As a middle child in a family of four kids, I figured out pretty quickly that the best way to get what I wanted was to get along. I left the melodrama, arguments, and fights to my sister and brothers. In a funny twist, I ended up acting in theater programs from elementary school into college. My favorite character was playing the lead in the Greek tragedy Electra. As in all Greek tragedies, Electra was a tormented soul bent on avenging her father’s murder. It was a monument to overacting and I loved every minute of it! While overacting may be the norm for ancient playwrights, your body may be over-reacting and causing you more grief than any greek tragedy may dish out.
Don’t Feel The Burn
Over many years of research and working in the nutritional field, I’ve understood that the body works best when it’s in balance. One way to measure balance is to determine your pH level. If you remember the alkaline-acid chart in high school chemistry, pH of 7 is neutral. A low pH is acidic and necessary for bodily functions like digestion. However, your overall body pH should be slightly alkaline or around 7.4pH. While research remains inconclusive relative to the effect of an alkaline diet on overall pH levels, it is clear that a balanced body leads to a healthier weight, a stronger immune system, better elimination and increased disease prevention. When the body is out of its natural balance, inflammation may result which may lead to long term illness and disease including our ability to lose weight.
An even more intriguing finding lately is the idea that certain foods may trigger an inflammation or negative reaction in our body. The terminology is appropriately “reactive foods.” Foods that have been long-considered staples of weight loss may actually be triggering weight gain and fluid retention like the following:
- Yogurt, including Greek yogurt
- Eggs & Egg Whites
- Cottage Cheese
It may seem counter intuitive but even daily exercise especially high intensity workouts without appropriate rest intervals may also have a negative affect on our weight. I know about this one from personal experience. A few years ago I was eating properly (or so I thought), working out 3 hours a day with heavy weights and cardio and didn’t lose a pound. Uhgg! So what are we supposed to do?
Drama Free Dining
A great way to think about your body chemistry is just that, it’s chemistry. Your body’s response to food and fitness is unique to your personal makeup. If you want to figure out how you function, a good place to start is your plate. By temporarily removing highly reactive foods and replacing them with low reactive foods, you can reset the stage to make choices that are uniquely designed for you. Here is a list of some of the least reactive foods:
- Apples & Pears
- Goat Cheese
- Mixed greens
- Dark Chocolate
Even bread and potatoes are tolerable for most people. By eliminating foods that may be inhibiting our weight loss or causing other aggravations like irritable bowel, gas, bloating, even headaches and low energy, we can start to reintroduce some of our favorite foods to determine if it is conducive to our chemistry. (Food list sources: The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas)
A Star is Born
Once you learn which foods are the best ones for your body, you’ll take the drama out of daily eating and likely get out of the dieting drama. Since I’ve been researching this topic, I have found a whole bunch of foods I never thought I could eat and I’ve also found foods that I should limit or even eliminate in order to maintain a healthy balance and ideal weight. Remember that inflammation is the overacting villain in our little internal play. Throwing out the old (food) script and hiring some new actors is a winning formula for blockbusting body success.
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“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.”
Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.