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FEED YOUR BODY RIGHT: SHE'S A NATURAL AT WEIGHT LOSS
Carla Tuckerton lost and regained the same 15 to 20 pounds for about 15 years. She finally unloaded them for good after discovering natural foods.
Carla, a 44-year-old consultant from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, never seemed to have a problem losing weight when she wanted to. "I just kept close tabs on the number of calories that I consumed, and when I reached my goal weight, I resumed my normal eating habits," she explains.
Of course, normal for Carla meant plenty of ice cream, chocolate, and high-fat frozen foods. Given her love of junk food, even she wasn't terribly surprised when the pounds returned. "My weight fluctuated between 125 and 145 for years," she says.
Then, during one of her self-styled diets, Carla noticed that she wasn't feeling especially well. She got a lot of headaches, and she felt tired, nervous, and irritable. "When I started thinking about it, I realized that I always felt that way when I was dieting," she says.
Suspicious that some food was causing her symptoms, Carla grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down everything that she had eaten in the previous 3 to 4 days. "When I looked over my list, I was appalled," she recalls. "Almost everything on it contained artificial sweeteners or loads of salt or was terribly processed. I was practically living on frozen dinners, diet sodas, and sugar-free gelatin. No \ wonder I felt so lousy."
On the spot, Carla swore off anything that contained artificial ingredients or was overly processed. She made time to cook her own ideals. She bought her fish and chicken from a farmers market near her home and shopped for fruits and vegetables labeled "organically grown." Discouraged by the number of additives in many commercially prepared baked goods, she began making her own breads, rolls, and muffins. Spring water replaced colas, and she drank her tea unsweetened.
The changes paid off almost right away. "I felt better than I had in a long time," Carla says. And there was another, unexpected benefit: "I don't know why, but I seemed to lose weight more easily after switching to natural foods," she adds.
Sure enough, in less than 6 months, Carla managed to get rid of the extra weight that she had been carrying around for years. Her weight dropped to 125 pounds—and stayed there.
Five years later, Carla hasn't gained back an ounce, a feat that she attributes to her commitment to natural foods. "I feel that I'm a much healthier person now than I was back then," she says. "I've been able to keep my weight where it belongs by eating foods that are naturally nutritious and good for me, instead of relying on foods made with artificial ingredients that make me sick. I feel great."
W INNING ACTION
Try a natural approach to weight loss. There's no scientific proof that switching from highly processed, additive-laden foods to fresh, natural foods can help you lose weight faster. Still, Carla may be on to something. Re-
search has shown that people tend to overindulge in low-fat and fat-free processed foods. The trouble is that even though these foods have little or no fat, they are loaded with calories. On the other hand, fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are naturally low in fat as well as calories. You can eat more of them without worrying about weight gain. Besides, going natural may make you feel better and healthier—and may even help you live longer!