This is the time of year when many of of us are starting on new diets and other New Year’s changes. To help you get started, here are some of Dr. Perricone’s dietary and lifestyle tips.
Remember the basics:
- Follow the anti-inflammatory diet.
- Take targeted nutritional supplements.
- Learn to control stress. Stress is highly destructive. When we are under stress, our adrenal glands produce hormones, including cortisol. This produces a host of negative effects that include increased inflammation and appetite, storage of fat (particularly around the abdomen) and acne flare ups.
- Follow a regular (ideally daily) exercise regimen. In an ideal world, exercise at least five times per week for 30 to 45 minutes per day. Even three days a week will make a difference.
- Get enough sleep. An important study at the University of Chicago demonstrated that sleep deprivation causes us to overeat. When we don’t get enough sleep, our levels of grehlin, a hormone produced by stomach cells and believed to increase feelings of hunger, increases. If we are sleep deprived we crave carbohydrate-rich foods, such as sweets, pasta and breads.
- Eat three small meals and two snacks each day. This will help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and hopefully prevent you from becoming ravenous and losing will power.
- Stay well hydrated. Water naturally suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that if we decrease our water intake, our fat deposits will increase. Conversely, an increase in water intake will reduce fat deposits. When we give our bodies adequate water (6 to 8 glasses per day), we should also notice a decrease in our appetites.
When Meal Planning:
- Plan lots of meals with salmon, especially Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, which has the highest concentration of Omega-3s of any fish. Salmon will help you glow and keep you feeling full.
- If weight loss is your goal, limit complex carbohydrates in the forms of grains and legumes to morning and afternoon meals.
- Each meal should have 3 elements: 1. A high quality lean protein 2. A complex carbohydrate (such as vegetables) and 3. A healthy fat.
- Plan to start your meal by eating the protein and enjoy fruit at the end of the meal for optimal blood sugar control.
At the Grocery Store:
- Go organic and free-range whenever possible. Avoid any poultry products with nitrates, often found in lunch meats.
- When choosing olive oil, opt for extra-virgin, cold-pressed Spanish varieties. They tend to have higher levels of an antioxidant known as hydroxytyrosol.
- Dairy: choose low-fat varieties and look for free-range, pasture-raised or grass-fed products whenever possible.
- Buy seeds amd nuts that are organic, unsalted and raw.
- When choosing beef, go for pasture-finished, grass-fed cows. Not only do they have a more heart healthy omega-3 profile, grass-fed cows naturally have higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an excellent fat-metabolizing nutrient.
- If you must sweeten anything, rely sparingly on Stevia, a low calorie sweetener.