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Whole Foods Lifestyle For discussion of whole foods and more natural diets.

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Old 09-09-2006, 11:32 PM   #1  
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hi, i am new to this site, and am very interested in the whole food concept. will it help some one to lose weight? i would like very much to lose some of my weight everything i have tried so far has not been very helpful,. I got the book of super foods rx and will sit down to read it. any other suggestions on books? thank you
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:52 PM   #2  
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I didn't read or follow books... just started eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies along with protein. Cut out all junk and most processed foods, and combined it with a lot of exercise. I eat around 1800 calories per day (at doctor's recommendation) and it's working GREAT for me and I'm never hungry and, in fact, most of my cravings for bad junkie stuff have gone away.
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:23 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by rlc_56 View Post
hi, i am new to this site, and am very interested in the whole food concept. will it help some one to lose weight? i would like very much to lose some of my weight everything i have tried so far has not been very helpful,. I got the book of super foods rx and will sit down to read it. any other suggestions on books? thank you
Interesting question. I was always able to lose weight - I could never keep the weight off. For me, losing weight meant temporary diets where I would restrict calories and live on diet food - Snackwells, lite yogurt, baked Lay's. Those foods never really satisfied me, I was constantly hungry and anxious for the diet to be OVER so I could eat the foods I really enjoyed, like mint milanos and krispy kreme donuts.

By restricting/binging, I managed to go from a 140 lb high school kid to a 200 lb 35 year old. Dieting didn't work for me.

Over 2 years ago, I weighed 200 lbs and I was seriously depressed about my weight. I stopped taking care of myself. Long hair, I just let air dry every day. No make up. Wore the same size 18 loose-fit Eddie Bauer jeans and black loafers every day. I was lethargic, fell asleep all the time at work. I ate terribly. A typical menu for me during that time - B - venti caramel latte with whip, cranberry walnut muffin L - 2 pieces of pizza S - venti caramel latte with whip S - M&Ms S - 2:00 was buy 1 pastry get 1 free, I usually got one D - taco bell.

In July 2004, 3 things happened.

1) My mom wanted me to come visit for Christmas. She hadn't seen me for 2 years and I didn't want her to see me so heavy
2) I went to a bathroom in a movie theatre and when I sat down, I cut the outside of my thigh on a sharp-edge metal trash can. I realized I was getting too big for regular bathrooms.
3) I was browsing in a bookstore and picked up the Super Foods book.

It sounds so cliche, but what happened next was magical for me. It's like...something snapped into place that had been missing. To make a long story short, I realized that how I ate, how I liked to eat was making me fat (not any of the lies I had told myself - born to be heavy, slow metabolism, just a big boned girl, etc etc). All 4 of my grandparents had died very young and the Super Foods book made the science of nutrition very accessible for me, I loved the idea that I could use food as preventative medicine - blueberries for the brain, nuts for the heart, yogurt for the gut, tomatoes to protect the skin from sun damage, spinach for the eyes, etc. I found that amazingly appealing.

I decided to concentrate on eating foods with powerful nutritional benefits and avoid foods with limited nutritional benefits. That meant that I ate a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean protein and healthy fat. I greatly limited (or completely cut out) fast food, junk food, processed foods, soda, sugary snacks, packaged baked goods, crackers, chips, booze.

I knew to keep the weight off forever, I needed something I could stick with forever. In the past, everytime I "quit" dieting, I always gained the weight back and more. I knew I could never "quit" this diet. So, I made changes I could live with. I ate a lot of curries, stir fries, quesadillas, so I just changed the recipes to be healthier - added more vegetables, cooked with less cheese/oil and switched to whole grain products (brown rice instead of white, whole grain pasta instead of white pasta). I also invested in a food scale and began to understand portion sizes. Instead of a huge plate of pasta with a little sauce, I now eat a carefully measured portion of pasta with a ton of healthy, home-made tomato sauce.

I am a lucky person, I really love food and I love to eat. Except for a strange hatred of green peppers and cauliflower, I love everything. As a side effect of my goal to eat nutritionally powerful foods, I gave up sugar. I really didn't mean to, it just didn't fit my definition of "nutritionally powerful." It's like my tongue had been numbed by sugar for years, without sugar, everything I ate started tasting BETTER. Baked sweet potatoes were a dessert-like treat, a ripe mango was divine, natural peanut butter on whole grain toast was decadent.

For the first time, I was completely satisfied when I was losing weight. No weird binging, no weird cravings. I'm not a scientist, but I now wonder if all my weird binging was caused by my body's search for nutrition. Now that I eat so well, it doesn't have to search for anything missing, it gets everything it needs.

I lost over 70 lbs. I went from a tight size 18 to a size 8 (sometimes 6, depending on manufacturer). I lost 10 inches from my waist. The best part, the absolute best part - I have kept the weight off for nearly 2 years. Instead of losing weight, my goal was health. Instead of losing weight and stopping a diet, I am eating for health so there is nothing to stop. This is just the way I eat.

I think the best thing I ever did was plan for maintenance from day 1. I didn't do something so radical I couldn't stick with. I made small changes as I went to keep it doable. Now that I'm maintaining, it is just like losing weight, I only allow myself more healthy calories a day. I still menu plan on Sunday, still shop for the week, still pack lunches/healthy snacks on Sunday night. I still count calories, food journal. I still try to make healthy choices when confronted with baby shower cake at work.

I definitely believe that a whole food diet can help someone lose weight and keep it off - I am proof. But, I also believe you have to commit to it and not treat it as something temporary, just something to do until you can go back to eating the way you do now. For permanent weight loss, you have to make permanent changes. Do something that you can stick with, what works for me would probably not work for you - tailor it to YOU.
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:30 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by rlc_56 View Post
hi, i am new to this site, and am very interested in the whole food concept. will it help some one to lose weight?
Try to eat lots of fresh foods. If you do reach for anything in a bag/box/package, the most important thing you can read is the label. What's in it? Is it something you could cook at home without saying "Honey, could you pass me the calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate"?

Like anything else, if you overeat whole foods you'll still gain weight or not be able to lose. Even chocolate cake can qualify as a whole food if you use the right ingredients. Portion control and better choices are key in any diet plan.

However, if you are making a conscious effort to eat more whole foods then you are also making a conscious effort to exclude most highly processed foods which include most of the foods that got many of us into this place to begin with. You'll retrain yourself to make better choices. You'll feel better. You'll gain a new appreciation for simpler foods and natural flavors.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:45 PM   #5  
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Welcome, RLC!

There are a few mentions of other books besides the Superfoods ones on here, and there are a million web sites dedicated to basic nutrition and eating less processed foods.

I agree with what the others have said - eat lots of fruit and vegetables, watch your portion sizes.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:33 PM   #6  
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I hope you find what you are looking for. This whole foods thing is working really well for me so far.

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