La Femme Correspondent
DETOX your body with an “eco diet” that includes mostly organic, natural and raw food to achieve healthy weight loss and increased energy.South African nutritional consultant Vanessa Ascencao has developed a new “eco diet” to help users look and feel great – and it’s mostly about food, and less about exercise.
Ascencao, who has a masters degree in science and nutrition, consults to businesses, TV and media personalities, as well as health and wellness companies such as OTC Pharma International and Bioharmony’s Patrick Holford brand.
She has worked in nutrition for a decade, developing healthy eating plans and assisting South Africans achieve optimum health and wellness.
Ascencao’s eco diet is the result of years of work in healthy and sustainable weight loss. It’s ecofriendly in that it advocates mostly organic and a high percentage of natural and raw food, and natural supplementation – in particular, spirulina.
In addition to slimming, the eco diet is aimed at:
- Increasing energy
- Decreasing stress
- Reducing signs of aging
- A mind and body connection, that is, feeling good and looking amazing
Ascencao explains that weight loss is simple: eat less and move more, “the law of thermodynamics always applies”. She says most diets are aimed at reducing calorie intake. “Ideally, though, we should lose fat and maintain lean body mass and this requires a different macro-nutrient ratio altogether, coupled with some resistance exercise.
“So, the right ratios of nutrients and not food per se are important. I believe the body looks for nutrients not calories in order to function optimally. “We also don’t want the result of all out hard work to be only weight loss. We want to feel good, look good, have a great sex drive, more energy, great skin and hair, a strong immune system, a positive outlook and a zest for life.” Ascencao says the eco diet is aimed at long term results and embraces a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. She explains that a holistic approach begins with eliminating toxic foods from the diet, feeding the body the correct food to eliminate long term toxic and chemical build-up “and supporting this process with cutting edge nutrition and supplements which then create the internal environment to get your body lean through the correct nutritional and exercise regime”.
Ascencao explains that the more natural, fresh and whole the food consumed, the better it is for the waistline, and for overall health and wellness.
“The cleaner you eat, the leaner and healthier you’ll be. When we eat food in its natural state, or whole foods, we automatically eat less as they are less calorie dense. Here I mean lean proteins, fruit, an abundance of vegetables, some whole grains eat alters and essential fats. I am a strong believer in the link between what we put in our body and how we look.”
There is scientific evidence that the food we eat alters our body and brain chemistry, our mood and even our addictions, especially when food is laced with chemicals, sugars and hormones.
Ascencao says that if organic food is not available, choose hormone-free food. “At least half of your diet should comprise raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The rest should comprise lean, hormone-free protein sources, mainly fish. Wholegrains like quinoa are great but stay away from the overly processed and refined wholegrains, including bread or anything with wheat.”
“Remember: natural, unprocessed food is nutrient dense. Processed food is calorie dense. Your body looks for nutrients and not calories, so make sure you feed it correctly!” As for exercise, Ascencao says diet contributes to 90% of results. “There is no need for endless hours of exercise. Your nutrition is the key to fat loss and exercise sculpts your body, the most effective being well performed resistance training.”
ECO ADVOCATE: Nutritional consultant Vanessa Ascencao recommends a mostly organic diet