Taking A Look At the Raw Food Diet

Have you heard about the raw food diet but you do not fully understand what it's all about? This is a diet that is based on the belief that the healthiest foods that you should take are uncooked foods.

While you should eat most of the food while it's raw, you are allowed to heat it; however, you should ensure that the temperature of the food does not go beyond 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Foods that you should eat

There are many different foods that you can eat. For example, you can choose to eat raw animal products such as cheese made from raw milk, ceviche, sashimi and raw milk. You can also choose to eat raw farm products such as beans, nuts, and legumes.

If you choose to take raw beans, nuts, seeds and legumes, you should first soak them in order to release the nutrients. You should soak the foods overnight and then rinse them.

You should then sprout them at room temperature until they sprout. After sprouting you should drain them well. You should then store then an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Other than soaking and sprouting the foods you can also dehydrate them. Here you need to heat the foods using a dehydrator in order to stimulate sun-drying. This method is ideal when you want to make sundried tomatoes, breads, raisins, fruit leathers, and kale chips.

How to go on a raw food diet

You should start by identifying the raw food that you want to take. If you feel that you should take fresh fruits and vegetables, you should ensure that the fruits and vegetables are the freshest and organic that you can find. To avoid getting bored you should think of a variety of fruits and vegetables that you should take.

After identifying the foods that you need to take you should start introducing them to your diet slowly. To create variety you should prepare then in different ways. For example, instead of taking a whole fruit, you should consider making a juice out of it.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about the raw food diet. Since we are all different, you should not start taking a given food only because you have heard that your best friend has taking the same food. Before you start taking it first talk to your doctor who will advise the best food for your unique situation.

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Diet Reviews: Taking A Look At Alkaline And Cambridge Diets

It's a fact that there are many diet options to choose from that you can be confused on the right one to go for. While this is the case, this does not mean that you can not find the right one for yourself. Here are some of the most popular diets:

Alkaline diet

It's based on the idea that excess acid in the body is turned into fat, leading to weight gain. To reduce weight gain you need to avoid acid-producing foods such as wheat, meat, dairy products, refined sugar, alcohol, processed foods and caffeine.

Instead of these foods you should take foods that reduce the acid levels in the body. This calls for you to take plenty of fruits and vegetables.

This diet is great as it advices you on the right food to eat in order to not only lose weight, but to also protect yourself from diseases such as arthritis.

One of the major flaws with it is that the body has a natural mechanism of controlling acidity levels regardless of whether you take a diet or not. Another flaw is that it does not recommend substitutes of the foods that you avoid. For example, it does not tell you what you should take instead of cheese and yoghurt.

Cambridge diet

This one is based on the idea that when you take a number of weight replacement products you lose weight within a very short time. This diet recommends that you take bars, porridges, soups, and shakes as the sole source of nutrition. You can also take the soups and bars together with low-calorie meals.

The good side with this diet is that you lose weight within a very short time. The meal replacements that you take are nutritionally balanced; therefore, you do not risk being unhealthy.

While this is the case, the diet has a number of flaws. For example, it brings about a number of side effects that include: bad breath, tiredness, insomnia, dry mouth and constipation. Another flaw is that giving up normal meals and swapping them with snack bars and shakes can be boring and you might feel as if you are being socially isolated.

Conclusion

In addition to these two diets, there are many others that you can consider. For example, there is the south beach, slimming world, and slim fast. Regardless of the diet that you choose, always ensure that you first consult your doctor before you start taking it.

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Tired of Substitute Eating?

Before I discovered the best way of eating for myself, I'd tried most of the eating plans of the last twenty years – Fit for Life, Sugar Busters, Atkins, Paleo and even more that I've forgotten about. And for years before those, I was a vegetarian. In each case, the universe of edibles is divided into good food and bad food, the latter being something that must be restricted or ateen in a certain way to create the proper metabolic or digestive response. Some diet plans required removing the offending food entirely because the latest study discovered that it was bad for everyone (insert: meat, eggs, dairy, carbs, gluten, etc.). All of these eating schools have some basis in nutritional science and can, if right for your particular body, result in at least temporary weight loss and health improvements. But in many cases, these methods require a substitution eating mind, one in which we acknowledge that we crave the restricted food, but must now find ways to replicate it using substitute ingredients. It's an approach that is not only unsustainable, but just makes nutrition unnecessarily complicated.

Let's take sugar first. I limit sugar in my diet and encourage my family to do the same. When I was more rigid about it, I baked with combinations of xylitol, erythritol and stevia. And I can honestly say that few of those baking experiences were very satisfying. I ended up making and consuming more food because I felt like I was being healthy, but the fact is, I was not getting much from a single serving of these odd-tasting enterprises. So I've got another! Some low-carb / sugar-free food plans encourage the use of unhealthy substitutes like aspartame and sucralose. Better to use a little less-refined sugar, raw honey, maple syrup or agave syrup, which I put in my morning coffee.

