No, no political commentary here, just insights into health regardless of whether you are conservative or liberal or somewhere in-between.
But we are indeed doing it on the Wheat Belly and Undoctored lifestyles: Making America Thin Again—MATA—and getting people to lose weight, often considerable amounts of 30, 50, 70, 130 pounds, by essentially REJECTING conventional dietary advice.
What conventional pieces of dietary advice are we rejecting in order to achieve this? Here are a few:
- Limit fat and calories—No way. This is a path to misery. It works in the short-term, fails in the long-run and, of course, does not reverse situations such as iodine deficiency or disruptions in bowel flora that also influence weight.
- Move more, eat less—Likewise, this doesn’t work. It can work in the short-term, especially if you started very sedentary and consumed lots of junk carbs and sugars. Just look at the people on the Biggest Loser TV show: huge weight loss over several weeks by slashing calories and engaging in extreme exercise . . . only to regain most of the weight while continuing to exercise and restrict calories. Why? Because metabolic rate drops by about 23% (about 500 kcal/day), meaning that your body has been fooled into thinking that you are starving and thereby tries to conserve energy by turning down your rate of energy burn. Oddly, while this phenomenon has been recorded at 30 weeks after the program, it persists even after 6 years. The majority of originally successful Biggest Loser participants were in the extremely obese category 6 years after being on the show. And exercise (after the initial change from sedentary to active) is a lousy way to control weight. Exercise is helpful for maintaining health—e.g., flexibility, prevention of cognitive decline, etc.—but it simply not effective to manage weight long-term.
- Eat more healthy whole grains—If you’ve read the Wheat Belly or Undoctored books, you already recognize the folly in this awful advice. The gliadin protein of wheat and related proteins of other grains are not fully digestible, but are broken down into 4- or 5-amino acid long peptides, so-called exorphins that bind to the opioid receptors of the human brain and powerfully stimulate appetite. And the amylopectin A carbohydrate raises blood glucose and insulin higher than most other foods including table sugar, generating insulin resistance that leads to accumulation of visceral fat. High blood sugars are followed by low blood sugars accompanied by fatigue, mind fog, irritability . . . and insatiable hunger. Key: Don’t allow high blood sugars.
- Choose non-tropical vegetable oils—You mean the oils that have been associated with increased potential for obesity and increased cancer potential such as corn and safflower oil? Although largely observational and epidemiological, the consistency of the evidence is worrisome, especially since such oils were only added to the human diet over the past few decades, unlike saturated, monounsaturated, and omega-3 fats that have been part of the human experience for, oh, 3.5 million years. This should come as no surprise, since the over-exposure to omega-6 linoleic acid from such things as corn and cottonseed oil are pro-inflammatory.
- Choose low-fat dairy products—You mean the products higher in sugar/carbs and less satiating dairy fat? Nah. If we include dairy (no question: dairy products have their issues, though reduced via fermentation), we choose butter, full-fat cheeses, and yogurt made from whole milk, half-and-half, or full-fat cream. Yes, dairy has it’s issues, but the fat is the most benign component of all.
- Choose skinless poultry and fish—What? We now understand that saturated fat has nothing to do with heart disease. If you choose skinless poultry and fish, you miss out on the satiating fats and collagen.
You most definitely do not need to reduce calories, engage in extreme exercise, drink meal replacement shakes, or buy low-cal prepared meals or all the other useless, ineffective crutches out there. You just need to 1) revert back to the way humans are supposed to eat, then 2) correct common nutritional deficiencies that restore sensitivity to insulin and restore optimal thyroid status, and 3) address modern disruptions of bowel flora, just as we do in the Wheat Belly Total Health and Undoctored programs.
Ah, the 1950s, when people just ate mostly real food and didn’t have silly dietary guidelines to throw a wrench in the works:
Photo courtesy Too Bea blog.