Not sure what a “macrobiotic diet” is? Well if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s time you learn.
Macrobiotic diets are huge in the celebrity world, getting credit for the svelte, fit physiques of Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and other superstars of their caliber.
But what are they exactly? First of all, they’re loosely linked to Buddhism, and they include many Asian-influenced meals and dishes. They also include lots of raw, unprocessed foods – a “pre-industrial” diet, if you will. There’s nothing processed, nothing preserved, and there are few animal products (meat, eggs and dairy, namely) on the diet.
Over time, macrobiotic diets have been linked to dramatic weight loss results, and if you’re wanting to lose weight this year, they may be something worth looking into.
How Macrobiotic Diets Can Slim You Down
Macrobiotic foods are also low on the glycemic index, meaning they won’t affect your blood sugar, cause insulin spikes or lead to cravings. That means no snacking throughout the day, and no blood sugar crashes that lead you craving that candy bar or bag of chips.
They’re also high in fiber, so you feel fuller longer, and you don’t overeat or load up on unnecessary calories and fats throughout the day. The high fiber content also helps to keep your digestive system healthy, and that’s a crucial part of losing weight and dropping pounds.
In addition to boosting your weight loss, macrobiotic diets can have other benefits, too. For one, they contain lots of phytoestrogens, and these can be hugely advantageous if you suffer from a hormonal issue, like endometriosis, menopause or premenstrual syndrome.
They’re also known to slow down signs of aging and give you a clean, clear and smooth complexion. They can even lower your risk of heart disease. In fact, research suggests that macrobiotic eating can decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep blood pressure in check over the long term.
Eating on the Macrobiotic Diet
Macrobiotic dieters primarily focus on getting lots of whole grains and vegetables, as well as other naturally occurring foods and legumes, and they eat according to the seasons. That means when it’s cold, they stick to root veggies and heavy grains like millet and buckwheat. When it’s warmer, they move onto tropical products, like mangos and bananas, and lighter foods like sweet corn, greens and couscous. If it’s more temperate, apples, pears and steamed green veggies will work.
As a general rule, most macrobiotic dieters avoid dairy, eggs and animal proteins, and they don’t consume sugar, alcohol, honey, coffee, chocolate or hot spices either. They also avoid anything that has added chemicals and preservatives, and they focus on whole, raw, unprocessed foods – nothing that comes from a factory.
The best foods you can eat on a macrobiotic diet include:
- Chili peppers
- Leafy green vegetables
- Daikon radishes
- Green tea
- Umeboshi plums
The general rule for a macrobiotic meal is to eat 60 percent whole grains like brown rice or barley, 30 percent vegetables, and 10 percent tofu or tempeh. If you’re a big exerciser, seafood is OK, but meal and poultry are still off the table.
For snacks, seeds and nuts are OK options, and you’re encouraged to a bowl of miso soup at least one every day. As for condiments, Japanese ones like shoyu, shisho and rice vinegar are good, and you can also add sesame seeds, green onions, seaweed and grated ginger to add a little flavor.
When it comes to cooking, use sesame oil, corn oil or mustard seed oil, and stick to stir-frying and steaming your vegetables. Avoid microwave cooking at all costs. Raw is OK, too, but limit your intake of these to about a third of your vegetables. Too many raw vegetables can throw off the yin and yang balance in your body, according to macrobiotic dieters.
Though the macrobiotic diet can be great for your health (and it can help you lose weight), it’s not for everyone. In fact, if you’re pregnant, lactating or under the age of 18, you shouldn’t even consider it. It makes it infinitely more difficult to get the essential nutrients your body needs – namely, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iron.
If you do opt to try the macrobiotic diet, be sure you’re getting all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs. Take a vitamin D pill, if you’re not eating dairy or fish, and get a daily B12 supplement if you’re avoiding animal products. You don’t want to have a nutrient deficiency just to lose weight. Your body won’t be any better off for it!
Give it a Try
If you’re looking to lose weight, the macrobiotic diet may be your answer. Just be cognizant of the vitamins and minerals you’re getting, and make sure you’re fueling your body in a healthy, smart way.
Have you ever tried the macrobiotic diet? If so, share your experiences with me in the comments.
Remember to share this information with all your loved ones…Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!