Eating Whole to Lose Weight


One of the most exciting things about starting a new eating journey is the thought of losing weight and getting healthy. While any whole food path that you choose will help you to get healthy, finding a path that will help you lose weight can sometimes be more complicated. Many times the simple act of making better food choices is enough to begin to lose weight, so many whole food eaters will see weight loss with little effort. But that isn’t true for everyone, there are those people who will still need to make a bit of extra effort in order to see weight loss while they are eating whole.


But the good news is that with a few adjustments, anyone can lose weight while eating whole foods.


The first thing you will want to do is get a journal. Only a journal will be able to give you an accurate account of what you are taking in and how those foods are making you feel. So let’s say that you have been eating whole foods for awhile but you are not losing weight, after journaling for a few weeks you might find that you have been eating a lot of sweet foods like honey and bananas. Even though these foods are healthy, they are still natural sweeteners, so eating them in abundance may inhibit your ability to lose weight.


After you are able to take inventory of what you have eaten for a few weeks, start looking for ways that you can be stricter with your food choices. A good place to start here would be looking at something like the Whole30 program. While this program is very close to the popular paleo diet, it is also more strict than the typical paleo diet. The Whole30 is designed to help you to give your body a reset and after doing so you will be able to add foods back into your everyday life and get a true understanding of how these foods effect your body.


If the Whole30 program is more strict than you would like, you can start by looking at whole foods that are rich in hydration and fiber. Foods that fit into this category will help you to naturally start cleaning out your system.


One of the most exciting things about starting a whole foods journey is the thought of being able to lose weight effortlessly. While it is true that many people begin  to see a difference just by starting to eat whole, that isn’t true for everyone. But it is important to remember that you are not doing anything wrong and you are not the only one who hasn’t lost weight right away. We are all different, and if you are having trouble losing weight while eating whole it simply means that you need to re-evaluate the steps you are taking on your whole food path.  


What’s So Great About Paleo?


Unless you have been living under a rock you have likely heard of the paleo diet. This is the way of eating that is knocking people all over the world off of their feet. Not only do people who choose to eat paleo look years younger than their age, they are also more energetic, slimmer, and more than anything they are healthier.

All you have to do is look at the transformations of paleo eaters to be blown away at all that this way of eating can offer. Even without exercise, these people tend to feel like they have found the fountain of youth. Typically they have glowing skin, an ideal weight, and a stamina that cannot be matched. More often than not, the paleo eater seems to be the perfect picture of health and happiness.

But how does it work? What is the secret? There are a lot of moving parts that make the paleo diet work, but one of the biggest benefits is the way that it naturally reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is known as a ‘silent killer’ because it can help so many deadly illnesses and diseases to occur. To make matters worse, most of us deal with inflammation even though we do not realize it.  If you find yourself getting sick frequently, feeling lethargic, or unable to lose weight then there is likely some amount of inflammation in the body, and that can pave the way for something more sinister. So while your doctor might tell you that you have developed asthma as a result of adult onset allergies, in reality there is likely inflammation in your body that is making your allergies unbearable and because those allergies are now unbearable, they may have set you up for full blown asthma attacks. So while the inflammation itself did not cause your asthma, indirectly it is the root of your medical problems. Thankfully, it is times like these when paleo comes in to save the day.

However, paleo offers much more than simple inflammation relief. It also offers  the ability for easy weight loss, and much of that comes from protein. Protein is essential to your overall health for many reasons. For starters, our bodies require protein for more than 50% of its functions. Everything from skin and nails to healthy bones has something to do with protein. But ironically many of us are protein deficient. This is another area where paleo comes in to save the day. Because eating paleo relies so heavily on the consumption of healthy meats, it will give your body a big boost in the protein department. Additionally, protein helps you to feel full, allowing you to go longer periods of time without feeling the need to eat.  

Paleo also relies on foods that are in their ‘purest form’. Whether it is your fruits and veggies, your nuts, or  your seeds anything that you eat that is paleo will have to be as close to nature as possible. This allows your body to take in and absorb nutrients like never before.

Are you ready for paleo to change your life?

