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4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind

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4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind

Take a step down any magazine aisle or bookstore and one of the first things you will notice is a wealth of literature containing weight loss tips and tricks. For the past few decades, Americans have become obsessed with trying to find the newest and most effective fast track to weight loss; be it a super food, magic pill, a sweat-inducing workout video or even surgery. However, everyone’s body is different.

How many different ways can there really be to “melt fat” and attain the physique we desire? Forget everything you thought you knew and learn the truth behind what’s hindering us from realizing our goals.

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1. Clearly outline your lifestyle change so that you can accurately track and monitor your compliance.

If we don’t set rules and guidelines, it will prove difficult to stay committed to a plan for more than a few days or so. This causes constant “failures” which can be discouraging and lead to abandoning the regimen altogether. Know what foods you will allow yourself to eat freely, regularly, moderately, and sparingly.

We’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth repeating; don’t quit your favorite foods cold turkey. By allowing yourself a “cheat meal” or two throughout the week, not only are you satiating your craving,s but the occasional curve ball to your metabolism can actually contribute to more optimal function

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2. Know the right foods to eat and which to eliminate.

Don’t fall for fad diets or any other weight loss plan that aren’t sustainable. Even if you are lucky enough to lose a few pounds, you will likely gain them back once you inevitably succumb to temptation. Recent research is finding multiple flaws in conventional thinking revealing that fat is not the enemy and that carbohydrates really are the biggest contributor to obesity and other health conditions. Fat does not store in the body as fat, it actually metabolizes relatively easily. Carbohydrates however; cannot be broken down by the body to be used as fuel readily. Your body must produce insulin in order to convert those carbs into glucose (sugar) for energy, but when our body cannot burn the sugar quickly enough, it stores them for later use. The problem is, when it is stored it doesn’t make us feel full, so we typically eat again and again constantly storing more and more as fat while burning less and less. This is more evident when we eat Chinese food and feel hungry 30 minutes later.

This spike in our blood sugar level leads to overproduction of insulin and more fat being stored. This perpetual cycle not only causes weight gain, but also creates insulin resistance; our cell’s resistance to storing glucose. Our bodies respond to this by producing more insulin to combat this resistance, often causing type 2 diabetes. Limit your carbs, especially those higher on the glycemic index. Be wary of foods labeled as “fat free” because fat free often means it may be rich in carbs and/or sugars which turn into fat in our bodies.The best way to feel full quicker and to stay full longer is to balance each and every meal. Try to include a fat, protein, dairy, fiber rich whole grains (not whole wheat) and as much “color” (fruits and vegetables) as you wish.

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By adding all of these foods to every meal, we feel full quicker. Our stomachs tell our brain we are full either when we have eaten a lot of calories, or when we eat a large volume of food. When we eat a lot of calories, we become full with less food in our stomach. This is great for reducing hunger pains quickly, but because there is little food to process, just empty calories, we’ll be going back for more before long. When we actually fill our stomachs with food by eating lower calorie or higher nutritionally dense foods such as vegetables, berries, nuts, and proteins, we will sustain that fullness for a longer time.

3. Learn to accept fat

Limit carbs everything else becomes common sense. By reading nutrition labels for sugar and carbohydrate content, our decisions can be made much simpler. The surest way to lose weight and enhance your health is to eat as raw as possible. The more processed a food is, the more expensive and unhealthy it usually becomes.

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Shop primarily from the perimeter of a grocery store, those are the perishable items which typically means fresher and less processed. This way, we are stocking our kitchen with the best our grocery stores have to offer and ridding our freezers and pantries of processed packaged meals.

4. Finally, remember that you are human

We all make mistakes and occasionally relax our standards to some degree. If you cheat, listen to your inner New Yorker and forget about it. Remember how you great you felt the day before and move on. The war is won over the long term and a few slips here and there won’t sabotage your agenda unless you allow it to and give up.

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Losing weight can feel out of reach for many of us, but if we invest some consideration, accountability and abandon hopes of a miracle pill, it can be within reach. By utilizing some of the advice within this article paired with common sense – a slimmer waistline may be  just one good call away.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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