What to eat to lose weight and gain health

When I was overweight and not feeling well, I often wondered ‘what to eat to lose weight’ and at the same time, get healthier. I didn’t want to get sick and die at an early age, I wanted to trim down and not have my belly hang over my belt. I always desired to live to 100. How did I figure it out? I developed my own plan through my own research into weight loss, better health and longer life.

Now, everything I’ve learned has come together. Once, you find what healthy things you like to eat and repeat, you have a surefire routine that will never let you down. You see and feel the results within the first day.

The usda-food-guide-pyramid PDF outlines suggestions on what food groups to eat and how much. You might agree or disagree with its recommendations, but more than not, it is a very helpful guide in getting you started on the healthiest road to weight loss, longer life and better health.

Depending upon what foods you choose to eat, you need to figure out what size a serving is. But, if you eat only plant-based whole foods, all the nutrition is already there and you never have to worry about portion size: you just eat all you want until full. And, as soon as you get hungry again, all you need do is eat more healthful food choices. What I eat.

usda food pyramid, health, nutrition, vegetarian
‘Food guide pyramid’ courtesy of USDA

I eat whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. I avoid refined products like tortillas, cereal and bread. Refined grains in snack and junk foods can make one gain weight. I avoid wheat, rye and barley whether refined or whole because of how it affects me.

Be mindful that the USDA represents the food industry as well as it’s supposed to tell us how to eat right. But, do your own research into your own health and well-being because many sources say conflicting things.

For example, you might want to think twice about official recommendations in the meat group, dairy and/or consuming any refined oils at all. These have been proven ‘unhealthy’ to eat.

I think certain whole grains may be OK to eat, but there is no distinction made in the above pyramid between refined and whole grains. I view whole grains as ‘intact’ food and not ground up like flour in bread or pasta.

Although, I only eat whole brown rice and quinoa, I am still searching for grains I might have overlooked that may agree with me. To me, eating grains ‘intact’ is the only healthy way to eat them. We were made to eat our food ‘whole’. I have found a completely fruit and vegetable diet does not sustain me.

In other words, for my 2000 calories I require every day, I would have to eat more than 20 bananas. I experimented with this way of eating for a while, but never felt quite right without adding adequate amounts of ‘starchy’ foods during the day. I also include at least one ‘walnut’.

Resistant starch foods like beans, potatoes, rice and peas help solve the calorie problem.

In my opinion, ‘6 to 11 servings’ of refined grain each day [1 USDA food guide pyramid] like bread, crackers and pasta would be too much for me. You and I would probably gain weight and our blood sugar would go up and down too fast. But, on the other hand, if you were to eat grain whole, (intact) like brown rice, I believe that would be the better choice for stabilized blood sugar and losing weight.

To conclude, I wanted to add that the common myth about protein for vegetarians is that you don’t get enough of it without eating animal protein. ‘You need meat’, I often hear them say. Absolutely not true. I eat meat rarely, and not much of it, like on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The rest of the year, I am doing just fine without it. I also don’t get sick with a cold or flu, anymore. But, I do take B12 supplements. Additionally, I do have to watch those foods known to cause inflammation.

Source- 1 usda-food-guide-pyramid
Contact USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. The
address is:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
1120 20th St., NW
Suite 200, North Lobby
Washington, DC 20036-3475

Note- consult your doctor before you change your diet.

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