Cutting out grains and sugar (particularly fructose), is a crucial step if you want to normalize your weight, but paying attention to what you replace them with is equally important.
One of your most basic health principles is to eat a diet of whole, nutritious foods rather than processed “diet” fare. Focusing on so-called “superfoods” might change the way you look at weight loss—and could even turn your struggles with weight into an issue of the past.
Feeding your body the right nutrients rather than stuffing it with “empty” calories will not only help you lose unwanted pounds, it’s also a key ingredient for living a long and healthy life. Believe it or not, many people who are overweight are actually malnourished.
Recent research1 also indicates that optimizing your vitamin D may help you lose weight if you’re deficient, and this is another basic that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re struggling with weight issues.
What’s So ‘Super’ About Superfoods?
The term “superfood” was coined in 2004 by Dr. Steven Pratt, author ofSuperfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life. He points out that this kind of eating goes beyond the idea of dieting. It’s really a way of life. “It’s the non-diet diet. It’s food you can eat for a lifetime,” he told CNN a few years ago.2
More recently, Health magazine listed dozens of slimming superfoods.3 While the majority are excellent options, I disagree with some of them, particularly the recommendation to switch to low-fat dairy.
The only types of fats you should really be limiting are man-made varieties like trans fats, processed vegetable oils, and virtually any oil heated to high temperatures as toxic byproducts like cyclic aldehydes will form.
Full fat dairy—and in particular raw, unpasteurized dairy—is far preferable to low-fat varieties, both for overall health and weight loss. In one study,4 women who consumed at least one serving of full-fat dairy a day gained 30 percent less weight over a nine-year period than women who ate only low-fat (or no) dairy products.
Saturated fats provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a large number of hormones and hormone-like substances that are essential to your health.
Healthy fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as meat, dairy, and tropical plant oils like coconut and avocado) also provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet—an important consideration when you’re cutting out carbs.
When you eat fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry.
In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.
One of the cornerstones of successful weight loss is in fact consuming higher amounts of healthy saturated fats, so don’t fall into the low-fat trap. That said, below I will review seven of my superfood favorites which, if eaten more of, can help you achieve your weight loss goals with greater ease. (continue reading)