Eating well while losing weight – even through the holidays

10068986 - close-up of human hands with forks tasting saladThe holiday season is here again in full swing. Are you looking forward to a Thanksgiving feast next week?  Enjoying good food with family and friends is a wonderful tradition.

I want to share about healthy eating, and do my level best to not dampen the holiday spirit that includes much feasting. I do not claim to be an expert on dieting, but my husband and I are in the midst of a major shift in the way we’ve been eating and are experiencing miraculous weight loss. Our research online has turned up so much surprising information about what has been putting the pounds on and what will help take them off – and keep us healthy at the same time.

We honor or dishonor God by the way we take care of our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (NLT)

Here are a few facts (some may surprise you) that we have learned from our research:

  1. Eating fats does not cause us to gain weight. Our bodies, and especially our brains, need a certain amount of fat. Foods labeled as “low-fat” are loaded with carbohydrates to make them palatable after removing the fat.
  2. There are good fats and bad fats. Learn the difference. Good fats include butter, lard, fatty meats, olive oil, coconut oil, and most seeds and nuts. Bad fats include most vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil, as well as shortening and margarine.
  3. Sugar is the enemy of healthy eating. A little sugar is nice as an occasional treat, but we are getting a steady diet of sugar in almost everything we eat. The food industry puts sugar in one form or another into almost everything they package in the grocery store. Look at the list of ingredients on cans and packages on the grocery shelves, and find the sugar. All of the ingredients are required to be listed in the order of the quantity used in the product. Where does the sugar come in relation to the other ingredients? And think about whether sugar is really needed at all in the product you are buying.
  4. High fructose corn syrup is even worse than sugar. High fructose corn syrup is extracted from corn and is subjected to a chemical process that changes its molecules causing it to be absorbed into our bodies even faster than sugar from sugar cane. I am aware that high fructose corn syrup has also been given alternate names to throw off label readers. I’m taking the following quote from the website Starkel Nutrition and linking it to their URL: “Make sure to check the list of ingredients for all of these variations: high-fructose corn syrup, natural corn syrup, isolated fructose, maize (a native word for corn) syrup, glucose/fructose syrup and tapioca syrup (not from corn, but also fructose).”
  5. Carbohydrates include sugar and all those foods that our bodies convert to sugar. These too are unhealthy if we eat too much of them, and are often stored in our bodies as fat. Among the greatest offenders are sweets, bread, rice, pumpkin, winter squash, beans, and root crops such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Even fruits are carbohydrates, and the carbs in fruit juice are more highly concentrated than when we eat whole fruits. The reason for this is that when you eat whole fruits you are also eating fiber.
  6. Fiber helps the body balance out the carbs. Some fruits and vegetables with higher levels of carbohydrates also contain enough fiber to help counterbalance the carbs and can be eaten in moderation. Carrots, green beans, and pineapple are examples. Juicers are not healthy for people who want to lose weight. They might give you more vitamins per glass, but they also maximize the carbs and minimize the fiber.
  7. Low glycemic vegetables are the key to filling out your menu. These include green vegetables such as avocados, lettuce (many kinds), spinach, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, celery, bell peppers, and bok choy. Other low glycemic vegetables include cauliflower. summer squash, and  mushrooms.
  8. Other healthy snacks include nuts, hummus (dip with celery or bok choy), and yes – even cream cheese and dark chocolate. Yay!

Enjoy your holiday festivities and do you best to make healthy choices from the array of foods put before you. You might be surprised to find it isn’t all unhealthy. Some good choices you might find on the Christmas dinner table are the meat, green beans, salad, cooked greens, broccoli, cauliflower, raw fruits. At a party with refreshments, enjoy the raw vegetable plate, nuts, meats, and go light on the bread, crackers, and sweet desserts. But you don’t have to torture yourself. You didn’t put the pounds on in a day and you won’t lose them all in a day. In the meantime as you wait until after the holidays for more thorough changes in your diet, learn what you can to make healthy food choices in the future for yourself and for your family. Find several good links at the bottom of this post to get you started.

43127828 - nutrition infographics: food pyramid diagram for the ketogenic diet.

The specific diet my husband and I have been following is the Keto diet. He is following it very strictly while I have been a little more relaxed about it. He has lost over 60 pounds in the past 3-4 months (since taking the Keto diet seriously) and punched the 12th new hole in his belt a few minutes ago. The nice part is that we are both losing weight and feeling healthier – without buying any kind of “diet pills.” I offer this Keto Food Pyramid as an example of healthy eating, more so than as a diet plan. My husband has found this diet to be fun. He doesn’t have to go hungry because the fats stick with you and kill your appetite.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle. Diets are presumed to be temporary. I intend to eat healthy for the rest of my life.

Good news! My husband’s type II diabetes has disappeared!

The following links may prove helpful to you on your road to healthier eating:

Food Industry’s Secret Weapon (WHY Sugar is addictive & in 80% of Food) (YouTube video)

Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off (YouTube video)

The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide (Healthline.com)

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats on the Ketogenic Diet (PerfectKeto.com)

Ketogentic Diet Food List (Ruled.me)

Disclaimer: I am not a trained nutritionist. I am basing my information on personal experience and what I’ve learned through the Keto diet plan and other general information. I believe the powerful food lobby has deliberately kept us misinformed for their own financial gain. There is much information and misinformation available on the Internet on every side of the things I’ve said above, and I will not enter into a debate over it. Check out who financed the research to determine bias. Keto is an information based diet plan – not grounded in any pills or supplements you need to buy.

Photo credits:
Copyright: pressmaster / 123RF Stock Photo (salad)
Copyright: sudowoodo / 123RF Stock Photo (Keto chart)

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Comments

Eating well while losing weight – even through the holidays — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this, Janice. Lately I’ve “fallen off the eating wagon” and need to get back to healthy eating again. Your plan is the one that has worked for me also and you’ve inspired me to get back on track. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you for your encouraging reply. I hope I can stay in this healthy eating mode the rest of my life. We do have to work at it, as the food industry isn’t exactly on our side. They want to “make life easy” for us at the expense of our health. Here’s hoping you will find your way back on track without too much trouble.

  2. Janice, thanks for a great blog post. Some friends and I have been following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle. One of the men has lost over 60 pounds. I, like you, am losing a few pounds because I’m not as strict. THM is very similar to Keto I think. Not mixing fats and carbs are the key to THM. Thanks for encouraging God’s people to take care of His temple, our bodies.

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