Unfortunately, the prevalence of obesity and overweight continues to increase nowadays at an alarming rate. Conventional therapies based on prescription medications or weight-loss surgeries (bariatric surgeries) are limited by low effectiveness and unpleasant and sometimes even very dangerous side effects. In addition, they can’t guarantee the obese patients that they will reduce their body weight permanently or that they will be able to get rid of all the excessive adipose tissue. Also the popular low-calorie diets, often recommended for obese and overweight individuals, are successful only for a short time and cause a lot of needless suffering and stress. Although it is true that low-calorie diets may result in a rapid weight reduction yet the problem is that you can’t follow them for a long time because of possible malnutrition, fatigue, or other complications. Besides, as soon as you give up on these low-calorie diets and start consuming normal amount of calories you quickly gain weight again which usually leads to discouragement, feelings of hopelessness, and resignation.
Fortunately, there is an excellent, safe, and very effective solution to the problem of overweight and even the worst type of obesity. And the good news is that it doesn’t require fasting or counting calories, it is not difficult to implement and doesn’t cause any undesired side-effects. I have elaborated this optimal plan not only on the basis of my own long experience but also after an in-depth review of the past and present scientific literature. I have also taken into consideration the key elements of the most successful and very popular weight-loss plans and have analysed and compared all the most effective dietary ideas popularized by the renown experts, physicians, or nutritionists such as Prof. Colin Campbell, Prof. Walter Veith, Dr. Agatha Thrash, Dr. Neil Nedley, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Hans Diehl, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougal, or Dr. Dean Ornish.
The secret to a fully successful and permanent weight loss treatment as well as to the optimal health should include four key elements: 1. Healthy plant-based (or at least mostly plant-based) and unrefined diet; 2. Regular physical activity; 3. Stress control; and 4. Good quality supplements which provide essential nutrients and have been proved to be helpful in improving metabolism and appetite control.
First of all, you need to improve or change your diet and start consuming large quantities of foods which are high in minerals, vitamins, fibre, and phytochemicals. By doing this you will keep on losing weight without counting calories or feeling hungry. It means that even if you consume more calories than your body needs (on condition that they are mixed with the right and unrefined foods which are high in nutrients), you will still be able to reduce your body weight to normal and shouldn’t lose this positive effect as long as you stay on this tasty and not difficult to follow diet. So, please, throw away ideas about counting calories because as long you eat the right type of food you can eat as much as you want and still lose weight.
In a 1991 study conducted by Prof. Shintani and his colleges, overweight participants were allowed to consume as much as they wanted of unrefined (high in fibre) low-fat, plant-based foods. In just three weeks they lost an average of 7.8 kg (seventeen pounds). The chapter revealing the results of the study states that, “some participants indicated that at times they could not finish their snacks. Weight loss was dramatic during the program, with an average weight loss of 7.8 kg in just 3 weeks. Total serum cholesterol concentrations decreased an average of 14.0%. Serum triglyceride levels as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressures fell significantly. There was a striking decrease in average serum glucose.”
Because careful analysis of past and present scientific research such as, for example, the most comprehensive and extensive China Study, inspires every honest seeker of truth to conclude that the consumption of animal foods greatly increases the risk of most dangerous diseases I’ve been always recommending a completely plant-based diet. However, if you feel like it would be too great a sacrifice for you to avoid meat and dairy products, please don’t give up on ideas presented in this article because you will still be able to reduce weight even if your diet will include moderate amounts of wisely chosen animal foods. Nevertheless, I hope that you will be strongly motivated and willing to make more radical changes in your diet and lifestyle, all the more since you can change your diet gradually. And the most convenient way of doing it is not so much by removing all the unhealthy foods but rather by adding the high in fibre and nutrients plant products. In this way you will be gradually improving your diet and reducing the consumption of the low quality refined and high in fat and sugar processed foods.
In order to reduce and control your body weight it is also necessary to stop eating between meals and overeating on a regular basis. And the best way to achieve this goal is by getting rid of all the refined and rich in empty calories foods which make you hungry so soon after consuming them and which force your body to crave for more food. As soon as you start increasing the consumption of high-nutrient plant foods, your appetite for the unhealthy and low-nutrient foods will gradually decrease until after some time you will finally be able to make a complete commitment to this healthy diet and lifestyle.
Keep in mind that any refined diet which is low in vitamins and minerals always quickly stimulates our appetite again forcing us to eat between meals in hope that next time we will nourish it with sufficient amount of nutrients. The situation gets even worse if you habitually use stimulants such as caffeine products, tea, cola drinks and alcohol as they tend to farther deprive your body of the few nutrients you supplied it with your refined diet. Unfortunately, many people think that in this case, they can still solve the problem of malnutrition by using vitamin and mineral supplementation. The truth, however, is that according to the numerous studies, cheap and poor quality supplements can only partially remove the symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiency. Yes, you need nutritional supplements but they must be of a good quality and they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for healthy diet but as something that complements it.
Now, in order to enable this diet to be more effectively used by your body you also need to exercise on a regular basis. It doesn’t mean that without exercising this diet wouldn’t work as you may see the results even without exercising, but if you do include this very important element it will greatly increase the effectiveness of the whole program.
In case you are very overweight and especially if you suffer from different heart conditions you shouldn’t start with energetic exercise routine. In this case you need to change the diet first, keep in touch with your physician, continue taking your prescribed medication, and after some time start from short distance and slow walking routine, gradually and carefully increasing the pace and distance every day according to the information included in the chapter dealing with exercise. However, if you are still too heavy to start exercising or if your doctor suggests it’s too early to do it you don’t need to worry anyway because even without exercise the presented here unrefined and very high in fibre diet will be reducing your body weight and improve your physical as well as emotional health making you able to start exercising after one or two months.
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
REFERENCES AND SOURCES
Barnard ND, Nicholson A, Howard JL. The medical costs attributed to meat consumption. Preventive Medicine 1995; 24: 646-655.
Segasothy M, Phillips PA. Vegetarian diet: panacea for modern lifestyle disease? QJM 1999; 92(9):531-544.
Frentzel-Beyme R, Claude J, Eilber U. Mortality among German vegetarians: first results after five years of follow-up. Nutr Cancer 1988; 11: 117-26.
Berkow SE, Barnard N. Vegetarian diets and weight status. Nutrition Reviews 2006 April; 64 (4)175-188.
Spencer EA, Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ Diet and body mass index in 38000 EPIC-Oxford meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans Int J Obes Relat Metab Disorder. 2003 Jun; 27(6):728-34.
Newby PK, Tucker KL, Wolk A. Risk of overweight and obesity among semivegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun; 81(6):1267-74.
Rosell M, Appleby P, Spencer E, Key T. Weight gain over 5 years in 21,966 meateating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford. Int J Obesity. 2006; 30:1389-1396.
Burke LE, Warziski M, Styn MA, Music E, Hudson AG, Sereika SM. A randomized clinical trial of a standard versus vegetarian diet for weigh loss: the impact of treatment preference Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Jan; 32(1):166-76.
Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Turner-McGrivy G, Lanou AJ, Glass J. The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity Am J Med. 2005 Sep; 118(9):991-7.
Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Scialli AR. A two-year randomized weight loss trial comparing a vegan diet to a more moderate low-fat diet. Obesity. 2007; 15: 2276-2281.
Shintani TT, Hughes CK, Beckham 5, et al. “Obesity and cardiovascular risk intervention through the ad libitum feeding of traditional Hawaiian diet.” Am. elin. Nutr. 53 (1991): 16475-16515.
Food Supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.