Before I share the quickest and easiest way to use the alkaline diet, I want to talk about it’s background the history.
Have you heard about the alkaline diet yet?
It seems to be the latest diet trend in Hollywood, with several big names like Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston promoting it. Their bodies are without question gorgeous, so it’s no wonder why people are jumping on the band wagon to join this movement. However, like any diet that you come across, it’s imperative that you do the research so that you can make the transition safely and smoothly.
Before I share more about the alkaline diet foods etc, I wanted to talk about the background and how it got so popular…
The alkaline diet was created by Robert Young in the late 2000s, and documented into his weight loss book The pH Miracle in 2010, and starting in 2013 with the glamorous Victoria Beckham posting a picture of an alkaline diet cookbook on social media, the alkaline diet had been growing in popularity over the past seven years, as celebrities known for their already beautiful bodies took it up and have been very openly happy with the results that they attribute to the alkaline diet.
How Does the Alkaline Diet Work?
The diet plan functionally works on the assumption that you are gaining weight due to the amount of acid that your body is producing. The theory is that if you include alkaline-inducing foods, you can cut down the amount of acid that your body naturally produces. When you are burning food in your stomach, it leaves an ashy residue, and it can be acidic, alkaline, or neutral.
Under Young’s theory, this ash will directly affect your body’s pH balance. This is an interesting take on what causes weight gain, considering that this is entirely unfounded. Putting aside the insanity that enough residue is left behind in hydrochloric acid to affect the body in this way, acid production is actually far more responsible for weight loss than alkaline production, considering that amino acids are considered an essential building block to muscle formation, which is proven to be the fastest way to lose fat safely.
If you are going to make the plunge and go with the alkaline diet, you should at the very least go to a doctor and a nutritionist to make sure that your meals are properly planned, because when you look at the bare bones of the alkaline diet, you will find that you are just not going to get what your body needs to do its job correctly, so even if you eat the proper number of calories per day on it, not being careful with it can and will result in malnutrition. When done with the help of a nutritionist, however, you will be getting a lot of bang for your buck with well-balanced, healthy meal planning. It’s not at all possible to follow the alkaline diet safely and exclusively, but it is definitely a good place to start.
So you got the background and now I should talk about what to eat and what not to eat.
Let’s focus on the what not to eat first because our goal is to keep you safe.
What Not to Eat on the Alkaline Diet
When you start the alkaline diet, it’s important to note that you are going to restrict a lot of what the average American eats on an everyday basis.
If you are serious about the alkaline diet, you should be trying to eliminate these foods cold turkey, and given this is technically a vegan diet, you might find it a little difficult, so feel free to ease yourself into it.
- Meat is a major no-go for the alkaline diet, especially red meat. This is considered one of the biggest acid-producing foods due to the amount of effort it takes for your body to break down meat. Meat intolerance is also a fairly common misdiagnosed food sensitivity, which tends to cause weight gain in itself, so there is some benefit to reducing or eliminating meat from your diet in the first place if you are discovering weight is difficult to lose. If you are finding meat too hard to quit immediately, switch the lean and white meats until you are comfortable making the change entirely.
- Dairy is also considered as an acid-producing food. Every food that you intake is actually going to be slightly acidic, and one of the very few things that is not is milk, so how dairy made the list is somewhat of a mystery. However, lactose intolerance is an extremely common issue for humans, and one of the common symptoms tends to be bloating and eventual weight gain as your body tries to fight it off.
- Eggs are also not going to be on your plate in the morning, eliminating another excellent source of protein. As this is a vegan diet, you likely already assumed that eggs were on this do not eat list, but in case you didn’t, here is the breakdown: Eggs are an interesting food item because a chef is taught to consider them as a subsidiary of dairy, but the rest of the world considers them a subsidiary of meat, as they are logically a chicken by-product. If you are not the biggest fan of eggs to begin with, this is another easy to eliminate food, as you can find substitutes just about anywhere on the market for whatever purpose you can think of.
