The junk food diet is the bane of many an American’s health, providing excessive calorie intake with little or no nutrition; the key to a successful junk food diet is understand how the body processes energy. Our bodies use the energy found in simple calories, such as sugar and carbohydrates, before burning the fuel found in fat. The coup de grâce being that junk food supplies enough simple energy that ofttimes, the day is over before our bodies use the fat – thus, it is stored.
I have found the most effective diet for initiating and maintaining weight-loss is a high-fiber, high-antioxidant diet of fruits, nuts, dairy, vegetables, coffee and teas. Most Americans have difficulty stomaching this diet due to its decidedly flavorless content, but this need not be the case. Macerating fruits with a controlled portion of unrefined sugar or honey will increase palatability when necessary without delivering a nutritional blow.
Cheese, while high in saturated fat, is also high in calcium, which is touted by many, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and American Dietetic Association, to aid in maintaining weight (1), and can be used in measured quantities to add flavor to steamed vegetables and many firm fruits.
Nuts are, perhaps, your best snack solution, providing whopping amounts of protein energy, fiber, and nutritious vegetable fats that support circulation and cannot easily be overdone. The more fiber you ingest, the fuller you will feel and fiber works like a sponge through the digestive tract, absorbing and sweeping away copious amounts of fat and free-radicals.
It also slows the digestion of carbohydrates and, according to author/nutritionist Brenda Watson, negates approximately seven calories for every gram consumed (2). In addition to the high quantities of caffeine found in coffee and many teas (to be avoided by women who are pregnant!)
which stimulate mind and body to get you moving, they also contain high amounts of antioxidants such as EGCG, found in green tea, which enhances metabolism and suppresses appetite. The difficulty here is proper brewing but if attention to detail is not your forte, consider taking a green tea supplement available at any department, drug or vitamin store.
Should you insist on trying your hand at junk food dieting, however, here are some simple tips:
* Enjoy snacks that are “fat-free” (including dressing dips for those flavorless vegetables!) not merely “reduced-calorie.” Remember, it’s not the calories, it’s the type of calories.
* Wear a pedometer and get moving! Junk foods such as fruit snacks, candy, chips, and instant meals that are free of fat will still pack a sugar or starch punch, which will turn into fat if you fail to use the energy. If you insist on a lunch of potato chips and a candy bar, remember to take the stairs instead of the elevator; and park as far away from the door as possible.
* My normal advice would be to steer you away from chemicals and artificial flavorings, but Lipton Diet Green Tea provides metabolism-boosting EGCG without the sugar and diet sodas, caffeine without the calories.
* Furthermore, if you have no intention on vigorous exercise, spend a few minutes each morning stretching and flexing. This increases circulation and thus, metabolism, which is what it’s all about. The more you boost your metabolism in the morning, the higher it will remain throughout the day.
* Take a quality vitamin supplement! Without essential nutrients, your body will revolt against your intentions!
* Do not consume sweets first thing in the morning. This can wreak havoc on your body’s insulin resistance and sugar processing, resulting in doctors’ bills and diabetes. Your best morning routine will be a strong cup of coffee, two eggs with cheese and a tall glass of milk. A study by The Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that two eggs for breakfast reduced an individual’s daily calorie intake by an average of 163 by reducing hunger throughout the day (3).
* Lastly, I highly recommend checking out the sources I have cited below for more brilliant nutrition information to make your dieting plans easier and more successful!