Weight Loss the Natural Way

Lifestyle Notes

Volume CIII, No. 9September, 2003

Dr. Diane Gioia-Bargonetti

(This article, submitted by a Local 802 member, contains advice and suggestions intended to improve one’s health and well-being. Local 802 and Allegro offer no endorsement or recommendation regarding the efficacy or safety of any of the remedies suggested, and readers may wish to consult their healthcare professional before following the advice offered herein.)

What I am going to tell you about weight loss will entirely change how you view dieting. I am not going to give a detailed, regimented diet plan. I believe those plans are a setup for instant failure because as soon as you go off, the diet usually ends. I will, however, tell you what foods to avoid, which to embrace and how to combine them in your quest to be thinner. Life is about choices and you will have to make choices as you strive to lose weight.

As I have said before, don’t be seduced by fried foods and those containing trans fats. They are pure poison for the system. Therefore, watch all fast and processed foods including cakes, pastries, cookies and chips. If a product contains hydrogenated, coconut or palm oils, then it is poison.

Try not to drink copious amounts of liquids during meals. This dilutes all your digestive enzymes and leaves your system in a mess. Undigested food is always going to turn into toxins. Some philosophies of natural medicine allow you to sip small amounts of water during a meal if you need to, but all agree never to drink a lot during a meal. It’s best to drink your water 15 minutes before a meal. This will also help you feel full before you start eating – definitely a good psychological boost.

If you need to drink coffee or tea around mealtime, use the sweetener stevia that I have previously written about for alcohol and tobacco abuse. Unlike sugar, stevia has no detrimental affect on digestion.

Next, never eat a fruit or a sugar-laden dessert directly after your meal. Sugary foods cause everything you just ate to ferment. This creates toxins that turn into fat deposits. In essence, eating sweets right after a meal completely ruins the nutritional benefits of the food you just ate.

Don’t eat protein and starch at the same meal. Watch restaurants as they are the biggest offenders of this rule – serving chicken (protein) and rice (starch) together; or meatballs (protein) and spaghetti (starch); or steak (protein) and potatoes (starch). Instead, opt to have spaghetti and salad – or chicken and steamed vegetables.

Now, you can have pasta (starch) and salad for lunch – and fish (protein) and vegetables for dinner. Just never eat them at the same meal. Why? Simply put, proteins use stomach acid for digestion and starches need alkaline digestive enzymes. The acid for the protein will block the enzymes for the starches and once again, you will be left with food sitting in your stomach for eight to twelve hours! Therefore, starches eaten with proteins remain undigested and are soon stored as fat.

For those of you that have to eat your eggs and toast together, try eating each separately. For instance, eat the toast first, then the eggs.

Rice and beans are an exception to this rule as both are “incomplete” proteins that become complete when joined together. (I suggest you soak raw beans in water overnight before preparing them to make them easier to digest.)

Remember, the more water you consume during the day, the more efficiently your body will respond. Water can also come in the form of fruits and vegetables. I suggest you have a big salad at lunch, and then a smaller one at dinner with your protein or starch.

Follow this general rule: your concentrated (protein or starch) food should always be viewed as a side dish whether for lunch or dinner. Compliment that concentrated food with vegetables and salad.

So you might have a dish of pasta making up 30 percent of your serving with salad and vegetables making up the remaining 70 percent.

And, finally, the secret to success for weight control is when you eat. That is, get in sync with the rhythm of life by respecting the three natural body cycles.

Between noon and 8 p.m. is the time for appropriation (eating and digestion).

Between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. is the time for assimilation (absorption and use).

And between 4 a.m. and noon is the time for elimination (getting rid of body wastes and food debris).

You should only eat between noon and 8 p.m. I know this may sound hard for those of you with a show or concert gig, but if you have your big meal before the show – say around 6 p.m. – you should be ready for bed by the time you get home and naturally fall into the second cycle of assimilation as you go to sleep.

Hopefully you are sleeping during at least some portion of the assimilation period (8 p.m.-4 a.m.). This is when your food begins to work for you as it is absorbed into your system.

There is one exception to the rule of not eating before noon. When you wake in the morning, eat only fruit until noon. Fruit will help your body’s total elimination process. If you begin eating anything else during this elimination period (before noon), your body will stop the elimination process and store the leftover toxins in your cells. Eating only fruit promotes this cycle, as fruit is a natural detoxifier. This rule is particularly important if you have combined foods incorrectly the day before or stayed out too late eating and drinking.

Of course there are always exceptions to every rule, but on the whole, this basic plan has been very successful for my clients. Remember to take your vitamins – a multi with the B complex included.

Also, watch for the essential fatty acids, which are very important for body functioning and good health. Add salmon, sardines and cold-water fish to your diet to obtain these oils – or eat a few walnuts or flaxseeds if you don’t want to take another supplement. (But watch out: walnuts are high in calories.)

Finally, apple cider vinegar with honey – mentioned previously as an anti-aging elixir – can be taken three times a day for those needing a weight loss aid. (Take 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar with 1-2 tsp. of raw honey, half an hour before a meal.)

I wish you all great success as you make the choice to participate in your own healthcare and well-being. Your body will thank you. Until next time, stay in tune.

–Dr. Di