Can the recession cause you to pack on the pounds?

Consumers are used to buying cheap cereals and processed foods in order to save money. And in the midst of a recession, this unhealthy habit may seem more crucial than before. But, the reality is that these are the very foods that are causing obesity, inflammation and sickness.

According to some nutrition experts, a recession can make you fat, but if you get the junk out of your kitchen and start buying healthy food, any extra money spent will even itself out. And you’ll become healthier, too.

These tips can help you shed pounds quickly, easily and safely, and – as you will see – the process doesn’t have to be a pain in the pocketbook.

Buy vegetables and fruits from your local farmer’s market.
While they may not stock “certified organic” products because of the expense involved in obtaining that label, they will have organically grown foods. Be sure to wash produce thoroughly with water and lemon juice.

Invest in a water filtration system for your home.
In this way, you can drink as much pure water as possible without the expense of buying bottled water. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems eliminate the need for big, heavy plastic jugs, and it’s a much healthier option for about the same price. Try adding a lemon or lime wedge to your water, or a splash of juice with no sugar added for flavor.

Buy inexpensive sources of good protein.
Since you should eat protein, good fat and fiber at every meal, try healthy, inexpensive sources such as organic canned beans, organic eggs, boneless, skinless salmon, sardines or mackerel in olive oil from the can and perhaps organic chicken once or twice a week.

Do not cook with vegetable oils.
They turn to transfat when they reach high temperatures. Transfat can clog the arteries and cause plaque buildup. Extra virgin olive oil is wonderful for a quick saute and on salads. Extra virgin coconut oil is the most stable at high temperatures and will not turn to transfat, which is why I recommend it for cooking and frying food. Extra virgin olive oil is also a “good fat” that will help you burn fat and keep your skin beautiful!

Cut down on the caffeine.
It’s a false form of energy, a toxin that can actually raise your stress level by making you excited and more anxious. To cope, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which can cause you to gain weight and store belly fat. Opt for green tea instead, which has less caffeine and an abundance of antioxidants.

Make supper the smallest meal of the day.
Supper is supposed to be the “supplemental” meal of the day. It should be eaten early in the evening to allow for digestion before going to bed. If you do, you’ll wake up in the morning feeling small. Trust me – it works.

Enjoy your treats once or twice a week.
If you love pasta, eating it once a week is not going to thwart your weight loss efforts. Eat whole grain pasta such as Barilla Plus. You can make a great pasta dish with some broccoli, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and basil. It’s yummy and healthy! If you have a social event to attend, go for it – really enjoy yourself – and don’t beat yourself up. Just get back to eating healthy at your next meal.

There’s more to good health including exercise, supplements, managing stress, getting adequate sleep and making sure you’re emotionally healthy. But by incorporating these seven tips, you can be sure that you will not gain weight during the recession. Instead, you can lose weight and improve your health tremendously.

Lisa Buldo is a holistic health counselor, biblical health and life coach, author and speaker. For more information, visit>

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