The countries in the world with the highest percentage of overweight people have certain things in common. They have huge multi-billion pound industries in dining out, in prepackaged instant food, in industrially refined foods, in weight loss programs, in exercise programs, and in motivational self-help programs. In other words, together with all the unhealthy food that is cheaply and abundantly available to us, dieting, exercise and motivational programs seem to contribute to our weight problem.It is not coincidental that the countries with the largest diet industries also happen to be the countries with the most overweight people. The reasons are fairly well understood:
- People start a diet, immediately start feeling hungry and deprived of appetising food, can then think of nothing other than food, and consequently eat a lot more than they did prior to dieting! They attempt to persevere with the diet but start to cheat as they go along. This inevitably leaves them feeling guilty, losing confidence and self-esteem and eventually becoming so depressed that they cheat even more.
- People start a diet, immediately start feeling hungry and deprived of appetising food, and drop the diet after a week or two due to a lack of motivation to continue torturing themselves. By then, their bodies had slowed their metabolisms to adjust to the reduced intake of food, so when they abandon the diet, their bodies store a lot of the food that they burned before the diet. As a result, they put on a lot of weight very quickly.
- People want to lose weight, they examine the requirements of widely advertised diets and they decide they simply cannot meet those requirements, either due to a lack of time, cooking skills, available recipes or because they simply look too motivationally demanding. Consequently, they continue to eat as they always have and continue to put on weight.
- People who need to lose weight obsess over being chubbier than their friends, start a starvation low-carb diet, and thereby trigger their bodies to halt their metabolisms almost completely. As a result, they feel tired because their bodies are burning too little food as fuel to meet their energy needs. Worse still, their bodies' adjustment to their low-calorie intake causes their weight loss to stop, which obliges them to drop their daily calorie intake even more. They feel guilty and ashamed over their failure to catch up with their friends, and this is how eating disorders develop.
The Alkaline Diet to the Rescue
The alkaline diet is not a weight loss method as much as a healthy lifestyle diet which is easy to maintain throughout your life. Weight loss and healthy weight maintenance are simply byproducts of the diet.
Your body is healthier when its blood and organ pH level is slightly alkaline according to research. The basic objective of the diet is to eat enough alkaline food to aid your body in its efforts to remain alkaline. It involves a 70/30 rule: eat 70 per cent alkaline foods and 30 per cent neutral and/or acidic food. To help ensure this 70/30 ratio is maintained, it's beneficial to drink alkaline water (such as created by our Biocera Alkaline Water Jug) rather than regular tap water.
Examples of Alkaline Foods
- Green leafy vegetables
- Root vegetables
- Fresh herbs and herb tea
- Almost all fruit
- Some nuts, nut milk and nut butter
- Some seeds
- Some pulses
- Almost all gluten-free whole grains
- Some unrefined oils and condiments like extra virgin olive oil, virgin grape seed oil, chutney (without refined sugar) and curry
- Natural sugar like stevia, unpasteurised honey, molasses, rice syrup and maple syrup
If you want to hit the ground running, check out our Green Food Supplements page. Concentrated vegetables, fruits, cereal grasses, herbs and algae, these nutrient-packed powders and tablets are highly alkaline in nature. There are many green supplements to choose from, though in truth, all of them complement the alkaline lifestyle.
Examples of Acidic Foods
- Refined carbohydrates as used in white bread, most brown bread and white pasta
- Gluten, including gluten whole grains
- Refined sugar like white and brown sugar
- Dairy and eggs
- Red meat, white meat and fish
- Hydrogenated oils like margarine and most commonly available cooking oils
The 70/30 rule recommends that you eat 70 per cent of food from the first list and 30 per cent from the second list. But to achieve overall excellent health, giving up alcohol, hydrogenated oils and refined sugar altogether would be the ultimate way to go about this.
Why is the Alkaline Diet so Easy?
- The list of alkaline foods excludes no complete food group, unlike low-carb diets which exclude carbohydrates. You can eat carbs, sugar, protein and all minerals and vitamins. Not only is this healthier, but it also prevents most cravings that result from other diets. Cravings are often a consequence of your body imploring you to eat the nutrients it lacks.
- The fact that it includes so many food types makes it easy to substitute alkaline for acidic ingredients in recipes. If your favourite recipe requires acidic butter or milk, simply use alkaline nut butter or nut milk. Instead of all-purpose flour, use a gluten-free whole grain flour like brown rice or quinoa flour, which both behave very well in almost all recipes. Replace refined sugar with natural sugar and eggs with any alkaline binder like flaxseed meal, oatmeal or sweet potato. The only dishes you may have to reduce are the ones that essentially depend on meat, like roasted lamb and chicken.
- Since it permits you to eat 30 per cent acidic food, the alkaline diet does not rule out that Saturday evening beer at the pub or that Friday afternoon lunch with your co-workers that you have come to enjoy. It even allows your Sunday afternoon meat roast and a small chocolate two or three times a week to feed those meat and sugar cravings. As a result, it requires a lot less motivation and self-discipline to keep it going.
- Many diets are bland and break down because their followers crave flavoursome dishes. Not everyone is able to force raw green leaves down their throats. An alkaline diet actively encourages you to play around with fresh herbs, which are strong alkalis and carry plenty of flavour. Fruit sauces are also tasty and often add some desired sweetness to dishes. In fact, the permission to eat 30 per cent acidic food even allows you to add some acidic sauces to alkaline dishes.
Health Advantages of an Alkaline Diet
Researchers have discovered many health advantages of a plant-based alkaline diet over a processed sugary acidic diet. An acidic diet leads to a high risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes while an alkaline diet can prevent and halt the progression of the same condition.
An alkaline diet can reduce arthritis pain and chronic back pain. An acidic diet causes chronic acidosis, which is responsible for poor kidney health. An alkaline diet, meanwhile, reduces the acidosis and thereby improves kidney health. Alkaline food supports bone health by providing the body with plenty of the alkaline minerals that develop and maintain bones; these include calcium, magnesium and potassium. Alkaline food helps with muscle development and maintenance, which is useful for those who want to supplement their healthy dieting with a good exercise program.
Beyond research, those who follow the alkaline diet testify that they feel more energetic, productive and positive. They do not struggle with the depression and fatigue that ruled their lives before their change in diet. Citizens of Western countries are raised on an acidic diet, simply because those are the foods that are available in the shops and supermarkets. As a result, they assume that their current energy levels are normal and that depression is inevitable. Those who embrace the alkaline diet discover that there is nothing inevitable about it.
Switching to the Alkaline Diet Could Change Your Life & Health for the Better
Unlike diets explicitly aimed at weight loss, the alkaline diet is both healthy and effortless. It addresses the weaknesses of other diets and thereby enables followers to stick to it and succeed. And if weight loss is your ultimate goal, as a result of eating such healthy foods and such little hydrogenated fats and sugar, weight loss will be a natural side effect.