7 Steps to Improve Your Health and Lose Weight Naturally
Does your health or weight impede you from having a healthy, bountiful life? Do you lack energy, struggle buying clothes, experience difficulty exercising or keeping up with family members, or have physical ailments and pain? If yes, the seven steps outlined in this article will help you to improve your energy level, clarity of mind, and lose weight naturally. Jesus told us, “The thief‘s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” John 10:10 (NLT). Are you living life to its fullness? If not, are you ready to take steps necessary to birth a new you?
Even though the United States (US) is one of the most advanced industrialized nations in the world, the health of Americans is poor with over half having a chronic disease. I believe a contributing factor is the over consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. If you would like to get off these addictive substances follow this seven-step plan.
Step 1. Decide to improve your health through proper nutrition.
The decision to improve your health and well-being is very personal. No one can make this decision for you, it is your choice.
Step 2. Acquire knowledge and a support system to help make a lifestyle change.
Learning which foods are harmful versus beneficial is crucial in sorting out what you should eat. For example, most oat, soy, corn, and wheat crops in the US are GMO Roundup Ready crops where by the carcinogen, glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) is used on the crops as the farmer deems necessary. Therefore, you could consume glyphosate residue if you eat foods containing these ingredients unless they are organic.
Sweets and refined carbohydrates are addictive and harmful to the human body. The food industries spike our foods with sugar, and this causes us to become addicted. These processed foods cause a release of dopamine in the brain from the same receptors as opiate drugs. In addition, as the whole food is processed it is stripped of its nutritional value to extend its shelf life which increases the food industries profits but depletes our health.
In addition to acquiring knowledge, it is also vital to obtain a support system to assist you along the journey to improve your health. Ask someone to be your prayer/accountability partner. Start a journal and begin writing specific information about what you eat and why.
Step 3: Clean out the pantry and refrigerator by removing unhealthy foods, and clean out your emotions.
Remove unhealthy foods from your kitchen so you are not tempted to eat them. Some unhealthy foods include: wheat, sugar, corn syrup, white rice, artificial sweeteners, processed meats, processed foods, margarine, milk products, and soft drinks.
God gave us food to nourish our bodies. Yet food can be used for the wrong reasons. We may eat because we are sad, bored, stressed, depressed, or happy. As we engage in emotional eating, we turn to food, instead of to God, to appease ourselves. Cleaning out your emotions involves determining your relationship with food. Is it a healthy relationship or dysfunctional?
Stress also causes us to turn to food. We live in a fast-paced world where we eat on the run. Determine the stressors in your life, and evaluate how to minimize them. Ask God to help you along the way.
Step 4: Purchase healthy foods and an anti-Candida cleanse.
Plan your menu and grocery list so you can buy healthy foods. I post menus, recipes, and corresponding grocery lists at HealthyLivingSeriesBlog.com. God gave us a vast variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains to nourish our bodies. These wholesome foods can replace processed items that the food industry wants us to consume.
Some people crave sugar and carbs because they have a food addiction or an overgrowth of Candida in their gastrointestinal system. In the next few articles we will explore these topics further, so you can determine if you have a food addiction or overgrowth of yeast. You will also learn what to do to heal yourself.
Step 5: Plan for the start date to begin changing your eating habits.
If you are addicted to sugar or refined carbohydrates, you need to take spiritual measures to help break this habit. Reciting Bible verses, praying, journaling, praising God, and submitting your life to Christ will help break the chain of addiction. In a future article we will learn about a five-step freedom from addiction plan.
Incorporate exercise into your life because scientific evidence concludes that regular physical activity prevents numerous chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, hypertension, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease. The most physically active people are the ones with the lowest risk of contracting these chronic diseases. So get out and do whatever physical activity you appreciate. What matters is that you get moving.
Mindfulness exercises such as yoga and meditation trains a person to pay attention to cravings without reacting to it. Instead of responding by eating, the idea is to ride out the wave of intense desire. As a person becomes more mindful they notice why they feel as though they should indulge. Meditation quiets the part of the brain that can lead to a loop of obsession.
Step 6: Prepare and eat foods differently than you did before.
Whip up some great recipes. As you prepare your weekly menu, keep in mind the healthy eating guidelines listed below:
- Buy organic fruits, vegetables, and meats.
- About 50 percent of your food should be fresh, organic vegetables.
- Eat one fresh, raw serving of a low-glycemic fruit per day. Low-glycemic fruits include green apples, berries, cherries, pears, plums, and grapefruit.
- Do not always eat cooked foods. Eat a couple of servings of raw vegetables every day. Eat a salad for lunch with nuts, meat, or an avocado. When eating out, order a salad or coleslaw as sides since both are raw.
- Plan for 25 percent of your food to be an animal or vegetable protein such as beans, nuts, and lean meats. Fish is especially nutritious.
- A variety of different nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
- Eat nontraditional grains such as quinoa, amaranth, pearled barley, and oats.
Step 7: Improve your health through continuing this new lifestyle never turning back to your old eating habits.
As you incorporate these seven steps into your life your energy level and health improve, and you lose weight. God gave us glorious bodies that heal from all sorts of ailments if we provide them with proper nutrients.
The seven steps provided here are designed to incorporate your entire self—mind, body, and spirit—in making this lifestyle change so you can experience a new future. After a week of being off sugar, cravings for it and carbohydrates cease. Live the abundant life Jesus wants you to experience by continuing this lifestyle change for the rest of your life. May God bless you on your journey to improve your health and birth a new you in 2018.
(This article was initially published on OneChristianVoice.com magazine.)