During the period when I was restricting carbs, I also decided to go gluten-free. From our in-house study, no one in my family has gluten sensitivity, but reading about the downsides of modern wheat, from the Round Up it may contain, to genetic modifications, made it seem like a good food to avoid. So I baked with coconut flour, almond flour, ground flax seed and a variety of other wheat substitutes. But nothing really satisfied. And so I'd eat more of everything-more fats, more meat (which I'm really not crazy about), more nuts-because I could not scratch the one major food itch of mine that I was trying to find a substitute for: I love bread. I mean a lot. Especially sourdough. I'm kind of a kook for it. So after admitting that going gluten-free and carb-restricted had done nothing to improve my health, energy or overall outlook on life, I started making my own sourdough using … plain old grocery store wheat flour! And I've got a piece of toast in the morning and even (gasp) an occasional sandwich. It fixed everything. My appetite decreased, my food consumption lessened and I stopped obsessing about what was good and bad in my pantry. Food and I were friends again.

For vegetarians and vegans, life can be rife with substitutions for meat and dairy, which often result in eating large amounts of soy, a food we're now learning has its own set of “handle with care” warnings attached. But here we come back to another conundrum. What if you like to eat tofu occasionally, as I do? Surely we do not have to find a substitute for that too !?

What I'm urging here is for all of us to relax our notice of good food and bad food, so often based on the latest finds. As that old saw goes, “moderation is the key”. If you like a food, but you want to limit it because it makes you gain weight, feel sluggish or has other health impacts, universally (like sugar) or just for you, go ahead and have some, but not a lot. Do not fear some foods or feel guilty for eating them. Stress is bad for your digestion, so love what you're eating, even or especially if it's an indulgence you do not need all the time. Would not it be nice to eat in a world where you did not need to find substitutions for what you really want? In 2015, let's focus on eating the real thing.

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Diets and Their Issues

What does the word diet mean? According to the oxford dictionary the word diet means the kind of food people eat. This can clearly be the case because according to the company Boots there are over 100 many types of diets, from the alkaline diet, to the zone diet. There are a vast majority of them, with their benefits and their downfalls. However are these diets successful? Are they long term? Do we lose weight on them?

As we all approach the festive season, and the New Year, people at this time are looking at what foods they want to cut down on, or what new fad diet they would like to try. But overall will these work in the long term?

According to the magazine psychology today, researchers tested this methodology on various clients, it was found that there were other aspects to health, not just dieting, and weight loss, but also reduced blood pressure and cholesterol. The clients did not lose weight, although they had a positive attitude about themselves. In that respect diets can be a positive awareness, or on the other end of the spectrum diets can be seen as negative. For example a study carried out by Leicester City Council concluded that due to a poor diet they were unable to achieve the healthier diet that is recommended by the health professionals. A poor diet can mean lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Lack of vitamins and minerals can cause an array of problems. From feeling tired, to poor vision at night time, dry skin, fatigue, and soft bones. In relation to the popular diets out there each of the diets have problems if they are not followed properly, or not searched for suitability.

The Dr Dukan diet was set up by Pierre Dukan in 2000. His aims and objectives were:

To increase a higher intake of protein.

To have a no limit of calories or the types of food you can eat, therefore people can eat whatever and whenever.

However there are some known issues of this diet, this includes:

The cost of purchasing the higher protein foods, ie meat, chicken, pork, nuts and seeds

The suitability for people on a restrictive diet for example, vegetarians or gluten free clients.

However there are some positives of this particular diet, one of them is that it is high in protein, which is important for the growth of new cells in the body, this can include hair, skin and nails. Another feature is that there is no limit of the amount of calories or types of food you can eat. Finally there is a limit on the amount of foods high in sugar, as excess sugar can lead to weight gain.

Another example of this is the cheater's diet. This was created by Paul Rivas. He stated that by basing the meals on a Mediterranean style diet during the week, at the weekend cheat days are highly encouraged. Rivas explains that by having cheat days there is no restriction on having food and drink that consumers love to have, which include foods that may not be the healthiest of products. The diet is also supported by encouraging exercise.

According to a journal published by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the writer Robinson explained that there were other factors that affected diet and lifestyle. While educational attainment had the strongest effects on diet, age, number of children living in the home, the number of people that smoked and the number of hours spent watching television, all were the contributing factors on the amount of exercise completed daily.

From the study it was concluded that the barriers that identified the issues facing diet and lifestyle, were to improve the quality of life, and not just based on weight loss alone. A study carried out by Yardley et al demonstrated that a combination of web based and health professional support for weight management could potentially offer a cost effective means of stimulating obese patients to achieve a meaningful weight loss. It is important to be mindful that suitable diets that are recommended by Health Professionals including Dietitians, and Nutritionists are sourced by the National Clinical Governance of Excellence (NICE). This is an organization set up to provide guidance to improve the health and wellbeing in the United Kingdom.

Overall diets can be successful, especially for the better. As long as the vitamins, minerals as well as the macronutrients are not detrimental towards a poor diet, any diet can be positive long term, with the support of qualified health professionals.

