No subject about weight, and in particular quitting smoking and weight loss, would be complete without first a look at fascinating food — specifically, how to eat and how not to go overboard!
Yes, I know, I know, all those colorful advertisments of happy people eating fries, burgers, coke, donuts and candy — enough to make your mouth water.
All those shelves lined with goodies.
All those food halls, restaurants, cafes groaning with food and people merrily going in and out.
All those billions spent on TV, magazines, billboards etc, conditioning us that we're so hungry for their "dead" food.
We're only human after all — still a lot like our ape ancestors — "monkey see, monkey do."
But wild animals don't overeat, and they don’t need doctors or get ill, except occaisionally by accidents. They have to go and find their food, unprocessed, unpolluted and never knowing if there's enough or not.
Checks and balances of nature keep animals naturally healthy.
Now you have to think how we got here through millions of years of evolution, with barely a fraction of the current illnesses and minimal need for medical intervention.
Our modern lifestyle creates diseases and conditions unheard of 100 or so years ago.
Diets? Just a modern invention, propped up by advertising, the fast food industry and mass media — first to tempt us to buy rubbish, then to temp us to pay good money to solve the negative health effects.
It's pathetic that we succumb to this and then, if we're lucky, spend the last 10 to 20 years of our life propped up by drugs for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and so on.
When you quit smoking, and weight loss is important to you, consider eating like one of the longest living societies in the world — the Okinawans from an island off Japan. They make it into the history books!
They are a perfect example of "eating to live," rather than "living to eat."
They fill up their day with interesting and active tasks and are moderate in all things they put in their bodies.
They don't get sick, many live well beyond 100yrs and when they die, it is described as similar to a wheel falling off a cart.
In other words, the cart trundles happily along pulling its load, everything working fine and then one day many, many years later, one part wears out with old age, say a little bolt in the wheel.
Its time is up, so the whole cart slowly stops in its tracks.
Way to go... peaceful, happy and no regrets or pain.
Our ancestors generally had short, healthy lives.
But they didn't die of debilitating, degenerative diseases like today.
They died early because of harsh living, primitive conditions of which they had little control... drought, floods, natural calamities, accidental infections and poisionings, fights, and accidents with tools and animals.
We have warm, safe homes, hospitals, and abundant food and drink. But we are genetically identical to our hunter-gatherer ancestors from many thousands of years ago, ie, we have the same digestive bits and pieces inside us.
Fancy that. So it stands to reason that if we mimic our ancestors diet, along with modern medical advancements, odds are we'll be laughing all the way to a very long and healthy life.
From studies done, it has been determined what hunter-gatherers diets were like, depending on climate and location:
And there shouldn't be stodge on any of our tables today either.
Here are nine rules to follow for you to stop smoking and lose weight comfortably.
They're easy to follow. Many people have done it and you can to. We're with you here... all the way.
Read it carefully, then read it again and you will understand that every point makes perfect sense.
Firstly, just like when you quit smoking, your social influences are crucial. As the saying goes... you can't soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys.
Well you can, but you have to hang in grimly there on your own and ignore the opinions of your family, colleagues and friends if they are not on the same wave length as you in your quest for a better life.
Ask them to support you, not keep trying to feed you or join them.
Look them in the eye and say, "You do understand what I am doing, don't you?" "Do you want to support me to stop smoking and lose weight?"
This makes them seem dumb if they say no, because it's obviously a sensible idea of yours, but if a few don't like the idea, avoid or ignore them as much as possible until you do not feel vulnerable. (There's an amazing first hand account by Ron as he cleverly "bribed" his office, in Tip No 73 in the free bonus e-book that comes with the Quit for Good Program
Go to online chat groups and forums devoted to diets, sugar, low carbohydrates, healthy foods etc. You may even find a local group.
You are messing around with your hormones otherwise. When the homone level Leptin rises it triggers a "full feeling." Rising Ghrelin levels trigger "feelings of hunger." Medical trials show that for people who average only five hours of sleep a night, Ghrelin tends to go up while Leptin goes down. The opposite usually happens for people who average eight hours per night. Studies now show that most overweight people sleep less than their normal weight counterparts. Even an extra 20 minutes of sleep each night was shown to alter these hormone levels sufficiently to decrease the risk of obesity by 25%.
Sleep time is when your body wants to repair itself with a big dose of growth hormone. If you eat late at night and then go to bed, your body will be trying to digest your food, and you'll miss out on these fat-burning, muscle-building benefits of sleep.
