There’s a saying that “the benefits of exercise are unbelievable…but if you have to exercise to keep your weight down, your diet is wrong”. This pretty much sums up the importance of our diets in achieving our ideal body weight. The outdated dietary paradigm states “calories in, calories out” and if you’re not losing weight then you’re just not cutting calories enough. As a result of this misconception the word “DIET” is loaded with stressful connotations as we’ve all experienced that reducing our food quantity to the point at which we start to lose weight for most of us cannot be maintained for more than a few days, or weeks at the most. Diets based on willpower alone will always fail!
Not all calories are the same as our body utilizes calories from varying forms of carbohydrates and fats differently. This is especially true for modern processed refined foods that overwhelm our “food reward brain response” by stimulating various hormonal triggers, especially high insulin. Insulin works as the fat storage hormone, converting excess calories to fat for later use. As long as your body remains permanently in storage mode then food cravings will increase and any form of healthy dietary choices becomes very difficult to achieve.
The very best foods are those that agree with our bodies. These foods satisfy your appetite and allow you to lose weight, even without exercise. They achieve this because such foods are delicious, do not cause high insulin / low blood sugar (snacking between meals) and most importantly are high in fiber, phytonutrients and are unprocessed, fulfilling our real nutritional and antioxidant requirements. A lifestyle based on these food ingredients is no longer a diet, but a healthy and satisfying way of living.
Coconut Oil, Coconut Butter, Coconut Flour and Coconut Sugar are all low glycemic and the calories are only released slowly, avoiding the fast fat storage conversion of refined vegetable oils, flours and white sugar. The medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) in Coconut Oil have been shown to promote weight loss by having a metabolic enhancing effect, noticeable as a sensation of warmth after eating. This increase in the resting metabolism after consuming coconut products is combined with the additional effect of medium chain fatty acids being principally absorbed and stored in the liver for energy use and not stored as fat in the body as are regular polyunsaturated supermarket oils. Coconut products should form a basis for a lifestyle that supports healthy metabolism and weight loss. To check out examples of the complete recommended food list that compliments coconut products, see below:
Vegetables – Nutritious and low glycemic varieties:
- Artichoke hearts
- Brussels sprouts
- Peppers (all kinds)
- Green onions
- Sweet potato and tapioca*
Flour alternatives – Low glycemic, gluten free and high fibre:
- Coconut flour
- Almond flour
- Tapioca flour*
Oils and fats – Avoid / limit processed omega 6 supermarket vegetable oils in preference of:
- Organic Coconut oil: Virgin Coconut Oil, Coconut Butter or Odourless Coconut Oil for cooking
- MCT Oil – used in drinks but not for cooking
- Virgin Olive oil – in salads and only low heat cooking
- Macadamia oil
- Avocado oil
- Grass-fed butter (avoid if intolerant to dairy products)
- Animal fats (if from free range animals)
Meats and seafood – preferably free-range, grass fed or from wild caught fish and seafood from clean oceans. Get in the habit of eating smaller portions of these as protein will also be converted into sugars and stored as fat when we eat more than our body requires.
- Grass-fed beef
- Eggs (duck, chicken, or goose)
- Fish; Bass, Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Tuna, Red snapper, Tilapia, Trout
Nuts – keep on hand for those times when a healthy snack is required but be careful to keep it to a handful, not a whole packet.
- Pine nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Macadamia nuts
Fruits – limited to low glycemic and high antioxidant varieties:
- Coconut & low glycemic coconut sugar
- Green Apple
- Mango (especially green Mango)
- Limes and lemons
* to be taken in moderation only after weight goals have been achieved.
Culinary Herbs & Spices:
- Cinnamon and many many more!
Processed & Refined Foods NOT on this recommended list:
- Soft drinks
- Packaged fruit juices
- No sugars except unrefined honey and coconut sugar in moderation
- Artificial sweeteners
- Supermarket polyunsaturated vegetable oils
- Biscuits and cakes
- Wheat and wheat flours
- Hash browns
- Pasta, spaghetti, lasagna etc
- Rice and rice flours (with the exception of Resistant Starch Rice on occasions)