First and foremost let me start by saying DIETS DON'T WORK!!! Sure, you can lose weight and reach your goal of 10, 20, 30 pounds, but when you stop your diet the weight will undoubtedly come back. I go out to eat with friends and hear how they are watching their calories, then I see what they order and just wonder "where do they learn this from"?. Of course, I won't offer advice unless asked. I've learned the hard way not to interfere even though I want to scream "HEY, I can help. I teach this stuff you know", Instead I bite my tongue.
So, let's start with the biggest diet myth of all time: Calories in should be less than calories out. While yes, basically this is true, let's look deeper in to this. In the world of nutrition and modern day eating you have to remember not all calories are created equal. Think about it, take a box of cookies and pull out 200 calories worth, then compare that to 200 calories of broccoli. Anyone who says that those two things are the same is living in a dream world.
There are so many calories these days that do nothing good for you. Our bodies are not made to consume as much sugar as we do today. Sugar is in everything man-made. If you are buying products marked low fat or gluten free that taste the same as their regular counterpart, I guarantee you they are loaded with either sugar or sodium, and many of times both. Those of us in the nutrition business call sugary foods "empty calories". They have little or no nutritional value because they are lacking the nutrients our body needs to be healthy. These empty calorie foods cause cravings, energy level crashes, headaches, irritability, frustration, lack of sleep, etc. The reason for this is our body is not built to handle this much sugar and our bodies are deprived of what they truly need to function properly.
So take your 1500 calorie diet that you are reading on the internet and hoping to use to drop 15 pounds by Muriel's Wedding. This is just an exercise in futility. You may actually make it to your goal for Muriel's wedding but by the time Muriel has her first baby you'll have gained all that weight back and then some. Why torture yourself?
Here is a REAL, honest to goodness, no bullshit way to become healthier, lose weight and feel good all of the time. Just eat real food. There is ZERO need to count calories. There is no doubt that anyone can argue that this nutrition plan would lead to better health, happier life, and less side effects from eating the crap a normal American eats everyday.
SO here is my plan for your success:
Eat only real foods, nothing processed, nothing fake. Choose foods that either grow on a plant, in the ground, or on a tree. Choose foods that come from a real animal that has been fed foods that they would naturally eat. Trust me when I tell you, if you eat a diet that is totally based on fruits, vegetables, sprouts, legumes, whole grains, lean grass fed meats, and non-farm raised fish you will become healthy.
You have to get rid of processed foods: Processed Wheat, Sugar, boxed foods and bagged foods that are loaded with chemicals that are killing us. When you can, you need to look for organic foods as they are the most likely to be free of chemicals and GMO's. Be careful of things that taste too good to be true. I bought some supposedly freshly brewed organic green tea the other day that was said to be made with honey. Upon further inspection yes, it was made with honey, but that was on top of a cup of added sugar, yuck!
You also need to avoid the theory that "everything in moderation" is okay. You can't expect the four salads you ate for lunch the past 4 days to balance out the super-sized drive-through fast food order you chose on the 5th day.
Another thing to remember is that fat is not the enemy (and no, it won’t make you fat). Fats fuel our nervous system and nourish our brains. We need fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like the ultra-important vitamin D (which is essential for absorbing calcium, keeping our moods in the happy zone and reducing cancer risk), vitamin E (a potent antioxidant), vitamin A (vital for our vision) and vitamin K, a nutrient we don’t think about often, but without it, our teeth would rot out.
One of the reasons fat has such a bad reputation is because it contains more calories per gram than carbohydrates and proteins (fat has 9 calories per gram, while carbs and proteins have 4 calories per gram each). But here’s the thing — fat actually fills you up. How? It reduces glycemic responses in the body (i.e. blood sugar spikes and crashes), which lowers the likelihood of your feeling like you’re starving again shortly after eating. A fuller you is a happier you — one who is less likely to chow down on an entire bag of potato chips after dinner.
Think about it, Americans have followed a low-fat plan for the last 20 years, and where did it get us? Yep. It made us fatter, sicker and craving more food. This type of diet happens to follow a rise in diabetes, alzheimers and cardiovascular disease that has increased during this time rather than decrease.
If you have some confusion about where to turn think about this: Try to imagine what food was like before the grocery stores. What would be natural to eat? What could we eat if we had to hunt, fish, gather and grow our own foods? Fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs, legumes, sprouts, seaweed, fish, etc. These are the things that will make you live longer. Trust me, try it for a while and watch your body change. Feel your aches and pains diminish. Watch your moods balance out. Maybe, just maybe you'll become a believer.
Here is MY definition of what REAL food is:
- Foods that are in their most natural state.
- Fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, seeds, sprouts, nuts and berries.
- 100% WHOLE Grains.
- Wild Caught Seafood.
- Lean grass-fed beef, pork and free range chicken.
- Natural Sweeteners such as honey and real maple syrup (not that pancake crap in the grocery stores).
- Water, Tea, milk, all natural juices (with no additional sweeteners or preservatives),
wine and some beer.