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The Top 4 Great Alkaline Diet Recipes for Your Alkaline Diet

If you want to lose weight, or cleanse your body, just try out these alkaline diet recipes using alkaline diet foods. These recipes are healthy and easy to make which is why it is so much easier following this diet than any other type of diet. Here is a list of some recipes you can try out now.

1. Soup of fresh garden vegetables

You need a small zucchini, some carrots, a celery stalk, two teaspoonfuls salt, a teaspoon fresh basil, three asparagus stalks, broccoli, five teaspoonfuls yeast-free vegetable broth and a yellow onion.

First boil the broth and onion in a pot of water and then chop and shred carrots, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus and celery stalk in a food processor. As vegetables should be tender and not boiled for these diet recipes, add vegetables only after turning off the cooker and leave to tenderize. Mix all the boiled ingredients in a blender till thick while adding some salt to taste.

2. Avocado fruit salad

You need half an avocado which is seeded and peeled into 8 “” cubes, 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar, a tbsp each fresh lime juice and chopped basil leaves, 1 t tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp grated lime peel, t tsp dry mustard, T tsp each of salt and pepper, 4 kiwi peeled and sliced ​​in half rounds, 10 oz pack mixed baby greens, 4 grapefruit and 2 cups each of sliced ​​star fruits and strawberries.

First combine grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi, baby greens and star fruit in a salad bowl. Then make a salad dressing in a small bowl by whisking remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing on the salad and top with avocado slices.

3. Spinach and chickpea curry

You need a cup of coarsely chopped onion, 1 t tbsp of chopped or grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp olive or virgin coconut oil, 1 t tsp red curry powder, 19 oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained, 10 oz bag spinach, 14 oz diced tomatoes with liquid, c cup water and t tsp salt.

Place the onion and ginger in a blender or mixer and mince. Then heat oil in a large skillet on a medium heat and add the onion mixture and curry powder. After sautéing for 3 minutes, add chickpeas and tomatoes to simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in water, spinach and salt and cook till spinach wilts.

4. Fresh veggie salad

You need 4 cups each of raw spinach and romaine lettuce, 2 cups each of cherry tomatoes, sliced ​​cucumber, chopped baby carrots and chopped red, orange and yellow bell pepper and a cup each of chopped broccoli, sliced ​​yellow squash, zucchini and cauliflower.

Just wash all these vegetables. Mix in a large mixing bowl and top off with a non-fat or low-fat dressing of your choice.

These alkaline diet recipes are so easy to follow and make. Eating these foods on a regular basis helps you build a strong cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure levels and also reduces mucus formation in the body, providing that alkaline diet foods are indeed beneficial.

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Alkaline Diets for Relief From Cramps and Itches

Alkaline diets have increased in popularity over the past few months as it helps maintain and balance the body's natural pH (potential hydrogen) ratio. The food and drinks we consume everyday release into the bloodstream in an alkaline or acidic base while the blood, saliva and urine chemistry work to maintain a slightly alkaline regulation.

The ideal body pH level is between 7.33 and 7.4. By maintaining the body in this range, the body is protected from bacterial, fungal and viral invasions. Once the pH level becomes acidic, the body borrows from internal alkalinity sources like potassium, sodium, calcium or magnesium to maintain the body's pH level. Many people suffer from acidity because of pH imbalances, which is why they start following alkaline diets.

Possible damage

Most of today's diets are acidic in nature and this imbalance causes both short and long-term damage to the system. While some bodies continue with this undetected condition for years, the body gets damaged as its intelligence tries to maintain pH levels with its available resources.

Plaque is the first consequence of acidity and ranges from plaque on the teeth to plaque in the treaties. Acidity also leads to yeast and Candida colonies that grow and expand in the system.

While these infections first appear in the digestive tract, it moves through the intestine into the blood stream to eventually rupture at any body part with lots of consequences. Excessive alkalinity also triggers problems like hive-like itching, sore muscles and joints, drowsiness, cramping and indigestion.

How an alkaline diet helps

An alkaline diet however helps provide a protective shield from all this. This diet consists of legumes, fresh vegetables, tubers, grains, roots and nuts. Though fruits are permitted, it should not be eaten in excess as its glutinous nature gets processed as any sugar.

This is the reason why fruits should be either cooked before eating, ateen on its own or ateen before heavy meals. Fruits should not be eaten after a heavy meal as it ends up fermented and acidic in the body and trigger gas and other digestive complications.

Foods to avoid

The best rule to follow for an alkaline diet is to avoid yeast, sugar and any processed or fermented foods. Chemical foods like NutraSweet, Equal and any form of aspartame should be avoided as they are very acid forming. As antibiotics also create an acidic environment, they should be followed by a course of probiotics to help replenish and rebalance the system.

On starting an alkaline diet, you will notice that you crave for sugar. This happens because yeast dies without any sugar to thrive on. Moreover, as yeast is not fed, you start experiencing flu-like symptoms. This is part of the withdrawal symptoms and memories for a few days to weeks, to subside with time.

While conventional medicine does not endorse the benefits of alkaline diets, this diet does help prevent kidney stones, degeneration of muscle tone and osteoporosis. However people suffering from chronic kidney failure should start the diet only after consulting a physician.

