I have problems with my kilograms but my work is stressful and I cannot stand hunger.  My friends claim turnip salad with no salt half an hour before meal speeds up metabolism and you lose weight if you limit the caloric foods and the large portions. Will it help? What amount of turnip and spicy or not is recommended? Can I combine it with other vegetables? I know you’ll say only this is not enough. Please, give me an advice how to reduce my meals without starvation and avoiding carbohydrates, proteins and fats.” /a reader’s question/

Answer:

Diets are not like the bus where you can go up and down and that’s why most of them have no long lasting effect. A certain diet can be excellent until you return to your usual style of eating where you regain kilograms. The only way to lose weight permanently is to change your eating habits forever. This doesn’t mean to give up the food and to starve, on the contrary, you should eat healthy, consume diverse food and, of course, control the size of your portions. One of the most intelligent things which helps in keeping a healthy diet, is the food pyramid.

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On its bottom, the widest part, is the bread group, cereals, rice and pasta, which can be in your menu up to 6 times a day. One level up are fruits and vegetables, and you stress on the latter – 5 portions of them are recommended, 4 for the fruits. The next level is for the dairy products but without butter and cream, and also for meat, fish, eggs and nuts. You should aim to eat these groups 2-3 times daily. On top in the scarce space of the pyramid is the group of fats, butters and cakes, but with the warning – “eat them moderately”. You should choose healthy foods within each group. For example, from the cereals take the foods from black, brown or other types of unrefined flour because they contain more fibers, vitamins and minerals. In the meat group, look for the lean pieces, remove the chicken skin and avoid smoked and canned sausages, if possible. Fish is lean in most of the cases except for salmon and fresh tuna. However, these fishes have the extremely important omega-3 fatty acids, which lower the cardiovascular risk. Omitting some of the main courses is not a good way to lose weight as this slows down metabolism and often leads to compensatory overeating in the next meal. Think on this, if you drink enough water, sometimes thirst is mistaken with hunger.

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Distribute your food into three main courses and you can have two more middle courses – a fruit, raw nuts, several dried fruits. Foods like goji berry, cocoa beans and chia seeds will make you feel really vigorous and energized.

In order not to feel extreme hunger, you can increase the vegetables – they guarantee satiety, as they are mainly composed of water and fibers. Part of them contain starch and are more caloric. Try to eat less starch vegetables and more of these containing water. Starch vegetables include: potatoes, peas, corn, squash and turnip. Most of the others – from asparagus to zucchini contain water. Turnip is a root vegetable and a healing plant. It is rich in cellulose, enzymes and vitamins, contains potassium (especially the black turnip), calcium and etheric oils.

Its use causes larger stomach juice and bile secretion which helps peristalsis and prevents gallstones formation. The fiber richness fills the stomach, creating a false sense of satiety, and precisely 30 minutes are necessary for the impulse to reach the central nervous system from the volume receptors in the stomach wall. Probably, this is the reason why eating turnip before the main course has led to the loss of weight in your friends. You can consume it more often as seasonal vegetable and the recommended dose is 200-250g per serving, because the bigger amounts cause flatulence. Mixing grated turnip with slightly sour apple suppresses this effect.

Proper nutrition will improve your health and outlook dramatically, but yet it is better to combine it with physical activity. When we exercise, the increased heart rate and deep breathing encourage the body to enter a fat burning regime, and when we sweat our brain produces endorphins and opiates which create a pleasant feeling.

Exercises burn fats and calories, improve circulation, shape the muscles, give strength and remove toxins with the sweat.

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