Lose Weight, the Natural Way



Lose Weight, the Natural Way



Interviewed By  Aisha El-Awady










Natural weight loss is the best, healthiest and longest lasting weight loss method around.

These days losing weight seems to be on everyone’s mind, whether you want to lose a few pounds or are clinically obese. Ads promoting fad diets or magic weight loss pills are everywhere. We are bombarded everyday with these ads on television, the internet and in our e-mail. But the real secret to weight loss is that the best weight loss program doesn’t cost a thing and you do not need to starve yourself or even feel hungry. Natural weight loss is the best, healthiest and longest lasting weight loss method around.

IslamOnline.net (IOL) conducted this interview with Anisa Abeytia, an integrative health specialist and Clinical Nutritionist, to discuss the best way to lose weight and how to make a few small changes to your lifestyle that will help you shed the pounds and keep them off for good.

IOL: If you were to suggest one food/drink to cut out of our diets in order to lose weight, what would it be?

Abeytia: Soda. One can of soda contains an average of 5 tablespoons of sugar and a host of artificial additives that can stress the liver and adrenal glands. Sugar promotes weight gain because it sets up a situation where blood sugar fluctuates all day. We can see this in the extreme with diabetic people who can gain excessive amounts of weight. When blood sugar spikes and falls several times a day, the body will hold onto fat because it thinks the body is starving.

IOL: Are there any foods that can actually help weight loss?

Many people do not consume enough healthy lipids (fats).

Abeytia: I love coconut oil. It may seem like a strange thing to recommend, but I find that in my private practice that many people do not consume enough healthy lipids (fats). Currently consumption of corn and canola oil is excessive. It causes inflammation and is rancid (rotten). Hydrogenated oils are another health hazard and are really what gave saturated fats (solid at room temperature) a bad name. Hydrogenated oils do not occur in nature and there is some evidence that they alter the cell membrane by making it impermeable so waste cannot exit and nutrients cannot enter. This can lead to weight gain because it literally can get “stuck” in your body.

If you are interested in learning more about the role of fats in maintain weight balance, please visit the site for the Weston A Price Foundation or read the excellent books by Sally Fallon “Nourishing Traditions, Eat Fat Lose Fat” or Mary G. Enig “Know Your Fats , Eat Fat Lose Fat.” A great website that discusses and gives recipes for foods great for losing weight and just being healthy, go to The World’s Healthiest Foods  website. There is also a companion book.

IOL: We hear that nuts are high in calories but also high in nutrients. If a person is trying to lose weight, would you recommend that they consume nuts or cut them out of their diet due to their high calorie content?

Abeytia: Nuts are a wonderful food because they are filling and they are easy to take with you. A small amount can keep you full, so they offer more bang for their size. The problem that arises is when we over consume nuts. This is an easy thing to do when we do not have to shell them ourselves. A serving of nuts is one handful (your hand).

IOL: For weight loss plans, are there any fruits or vegetable that you would recommend one NOT to eat?

Some vegetables that can cause problems are potatoes, peas and carrots eaten in excess.

Abeytia: Most people do not eat enough fruits or vegetables, period. Some vegetables that can cause problems are potatoes, peas and carrots eaten in excess, but when they are part of a balanced and varied diet they are very nutritious. You want to purchase the most nutrient-dense foods you can buy. Organic foods usually have many more nutrients because the way the soil is maintained, but if it is coming from far away, like from Brazil to California or Florida to New York, the distance is too great and the food loses its nutrients. In that case you want to go for local, but be sure to wash your fruits and vegetables well. Keep in mind though that some pesticides do not wash off. There is a list you can find online titled “The Dirty Dozen.” You want to purchase the fruits and vegetables on this list organic whenever possible.

Eating nutrient-rich foods is also a key to maintain proper weight balance. When we eat nutrient-dead food our bodies can become malnourished, even if we look over nourished, because our bodies are not receiving what they need. As a result, our bodies think we are starving so they hold onto calories instead of burning them, then we become fat, even though we are malnourished.

IOL: What is the ideal amount of weight an overweight person should lose during a month’s period that would allow him/her to keep the weight off for an extended period of time?

Abeytia: I have worked with people who lost 25 lbs (11.3 kg) in one month and that was healthy for them because it was an issue of inflammation or food sensitivities. Also people who are involved with receiving different types of body work can also experience a large initial weigh loss in the first few months. I can recall one woman that I worked with using a body work I developed called Noor-al-Tawheed, who lost 3 lbs (1.4 kg) after two sessions (1 lb/0.45 kg a day for three days).

It is not about the amount of weight, but about making the appropriate lifestyle adjustments to allow your body to find the appropriate weight. Weight loss can be a tricky thing because so many factors come into it that it is easier and, yes, cheaper to work with a health care practitioner. Weight balance is more of a result of good health than anything else.

Now on the other hand, if someone is starving themselves by only eating grapefruits or by taking diuretics for short term weight loss, then that is dangerous. Fad diets that promise an amount of weight loss by limiting a food group can also be dangerous and not long term and typically the person gains all the weight back and more. These yo-yo diets are unhealthful. They can boast that you can lose 25 lbs in one month, but it is usually water weight that will all come back. If a person loses that much that quickly, I would suspect food allergies.

With all that said, 5-10 lbs (2.3 – 4.5 kg) is a “healthy” goal to set. You can also look at it from a prospective of inches. You might measure yourself at the chest, waist, hip, upper thigh and see how many inches you lose as well. You may find that you lose inches before pounds. I have also noticed that some women experience a shift in where their excess weight is before they see a loss of any kind.

IOL: What is the best food to start the day with for people trying to lose weight?

When your body receives what it needs, it tends to drop the pounds, sometimes effortlessly.

Abeytia: There is a great book titled “The Metabolic Typing Diet” by William L. Wolcott and Trish Fahey. Not everyone does great on a high protein diet and some people do great as vegetarians and have you ever wondered why? This book discusses why different eating styles work for different people and it has a very useful questionnaire to help determine what type you are. This is important to weight loss because if you are forcing someone to eat a salad for breakfast and they are starving in a few hours, the dietary habit is not working for that person. And it is not going to promote health.

Weight loss is a “side-effect” of good health. When your body receives what it needs, it tends to drop the pounds, sometimes effortlessly. The “perfect” meal for someone will vary, but what you do not want to eat is something sweet. Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine feel very strongly about this and it may have to do with insulin and the metabolic drag it exhibits on the body first thing in the morning. Now, the prophet (peace be upon him) did eat dates in the morning, but he combined it with water or milk, which would help counter the sweetness. Also, dates are a whole food (they are not processed or have something added or removed) and are not like doughnuts, breakfast bars or breakfast candy (most breakfast cereals).

Starting your day with a metabolically appropriate meal can be the best gift you give to you and your family. When I work with someone, I find it very useful to do a complete metabolic profile.


Original source : http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1230121227158&pagename=Zone-English-HealthScience%2FHSELayout#


One Comment to “Lose Weight, the Natural Way”

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