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Healthy Weight-Loss Tips
Do you live to eat, or eat to live?
Too many calories will make you overweight…and shorten your life. Consume more calories than you burn each day and you will gain weight. Burn more calories than you take in each day and you will lose weight. That sounds short and sweet, right? But what you eat and how much you exercise and sleep, have a big impact, not only on your weight, but most importantly, on your health!
As I approach what I am going to share with you in this article, I want you to know that I recently finished reading two of the best books on nutrition that I have ever seen. Studying China, by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Eat For Life by Joel Fuhrman, MD Both reveal simple, yet surprising facts that your doctor probably hasn’t told you and probably doesn’t know. The truth can show you how to achieve great improvements in health and weight. It is not difficult to do, but it takes knowledge and willingness to make changes.
The China study presents the findings of the most comprehensive large-scale study ever conducted on the relationship between diet and disease risk. Eat To Live represents a revolutionary and safe formula for rapid and sustained weight loss.
The China study provided researchers with a rare opportunity to study the dietary effects of a predominantly plant-based diet. There are major nutritional differences in the Chinese and American diets. Here’s a comparison of nutrients consumed in China and the United States.
Nutrient China United States
Calories per day 2641 1989
Total fat (% of calories) 14.5 34-38
Dietary fiber (g/day) 33 12
Total protein (g/day) 64 91
Animal protein (% of calories) 0.8 10-11
Total iron (mg/day) 34 18
As you can see, there are huge differences between Chinese and American diets. The Chinese have a higher caloric intake, less fat, more fiber, less protein, less animal food, and more iron.
So, what are the different results we see in the health of Chinese and Americans? Here are some facts that may surprise you. In China blood cholesterol levels are generally between 90 and 170. In the US, 170-290. When animal protein intake increases, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol increases. When plant protein intake increases, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol decreases.
About cancer, this is a quote from Dr. Campbell in The China Study, “nutrients from animal foods increase tumor development while nutrients from plant foods decrease tumor development.” Overall, cancer is less common in China than in the US
I have pointed out only a few incidents in this article about the relationship of diet to health. It should be noted that “bad” cholesterol and cancer levels are more common in the US than in China. As the Chinese study progressed it became quite clear that people who consumed a diet high in animal protein had more heart disease, cancer, and other diseases than people who consumed a diet high in plant protein.
So, you might be asking, “What does all this have to do with losing weight?” I’m sure you’ve heard of the “food pyramid.” Dr. Fuhrman, in his book, Eat To Live, suggests a different food pyramid. At the top of the pyramid, where the list of foods that should be consumed “rarely” is beef, sweets, cheese, milk, processed foods and hydrogenated oils. Poultry, eggs, and oil are only allowed once per week or less. Fish and fat-free dairy foods can be eaten twice a week or less. Whole grains, raw nuts and seeds should account for 5-20% of calories. Fruits, 20-50% of calories. Beans should be 10-30% of calories. Vegetables, eaten half raw, half cooked should be 30-70% of calories.
The food pyramid described above is part of Dr. Fuhrman to reduce body weight. The reader may note that similar to what Dr. Campbell when doing the study China is the best for health too!
Some tips that Dr. Fuhrman’s list for losing weight, and keeping it off includes:
1. Remember, salad is the main dish: eat it first at lunch and dinner.
2. Eat as much fruit as you want, but at least four pieces of fresh fruit a day.
3. Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to green vegetables. You can include the following: Lettuce (including Romaine, bib, Boston, red leaf, ice green, celery, spinach, cucumber, tomato, mushroom, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, pepper, onion, radish, carrot, beet, cabbage , all types of sprouts etc.
4. Be careful with starchy vegetables. Limit whole grains and cooked vegetables to one cup per day. In general, consider non-green vegetables as high-starch vegetables. Exceptions are eggplants, peppers, onions and mushrooms.
5. Eat beans or peas every day.
6. Eliminate animal and dairy products.
7. Have a tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day.
8. Consume nuts and seeds in limited amounts, no more than one ounce per day.
So far, we’ve only touched on what you should and shouldn’t eat to be healthy and achieve or maintain optimal weight. It is very important for optimal health and weight to exercise regularly, get adequate sleep and you may want to consider including a good multi-vitamin mineral supplement.
Depending on your interests and physical abilities, there are many ways to exercise for better health. To list a few: walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, walking, exercising, weight training. Choose one or more ways to exercise that will be aerobic, build strength and burn calories. Not only will this help your metabolism, but it will help you gain energy and lose weight.
Last, but not least, is the importance of getting enough rest and sleep. No matter how healthy a diet you follow, and how much exercise you do, if you don’t get enough sleep, it will be harmful to your health.
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