I ran into some friends that I hadn’t seen for years, and one of them asked me how I stay so thin.
The answer that popped out of my mouth was, “I eat a lot of vegetables and very little sugar.”
If you’ve watched my 4 Daily Habits for Weight Loss free video series, then you know that I hold that weight control philosophy near and dear to my heart.
If you haven’t watched my free video series, then what are you waiting for?
Keep It Simple and Sane [The KISS Principle]
Life is complicated.
There are always things vying for your attention and distracting you from healthy eating.
“I want to eat right, but there are so many [Fill in the Blank].”
A. Pastries in the staff room
B. Holiday parties
C. Invitations to go out to eat
D. Stressful situations that make me want to eat
E. All of the Above
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to control your weight without a ton of effort?
Well, for me, casual weight control boils down to eating lots of vegetables and very little sugar.
Now, I’m not naïve.
I get that eating lots of vegetables and cutting sugar out of your diet requires conscious effort and that there are other factors that come into play when your goal is to lose weight.
But, the bottom line is that eating nutrient-dense foods (i.e. veggies) and avoiding calorie-dense foods (i.e. sugary treats) are fundamental principles of any healthy weight loss strategy.
For weight loss to work for you, your plan must be kept simple and sane.
The 3 E’s of Weight Loss
In my free video series I talk about the 3 E’s of weight loss:
(Again, you want to watch the videos if you haven’t already. Queue them up by clicking this link. They will open in a different window, so you can watch them after you’re done reading.)
A few years ago, a prominent group of doctors got together to discuss why so few people practice common everyday healthy habits.
Specifically, they wanted to know why only 3% of the American people do the following things:
- Abstain from smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables
- Maintain a healthy weight
Those are the basics. They are the “no-brainers” of a healthy life, yet only three out of 100 people do them.
The doctors found that even though these principals of healthy living are logical, most people make them too complicated.
And, when things are too complicated, we throw up our arms and say, “Forget about it. Just pass me the nachos.”
Question: How to we un-complicate weight loss?
Answer: By creating a simple plan, that has you take big enough steps to see results, yet allows you to enjoy life.
In other words, your plan must meet the 3 E’s. i.e. Easy-to-Follow, Effective, and Enjoyable.
Surprisingly, it’s the third E (Enjoyable) where most of us get tripped up.
Enjoyable is The Part of Your Diet You’re Missing
When I was overweight, I wanted to be thin more than anything in the world, so I dieted.
But, those early attempts were rough because I’m a “Git-R-Done” kind of girl.
I had “Easy-to-Follow” and “Effective” down pat.
I would eat one food all day long; let’s say lettuce.
It was easy-to-follow…
“Becky, your stomach is growling louder than a bear, eat some more of the only food you are allowed to eat – lettuce.”
It was effective.
I am not, in any way, recommending a lettuce only diet, but hey, it will make you thin (and possibly land you in the hospital).
Inevitably, the very low-calorie diet would fail, and I would be back on a binge.
Because eating very little food is not fun. In fact, it’s borderline torture.
We don’t voluntarily keep doing things that are not fun or enjoyable.
Sugar and Enjoyment (They are Not One and the Same)
Most people on the planet now accept that too much sugar is bad for your waistline.
Whether you take in sugar in the form of soda, syrup, chocolate, or cake, sugar quickly turns to fat in your belly, hips, and thighs.
So, every worthwhile diet tells you to cut out sugar.
That’s a problem, if…
- You enjoy sugar.
- You eat a lot of sugar.
Liking sugar is nothing to be ashamed of. The stuff lights up the pleasure center of your brain, so you really have no choice but to say, YUM!
Eating a lot of sugar is also hard to avoid because the little white granules are hidden in seemingly everything.
Even things we’ve been told are healthy, like yogurt, granola bars, and cereal is loaded with sugar.
Cut all of the hidden-sugar from your typical diet, and your food intake might dwindle down to a cup of coffee and that lonely slice of tomato from your lunch burrito.
How to Give Up Sugar and Still Enjoying Life
Sugar is not happiness.
Sugar does some very bad things to your body:
- Sugar Feeds Cancer Cells [see the video]
- Sugar causes Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
- Sugar causes Depression
- Sugar is the best ingredient for making body fat
To get sugar out of your diet, you need to replace it with volume and nutrients, and that’s where veggies come in.
Kick Your Sugar Habit with More Vegetables
Look at some facts…
To break free from the stranglehold of sugar, you need to “biochemically fill up your body,” and you do that with vegetables.
Biochemically Fill Up on Vegetables
Most people fail at giving up sugar because they haven’t replaced the sweet foods with enough volume and nutrients.
Nature’s most perfect food for providing nutrients and volume is the vegetable.
Eating lots of vegetables floods your body with nutrients (i.e. vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals).
These nutrients help your body clear out the toxins that cause sugar cravings.
Eating a lot of vegetables also fills your system with volume.
Did you ever try to gulp down a large salad in a few minutes?
It can’t be done.
Salad is a ‘Slow Food”.
It takes time to eat, and it takes time to digest.
In fact, it takes hours for your digestive tract to sort through all of the nutrients you are taking in from the vegetables in your salad. The same goes for cooked veggies.
Vegetables have fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, and good carbs, so your digestive system stays very busy squirting the foods with enzymes and breaking them apart.
When you’re intestinal tract is busy, it sends a signal to your brain that says, “Whatever you do, don’t trigger hunger in our person, we are way too busy down here!”
For your digestive tract, processing vegetables is like cleaning up a cluttered office.
Let me share an analogy.
Let’s use the office of my husband (a.k.a. the Clutter King) as an example.
If he would like to give me a wonderful gift, he could clean up his very cluttered home office. [A special note to my family and friends – If you are reading this, please pass this suggestion along to my husband!]
Because of the volume of clutter that Keith would have to sort through, this clean-up job would take a long, long time, much like a stomach full of vegetables takes a long, long time to empty.
Long and slow digestion is desirable because it keeps hunger away and keeps you satisfied for hours.
The long and slow clean-up of my husband’s office is also desirable, but will likely never happen, so…
Wrapping Things Up
Do you want to lose weight, but don’t know where to start?
Do you want to maintain your weight loss without having to adhere to a strict diet?
If so, then eat more vegetables and cut out the sugar. In my book, it’s the secret to how to lose weight casually.
This easy-to-follow strategy is effective because it eliminates the number one fat-storing food (i.e. sugar) with the number one hunger-busting food (i.e. vegetables).
This strategy will take some work at first but rewards you with protection from obesity, diabetes, cancer, and depression so that you can enjoy a long and healthy life.
Need a place to start? Watch my 4 Daily Habits for Weight Loss Videos now.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.