Three secrets to weight loss boils down to five words: “How To Eat To Live.” Eating to live is a way of life, a way of eating. This brings us to secret number one: Eating the best of foods and eating between meals, just eat to live.
Calories add up when we are cooking and constantly snacking or shall I say “tasting” food around us all day. Two food items that we sometimes find it hard to resist is cheese and bread. I personally have avoided restaurants in the past that constantly “keep a bread basket full in my face.” Admit, sometimes we just eat food because it is there. We should all try to make our mosques and our homes a “how to eat to live zone” that doesn’t tempt one to go against our discipline. Needless to say, after I disciplined myself from the bread basket (which is often filled with poor quality white bread), I was no longer tempted. Remember, the best and only bread we should eat is whole wheat bread, preferably wheat bread we make ourselves. On the contrary, why should we avoid eating a lot of cheese?
Not only is cheese high in fat, “Cheese is among the highest foods in salt content” states John Robbins in his book, “Diet for a New America” (p. 296). He states that “the Dairy Councils claims that the increased calcium from dairy products will lower blood pressure, but the truth is that such a decrease is minimal at best, and if obtained via dairy products, any such temporary benefits are more than outweighed by the increased development of atherosclerosis (the process by which arteries gradually accumulate fatty and waxy deposits on their inner walls–thus reducing the size of the openings through which blood can flow.) Their claim that eating salt does not raise blood pressure testifies profoundly to a lack of respect both for the truth and for the health of the American public. Hypertension patients (those with high blood pressure) can get almost immediate relief from some of the problems of high blood pressure when they cease to consume saturated fats and cholesterol.” (p. 296).
Unfortunately, a lot of the foods we snack on besides bread and cheese, are processed foods that have a high sodium or salt content such as potato chips and pretzels. We need to stay away from fried foods period. If we would just cut out our snacking, we could see an improvement with not only our blood pressure, but also our weight loss. If we have a habit of snacking, we need to replace our bad habit of snacking with a good habit like exercise. Recondition your mind. Instead of reaching for a snack because we are bored or nervous, go for a walk or perform some abdominal crunches (smile).
Exercise will help us feel better about ourselves than the act of snacking all day long. Exercising is our second key to weight loss. Some of the benefits of moderate exercise include: reduces negative feelings such as anger and anxiety, reduces stress, increase energy and sheds unwanted body fat. Basic stretching can help you reduce lower back pain, increase circulation and flexibility. Exercises such as yoga and Tai Chi help to increase “internal energy.” The wonderful combination focused movement and deep breathing exercises helps to relieve tension in your body and leave you with a sense of inner peace. I try to incorporate yoga exercises at the end of my high intensity workouts. (At the recent Singles Retreat in New York, we did an intense workout one day and had a wonderful yoga “cool down.” Everyone felt “re-energized” afterwards).
The third key to weight loss is “right thinking.” What is “right thinking?” Right “thoughts” are thoughts that are rooted in truth and bring light to others. Since every action is preceded by a “thought,” we had better be sure our thoughts are “right” or in line with the Will of God. In the book, Torchlight for America, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan states, “Being righteous will give us peace of mind and power. When we act in accord with what is right we can lay down at night with the peace of mind that comes from knowing we haven’t done anything or anyone wrong. This is where the true and real power of our minds comes from. The ability to focus on something and summon the power of our being to bring into reality our vision, in this time period, is truly based upon our striving to be right”(p.100). What do we think about ourselves? Think good thoughts about yourself and you will find yourself only wanting “the best of foods” for your “wonderful top soldier self” (Smile).
Pray and “feed” on the word of God every opportunity you get. May Allah bless us all with peace, love, health, wealth and happiness.
(Audrey Muhammad is a certified fitness instructor and the author of Get Fit to Live: Be your best you! available at http://www.getfit2live.org/ and the Respect for Life Bookstore. Her audio book, Get Fit to Live is also available. To order the Book and get a FREE copy of the audiobook CD, send a $12 money order, plus $3 shipping, to Get Fit To Live, P.O. Box 61402, Raleigh, N.C., 27661. Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary program.)