Updated: Jun 16
I have been watching what I eat for most of my life, and have tried many diets. Everything from low carb, low fat, vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, keto, Atkins, and the whole food plant based diet, just to name a few. And you know what I found out? They all work! At least for a little while. Then the pounds slowly creep back in.
So what is going on? Well, there are two problems that cause folks to fail on their diets, and it's not their fault:
The first cause of folks failing on their diets:
Many diets restrict what you eat: for example: no meat, no fish, no fat, no carbs, no fruits/vegetables etc. This is not sustainable! Genetically, we are omnivores which means that we are anatomically, and physiologically adapted to eating both plant and animal matter. Our bodies need a barrage of nutrients from these different foods to survive. Because our bodies need these nutrients, it makes it near impossible to stay on these diets long term.
Furthermore, studies are now showing that people who do stay on these restrictive diets long term end up with unexpected side effects, like high meat diets causing certain cancers, or vegan diets causing neurological diseases.
The second cause of folks failing on their diets:
After a while on these diets, folks start to seek out pre-packaged processed versions of these foods. Maybe it's to save time, or maybe its to trick our bodies into thinking we're eating the other foods we are craving and have eliminated from our diet. For example: if you are a vegan, you can find a plethora of boxed or canned food options in the supermarket (think fakin' bacon etc.), the same goes for all the other diets.
Every time a new diet shows some promise, the food industry immediately makes processed foods for them. The problem with these highly processed foods are that they were created in a lab so our bodies don't recognize them as foods, causing you to eat more of it to get full. Some of these foods have added sugars, others have added bad oils (i.e. vegetable oils), and some add both. They also all include a plethora of synthetic-chemical food stuffs. This causes you to gain weight and/or gain new health issues.
So what to do? Use this simple weight loss strategy:
Eat clean, whole foods: Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole sprouted grains, grass fed, free range poultry, dairy/eggs, and wild caught fish. To cook, use healthy oils like Olive oil, Avocado oil, Sesame oil, (stay away from corn oil, canola/rapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, soy oil, sunflower oil).
You have to reduce or complete eliminate highly processed foods. Eating boxed, canned, or other heavily processed foods, (including commercial restaurant food), will not only hinder your weight loss efforts, but they have also been linked to various diseases. This is why the Standard American Diet (SAD), doesn’t work, and has caused obesity and other metabolic diseases.
That's it! Pretty simple huh? Yes, but it's not easy. Our bodies now crave the extra sugars, fats, and extra sodium that we've been exposed to for decades. If you can be diligent and patient, the cravings will subside and you will see the weight start come off after a couple of weeks. You will also feel better than you ever have before.
A few tactics that has helped me and my clients, and I highly recommend, are:
Throw out all your highly processed foods (boxed, canned etc.), and go food shopping. You'll find most of what you need around the perimeter of the store (fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, fish, dairy etc.).
If you must cheat occasionally, buy only one servings worth of the junk so you can eat it once and be done with it. Do not keep leftover junk food in the house.
Read the ingredients of EVERYTHING you buy, not the front of the package. The front is just advertising. The ingredients (usually found in the back in smaller letters) is where you'll find valid information. You'll be surprised at how many "healthy foods" are loaded with sugar, fats, excess sodium, or chemicals that you can't pronounce.
Good luck! As always if you have any questions, contact me.
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Author, The Short Fight