Healthy Weight Loss
What is Healthy Weigh Loss?
We all probably know what unhealthy weight loss is. You hate your body because of societal norms or you just feel like you want to lose some weight, so you starve yourself or go on some preposterous fad diet. Maybe you do lose a bunch of weight at first and then gain it all back and then some.
That is because we go on diets and diets are not sustainable.
We have been All duped by the Diet industry
There are a lot of moving parts to this so don’t feel bad if you haven’t figured it all out already all by yourself.
I have been researching this stuff my whole life and I just recently got the final puzzle pieces together to make it work for myself.
It isn’t one size fits all. But there are guidelines that really work and once you see them the light bulb goes on. then you can tweak and adjust for your own body-mind complexity and finally have clarity around your food, eating, and body.
We have all been misled by information that is outdated and oversimplified. Eat fewer calories and exercise more is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food and the human brain/mind complex.
So how do we create sustainable, happy, healthy weight loss?
Love Yourself Thin
First, you have to understand yourself. What are your personal triggers for eating?
Then you have to understand the brain science behind eating and what your brain is responding to in the food choices you are making.
It is pretty surprising to find out why we keep going back to foods we know are not healthy. I was shocked to find out that certain foods trigger an overstimulation of the pleasure centers in most people.
Hating yourself thin is not the way to go.
Because even if you get thin through self-loathing it isn’t a healthy happy thin. It is a thinness based on hate and negativity and that is never fun or sustainable.
Being thin and miserable is not the goal!
Blue Zone Diets and Natural Healthy Weight
There is a lot of confusion over what is good for humans to eat. But most experts agree that natural whole foods high in fiber, including lots of veggies and some fruit, is the best diet for us humans. Most healthy diets have a lot of leafy greens and other veggies when the season allows for them. They don’t eat packaged foods or refined foods at all.
Blue Zones are places where people routinely live to be 100 or older. They eat a plant-based diet with very small amounts of animal products. Everything they eat is fresh, local, natural, and pesticide free. The majority of their calories come from starchy, filling carbohydrate plant foods like potatoes, yams, or a staple grain like rice, wheat or corn.
They eat seasonal fresh fruits, leafy greens and only eat animal products about 4 to 6 times a month, used for flavoring like a condiment on top of their regular plant foods. They wouldn’t think of eating a big slab of meat 3 times a day.
They also tend to have better air and water conditions than the average person, and soil that is still fairly rich in minerals so they don’t need any supplements or medications.
Blue zone people don’t need to go to doctors or rush to the gym to exercise because they are moderately physically active throughout their day gardening or herding animals or strolling long distances.
They have stresses just like we do but they also have tight-knit, long-term relationships with groups of friends and family that all live locally.
They are connected to a place and to their ancestral land. They are pretty content and know what to expect out of life and what their role is in the community.
Finances and weather and crop yield may be unpredictable but family and community are not.
Having a sense of place, a connection to the land and ancestors and a close community of people ready to help out is also part of their healthy lifestyle.
But you can still get the support you need even if you didn’t grow up in the perfect idyllic, happy healthy community.
How much Fat, protein and carbohydrate is good for humans?
In “first world” culture there are debates over whether humans should eat meat, fish, grains, dairy, starches, fruits, sugars, fats, or proteins, and how much of each type of nutrient.
Another confusing thing is that a diet seems to work for one person while the same diet does not work for another person.
Some people feel great on a high-starch low-fat diet and loses a lot of weight the first month, while another person does not lose a single pound and feels like crap.
One person eats a high protein paleo diet and feels great while someone else eating the exact same diet feels terrible.
Vegan diets and raw foods diets and paleo diets and keto diets all work really well for some people for some amount of time.
Paleo or Ancestral diet experts insist that it is natural and healthy to eat lots of red meat, eggs and some fish 3 times a day plus a nice high-fat high protein snack or two between all those meals. They tend to use lots of eggs, bacon, olive oil and other high cholesterol foods and lots of animal fats, and very few starchy veggies or grains. They are probably trying to avoid leaky gut problems caused by grains but tubers can be filling and satisfying and full of nutrients without causing irritation to the gut lining.
I find these high-meat and high protein diets baffling because studies have shown that blue zone optimal diets have meat as a condiment and only on special occasions a few times per month. They are getting all their protein from plants like legumes along with leafy greens and starchy roots.
Don’t Fear Whole High-Fiber Natural Carbs
Starch is the foundation of the healthiest human diet. according to long-term studies. We have been misled to fear all carbs when really we should be concerned only with staying away from refined carbohydrates which are indeed poison to all living beings! I am deadly serious. flour and sugar cause more heart disease, diabetes and related death than anything else we are doing.
