Why Eating a Whole Foods Diet Will help you to Maintain a Healthy Weight
By Claudia Jones
We all know that we should be eating a healthy diet but how many of us actually make it a part of everyday life? Modern living means we are often too busy to prepare meals from scratch and admittedly it does take some time and effort to shop and plan for healthy meals but the rewards far outweigh the preparation involved.
Here are a few reasons why eating a whole foods diet can help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Eating a whole foods diet can:
Increase the amount of fiber you take in every day; a meal that contains dietary fiber helps you to feel full and satisfied and less likely to overeat.
To help increase your fiber intake always choose whole meal breads over white, brown rice over white, whole rolled oats over instant porridge and so on. Eat plenty of vegetables with every meal and remember that the fiber content of a food diminishes the more you cook it as does the nutritional content. Note that animal products, meat, fish and dairy do not contain any dietary fiber.
Help to regulate bowel movements, keep your colon clean and reduce risk of intestinal disease
Modern diets are really low in dietary fiber and contribute to bowel disease over the long-term. You should aim to consume around 40grams of dietary fiber every day that can only be achieved through eating a wholefoods diet or through supplementation.
Reduce your intake of unhealthy fats and sugars
Most processed, pre-packaged foods contain high levels of added sugars, fats and sodium which consumed over the long-term have a damaging effect on your health. Low in nutritional content and fiber, packaged foods leave the body craving nourishment so you feel the need to eat more.
Help to regulate your blood sugar levels
By eating a balanced, whole foods diet you will avoid the blood sugar highs and crashes that can occur as a result of eating refined sugar, white flour, white rice, overcooked white pasta and so on. For example a whole foods meal of, brown rice, chick peas or lentils, steamed vegetables, nuts and seeds with a tamari-lemon dressing will give you sustained energy over a longer period compared to a sweet chocolate muffin and a white bread sandwich. As well as being by far the healthier choice, eating in this way also reduces the need to snack in between meals.
Diminish cravings for unhealthy foods.
We crave sweet, salty and fatty foods when we are low on energy and when our body needs certain nutrients. A balanced wholefoods diet is naturally rich in vitamin and mineral content, contains healthy fats and natural sugars and is nutritionally satisfying, therefore you are less likely to experience cravings for foods that can damage your health.
What makes up a wholefoods diet?
A healthy wholefoods diet consists mainly of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. To take in the broad range of nutrients our body needs our diet should be varied to include different fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables and grains every day.
The plate below shows the daily intake recommended from each food group:
Ideally protein should come mainly from plant sources such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Legumes are an excellent source of protein, lentils, beans and bean soy bean products such as tofu and tempeh all count as legumes.
Of course how you prepare your foods is important too. Avoid frying foods and overcooking them instead choose to steam, boil, bake or where possible eat them raw. Use a juicer or blender to create delicious and nutritious juices and smoothies… and have fun!
At Samahita Retreat we have designed a Healthy Weight Program to facilitate long – term weight loss. Rather than a quick fix that slows the metabolism and leads to weight gain once the diet is over, we offer nutritionally balanced, healthy wholefoods meals, (calorie – counted of course) that provide you with enough energy to participate in all of the yoga and fitness activities.
Here at Samahita Retreat, we believe in long-term change. Our Healthy Weight Program is designed to assist you in your transition to a healthy lifestyle bringing with it the rewards of greater health and wellbeing.
The Healthy Weight Program offers you a diet that is both nutritious and delicious, guides you through a manageable exercise program, re-educates you on how to eat, prepare healthy meals and helps you to address the cause of your weight gain.
This program is suitable for anyone wishing to lose anything from a few pounds upwards. It is also suitable for anyone wanting to re-set the dials and get back into healthy eating and vibrant living!
Claudia is the Wellness Director at Samahita Retreat. Claudia offers support and advice to guests on our detox & wellness programs and teaches detox & wellness retreats at Wellness Thailand, Samahita Retreat throughout the year.