Can You Lose Weight Eating Real Food?

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We’re still enjoying the last of the rich foods from “the holiday season” around here, but we know that we’re like much of the rest of the country when we say we’re “getting back on the horse” by next Monday at least.

Now that we’re through with the sick bugs that hit our house and the schedule anomalies of vacation, it’s time to start exercising regularly again in the mornings and making sure our eating habits get back on where we know they should be. (For the record, we didn’t cheat too terribly much, but there were definitely more desserts and fun foods around the last few weeks!)

Last year in May I did the perfect series for January, so I thought I’d run some excerpts this week for those of you who missed it or just need a little refresher to inspire you. Today I’ll share the first three posts with you, and the others will come over the next few days. Happy New Year!

Introduction: Can Real Food Help you Lose Weight?

The first Monday Mission of the series was to determine whether you’re at your ideal/healthy weight…or not.

Rather than figure out your body mass index and do all sorts of calculations, I prefer the measuring stick mentioned by one reader in a comment on Facebook: Do your pants fit?

Obviously that doesn’t count if you bought new pants, but I think ideal weight is something you can peg within a few pounds just by guessing, if you’re honest with yourself.

Are you at your pre-baby weight? Do you feel comfortable in jeans? Can you go for a walk without getting totally out of breath? Has the number on the scale (if you have a scale) been generally holding steady or moving in an upward direction the past five years? Ten years?

If you’ve got a few pounds or more that you’d like to see hitting the pavement instead of your middle, let’s make a goal today.

For the rest of the mission with tips for success plus the events in our household that inspired the series, click HERE.

5 Keys to Weight Loss with Real Food

I always want to say that when you eat real foods, whole and in their natural form, there aren’t taboo foods like when you go on a “low fat” or “low carb” sort of diet. However. In the world in which we live, that doesn’t really work out, because there are so many things sold as “food” that just aren’t food.

In a real food diet, your taboo foods end up being things like trans fat, corn and soybean oil, white sugar, refined grains, and other junk that is just not food, at least not in its whole form.

Unlike other diets, you won’t have to avoid eggs, salad dressing, or cheese or buy low-fat everything. You probably will have to make homemade dressings, so there’s certainly a trade-off.

If you’re currently eating a Standard American Diet of processed foods, white flour bread (or even whole grain bread at every meal), and sugary goodies, just switching to eating whole foods – things that grow in the ground or animals that eat things that grow in the ground – in their whole form – will do loads of good for your health.

Which brings me to the first key to weight loss with real food:

1. Eat Real Food

This alone, especially when it’s a change in dietary habits (notice I didn’t say “diet,” because it’s not), often causes extra pounds to peel away.

Real food doesn’t have MSGs to make you want more food all the time or addictive and harmful artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. It takes longer to prepare, so hopefully you aren’t mindlessly eating. And your body can recognize and knows what to do with all the parts, unlike trans fats, which ravage your arteries like a bull in a china shop.

Many people find that skipping the “diets” and simply changing their diets results in weight loss automatically.

For the other 4 keys plus three reader stories of weight loss success, including the awesome transformation pictured above, click HERE.

What About Social Eating?

I shared a story of how my friend helped me work up the self-discipline to throw away junk food rather than eating it out of guilt – you’ll love the lessons learned in “Can Being Nice Make You Fat and Sick?

If the temptations of social or other obligatory-feeling junk food consumption are a struggle for you, click HERE to read the post.

The fourth post in the real food weight loss series was a review of Weightless: Making Peace with your Body by Kate Wicker.

Tomorrow we’ll review the posts about exercise and high-protein diets. May you be inspired to get back on the horse with the Kimball family!!

For a little more help with all your New Year’s Resolutions, there’s a great deal on a bundle of five eBooks, including Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford, One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider, and 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine – all of them together are only $7.40, which is less than the cost of just two of them! Read  more HERE.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post including the the bundle pack, and I will make commission from them. See my full disclosure statement here.

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11 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Melody via Facebook says

    Great refreshers. We are getting back on track tomorrow. Planning on sharing your posts with my extended family.

  2. says

    What I would really love to see is a natural way to keep dressing emulsified. I don’t like creamy mayo based dressing, but I also get annoyed by dressing that separate: Feel like I’m just pouring oil on my salads. How can you get a balsamic vinaigrette to stay emulsified. I’ve tried with a whisk, a food processor, a hand blender. It’s just beyond me. Until I can figure it out, I am stuck with store bough.

    • says

      Did you try adding a spoonful of prepared mustard? That should keep it together when you pour it on your salad. You may need to shake it up before each use if you make a multiple serving batch.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      TCM is right; Dijon mustard generally holds it together for at least a few seconds for the pour! 😉 Also, adding just a 1/2 tsp. or so of homemade mayo to any oil-based dressing REALLY does the trick. My mayo is made of EVOO anyway, so it’s all healthy fats. The only downfall, IMO, is that I felt like I had to store the dressing in the fridge b/c of the raw egg, and I never remembered to take it out 15-30 minutes before I needed it so it would unsolidify.
      :) Katie

  3. janice says

    katie, upon discovering i needed an antifungal (lamisil) for a toenail problem i also changed my diet – no grain, no sugar, no simple carbs, etc – called the phase 1 diet (to keep from being counterproductive & it WAS difficult). i found to my surprise it not only cured the toenail fungus but discovered a wide variety of minor and not so minor symptoms/ailments that disappeared ~ joint aches/pains, eye twitch, heart arrhythmia, sensitive teeth, menstrual cramps, sinus drainage, etc – it changed my life and honestly now i’m THANKFUL i had the toenail fungus…i would NEVER have believed my ailments had a common origin or a common solution. i too had been on antibiotics as a child many times for strep throat.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      How awesome is THAT?! I have a feeling that if our family does the GAPS intro diet, we’ll see a disappearance of a ton of stuff like that…

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
      :) Katie

  4. says

    I’ve been eating whole foods (almost everything made from scratch) for several years but I continued to be overweight. It wasn’t until I cut out all grains and legumes that I am now losing weight. I also had to greatly reduce my sugar but that was pretty easy once I got rid of the grains and legumes. So, now I just eat lots of vegetables, pastured meat (same amount as before), and some fruits and nuts and a bit of cheese (on my salads). I’ve lost almost 20 lbs since mid-October without much exercise (although I do exercise but not crazy amounts). I still have 90 lbs to go and so I figure that it will take me 2 years to get to my recommended weight range. This was a pretty easy switch for me since I was already not eating processed foods.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Way to go on finding the right combination for you! Getting rid of those grains does good things for many, many people. :) Katie

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