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What is the Dr. Andrew Weil Diet?

Weil Diet

Wellness guru Andrew Weil, MD, sums up his diet philosophy in a rather popular slogan, "Eat less, exercise more." He further adds that it is best to approach food and eating with an Eastern sensibility rather than a Western one.

That said, Dr. Weil claims that the food people eat have a very huge impact on their health and wellness status. Allergies, infections, chronic diseases, body odor, and many other concerns arise from either eating too much or eating the wrong kind of food for extended periods of time. Crash dieting and trying to lose weight quick is never a good idea since all those extra pounds are bound to return as fast as they went away. A healthy way to keeping a slim figure is to have a slow and constant loss of one or two pounds a week, as health experts would recommend. This way, the entire lifestyle is changed and healthy weight can be maintained more easily.

Exercise was not too much of an effort in days of the past as it is in the present. People had to walk to buy groceries, to make movie reservations, to go on dates and to do practically everything. Physical activity has always been a part of the entire human schedule, that is, until technology crept its way in. The popular use of computers for shopping, working, studying, and doing practically everything has reduced the amount of physical activity people normally do to more than sixty percent. People can just sit all day in front of a computer screen and be able to do everything he needs to do - except taking a bath. Today, because of the lack of physical activity, there is a great need to establish a working exercise regimen in order to keep the calories burning.

The Three Food Groups According to Dr. Weil

Dr. Weil's diet plan categorizes food into three major groups:

1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates should comprise 50-60 percent of calories in the diet. The good carbohydrates are the complex carbohydrates such as unrefined grains and vegetables. They release glucose more slowly into the bloodstream and can therefore prevent hunger pangs after meals.

2. Fats

Fats can comprise up to 30 percent of calories, as long as the sources of such fat include monounsaturated oils and omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty foods that solidify in room temperature should be avoided, since they can deposit in blood vessel walls and cause problems such as atherosclerosis, which can lead to circulatory problems, heart disease, and stroke.

3. Protein

Limit proteins so that they do not exceed 10-20 percent of caloric intake. As much as possible, it is advisable to substitute protein from animal sources with those from beans, legumes, and other vegetable items.

How Dr. Weil's Diet Works

Carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, and grains are used for energy when they are converted to glucose. The good carbohydrates are those that have low glycemic index, meaning that they release glucose slowly and gradually as the body requires energy. Carbohydrates from foods with a high glycemic index lead to frequent food intake and can therefore make people overweight.

Compared to carbohydrates, fats are more concentrated sources of energy. Fat may have gained notoriety in today's diet vocabulary, but some fat is still essential for body insulation and for proper cellular functioning. When there isn't enough fat, there is increased risk for infections, hair loss, and inflammatory skin problems.

Proteins are needed as the body's building blocks. They maintain and repair the body, but are also converted to glucose when necessary. Protein should be eaten in moderation because too much of it can increase the workload of the digestive system and can be detrimental to the liver and the kidneys.

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