Over the course of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge our Daily Recap videos will be where I post the notes I have written for the talks I do in the FaceBook Group each night. Hopefully this will make what we are talking about easier to follow for everyone that wants to join us in the challenge. You can see each of the 28 Day Challenge recap posts here. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel to never miss an video.
We live in a food environment that is highly toxic. Full of sugar and grains, it is making us fatter as a nation every day. But how do you escape when you are surrounded? Cutting out unhealthy food is a little like a fish deciding to leave water behind, it’s such a part of our everyday life that it can be a bit daunting to figure out how exactly to do it.
This decision to “get healthy” is made all the more tricky by the fact that there is just so much bad information out there about what exactly a “healthy” diet is. Vegans tell us that meat is murder and red meat will clog your arteries. Your doctor tells you to eat more whole grains and low fat foods. I’m telling you low carb, high fat. And each of these camps will criticize and trash talk the other camps in an effort to gain converts. Who should you trust?
To try to answer that question, let’s look at a few different diets and their history
The Low Fat Diet
As we have discussed previously, the low fat diet wasn’t intended in the beginning to be a weight loss diet, it was supposed to be a heart healthy diet. But as it developed it was assumed that eating low fat would result in weight loss because less fat equals less calories and a calorie is a calorie. Except that’s not true.
There are 3 main reasons it failed.
#1 Everything tastes like cardboard. All the flavor is in the fat so when you take out the fat you’ve got to replace it with something that tastes good like sugar so people will actually want to eat it. This increases your insulin which increases your weight.
#2 It increases your bad cholesterol. As we looked at a few days ago, the LDL in your cholesterol is made up of 2 different types of cholesterol. The type A LDL cholesterol is the large fluffy LDL that causes no damage to heart and blood vessels. It’s the other type, VLDL or Type B LDL that wrecks havoc to your insides and those are caused by carbs.
#3 You need fat. Fatty acids are essential for making certain components of our immune system, nervous system, cell structures and for certain hormones. If you don’t consume fat, your liver will attempt to bridge the gap by making fat from the carbs but these fats cause more harm than good.
The low fat diet is an abject failure. In fact as we will see, every successful diet has 3 things in common. They are low in sugar, high in fiber and when fat and carbs are eaten together it is always in the presence of an offsetting amount of fiber.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular diets out there today.
The Atkins diet works for most people but there are a few issues with some people. The main issue is that people are so focused on eating all the protein they can handle, they forgot to eat those veggies. In fact many on Atkins will stop eating most veggies because of the higher carb content. (No one has ever gotten fat from eating too many carrots) This will sometimes result in deficits of micronutrients like thiamine, folic acid, vitamin C, iron and magnesium, all of which come with veggies. Atkins also says to lay off the dairy because the lactose in the milk is a sugar. This will lessen Vitamin D and calcium for bone health. It can also be difficult to keep kids on an Atkins diet at school.
If you eat a vegetarian diet the way your ancestors did with eating food right from the ground, this works well. You might need to take some vitamin D or Calcium supplements but you will definitely lose weight. However, there are still a lot of processed vegetarian and vegan foods on the market and if your diet consists mainly of those processed foods, you will have the same issues with your weight. Any diet can be processed and once you take out the fiber and nutrients, a vegan diet can be just as unhealthy as a Standard American Diet.
The Japanese diet is mostly rice, veggies and fish. Even though the rice is a carb, this diet tends to work because there is no sugar to cause insulin resistance and the carbs from the rice are off-set by the fiber in the veggies. Also, the fish is high in Omega-3s which fights inflammation.
A traditional Mediterranean diet consists of high levels of Olive oil (monounsaturated fat) legumes, eggs, dairy, fruits and veggies and fish. Notice the absence of pasta and pizza, those are Italian but not Mediterranean. This diet works well for weight loss and overall health.
This is a very low fat diet. You will lose weight because it restricts calories but very few people are able to stick with the diet for a long period of time.
This diet excludes all processed foods and asks you to stick to foods available to your Paleolithic ancestors; meat, fish, nuts, fruits and veggies. It excludes most dairy and grains. The science is still coming in but everything we have seen has been overwhelmingly positive. People on a Paleo diet lose weight, reverse their risk factors for cardiac disease and diabetes and are able to stay on the diet long term. You may have to take a Vitamin D and Calcium supplement but that wasn’t a problem for our ancestors because they spent all day outside. The big downside is it’s expensive.
All these diets will work to varying degrees and they all rely on reduced sugar and high fiber. Think about how fructose is available in nature. It’s in sugarcane, fruits, some vegetables and honey. The first 3 have more fiber than fructose and the last one is protected by bees. Nature made fructose hard to come by but man made it easy. We have put it in everything and our waistlines have paid the price.