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What Are the Best Foods to Eat to Boost the Immune System This Winter?

Here's a great question I was asked on a health panel recently: “Dr. Kristen, can you tell is in the simplest way, what's the best type of nutritional lifestyle to boost the immune system this winter?”

This is a challenging question because it's hard to put such a large topic into so few words! Additionally, each patient may require a unique lifestyle. But here it goes …

Generally speaking, the best type of nutritional lifestyle should be: Mediterranean-style, phytonutrient dense, low glycemic index, and grain-free.

What does that actually mean for our immune systems during winter in the Midwest?

Well, consuming grains, dairy, and sugar (items that are not found in the nutritional lifestyle above) will result in poor immune function … which not only increases your risk of illness but slows healing. Consuming the amount of sugar found in one 12-oz. can of soda will reduce the white blood cell's ability to destroy germs by 40%! But did you know that fruits and juice are still sugar? From a Chinese Medicine point of view, it's foods like sugar and dairy that promote the formation of mucus.

It's also important to note that scientific research shows that 80% of our immune system actually lives within our digestive system so what we put into our body has a significant effect on immunity. If you want to improve immunity, that really has to begin with the digestive system.

In addition, you can strengthen your immunity by selecting foods that are loaded with immune boosting nutrients.

Proteins (such as grass feed meats, whey protein, and organic eggs) contain immune enhancers like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, zinc, and immunoglobulins.

Organic coconut oil will disrupt the cellular membranes of offending invaders.

Non-fruit fresh foods with high “ORAC Scores” will neutralize free radicals. I'd recommend spices, ginger root, garlic, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and spinach.

Garlic: it's antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Unlike traditional antibiotics, bacteria / yeast / viruses will not build up a resistance to it.

Here's a recipe for my healthy tea: 8 oz. hot water, 1 tea bag (decaf green), fr fresh squeezed lemon, 1 dollop of raw honey to soothe the throat (optional), and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cloves.

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Secrets to a Successful Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is a very beneficial diet plan that has proven success for individuals who wish to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle however some critics say that weight loss is not eminent in them and see this diet as a mere fad. From this article we hope to debunk what the critics have been saying and prove that by following these six simple tips on how to be successful on the paleo diet. Alternately break through any plateaus you may have experienced in the past while it was on a paleo diet or one of those other diets that are simply just fads and do not have last results.

Keep it simple

The paleo diet is a fairly simple diet to start out with, however many people get a little carried away with all the great gourmet recipes the paleo diet has to offer. While these recipes are delicious for those who main goal is weight loss it is better to keep things simple when starting out on your paleo diet. A good example of what your average meal should include is 4oz of lean protein like chicken or white fish, plenty of non-starchy vegetables and whole food carbohydrates like root vegetables and fruits that are low glycemic and some healthy fats like coconut oil or avocado. It is important to keep things simple to start of with, in order to rev up your metabolism and start losing the desired weight.

Do not starve yourself

Like most new diet plans, we often trick ourselves into thinking that cutting and skipping meals will aid us in weight loss and while this may appear to be seemingly true it's not an effective weight loss solution as most people report gaining all the weight plus more when they finish a starvation style diet. The paleo diet is effective because unlike starvation diets its promise is around eating foods that are not only clean but great for you. Further not taking in enough calories can result in various negative results including the lower of the metabolism and reduced functionality in the brain and nerves which can cause stress.

Carbs are not the enemy

Many people who embark on a new diet plan often believe that carbs are the bad guy, and while not all carbs are created equally it is imperative that you take in good carbs like fruits, root vegetables and wild rice in order to be successful. The biggest mistake people make when gaging how many carbs they should be consuming is how active the lifestyle is they lead. A person with a very active lifestyle should adjust their diet plan to include more carbs which will keep both full and give the energy needed to continue to lead this active lifestyle. In the same respect a person whose lifestyle is more seditary should also adjust their carb intake and only need about 7-15% of their daily caloric intake to be carbohydrates.

Make sure you are exercising

Like any diet out there it's a two part echoative, yes what you are eating is one part of what makes up a weight loss journey, however without exercise a weight loss program stands little chance in being successful. While it is understandable that many people do not always have the luxury of going to a gym every day for 60 minutes it is imperative that you find opportunities to move around and make the essential sacrifice to exercise.

Find a partner

One of the hardest parts about losing weight is trying to do it all on your own. Making major lifestyle changes without any social support is not only difficult, but often unsustainable. Having a partner around you to encourage you, or even make changes along with you, can greatly increase your success in the switch to a paleo diet. A partner is a valuable tool as you can share in recipes and plan workouts and help motivate one another through your weight loss journey.

Assess your lifestyle

Although diet and exercise are the key components to any weight loss program it is also important to access various mitigating factors. One is to decipher if you suffer from sleep deprivation which is linked to causing excess eating, if you have ever stayed awake longer than your normal you will notice you find yourself being hungry and making poor nutritional choices, do not believe me pass by any fast food drive through between 1230 am -230 am and you will notice a line that could rival the dinner rush. To curb these factors it is important to keep stress levels minimal and to plan ahead with shopping and cooking in order to have the best results possible. It is also ideal to practice stress relieving exercises like meditation and controlled breathing. It is also important to set goals and remember why you are on this weight loss journey. It is one thing to lose the weight it is another to continue to keep and keep it off.