The Fruit and Veggie Trick


One of the biggest budget breakers in eating healthy is buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Sure, it isn’t much of an issue when you have one or two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but when you are eating healthy, and aiming to eat fruits and veggies at every meal, that is another story.


To make matters worse, you can no longer have the convenience of buying things in cans (after all, there are a lot of hidden things in there that might are good for your budget but terrible for your health). If you are a budget person, like me, you know that the produce section is where things can get a bit hairy and now you are looking at an increased fruit budget and an increased vegetable budget.


Luckily there is a trick to this, and the trick is so stupid simple that I am ashamed to say it took me years to find it, and even then it wasn’t me, it was a food blogger that I follow.


Instead of buying fruits and veggies in the produce aisle, get it from the frozen foods section. There are two big benefits here….


Obviously the cost is the biggest benefit. Shopping in the freezer section is generally no more expensive than the produce section, and in many cases it is actually cheaper. Best of all, the work is done for you. I recently had a recipe that called for a bunch of peaches. Not only was it more expensive for me to buy the peaches in produce, but the frozen peaches were already cut for me – that my friends is a major score for an anti-cook like me.


The second biggest benefit is that frozen fruits and veggies last longer than fresh ones. Yes, some can argue about the taste, but I personally don’t notice it. And even though there are times when I love escaping to the grocery store, I generally hate shopping for groceries and I would rather order pizza every night than make that dreaded half hour trip, (which is really more of an hour trip after I haul everything in and find a home for it in the kitchen). At the risk of losing my mother of the year award I will tell you that I have done this pizza trick many times, my budget has suffered and my waistline has suffered, but for some reason it still seems better than restocking my grocery supply. Thankfully, when I buy most of my fruits and veggies from the freezer aisle, I don’t have to worry about them going bad as quickly, I get to buy enough for two weeks and then stay as far away from the store as humanly possible.


What Kind of Whole Are You?


There’s something wonderful about eating whole foods. Knowing that you are eating foods that are fresh from nature and as close to their natural state as possible is a very rewarding thing. Not only do you know that you are doing something good for your health in the moment, but you also know that you are making food choices that are going to help you to heal your body from any lingering effects that it might have from poor past food choices.


But there is one thing that you need to know before you begin your whole journey, and it is crucial for your whole eating success. You need to make the decision about what kind of whole food path you want to take.


With most diets, you begin your eating journey with a clear set of rules that you have to follow. You know right out of the gate what you can and cannot have and you are easily able to find new recipes with a quick Google search. So let’s say that you have decided to follow a paleo diet. A simple Google search of paleo recipes will give you a lot of options that you are safe to eat. Sure, you will still have to do your due diligence to be sure that the recipe truly follows your paleo lifestyle, but other than that you will have nothing else to worry about and you can easily find your fill of recipes this way.


But when it comes to eating whole, things aren’t always so simple. There are many variations to the whole food lifestyle, but the basically it can be broken down into three categories. You are either a whole food meat eater, a whole food plant based eater, or a a whole food clean eater.


Whole Food Meat Eater – Essentially, this follows the same guidelines as the paleo diet. You will not be eating any grains or anything that is processed. But if you are doing a program such as the Whole30 you will have a few more restrictions. For example, the Whole30 does not promote making any desserts, even healthy desserts, while on the program. However, a meat eater who is not part of the Whole30 program will be able to find paleo donuts, paleo brownies, and other paleo treats to eat.


Whole Food Plant Based Eater – Unlike the whole food meat eater, if you are eating plant based then you will be relying heavily on grains while avoiding meat. The popular ‘Forks Over Knives’ movement would fall into this category.


Whole Food Clean Eaters – This is a group of people who are dedicated to eating foods that are healthy and not processed, but typically these people will allow themselves to eat both grains and meat. If you are unsure where to start with your whole journey, this is typically the best place as you will be able to start healing your body from the inside out while figuring out which foods work best for you.


Even though your journey into a Whole Food life will be an amazing one, it is important that you choose your path before you start. This way there won’t be any confusion for you down the road and you are more likely to stick with the path that you have chosen.