We have evolved to eat cooked healthy, high fiber starches. think potatoes, whole grains, not ground up powdered carbs that predominate our diet in western culture.
We have a predominance of ptyalin in our saliva for breaking down starchy foods. Other primates rely on leafy greens for their main source of calories.
Vegan diet experts say that no animal products at all should ever be eaten and that we should take a B12 supplement instead because of the difficulty in finding sources of animal products that are truly untainted. They often also recommend taking an algae-based EFA supplement instead of fish oil because it is hard to get truly untainted fish oil and the environmental factor for all animal foods is way too costly.
Evidence shows that eating more than a tiny amount of animal products leads to health problems in humans. Dr. McDougall and T. Collin Campbell who wrote The China Study, suggest a high starch vegan diet or close to a vegan diet, low in fats and oils.
Take out the junk food and any new diet seems amazing at first
Often people start to feel better and lose weight right after starting any kind of new diet. This is because they have taken out many refined junk foods that were hurting them and are eating a healthier more nutrient-rich diet on any new eating regime.
A big reason diets fail for people is that many people have one or more hidden food intolerances. The symptoms will often change as puberty comes on and again in adulthood so people don’t know it’s the same food causing different symptoms at different ages.
Just because a food doesn’t send us into anaphylactic shock, like a peanut allergy, or shellfish allergy, doesn’t mean it isn’t hurting us. Food intolerance can cause foggy brain, or depression, or acne, and other symptoms.
But if we are eating a food we don’t tolerate well every day from early childhood without a break we don’t make the connection.
Many people are sensitive to flour of all kinds and any kind of sugar or sweetener, even stevia. After years of exposure to refined sugar and flour, they damage the pleasure centers and insulin levels. People often become addicted to these foods needing more and more just to feel somewhat normal. You can find out how susceptible where you are on the susceptibility scale at Bright Line Eating.
So if you are lucky enough to go on a diet that happens to leave out one or more foods that you used to eat that were making you fat or bloated or weak or sick you will think that this new diet is the greatest thing since sliced bread!
On the other hand, if you go on a diet that serves a lot of a specific food or foods you do not tolerate well you will think it’s the worst diet ever invented!
Want to find out more about food intolerance?
It is not as rare as you might think it is. Modern lifestyles have left us with weaker immune systems than our ancestors because of our chemical-laden modern world and because we eat a diet low in nutrients from an early age. The same foods can affect you in different ways over a lifetime so it is hard to detect unless you know what to look for. Dr. Keith Mumby came up with an easy protocol you can do on your own to find out what may be making you break out in hives or act like a crazy person after Sunday dinner every week!
So what is the best diet for humans?
It is going to be individual but a predominantly plant-based diet will work best for most humans. You may base your diet on starchy plants with greens and beans and some meats.
Or you may find you can tolerate some grains. Or you may decide not to eat any animal products at all and choose to supplement Vitamin D, B12, and an EPA-DHA supplement, all of which can be found in vegan versions.
Or you might find that a higher portion of fat works well for you, or that some dairy is fine for you. Find out what food intolerances you have and then put together the optimal all natural diet for yourself.
Once you get used to eating whole foods they begin to taste great and you forget you ever liked processed foods. But at first, the new foods may not taste great. it could take a month or two for the taste buds and gut flora to get with the program and stop craving the old junk foods.
As Michael Pollen says; “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” I would add, try to get pesticide-free food when you can and eat food in as close to its whole form as is possible. For instance,
- Eat olives instead of olive oil
- Eat nuts instead of nut oils and nut butters
- Eat steel cut oats instead of rolled instant oats.
- Stay away from flour sugar and other refined foods as much as possible
Supplementation pros and cons
Dr. Joel Fuhrman suggests B12, EPA and DHA and vitamin D, especially for vegans. This doesn’t mean we should overdo it with supplements. More isn’t always better.
Omega 3 supplements from a contaminant-free algae source may be necessary for vegans.
According to Nutrition Facts, no one should take fish oil because of the contamination of ocean fish.
Supplements are not regulated at all so you don’t know what is really in them. Often it is a guessing game and you can be doing yourself more harm than good. After seeing the movie Vitamania I stopped taking everything except B12 an algae-based Omega 3 supplement and Ayurvedic herbs.
Using real medicinal herbs from a trusted source, that are high quality and come from real plants may be a better option than supplements if you are transitioning to a healthy diet.