I believe with these 6 easy tips anyone can be successful on a paleo diet, whether you chose to be on it for a temporary solution or if you see the long lifetime results.

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Medifast Vs Wonderslim Diet – Which Is Best and How Do They Compare?

Trying to decide between Medifast vs Wonderslim? These two diets are very similar – both meal replacement programs with very fast weight loss results.

While Medifast is more well-known vs Wonderslim, both diets have their own unique benefits.

So how do they compare? Here are the main differences between them (please note that diet program terms are always subject to change).

# 1 The Diet

Both diets are based on low glycemic meal replacements and put your body into a mild fat-burning state. You eat special diet meals of oatmeals, shakes, bars, lite entrees and desserts every 2 – 3 hours through the day.

Both diets let you customize your order package so that you can include your favorite meals.

With both diets, you include your own meal of lean protein and veggies. However Medifast does offer frozen lean and green meals that you can buy separately if you do not have the time to prepare meals yourself. Wonderslim does not have this option.

# 2 Online Support

While you do get an introductory kit and diet instructions with Wonderslim, you do not get online support.

In contrast, Medifast offers a lot of online support including message boards, forums, recipes, emails and more. You can also call and talk to a Medifast coach if you have questions.

And if you need in-person support, you can visit a Medifast center and speak with a coach. So that's a nice option to have if you're nervous about doing the diet on your own.

# 3 Cost

Depending on the plan you choose, Wonderslim can be cheaper (Note: this also depends on any current specials.)

For example, the Basic Wonderslim option starts around $ 7 a day – but you only get 4 meals a day (vs 5 with Medifast). And these meals only includes shakes, bars and snacks (no dessert or entrees as with Medifast).

The next plan up is around $ 8 a day and you get 5 meals a day (but again, the dinner entrees and desserts are not included as they are with Medifast.)

The premium Wonderslim plan gives you lite entrees and desserts as well – similar to Medifast. But that plan starts around $ 11 a day – which is pretty much the same as Medifast.

So the cost is very similar when you look at what you're actually getting – it boils down to what kind of plan and meals do you want.

# 4 Weight Loss Results

Both plans promise very similar weight loss results. Wonderslim dieters typically lose up to 4 pounds a week.

According to Medifast, dieters can expect to lose up to 5 pounds a week for their first 2 weeks, with weight loss levelling off slightly after that.

So What's The Bottom Line?

The Medifast and Wonderslim diets are very similar – both offer vitamin-enriched meal replacements and very fast weight loss. They are both doctor recommended and approved as well.

The real difference is that you get a lot of online support with Medifast that you do not get with Wonderslim. Wonderslim is more of a do-it-yourself plan. But it is a little more flexible (with 3 different plan options) than Medifast.

So it boils down to what kind of diet you want to do. Regardless of what you decide be sure to check with your doctor before starting any diet or weight loss plan. Good luck!

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Medifast As A Diet Jumpstart – 3 Reasons To Try It – And What To Know Before You Do!

Ever thought about trying Medifast as a diet jumpstart? Medifast is a popular home meal replacement diet where you eat up to 6 times a day – 5 Medifast meals plus one lean and green meal that you add yourself.

While a lot of people go on Medifast for a couple of months, you can also use Medifast as a diet jumpstart to your weight loss plan and only stay on the plan from 2 weeks to a month.

Here are 3 reasons Medifast makes a great jumpstart to your diet:

# 1. Fast Weight Loss

There's nothing that sets you up to stay on a weight loss plan more than seeing fast results, especially during the first few weeks.

And Medifast is one of the best diets for this. You can lose up to 5 pounds per week for the first 2 weeks. (After this your weight loss starts to level off slightly). Ten pounds in two weeks makes a big difference in how you look and how your clothes fit.

So it can encourage you to keep going on any weight loss plan – including Medifast – that you choose after this.

# 2. Protein and Vitamin Enriched Meals

Medifast meals are higher in protein than many other meal replacement bars or diet plans. That means you feel fuller for longer – and even though you're losing weight – you will not feel ravenous.

Plus you're eating every 2 – 3 hours so again, this helps to beat the hunger blues.

The meals on this diet are also vitamin enriched. So you're also getting good nutrition as you slim down.

# 3. Easy To Follow and Flexible

You eat 6 times a day on this plan – but you can eat your meals in any order you want (as long as you're eating a meal every 2 – 3 hours).

So if it's more convenient to have your lean and green meal in the morning, no problem. You can also take a lot of the meals with you on the go – so you're not lugging special frozen dinners or spending a lot of time prepping before you eat.

So those are 3 reasons you may want to consider using Medifast as a diet jumpstart. You get super-fast results. You will not get hungry. And you have a lot of flexibility to work the diet with your lifestyle.

