Refined flour and sugar are often cited as dietary culprits, whether for weight loss or for health reasons. Doing without them, however, isn’t hard at all.
A quick and easy way to lose weight and feel better is to have a healthy diet with no flour or sugar. There is a startling range of health problems connected to eating refined flours and sugar: obesity, certainly the American national malaise, and a multitude of health conditions ranging from digestive problems and fatigue to inflammatory and autoimmune problems such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
Choose Whole Grains
Whole grains are excellent sources of nutrients, but the nutritious parts of the grains are lost when they are processed and refined into flour. After the bleaching process to make white flour, the result is a calorie-rich, nutrient-empty, and possibly toxic substance, which forms the basis of most of the bread, snacks, and desserts eaten in the United States.
Add lots of refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and you’ll have some lively fermentation going on in your digestive system. It should be no wonder that we end up fat and with gas, fatigue, bad skin and hair, water weight, food cravings, mood swings or depression, yeast infections, and painful, inflamed joints. We’re stuffed and starving all at the same time.
Eliminate Refined Flour and Sugar From Your Diet
Eliminating refined flours and sugars is one of the safest things you can do to start to lose weight and feel better. It is the one thing shared by the most well-established diets, from South Beach to Atkins to Dr. Gott’s No Flour No Sugar Diet. Diets for hypoglycemia, the Paleo diet, Candida diet, and the Alkaline diet also restrict or outright eliminate refined flours and sugars. The various versions of the Anti-Inflammatory diet all share elimination of refined flours and sugars as well. It is as if medical and dietary experts over the past twenty-five years have all reached the same conclusion: refined flours and sugars are major culprits in weight gain and health problems.
Getting healthy diet with a no flour or sugar is simple: don’t eat breads and don’t eat sweets. The hard part at first is resisting breads and sweets, but it can be done. It is not nearly as difficult as quitting smoking or even quitting a bad coffee habit, and most people break the cravings within a week. You don’t need to eliminate carbohydrates altogether, and if you are not intolerant, you don’t need to eliminate all glutens, either.
Replacement Food for Whole Grains and Refined Sugar and Flour
Replace your breads with whole grains such as oats, corn, barley, and brown rice. Plain rice cakes are a huge help – they are made from whole brown rice so are not as refined as flour, and they are convenient. The longer you go without eating refined flour and sugar, the easier it will be. Your taste buds will adapt and the cravings will subside. Need a snack? Try corn tortilla chips, the authentic kind with just corn, lime, and a little salt, the less refined the better.
Replace sugary foods with natural fruits. If you eat a lot of sugar, you might eat a lot of fruit at first to make up for the difference. In time, however, those cravings will also subside and you’ll come to prefer foods that haven’t been sweetened. Unless you have a medical condition such as diabetes, feel free to substitute natural and dried fruits for refined sugars. Go easy on maple syrup and honey, however, as they are simple sugars which can still play havoc with your body chemistry.
Feel Better When You Eat Better
Most people are amazed at how much better they start to feel in a matter of days after stopping the breads and the sweets. Getting rid of the empty calories makes it so much easier to lose weight, and getting rid of the gummy flours and fermenting sugars does wonders for digestion and overall health. If you replace those empty calories with real food, you’ll feel full more quickly and eat less. An apple as an evening snack instead of a a bowl of ice cream will soon start to satisfy your sweet tooth just as well–and you’ll feel better, too.