- Grains are not considered alkaline-friendly either. This is another anomaly on the list, but it can be theorized that Young was considering celiac disease and the general amount of carbohydrates found in most grains. Carbohydrates are useful to the body, but having too many in your body will quickly affect the amount of insulin that you produce. Given that insulin can result in weight gain, the grain elimination is another strategic move on Young’s end. It’s important to note, however, that you can find your carbohydrates elsewhere on the alkaline diet, as the simple sugars in fructose should be able to sustain you. Be careful, though, because variety will keep your metabolism functioning at its best. If you are determined to eliminate grains, do so very carefully, because they are quite filling and can be addicting.
- Processed foods are considered one of the major offenders in the alkaline diet, as you have no control over what you are putting into your body. Even if you look at all the ingredients listed, the likelihood you will find something that you cannot have is so radically high that you don’t even have to worry about hidden ingredients. This is a major point where people seem to have a difficult time with the alkaline diet, as many people do not have a lot of time to dedicate to prepping their food every day. The key to success with the alkaline diet and eliminating processed foods is to take the time to do basic meal prep. Keep in mind that while this eliminates prepackaged sauces for your meals, this does not mean that you cannot make some yourself. There are recipes online that you can find and make sure to adhere to your diet.
Alcohol counts as a processed food, and as such ought to be eliminated from your diet as well. Alcohol ought to be limited as a rule for your general health as well, so this is a good rule in general. Not only does it affect your judgement, but alcohol will dehydrate you and make you want to eat even more, which may be just the thing that will ruin your run with the alkaline diet. If you are someone who tends to like a lot of alcohol, while you are trying to cut it down, try to have one glass of water for every drink that you have. This will reduce the dehydration and will fill your stomach a little bit, curbing your appetite and making your meal a little more satisfying. Soon you won’t really feel yourself wanting a beer.
OK enough of what not to eat and let’s switch to what to eat…
What to Eat on the Alkaline Diet
You may find a lot of similarities to a ketogenic diet in here, the meat notwithstanding. This is very much not a coincidence, as when you develop a diet, the paleo diet is a very good base to start with, and Young seems to take this to an extreme to reduce the time to gain results.
- Vegetables are a wonderful thing because you can dress them up or prepare them in whatever way you desire and suit your taste. The dark, leafy vegetable such as spinach and kale are especially alkaline-inducing. While the jury is out on that one, kale and spinach are extremely rich in Vitamin K, which is an anti-inflammatory vitamin that will boost your ability to lose weight. The good news is that vegetables are extremely difficult to eat too much of, making this a perfect snack and a great base for your main meal of the day. Fresh is best, of course, because once again, you cannot have processed foods, so canned vegetables will likely find themselves off the list. Obviously, you will do best if you meal prep for the week and pre-cut your vegetables.
- Fruits are naturally acidic, especially citruses, but the nasty truth is that eliminating every form of carbohydrate is going to result in your body going into starvation mode, which will make your body create weight plateaus more often and be counterproductive to your goal. The best way to go about this is to choose more natural, simple sugars that break down faster and give you the boost that you need in carbs when you need it. Young rightly recommends fruits for this purpose, but warns to not find yourself overeating fruit. Once again, sugar is one of the most popular addictions in the western world, and this will be many folks with an insatiable sweet tooth’s singular escape during the diet. Three or four servings of fruit a day will be enough to help you out, and cinnamon might help stave off that sweet tooth for a little bit longer.
- Soybeans and tofu are going to be your major point of protein, but it is going to be extremely difficult to get the amount of protein that you are going to need to function. This isn’t impossible, but you will benefit greatly from a nutritionist with experience with vegan diets to help you out throughout your adventure with the alkaline diet. Soybeans and tofu get a little bit of a bad rap because if they are not cooked in the perfect way for what you are going for, they are bland and a bit rubbery. However, when spiced well and not overcooked, tofu acts as a carrier for flavor and can be used to add a bit of texture and show off your new marinade, and soybeans become a great power snack and appetizer.
Some nuts and legumes are considered alkaline according to Young, and if you do not have an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts, it’s important that you eat them. This is your major source of fat and an alternate source of protein, but as with soybeans and tofu, it’s not going to be enough unless you have an experienced nutritionist on your side. A lot of people mention that it’s also preferable to have a few walnuts or peanuts on their dinner because it will add a little texture to their meal.
So now you know about the alkaline diet and you also know about what to eat and what not to eat.