Calm And Keep Trying
Dietary fiber will help you cut down on calories, reduce your cholesterol levels, control your blood sugars, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and lose weight. Fiber is of many common fruits, vegetables, grains, whole cereals, and nuts.
Make sure that you eat fiber rich foods with each meal, and even as snacks, and in every bite, start tasting the flavor of weight that goes down and stays down.
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In-Post Images: shutterstock.com & nutrino.co