Knowledgebase: Health
Morbid Obesity
Posted on 05 December 2016 01:22 PM

I am a young man living in a non-Adventist home without access to a lot of healthy foods. I am overweight as I am eating poorly and leading an unhealthy lifestyle and need advice on improving my situation. My family does not have a lot of money and I rely on my parents for my meals. 

If I were in your position, I would firstly ask God to help me find a solution. Then I would talk to my parents (if I feel it is a good idea), tell them how I feel, and ask if it is possible to cook my own food. I would tell them I love their food but I want to learn to cook for myself and experiment with a different diet to help my situation. If you don’t have time during the week, I would suggest experimenting with recipes on weekends. There are many plant-based (vegan) recipes on the internet, but food can be simple, and still nutritious.

In the mornings I would eat:

  1. A bowl of fruit salad

  2. A three-grain porridge (any three grains: oats, barley, sorghum, unrefined non-GMO maize, wheat, millet, etc.) or a two-grain porridge with a slice of whole wheat bread.

  3. Two heaped tablespoons of ground (powdered) flax seeds (also known as linseeds) or a mixture of flaxseeds and other seeds (e.g. ground sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) over my porridge and a few nuts for healthy fats.

Eating three grains in the morning keeps blood sugar levels stable for longer than if you only eat one grain, which helps to prevent snacking between meals, improves concentration and stabilizes moods. Porridge can be made the night before in an insulated hot box, which saves time and electricity. The three grains of your choice are cooked for 10 to 20 minutes on the stove (depending on which grains you use) and then the pot is placed in the hot box which stays warm and continues to cook naturally overnight. If the porridge is not properly cooked by morning, you need to cook it longer on the stove before placing it in the hot box. If you don’t have a hot box, you can make one yourself (see link below). Remember to put a heat resistant layer underneath the pot such as a plate or wooden board if using the hot box.

In the afternoon I would eat:

  1. One type of whole grain (brown rice, brown pasta, etc.)

  2. Optional: one type of legume (lentils, chickpeas, beans, etc.) or nuts

  3. Vegetables

  4. A healthy salad.

You don’t always have to have legumes but it does add protein which is important. Vegan pizza doesn’t have legumes, for example. Following are some examples of afternoon meals that can be eaten with a salad: bean stew on brown rice, whole wheat vegetable pies, lentil shepherd’s pie, lentil soup with whole wheat bread, wraps with hummus and stir fry vegetables (or beans), whole wheat pasta with a napolitana (tomato) sauce and vegetables of your choice (e.g. olives, aubergine and baby marrows), etc.

I would cut out unhealthy cooking oil and refined foods (sugar, white bread, white rice, white pasta, donuts, pies, cookies, crisps, sweets, fast foods, etc.). I would also:

  1. Avoid eating late at night. Your last meal must be 4 to 4 ½ hours before bedtime.

  2. Avoid snacking between meals (drink water instead of snacking).

  3. Avoid eating fruit and vegetables at the same meal (causes fermentation).

  4. Avoid drinking liquids with meals (interferes with digestion - if you are thirsty during your meal, you didn’t drink enough water between your meals).

  5. Avoid overeating.

  6. Try to be calm and relaxed while eating

  7. Chew your food well.

You can tell if you ate too little for breakfast if you are hungry long before your next meal (three grains prevents this). If you ate too much, you will not feel hungry when you’re supposed to have your next meal. Try to eat just enough to be hungry around your next meal. Meals should be 5 to 6 hours apart. The two-meal plan is one of the best eating plans for weight control and blood sugar problems (breakfast at 9 am and lunch/dinner at 3 pm), but this not always possible in our daily schedules. They call this intermittent fasting. Find a schedule that works for you.

If you are very busy during the week, make enough food to last for a week, divide it into daily portions and freeze them. Defrost one portion overnight in the fridge for the following day, and make a fresh salad with each meal. I would combine healthy eating with exercise, adequate water intake, sunshine (not sunburn), fresh air, good sleep-patterns and trust in God. Following is a link with information regarding hot box cooking:

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