Daniel Greenberg: Lose weight naturally | TheUnion.com

Daniel Greenberg: Lose weight naturally

Daniel Greenberg, L.Ac.
Submitted photo |

The holidays are over and now its time to shed those extra pounds.

My approach can be easily accomplished and maintained because you need not starve yourself or constantly count calories.

Look at this as a lifestyle change rather than a diet.

First and most importantly, you must banish your sugar addiction.

“Addiction” you say, “I have no sugar addiction.”

Most of us do without realizing it.

“Sugar” implies foods that convert quickly to glucose in the body, the energy source most commonly used by humans.

It may surprise you that a slice of whole wheat toast will change over to glucose as quickly as table sugar.

The same goes for carbohydrates like pasta, crackers, rice, potatoes, juice, most breakfast cereals, pancakes and the like.

The difference between bread or pasta to cake or candy in terms of glucose conversion is slight.

You may now notice that a good portion of your diet is sugary.

How does eating these sugary foods lead to weight gain?

Let me try to explain it this way.

Imagine for breakfast you have a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of juice.

Your body immediately converts these foods to glucose and your sugar levels spike.

Your body may not be able to utilize all this glucose for energy fast enough so what remains is then converted and stored as fat.

Two problems (many more, but we will stick with weight loss) are created with this scenario.

One, the body will burn off the glucose from breakfast for energy rather than oh, let’s say from your belly fat reserves.

Second, the body converts the unused glucose to — yes, you guessed it — more belly fat. So you stay as heavy or you gain weight.

To lose these reserves of fat effectively. you need to eat foods that change more slowly to glucose.

That includes foods such as the fiber rich vegetables and meats and — surprisingly — good quality fats, thereby allowing your body a chance to burn off your spare tire.

Now comes the hard part.

In order for you to reset your metabolism and destroy your cravings for “sugar,” it is important to refrain from all carbohydrates except for vegetables and an occasional piece of fruit for four weeks.

The first week or two is the hardest, so stay strong.

After four weeks, you can reintroduce some carbohydrates on a limited basis.

Your cravings for the starchy and sugary foods should be gone at this point.

Soon you will notice that your blood sugar levels will regulate and your energy will improve.

With added energy, you will become more active, increasing the daily calories burned.

You will also notice that you may have lost two to four pounds per week.

Yes, that is eight to­ 16 pounds in one month!

If you did not meet this goal, then may I be so blunt and say you were cheating.

Otherwise, check with your doctor to determine if a thyroid issue could be keeping you from losing weight.

What can I eat?

Vegetables (except for potatoes and corn), meat and eggs (avoid processed meats like cold cuts), some raw nuts (not peanuts they are a legume), and good quality fats like butter, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

Drink plenty of water.

Eat as much of these foods as you want — no need to count calories.

What should I avoid eating?

Grains and anything made from them.

Avoid eating legumes and dairy products.

No dessert, candy, juices and soda, and limit yourself to one serving of whole piece of fruit per day.

Reduce alcohol consumption and do not use sugar substitutes since these will sustain your sugar cravings and are also linked to weight gain.

Here is a sample menu.

Breakfast: 3 eggs, 1/2 avocado, sauteed spinach and 1-2 pieces of organic bacon.

Lunch: Salad, with lots of cut vegetables, walnuts, turkey, and olive oil and lemon.

Dinner: steamed vegetable medley (mix of 4-5 of your favorite vegetables) tossed in butter or olive oil and grilled fish or steak.

Dessert: Piece of seasonal fruit.

Snack: Raw nuts

For more information, I would highly recommend reading Dr. William Davis’ book, “Wheat Belly” or Dr. David Perlmutter’s book, “Grain Brain.”

Daniel Greenberg is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and owns and operates Wolf Creek Acupuncture in Grass Valley. He can be reached at wolfcreekacu@gmail.com or 530-277-5412.

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