There is one thing to keep in mind however if you're going to do this. You may not want to sign up with their autoship program – which ships you new meals every month automatically.

While signing up for autoship can save you a bit of money initially, if you're only using this diet for 2 weeks to a month, you do not need the hassle of having to call and cancel an upcoming order.

Bottom line? If you're looking for a fast weight loss start, Medifast is a great option – it even lets you have tricks like cookies or brownies as you slim down super fast! What's better than that?

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Medifast Diet Tips – Commonly Asked Questions About Fruit, Alcohol and Splenda on the Medifast Plan

The Medifast diet is one of the most popular meal replacement diets on the market that delivers to your home. It's known for offering safe, ultra-fast weight loss (up to 5 pounds a week).

But if you're thinking about trying the Medifast weight loss diet, there are a few things you should know first like how it works and if you can have alcohol or fruit on the diet.

With that in mind, here are the most commonly asked questions (and answers) about this diet:

# 1 How Does The Medifast Diet Work?

You eat 5 Medifast “meals” per day plus one lean and green meal that you add in yourself (lean protein and veggies).

Medifast meals consists of a variety of shakes, bars, entrees, puddings, snacks, pancakes and even cookies or brownies. These meals are higher in protein than standard meal replacement bars and low in fat. So you do not get hungry and you feel fuller for longer.

Another thing that helps is that you're eating every 2 – 3 hours so you keep your metabolism high.

# 2. Do I Have To Eat the Lean and Green Meal at Night?

No. You can eat any of the meals, including the lean and green meal, in any order that you like. You must eat a meal every 2 to 3 hours however to prevent your metabolism from slowing down.

So you could have your lean and green meal in the morning if you want – or even break it up through the day.

# 3. How Much Weight Can I Lose on Medifast?

You can expect to lose between 2 – 5 pounds a week during the first 2 weeks (so up to 10 pounds in 2 weeks is possible). After that your weight loss should level off a bit to about 1 – 3 pounds per week.

# 4. Can I Eat Fruit on Medifast Diet?

Unfortunately no. According to Medifast, the high sugar content in fruit (technically fructose) can throw off your weight loss progress. So it will have to wait until after the diet and you've reached your goal.

# 5. Can I Eat Splenda On A Medifast Diet?

Yes – you can have 1 package of artificial sweetener in your coffee or tea daily.

# 6. What If I Do not Have Time To Make the Lean and Green Meal?

No problem. Medifast has recently introduced several frozen meals that fit the requirements of the lean and green meal. They're microwaveable and ready in a few minutes.

This cuts down on the meal preparation and is a great option if you're too busy to cook – but still want to try Medifast.

# 7. Can I Have Alcohol On This Diet?

Unfortunately no. There's no alcohol allowed on Medifast. Like fruit, you'll have to wait until after you've reached your goal to indulge a bit.

# 8. Can I Choose My Own Medifast Meals Or Am I Stuck with “Favorites”?

You can choose your own favorite Medifast meals if you know what you want and customize your package that way.

# 9. What Happens When I Reach My Goal?

Medifast has both a transition and a maintenance program that is designed to safely wean you off the diet and back on to regular food without regaining the weight.

# 10. How Much Does Medifast Cost?

While this is dependent on certain things like current specials, in general, Medifast runs about $ 11 a day. This includes all 5 meals plus the online support and tools like message boards, recipes and more.

This does not include the cost of your own lean and green meal.

So those are some of the most frequently asked questions on the Medifast diet. While this diet can be strict – you do get very fast results. And it's incredibly easy to follow with lots of online support to cheer you on to your weight loss goal. Good luck!

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The Long-Held Beliefs On Saturated Fats Listen Or Ignore?

Saturated fats and the role they play in heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have been in the news slowly from 'The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet', by Nina Teicholz to the June 12, 2014 Times Magazine article, “Ending the War on Fat”. Both Teicholtz's book and the Times' front cover- worthy article and other publications feel the American public has been duped into believing that systematic fats clog arteries and create heart disease.

It's been 53 years since Anzel Keys, the founding father of the low fat diet, was on the front cover of Time Magazine vilifying saturated fats and changing our mindset to one of hate for cholesterol and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol; LDL collections in the walls of blood vessels, causing the blockages of atherosclerosis) and possibly setting the stage for our current love / reliance on statin drugs.

An increasing number of studies are surfacing that the decades' long backlash against what was considered indelible information. The studies suggest that there may not be a correlation between planned fat and heart disease. The most recent and visible research * published in March 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine involved 76 studies with over 650,000 participants and concluded that “current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total Saturated fats. ”

A meta-analysis published in 2010 ** already concluded that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD”. This analysis consulted of 21 studies involving 350,000 people following their diets from 6 to 23 years.

What else is science showing us about saturated fats?

