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Dish Me Up Some Chalk, Please?

A friend of mine recently posted something on Facebook that caught my attention. He proudly announced that he had “already lost 15 pounds” on a meal replacement plan. As I scanned comments related to his post, the truth came out. While he was thrilled with the weight lost, he lamented the fact that the food tasted, in his words, “like chalk!” I jumped in with my own comment “you know, dropping pounds doesn’t have to be that way.” And it doesn’t. I know. I’ve been there, done, that, bought the t-shirt, and drank the Kool-Aid!

Over the course of several decades, I have been on all sorts of diets, including ones requiring meal replacements, and had similar results as my friend did. Sure,I dropped pounds quickly, but at what cost to my health? I have since learned about the pitfalls of meal replacement programs and want to share them with you before you embark on an expensive meal replacement program that promise fast results but do little in the way of truly nourishing your body.

Here are the top reasons why I think meal replacement diets are a bad idea:

– Meal replacement shakes, bars, drinks and snacks are highly processed substances–they are not real food. Before you consider consuming these products, read the labels first. You are likely to find a dozen or more ingredients, including preservatives as well as artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and coloring. Many of these substances have been shown to cause headaches, bloating, gas, hormonal imbalances and even changes in behavior.

– Meal replacements don’t taste good. Granted some of the shakes and bars are sweet, but I have found that most of the boxed “foods” do taste a bit like chalk. They are bland and have unnatural consistencies. Some of the products sit like a lump in your stomach or, worse yet, get stuck in your colon causing constipation.

– Meal replacements don’t really teach you a whole lot about how to eat. I will say that one meal replacement program in which I participated taught me to feed my body more frequently. Some say that eating frequently helps boost metabolism while others suggest that eating three square meals a day is the way to increase metabolism as it allows your body to fully digest what it’s been fed prior to consuming more. Whatever the case, meal replacements did not really help me figure out what to eat. Instead, I turned off my brain until the clock said it was time to eat another bar.

If you’re ready to release some weight, here’s my advice:

1. Dump the processed stuff that is sabotaging your dream of becoming thinner:

Go through your cupboards and refrigerator and read the labels on the boxes, bags and cans. If the label has more than five ingredients, includes words you can’t pronounce or understand, or mentions the word “trans-fat” or “high fructose corn syrup” anywhere, toss it immediately. There are other things to watch out for on labels, but this will be a good start as you purge home of toxins that are making you fat.

Toss out all sugary drinks, including soda, fruit juices and sports drinks. The same goes for diet drinks. The artificial sweeteners confuse your brain and you typically end up consuming far more calories throughout the day from other sources.

2. Stock up on foods that will truly nourish you:

Go to the grocery store and make your way around the perimeter of the store. Purchase the freshest and most colorful vegetables and fruits you can find, ideally organic. Consume as many of these delicious, whole foods as you want. Make fruits and vegetables the center of your new, healthy world!

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Drink plenty of water (for hydration) and green or white tea (for antioxidants).

Limit your consumption of animal products. If you do consume meat make sure it’s coming from a healthy source. For example, grass-fed beef is healthier than corn-fed beef; free-range chickens are healthier than commercially raised chickens; wild salmon is better than farmed salmon. When possible, rely on dark leafy greens, fish, beans and legumes as your main protein source.

There are lots of other wonderful, whole foods out there that you can add to this list but, if you start with these, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you. The bottom line is that you can eat fabulous, flavorful food at every meal and release pounds effortlessly by making a few basic changes to your lifestyle. You don’t need to rely on expensive, tasteless, highly processed meal replacements ever again! Move over chalk. Dish me up some greens instead!

شارک آدمی کو نگل گئی تو دیکھیں اسے کیسے زندہ نکالا گیا

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