In our Weight Loss Awakening Friendship Group on Facebook, I recently received a comment that a lot of us can relate to. Angela on Facebook said,
"One of my issues is thinking that the more I eat, then I'm going to gain weight, so I don't eat that much. Not to mention, eating healthy is so expensive. It's hard for you when you're a single mom working full-time."
Have you also been thinking that eating more can make you gain pounds? Do you find that it’s more expensive to eat healthy foods?
Don’t Feel Bad About Eating When You’re Hungry
The first thing we need to address here is you shouldn't feel bad about eating when you're hungry. A lot of us have no control over our hunger because our blood sugar is always fluctuating—it goes up and down like a yoyo.
Focus on your blood sugar. When your blood sugar spikes, you get abnormal cravings, but if you have foods that are not going to spike your blood sugar like veggies, a handful of raw nuts and one piece of fresh fruit, you will not have cravings. Check out the four nutritional additions I recommend. These are the perfect types of snacks.
When Eating More Doesn’t Always Make You Gain Weight
There’s one kind of food that you can eat more of without gaining weight: vegetables.
You can’t gain weight by eating more vegetables. Even if you eat them all day long, the water and the fiber content in these vegetables will make sure you are never going to gain weight. Eat a handful of nuts with one piece of fruit, and realize that it's going to take some time for you to actually feel full. It takes 15 minutes for many people to feel a sense of satiety.
The problem if you don't eat and allow yourself to be hungry is that your body will go through wild metabolic swings, which are going to affect your metabolic rate. This is why it’s important to eat something when you’re hungry and understand that just because you're eating, doesn't mean you're going to gain weight from that food.
There was an incredible diet called the Kempner Diet. What’s incredible about it is that it actually worked despite how counterintuitive it was. A doctor at Duke University put people on a rice-only diet. Rice is a big source of carbohydrates and sugar. The subjects of the experiment could eat almost unlimited quantities of rice with some vegetables. They lost weight and their diabetes even got better.
I’m not recommending that diet, but what I'm saying is that we shouldn't assume that every food we eat is going to make us gain weight unless they're processed carbohydrates. This is because processed carbs are abnormally condensed calories just like how dried fruit oils are condensed calories. They sneak in a lot of oils in packaged foods.
If you're hungry, eat a healthy snack and just wait off. If you're craving sweets, drink some herbal teas that have natural sweetness to them. There are many tips that we'll go through, but eat if you need to. An important point to remember here is that space that Viktor Frankl talked about, which I keep mentioning in my blogs. He said “Between stimulus and response there’s a space and in that space lies our power to choose.” We have that space to choose to eat when we’re hungry and to pick the healthy kind of food that will not make us gain weight.
Is Eating Healthy Expensive?
Many people find it difficult to eat healthy because it's expensive. And that’s true. Eating healthy is more expensive. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that the healthiest diets cost $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets.
Now, let's keep in mind that in this study, they were comparing a diet that was high in fruits and veggies, nuts, and fish. It is a healthy diet that cost people $1.50 more per day or $550 per year, which is a significant amount of money.
Eating Healthy Without Spending a Lot of Money
Here's what I have to say to that: There are ways of buying food that is not going to be that expensive. Now, if you're eating a lot of meat and you're buying clean, high-quality meat, then that is going to be more expensive. If you are eating a lot of chicken, beef, or lamb more than five to seven times a week, you really owe it to yourself to buy the highest quality that you possibly can, and that's going to be expensive. We want to avoid consumption of meat from animals raised in a toxic environment, as these can be a source of toxins that disrupt your endocrine system.
But what if you want to save as much money and you can't afford all that healthy or at least high quality meat that's out there? What do you do?
Shift to a plant-based diet.
Let me tell you an amazing fact: the longest living communities around the world are mostly eating plants. The Okinawans for example are eating mostly purple sweet potatoes. That's about 80% of their diet and they're living to a hundred. While there are effective diets that are going to cause you to lose weight, my focus here is long-term health. How can we get the most life out of our God-given years to live the highest amount of energy and a sense of wellness?
We don't have 100% control over that, but we can do our best by eating as many veggies as we possibly can. Just avoid nightshade plants as their lectin content has been linked to inflammation, obesity, and autoimmune diseases. I recommend that you read the Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry to learn more about which vegetables to eat and avoid.
When it comes to eating veggies inexpensively, you can get frozen veggies, canned veggies, or non-organic veggies. You just need to wash them very well. Stay away from packaged foods that are loaded with oils and processed grains that make your blood sugar go up and go down.
When it comes to eating healthier, I recommend that you read The Blue Zones, which details the communities around the world that are living long lives. It chronicles all the different factors that lead to a long life. You’ll find that a majority of them eat plant-based diets, have strong social support and maintain constant high-level physical activity. It's an enlightening book to read.
- Stay away from packaged goods. They’re more expensive and have more oils.
- Buy higher quality meat. Though they’re more expensive, clean meat is free from toxins that are harmful to your body.
- Eat a plant-based diet. Instead of cooking meat, make bean stews, slow-cooked beans, and many other veggie-type chilies that you can make with beans, veggies, and rice. Cooking in a slow cooker gives the veggies a meaty texture and warmth, which are filling for both adults and kids.
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies as snacks together with a handful of nuts. You're getting large amount of quality calories and quality fat, which have been actually shown to reduce cravings. As I mentioned in one of my blogs, fat is not a bad addition to your diet if it's chosen properly, correctly, and purely.
- To beat cravings for sweets, make a combination of dates and nuts or drink a naturally sweet herbal tea.
I've been through this situation with many of my patients where they complain about how eating healthy can be expensive. But it’s very possible to eat healthy with the exact same amount of money that you're spending now.
The Real Challenge
Sometimes, the most difficult challenge to overcome is the lack of support from the people around us. Unfortunately, our friends and families are not always the best support for making the health decisions that we want to make, including eating healthy. They may push us off the path, so it's important that we connect with people who share the same goals to encourage ourselves.
Get support from our Weight Loss Awakening Friendship group. Share your own stories about how you are attempting to transition to a healthier diet, to eating more vegetables and what you've gone through with that. I look forward to your stories!