...not because you feel like eating, or because food is handy.
Eat because your body needs to eat, that is, when you actually get "hunger pang" contractions in your digestive system.
Think you are hungry? Stop thinking about food, and wait until your stomach really starts to complain, rather than your eyes, thoughts, taste buds and habit being hungry.
Because your interest is to stop smoking and lose weight, initially it's ok when you're quitting to snack lightly inbetween times on healthy foods to replace smoking. For ideas see Snazzy Snacks for quit smoking and weight loss
Eat up to approximately two handfuls of food, (your hands). Obviously salads and vegetables have air spaces, so imagine them squashed down. More of those foods won't do any harm anyway.
Eat slowly, allowing your brain time to get the message that your stomach is full. It takes about 20 minutes for the signal to get there.
Leave food on your plate if necessary. DO NOT GO ON EATING BECAUSE THE FOOD IS THERE. Only eat to appease your hunger.
Now if chronic overeating is your style, then when you quit smoking, weight loss on your part might need a kick start.
You may like to look at the idea of a detox to get your body back in touch with the normal sensation of hunger.
This is not just skipping meals on a daily basis, this is consciously clearing out your system and adjusting to healthy food.
It doesn't have to be severe, you can go on a vegetable and fruit diet for a few days, then introduce protien slowly. Research detox diets and you may find a comfortable way to help your body get healthy and for you to feel fantastic.
Aim for approximately 6 small meals or more a day.
In other words, your main meals are small and you have several snacks in between. This is particularly helpful when you want to stop smoking and lose weight, as it also helps to satisfy your old hand-to-mouth habit from smoking.
If you skip food for long periods, your body suffers. Your blood sugar (glucose) plummets, which is called hypoglycaemia. Your adrenal glands get stressed, and nerves react causing cravings, fatigue, light-headedness and anxiety.
Your poor old brain can't focus and you'll be fidgety and unproductive.
Basically when you eat regularly throughout the day without long gaps, you are keeping your metabolism steadily going, and your blood sugar levels constant.
If you try and skip meals, your body will go back to primitive times when there were feasts and famines. Then, if food was erratic or in very short supply, to help stop starvation the body slowed down the assimilation of food to compensate.
They say you should chew your food until it is liquid and then slimes down the back of your throat — sorry! You must put down your food and utensils in-between mouthfuls.
Savour the flavour... it is not a race.
Chewing does another service to you also. Once you banish over seasoned, highly sweetened, artificially flavored and fat loaded fast foods, and you learn to thoroughly chew, unadulterated and wholesome food — then the subtle, delicious, much more satisfying long term flavours appear.
Some foods need less chewing. Proteins, such as meat, eggs, dairy and fish need a lot less as their digestion begins further down. It is in our stomach that the enzymes and acids etc do their work to break up proteins.
Nuts, although proteins, are very concentrated and need soaking or long chewing to break them down for digestion.
But it is important to chew carbohydrates particularly well. Breads, grains such as rice, oats etc. all start their digestion in the mouth.
This is because the enzyme Ptyalin is in our saliva and goes to work on these carbs. Even vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates and need to get their kick start in the mouth, although they do have lots of enzymes of their own to help.
If you don't let your carbohydrate food get properly prepared in your mouth, it goes into your gut and sulks.
It takes longer to digest and you will be prone to indigestion, belching, burping and other orchestral activity. In the long run, this lowers your immunity and makes you prone to bad health.
Pay attention to what you are eating and fully enjoying the smell and taste of your foods.
See if you can avoid eating in front of the TV, but especially banish eating on the run, at your desk or while busy with other activities.
Take your time, prepare it carefully, sit down, and if with company don't gulp food and air whilst trying to talk.
Wait until you've finished a mouthful before you talk, and align your eating time and mind with pleasurable things and the delight in the food in front of you.
Food is life; don't poison the experience with bad thoughts, bad company or disrespect for your body by force feeding it. You are what you eat.
The actual foods you eat make a huge difference to your success when you want to stop smoking and lose weight... so to find the real yum in real food, let's take a brief look at:
Avoid quit smoking weight gain WHAT TO EAT: Here are 5 no-brainer golden guidelines on WHAT to eat to quit smoking and be slim.
"Hey there! Freedom from smoking is a mighty good feeling"