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Eating Wisely For Healthy Weight Loss
by Paul M. Jerard Jr.

I am not a dietician, or a physician... My opinions about healthy eating for weight loss are as a Yoga teacher and life-long student of Ayurveda. Always consult your family physician before changing your diet.

It seems that eating wisely and healthy weight loss do not often agree. Just look at the parade of "fad diets" that never seem to work over the long haul, and aren't very wisely constructed in the first place. This article is about a union of ideas regarding healthy eating, taken from Ayurvedic principles, modern fitness concepts, and overall strategies for better health.

It goes without saying that a vegetarian diet is healthy. But only a decade ago, there were still many reservations about this type of diet, among local physicians in New England. How rapidly knowledge, insight, and opinions change.

Marie, my wife, exposed me to the vegetarian diet. Before that, I ate what is now called the Mediterranean Diet. The diet I eat, to this day, is a combination of the two. The combination of these two, classic diets, are easy for me to live with and it is not an effort at all, for me. But that's usually the biggest hurdle for most people...

Too many of us make radical diet changes that we cannot live with. It would be better for most of us, to make a few small changes in our diet over time — instead of changing everything at once — unless you are dieting under the guidance of a doctor or dietician.

Therefore, I propose a few small changes to your eating habits that will make sense for you. Here's some tips to get you started:

  1. Don't change your whole diet all at once.
  2. Sit down at a table and focus on eating your meal.
  3. Avoid television, reading, heated conversations, etc.
  4. Thoroughly chew your food at a slow pace
  5. Do not put more food in your mouth until you've swallowed the previous bite.
  6. Be aware of how hungry you are before your meal.

Try to avoid too much time between meals, as this leads to over consumption. Your stomach should never be more than three quarters full, after a meal.

Exercise tip: Some of you practice Yoga and understand the many benefits of Sun Salutations, but have you ever tried weight resistance? Strength training increases energy expenditure during a weight resistance training session. The high intensity of strength training indicates a high utilization of carbohydrates during a training session.

During the post-exercise recovery period, energy expenditure is elevated for a period ranging from two to fifteen hours1. The increased energy demands are obtained by burning more calories, and a good portion of the calories are coming from fat stores.

Even if you work every body part just once a week, this method of cross training will effectively burn calories. When you combine this with any aerobic activity, you have a powerful combination. Rowing and bicycling are good substitute forms of resistance too.

Strategies for results: Get help from a qualified Personal Trainer, Dietician, or a Life Coach. You could do it all yourself, but how much time do you have to spin your wheels without any progress? These services exist for those who don't want to waste time and want solutions now.

1. Melby C, Scholl C, Edwards G, Bullough R. Effect of acute resistance exercise on post exercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. Journal of Applied Physiology 75(4): 1847-1853, 1993.

About the author: Paul Jerard, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura Wellness Center in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995 and a master instructor of martial arts. He teaches Yoga, martial arts and fitness to children, adults and seniors in Providence. He is the author of "Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You?" for Yoga students considering a career as a Yoga teacher.

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