Image Credit: Seanika / Shutterstock.com
Optimal weight is the weight that you feel most comfortable at — the healthiest, easiest to maintain weight that allows you to have energy and not stress about your food choices constantly. Eating a whole food diet is very important, meaning that one must decrease their refined food intake drastically in order to see any big difference. Other than that, one must move their body in a way that is enjoyable, whether it’s walking or kickboxing, doing yoga or Zumba, and one must decrease stress in their lives to assist their glands in balanced hormone production. As a whole, this will help in your weight optimization. Here are a few different tweaks on this that may assist your efforts in achieving this.
Raw foodists generally do not eat anything that has been heated above 104-118 degrees and thrive on juices, smoothies, salads, dehydrated crackers and treats, nuts and seeds, and depending on the person, sprouted grains and/or raw meat, eggs and dairy. Because raw foodists tend to be very in tune with their bodies and food, they vary their diets and eat plenty of nutrient dense foods. One caveat that we often see however, is the overeating of raw nuts and seeds and desserts made from them. If you are considering going raw, be sure to eat plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables and take it easy on the pre-made raw desserts. They may be healthy, but too much of anything is not a good thing.
Vegans don’t eat any animal product whatsoever and often do so for ethical reasons, though the numbers doing it for health are climbing yearly. Vegans generally find weight loss fairly easy due to their heightened focus on nutrition and getting what they need in their food. Junk-food vegans don’t do very well, often lamenting chronic fatigue, anemia, low zest for life and lowered libido. This is because although meat and dairy do contain a good amount of toxicity, they do also contain essential nutrients needed by the body, and when going vegan, one must actively participate in their health and nutrition. If you are considering going vegan, be sure to educate yourself on what you will need to eat to replace the foods your body was used to using for energy and nutrition.
Vegetarians don’t eat meat but do consume dairy and eggs. By cutting out meat from the diet we are drastically lowering our intake of sodium, saturated fat, and often carcinogenic and hormone-filled flesh foods. It is easier for a vegetarian to bypass toxic foods and therefore the body is generally cleaner and responds better to food taken in. If you do choose to eat meat, get it as clean as you possibly can. If you are considering becoming vegetarian, make sure to take B-12 as a supplement as it is very difficult to find in plant foods and is necessary for energy production in the cells.
Pescatarians are those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but allow for fish. Some are vegan otherwise (no dairy/eggs) and some are not. By lowering our consumption of meat, we automatically increase our health, but canceling it out altogether can be a mistake if we don’t pay a little extra attention to our nutrition. Eating fish can help by increasing satiation during meals through its protein content, provided Omega-3’s and other essential fatty acids and important nutrients. Fish is very healthy for the body, but is often polluted by the ocean’s increasingly polluted water supply. Farmed fish is no better, as these fish are being fed genetically-modified corn and are commonly contaminated with PCB’s that disrupt hormones and increase yeast in the body. Eat wild-caught fish as a pescatarian, eat more fruit and greens, and lower your refined food intake to get to your optimal weight.
The Paleo lifestyle is a way of living that has you thinking about your actions in relation to how our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived, eating whole, unrefined foods that look like they’re fresh off the vine, tree or plant or grass-fed and free-range. Those who aspire to the paleo lifestyle try to live in accordance with the wildish nature of our ancestors, exercising frequently, strength training and generally upping their physical strength and endurance to live a very healthy lifestyle. By eating and living this way, one can easily lose excess weight and lean out, while feeling excellent and consistently charged by their high-quality food choices.
Optimizing your weight doesn’t have to be painful, frustrating, or stressful. Cut out the refined foods, move more, and find ways to de-stress. Everything else is simple fine-tuning that you may or may not choose to undertake. Make sure that you treat your body with respect and kindness –under-eating is not good for the body, but neither is ‘treating’ it to three slices of cheesecake. Use your common sense, listen to your body, and educate yourself on nutrition to help your body achieve its optimal weight in a way that is enjoyable for you!