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My mission for healthy weight loss
I have been on a mission to find a way to stay on a healthy diet and have the energy for life, for a very long time.
I have a history of depression and chronic fatigue so I knew nutrition was the key to feeling better.
But I had tried so many healthy diets: macrobiotics, Raw foods diets, zone diets, fasting, juicing, “smoothying” and more.
But without knowing the brain science behind cravings and addictions It was a losing battle. I had been starving myself without knowing it and then binging on junk food once my willpower wore out.
Every time I would try a new way of eating and fall of the wagon the cravings grew stronger and I would reinforce my addiction once again.
My eating became very disordered indeed
I was always very active with dance, running, and yoga, so I was never more than a few pounds overweight until ten years ago when I gained 40 pounds rapidly and then gained another 36 gradually over the ten years of struggle to lose the initial weight.
Every time I would try to lose I would end up gaining another pound or two until I was up to 186 pounds. At 5 foot 3 I was officially obese with high blood pressure.
How my fat nightmare began
I had just come off a raw foods diet where I had lost a lot of weight in a few months. I was rail thin but still didn’t feel well and had incessant cravings for cooked food and high-calorie foods.
I didn’t want to live my life in a constant state of exhaustion and craving for cooked processed foods. Plus all the food prep and juicing and dehydrating and grating and chopping took a lot of time. And the diet was expensive. I knew there had to be a better way.
I kept trying and failing to lose weight for ten long years
But I just couldn’t seem to find a way to get the process going and keep it going.
No matter what I did after that raw food diet where I lost so much weight so quickly, I was unable to take off much weight or keep it off for long.
Plus I had gained even more weight by going to a fruitarian diet after the high-fat gourmet raw diet thinking this would be healthier than eating all those avocados and nuts. Raw sounded so sensible, but for humans, we have evolved starches and legumes to round out our caloric needs. The book Whole by T. Collin Campbell, explains this very well.
I craved heavier foods besides veggies but the high fruit diet was all wrong for me and I gained weight more rapidly than ever. I had messed up my metabolism with too many diets.
Finally a solution with plant-based low-fat high fiber foods
This year I decided to delve into everything I could find out about healthy weight loss and I am happy to say I have learned a lot about what causes cravings, binging and weight gain and have lost 25 pounds so far.
I have a long way to go but I already feel better. I am sleeping a little better and the snoring that used to startle me awake all night long is gone.
My clothes fit better and I can get into yoga poses that I had long since given up on.
Find out how I started my healthy weight loss with my FREE junk food cravings freedom checklist
How I got started with healthy weight loss
I knew a plant-based diet without refined foods was best but I just couldn’t stick to it. I watched videos and read Dr. Fhurman’s books faithfully but cravings would sideswipe me before I could really get started. I really wanted to be like those happy thin people in the before and after pictures on his site.
Finally, I found Lilly Hawaii and watched all of her videos. She spoke about the McDougall method which added tons of starch veggies and left out the oils and fats. She introduced me to Nutrition Facts and the book How Not to Die.
This was a start and got my cravings to go away for a few weeks. This was an amazing experience. But then they came back and soon I was eating ice cream or cookies every evening without being able to stop myself again.
Something was still missing in my understanding of healthy weight loss
I kept watching videos and reading. I found Dr. Kelly Brogan but she and many people I liked and admired kept talking about “Ancestral Paleo diets”, high in fat, animal products, bone broth, and raw egg yolks. I just knew this was not correct for me personally, after reading the China Study and seeing the amazing Forks over Knives documentary.
I found High Carb Hannah and really wanted to follow her diet but the smoothies and flour in her recipes were throwing me back into cravings. Now I know what to leave out for my particular addictions and triggers. So I can go back and use some of her recipes.
I discovered Spudfit next and lost a little weight with that right away. But gained some of it right back again once I went off the mono diet a few weeks later. I knew I needed something that was sustainable. Spudfit helped get my mindset away from food as entertainment and addictive habits but I wanted to learn how to eat for life.
Then I discovered Chef AJ and she filled in some of the missing pieces about flour and sugar being addictive and about food volume. She just had such a clear way of explaining things. Her videos and visual chart are excellent. Next, I want to take her online program.
I was brainwashed by the diet industry into starving myself
I had been brainwashed to think it was normal to starve myself, with small portions and exercising to the point of exhaustion with few results.
I had messed up my metabolism by doing this for years and years.
Once I started to eat low-calorie, high fiber, nutrient dense, water-rich plant foods to the point of satiation I began to heal my metabolism and the weight began to come off. I had never really allowed myself to eat enough food even though I had sort of known this was the way to go.
The simplicity of volumetric eating
There are so many taboos against eating large amounts of food. This is because our modern diet of refined foods makes it impossible to stay slim eating more than a tiny portion of most of the foods available to us in mainstream society.
This is how many diet systems make money by serving small portions of high caloric foods. Then when you fall off the diet you feel it is your fault.
But it isn’t your fault…
You naturally want and need higher quantities of food because that is the way the human body is designed.
But it has to be the right food
Humans eat by weight and we want the same amount every day, around 3 to 4 pounds. With modern highly concentrated foods this leads to weight gain. Most people are genetically unable to sense high fat and high-calorie content in the foods they eat. There are a few naturally slender people who have more fat receptors in their gut lining.
Genetically thin people naturally stop eating after a small handful of high-calorie food because they are full. They have extra calorie receptors in their gut lining.
The rest of us just feel hungry until we have eaten 4 pounds of food.
And that is why so many people are fat with over 40 percent of us teetering onto the obesity charts.
But with real natural low fat, high fiber plant foods, this leads to happiness and weight loss for good!
Watch this Video by Chef AJ to understand high volume low caloric eating:
Then I signed up for the Brightlines eating Bootcamp
Susan Peirce Thompson supplied a lot of missing brain science. But I found her program a bit restrictive. the mindset was all about eating small portions for weight loss mode which she admits lowers the metabolism.
I decided to up my portions and lose the weight a little slower and stick with the chef AJ protocols.
Now I am exploring The Pleasure Trap by Douglas J. Lisle and Alan Goldhammer from True North Health Center.
I have a lot more to learn but this time I know I will get there.
I will be posting more details about how I am learning to eat differently in future Food Addiction Freedom posts so sign up for my newsletter to get occasional updates.
It is so easy to be led astray by mainstream thinking about health and diet.
Share your food struggles
What have you found to be helpful for healthy weight loss?
Please leave me a comment below. I am always looking for more resources to share with you all!