By Arielle Giordano When the body is nutritionally satisfied, you experience true hunger—not toxic cravings. When I decided to follow a caloric-based eating plan, I started letting go of foods such as dairy and meats and monitored my calorie intake. But I was not losing weight! I expressed my disappointment to my “eating for health” coach and she told me not to worry, saying that if I changed my eating habits to a plant-based nutrition program I would never have to worry about my weight again! The truth was that—for this plan to truly work—I needed to get really honest with myself. I focused with close attention on all the foods I put into my mouth. I was amazed to become aware of a huge discrepancy: What I thought I was eating and what I was actually eating were two different things. I believed the amount of food I was ingesting was MUCH less and all healthy choices. I did not think I had food addictions and felt I knew the definition of real hunger. My “aha” moment and realization was when I noticed that the body does not lie! I was not losing weight because I was not feeding my body the proper nutrition. I listened to my coach, and began following her instructions more closely. Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat To Live is a nutritional plant-based program which includes 90 percent fruits and vegetables. It defines the difference between “true” hunger and “toxic” hunger. Fuhrman explains that when we do not feed our bodies the proper nutrients, we do not feel well and our digestive tract is continuously at work. Toxic hunger overpowers the natural instinct that controls appetite and leads to an increase in calorie consumption. Toxic hunger decreases with a lifestyle high in micronutrients. When the body is nutritionally satisfied, a new sensation of hunger appears when the body actually needs something. Body intelligence is a great guide and gift. Paying attention to the nutritional foods we eat can make a significant difference in the way we look and feel. Listening and being aware of the body’s needs and nourishment can impact health in a powerful way. For example, I have been shopping in the organic produce aisle lately, and I have been attracted to certain colors of foods, such as the orange in carrots or the red in beets. I followed my body’s guidance and purchased the foods. As a result, I experienced a physical sensation of well-being from satisfying these healthy food cravings. “Let the nutrition of the food be at the heart of the matter” became my new motto to improve physical health and well-being. In learning to listen to my body, I have learned the importance of the nutritional value of foods instead of caloric assessment. I have shifted from a calorie-based approach to a nutritional eating program. This means the quality of the food is more significant than the quantity. Portion control is not an aspect of eating nutritional foods. My weight has dropped off slowly and naturally. The Eat to Live program by Dr. Fuhrman has transformed my body physical health and well-being. My husband and I also attended a seven-day retreat with Dr. Fuhrman. We ate three full meals with dessert every day, and we both lost weight. We learned that it is not “how much” you eat but WHAT you eat that’s most important to maintaining a healthy weight! Happy eating! Healthy Eating Recommendations:
- Listen to your body and follow through with healthy choices.
- Focus on the nutritional value of foods.
- Eat organic.
- Avoid GMO products.
- Review ingredients and labels carefully.
- Review the “Dirty Dozen” list from the Environmental Working Group shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php).