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    Posted June 19, 2014 by
    ThomW

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    The Non-Diet Diet: Weight Loss by Eating Superfoods?

     
    Weight loss has been a human preoccupation for a very long time, ever since people linked health and/or attractiveness to the fit, the lithe, the slender. One of the first celebrity diets was actually linked to literary icon Lord Byron, who reportedly kept his figure via a diet of biscuits, soda water and potatoes soaked in vinegar.

    The 20th century saw the emergence of even more weight loss methods. There was American businessman Horace Fletcher’s method of eating what one willed but masticating every mouthful at least one hundred times, for example. Cigarette diets, laxatives and gum that claimed to reduce fat also started coming out. This period also saw the emergence of what is described as the first bestseller in diet literature, Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters’ tome on calorie-counting, which encouraged readers to consume a maximum of 1,200 calories of food in a day. The following decades saw the rise of other fad diets: the cabbage soup diet of the 1950s, Robert Atkins’, blood-type diets of the 1990s, and so on.

    Many of diets past have advocated cutting back on volume and cutting back on certain food items, and working in tandem with certain modes of exercise in order to lose weight. An interesting contribution of this generation of dieters and health buffs is the idea of consuming Superfoods not just for weight loss but for general health and well-being.

    Superfoods are powerhouses of miscellaneous health benefits. One could even say there is a superfood corresponding to most nutritional needs—we just have to find it! Among the most famous superfoods are blueberries (generally regarded as a good antioxidant), omega 3-rish fish (which are said to lower risk for heart disease) and green tea (reportedly taken for lower cholesterol and may even impact the growth of cancer cells). Lists are long and varied and include foods we already know to be healthy (types of beans and vegetables), foods that may have taken us by surprise (gastronomic treats like wine and dark chocolate) and lately, a slew of more exotic selections.

    Author and fitness expert Wesley Virgin, of 7DayFitness.com and author of upcoming “Changed: Secrets of the Fitness Industry,” advocates the use of a few particular superfoods people might not know about. One scoop of wheatgrass, for example, is described by Virgin as being the equivalent of 5 servings of uncooked vegetables. Cacao powder, another superfood, is described as among the strongest antioxidants on the planet. Wesley Virgin even treads on territory that is unfamiliar to most people: Maca powder for sexual energy and virility, and Marine Phytoplankton, currently a ‘hot’ superfood for its laundry list of touted health benefits.

    We have long known that our health, including our weight loss goals, is hinged not just on how much or how little we eat but also on what we eat and what we don’t eat. The study and science of superfoods is a great step forward in our collective goal of finding ways to improve our health and well-being.

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