  • They help to raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, improving your triglyceride / HDL ratio-a key marker of cardiovascular health.
  • Food high in saturated fats also helps to change your LDL cholesterol pattern, from small dense particles that can clog your arteries to large “fluffy” harmless LDL particles.
  • They reduce the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a) that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Currently there are no medications to lower this substance and the only dietary means of lowering Lp (a) is eating satrated fat.
  • Saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into your bones; ie; stronger bones
  • Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. Although many people are now familiar with the importance of the highly unsaturated essential fatty acids found in cold-water fish (EPA and DHA) for normal brain and nerve function, the lion's share of the fatty acids in the brain are actually collected. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally (keep an eye out on the recent interest in the role of fats and Alzheimer's disease).

What foods are high in saturated fats? Beef, pork, lamb, and poultry with skin, cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, dark chocolate, palm and coconut oil; a list of foods that many of us have been actively avoiding, either under the direction of a physician or out of an I-thought-this-is-good-for-me belief. It is also a list of foods we love!

The science backs that saturated fats should have some kind of a role in our daily diets and we do not need to drastically reduce or eliminate saturated fat in order to lose weight or prevent heart disease (with evidence actually pointing to the contradiction). We do need to eat better quality food, consume correct portions at meals, and still make vegetables and fruit the main focus.

Consuming foods high in saturated fats that are found in the fast food industry, packaged foods, and high heat oxidized fats (deep fry, etc.) from less than healthy animals will have quality compromised and will cause inflammation in the body. Rather, consume your saturated fat sources from clean, organic, free-range sources to reap the benefits detailed above.

The takeaway from all this data is to breathe a sigh of relief that you can have a grass fed burger pan fried in coconut oil with a slice of raw or organic cheddar cheese (maybe not with a highly processed wheat roll but try it over a mix of field greens and a medley of fresh raw vegetables or caramelized onion and drizzled with olive oil and vinegar) and follow it up with an ounce of 70% or higher dark chocolate.

Do not be an extremist and think you have carte-blanche to just eat saturated fats rather be an advocate of REAL FOOD whether it is grass fed meat, organic and raw cheese and butter, healthy carbohydrates like root vegetables, steamed rice, or quinoa . And consume less of what is really the culprit of the diseases that plague modern America- sugary foods and drinks, highly processed carbohydrates, refined flours and oils.

I'll save that topic for another day.

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Combating Obesity With the Mediterranean Diet

Have you heard of the Mediterranean diet? Nutritionists say that this is probably one of the best ways to tackle obsesity. Many doctors considering it to be even better than calorie counting. This is based on a postgraduate medical journal, which states that not only is it better for sustained weight loss, it's also better at reducing the risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack than low fat diets. This is on top of current advice from the NHS office that monitoring calorie intake is the way to maintain a healthy weight.

The journal, however, also emphasizes the hardships of crash dieting, and that focusing on food intake is arguably the best approach, and that contra to what most food companies do, it's better to eat healthy than to restrict calorie intake. In short, they suggest that people who seek to lose weight should focus on eating healthy food rather than avoiding it altogether.

The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the food from countries like Spain, Italy, or Greece. In fact, in these cultures, they are considered to be healthy eaters, promoting healthy hearts and bodies. The diet usually consist of fruits, vegetables, olive oils, nuts, and whole grains, and avoids a lot of red meat, butter, and animal fats. This diet has been proven to have an immediate effect on health, based on random but controlled trials.

Authors of the study also maintain that the NHS has a very important role in all of this because they need to set a good example to the country. They can do this by making sure that doctors and nurseries are well informed and know the scientific basis of these new findings. Being the front line of the health industry. Right now, the fight against obesity is costing the NHS a lot of money, so taking on this approach and campaign towards healthy eating could help them.

According to the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, your foundation, as stated above, should be fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, and legumes. These are the food that you should keep and eye out for. Fish and seafood are also part of the list, and then healthier poultry, cheese, and yogurt. Ultimately, one should avoid the red and fatty meat, and it goes without saying that sweets should be out of the question.

Also, make sure that you're avoiding any scheduled fat from other sources. Adding cheese sauces on some dishes would put saturated fat on your food. When cooking, make sure you use unsaturated oils.

Let's face it. Diets that require us to avoid all kinds of food can be a pain, simply because it's fun to eat something delicious. So instead of starving yourself, why not go ahead and eat something that does not make you gain weight, if not help reduce it? That's what exactly is the Mediterranean diet is all about – eat healthy and live healthy. While this does not exactly make you lose all your weight immediately, it does help avoid gaining weight.

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Eating Healthy – An Examination of Popular Diets

Ornish Diet

In a randomized trial conducted, the participants assigned to the Ornish diet for one year (and who showed adherence), had marked reductions in weight, HDL cholesterol levels and C-reactive protein (Danson et al., 2005).

Pros: Addresses both physical and emotional / mental health. While the Ornish diet encourages cardio and categorization of foods, it also encourages meditation to reduce stress and improve overall mental health. Proven to help reduce risk of heart disease and has been successful in helping individuals achieve loss loss.

Cons: An Omega-3 supplement is required to maintain cardiovascular health. Adults who adhered to the Ornish diet for the year were found to have lowered levels of Vitamin D, increasing their risk of bone fractures.

Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic diet encourages heart healthy practices such as active living and healthy eating. They encourage portion size control (mayoclinic.com), vegetables and fruits over carbohydrates and simple sugars, whole grains over white bread, and lean meats and good fats.

Pros: Helps individuals achieve and maintain weight loss, lowers cholesterol levels, decrements abdominal fat (which can be a risk factor for heart disease). Allows flexibility so that it can adapt to anyone's lifestyle.

Cons: According to the mayo clinic website, switching to this diet is an overall lifestyle change rather than a diet that you can “go on” for a few months. This may be difficult for some individuals and does not have a high adherence rate, with many people relapsing to their old eating habits.

DASH Diet

A study conducted follow 412 randomly assigned participants and their eating habits. The results showed that adherence to the DASH diet significantly reduced sodium levels of participants (DASH Collaborative Research Group, 2001).

Pros: Specifically for those already diagnosed with hypertension to reduce their sodium levels and cholesterol levels. Encourages exercise as part of the diet.

Cons: Long-term lifestyle change as opposed to a crash diet. The lack of support for this diet can make it difficult for individuals to maintain adherrence.

Mediterranean Diet

A study compared short term and long term effects of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular health in 772 individuals with high cardiovascular risk (predimed investigators, 2006). The results showed that, compared with low fat diets, the Mediterranean diet with olive oil and nuts had beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors (predimed investigators, 2006).

Pros: Promotes heart health. Many of the foods included in this diet also contain antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of cancers.

Cons: It is not a structured plan, so individuals who do not lead an already healthy lifestyle may have difficulty with portion control. This diet also encourages moderate consumption of wine, which may interfere with medicines, inhibitions, and religious beliefs.

Vegan Diet

Pros: The intake of a plant-based diet has been linked to the prevention of chronic disease, including hypertension (Chi et al., 2007). Decrease in cholesterol has also been shown in individuals who adhere to a low-fat vegan diet.

Cons: If not done properly, individuals can have a severe deficiency in iron, protein, and calcium. Not adhering to the low-fat vegan diet and just the vegan diet can still allow individuals to choose foods which are high in saturated fats and still allows for junk foods.

While these diets have benefits and have shown that adherence to them can decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, the overall goal of all of them is lifestyle change. Choosing everyday to make healthy choices and to stay active is the best way to ensure an increase in overall quality of life and better heart health.

Resources

Chi, CS, Dewell, A., Ornish, D., Sumner, MD, Weidner, G. (2007). A Very-Low-Fat Vegan Diet Intake of Protective Dietary Factors and Decreases Intake of Pathogenic Dietary Factors. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 108 (2). 347-356. Doi: 10.1016 / j.jada.2007.10.044

Danson, ML, Gleason, JA, Griffith, JL, Selker, HP, Schaefer, EJ (2005). Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction: A Randomized Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 293 (1) 45-53. Doi: 10.1001 / jama.293.1.43.

Dash Sodium Collaborative Research Group. (2001). Effects on Blood Pressure of Reduced Dietary Sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet. The New England Journal of Medicine. 344: 3-10. Doi: 10.1056 / NEJM200101043440101

Predimed study investigators. (206). Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 145 (1). 1-11. Doi: 10.7326 / 0003-4819-145-1-200607040-00004

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I Try To Avoid Taking In Calories At Night, So How Will I Manage To Eat All Of My Medifast Meals?

Sometimes, when people want to begin the medifast diet, they already have some healthy habits in place. And they are wondering how to incorporate the diet into a plan that has already become a habit. One example is trying not to eat anything too late at night.

Someone say: “For the last couple of months, I have made it a rule of mine not to eat after 7pm. They are getting ready for bed and for the next day. So there is really no way to burn off what you eat at night. However, I do have some concerns about fitting in all five meals plus my lean and green. I figure I can get in mid morning and mid afternoon snack. But then that last meal might be a night time snack, which would naturally occur after seven. I do not want to get into this habit.

There are many options here. I'll discuss them to see if any would work for you. First of all, you could have your lean and green meal for breakfast or lunch. Nothing says that it must be at dinner time. If you did this and still had your mid morning and mid afternoon snacks, then the only thing left would be dinner. And you could have a medifast meal for that – sometimes the ziti, the chili, the sloppy joe, or the macaroni and cheese.

Another option is to have one of the medifast drinks upon waking up. Maybe the hot chocolate or cappuccino. If you have this instead of your regular morning coffee and then you have a medifast breakfast, then you've already taken that last meal off of the table.

Another thing that people will do is to mix or combine the meals into one sitting. This is not how the diet is designed, but the thinking behind this is that it's better to get in all your meals by combining them instead of skipping. So, perhaps you would have the diet pancakes with hot chocolate at breakfast – which makes for two meals. Or soup with one of the fruit drinks for lunch.

Finally, if there are times when you just can not swing it or are running late one day, keep in mind that the diet meals are very small. Most are right around 100 calories. I think what people who say they do not eat late really mean that that she does not eat large amounts after 7. But, if there are times when this just does not work out logistically, then taking in an additional 100 calories probably will not be catastrophic.

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