… and you know what that means! The guilt of holiday overindulgence starts to weigh on the conscience, clothes are fitting a little tighter, memories of last year, at this time, when you promised yourself that “this is the year” that I’m going to do something about my health! You’re having thoughts of rejoining the gym along with all the other new-years resolutioners, wondering where you stored away those running shoes last February, trying to remember “what went wrong?” …and there it is, déjà vu all over again.
Let me guess, you started off strong last year. You went to the gym, you jogged through the neighborhood and followed a calorie restrictive, low-fat diet, and it worked! You started losing some weight. But, then you hit a weight loss plateau and all your energy was gone, you may have even gotten sick. You gave up and returned to your old ways and it wasn’t even Valentine’s Day yet. That little bit of weight that you had lost was back by Easter, then the summer and the holiday season tipped the scales beyond your original starting point. Now, here you sit, wondering where it all went wrong, gearing up to do it all over again.
Listen, I’ve been there. It’s an endless loop of insanity that riddled my life for years. Some of the smartest people in the world are caught in this same paradigm right along with you. Why? Because they listened to the “so called” experts. And why wouldn’t you? I mean, they are doctors, they should know what they’re talking about, right? Meanwhile, our country is amidst an obesity epidemic the likes of which this planet has never seen! How could that be?
The so called experts
Though I am diametrically opposed to his nutritional philosophies, Dr. Michael Greger has compiled this short video clip summing up the extent of nutrition education provided to most doctors:
Proving once again that even a broken clock has the correct time at least two times per day, Dr. Michael Greger M.D. takes time-out from obsessing over his plant-based diet propaganda to make some excellent points. He then follows up with some more harsh reality here and here. Yes, it’s true, a blind squirrel can indeed find a nut on occasion, and even provide some useful information.
Then there are the dietitians. They most certainly should be able to steer patients towards a healthy lifestyle, right? I mean, after all, their entire education is based on NOTHING BUT nutrition. Not so fast! The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (A.N.D.) curriculum is largely based on the same outdated, non-scientific, 50 year old dogma that continues to fail public health. The nutrition and dietetics curriculum for registered dietitians is designed to support the government imposed US Dietary Guidelines that are, and always have been politically, financially and economically influenced by the agriculture, pharmaceutical and processed food industries. How is it that I know this? Well, let’s just say that I currently reside in “the belly of the beast” and leave it at that.
So who can I trust?
The short answer to that question is: YOU!
You have to take charge of your own health. Why not consider flipping the script to an entirely new strategy? Do some research, think outside of the box, experiment on yourself, open your mind to ideas that are contrary to so called “conventional wisdom(wisdumb).” You will likely find that the conventional advice that we have long touted as gospel is nowhere in the vicinity of wise, and is in fact dumb. Don’t take my word for it, after all, I’m just some guy on the inernet. In this post (Essential Reading: Nutrition Edition) I have compiled a list of resources written by luminaries in the field of nutrition that will help kickstart your self-education.
(* I am often asked which book I recommend, were I to suggest only one. Without a doubt “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung is the most reader friendly compilation for those with a non-scientific mind, like myself.)
So what happens next?
After exploring some of the before mentioned resources, you will be anxious to embark on your new way of eating (WOE). The LCHF (low carb, high fat)/Ketogenic lifestyle has been one of the most searched topics re: diet according to google analytics for a very good reason …
… because it works. Were you to embrace the LCHF/Keto communities on social media, you will discover that thousands of individuals, people much like yourself, have managed to not only lose weight, but also reverse their markers of disease by implementing a low carbohydrate lifestyle.
What makes this way of eating different than the diets you’ve tried in the past? Well, in a word: SATIETY which equals Sustainability. Not to mention the metabolic, hormonal and immunological healing that will commence. Weight loss will also be a pleasant side effect.
Much like the “5 Stages of Grief” compiled by Kübler-Ross, you will likely go through some predictable emotional stages as well:
5 STAGES OF NUTRITIONAL ENLIGHTENMENT
1st Stage – Information Overload: You will likely become overwhelmed by discovering the falsity of so many nutritional myths that you once believed to be true. To list a few:
- It’s not all about calories in and calories out
- Eating fat doesn’t make you fat
- Saturated fat does not cause heart disease
- Cholesterol is essential for health
- LDL is not an accurate measure of disease
- Salt is essential and not to be feared
- Insulin resistance is the root cause of obesity
- Exercise is not essential for weight loss
- 3 meals per day is unnecessary
- It’s more about hormones than “willpower”
- There are no essential carbohydrates
- Hidden sugars are everywhere
- Grains are not “heart healthy”
… and that’s just the tip of the myth-buster iceberg!
2nd Stage – Denial & Anger: Then you’ll start asking “How could this happen? How could we have gotten it all so wrong …and for so long?” As you learn about all of the many missteps, the bad science, the corporate and governmental influence, you’ll likely become incensed that so many populations have fallen prey to this overwhelming amount of misinformation. You’ll think of friends and loved ones who’s health and mortality could have been affected. Be careful though, your passion for truth can be misunderstood by friends and family members. Though you have discovered evidence that could be considered conspiratorial, be mindful that your newly ignited passion can be misconstrued as paranoia. No one will truly listen to you if they think you are some kind of half-baked conspiracy theorist.
3rd Stage – Evangelical: At this point you’ve lost a noticeable amount of weight. You’re feeling better than you have in years, and people are beginning to take notice. Folks ask, “how did you do it?” You answer with enthusiasm and detail, in fact, you’ll share your story with anyone who will listen. You share books with friends and stories, articles and pictures on social media. You seek out opportunities to help others discover the same revelations that you have. If you’re like me, you even become efficient in arguing your point. You find yourself practicing your Keto elevator pitch when you’re alone in the car, revisiting the last conversation you had, and how you could have made it more convincing. In a word, you’re obsessed!
4th Stage – Frustration: We all have friends and loved ones that could benefit from what we’ve learned. Observing them feed their disease can be most frustrating. You want to help them, simply because you care. But often times your pleas will fall on deaf ears for a multitude of reasons.
Mark Twain once said that “it’s easier to fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled.” People simply do not take kindly to being told that they are wrong about something. Sometimes the stronghold of conventional wisdumb is just too damn strong. Especially for those that are set in their ways.
Often times the very thought of skipping a meal, or not eating bread, or sugar is simply unfathomable. Sugars and grains are most certainly addictive, and addictions can be hard to overcome. Especially when you don’t believe that your addiction is even an addiction in the first place. If they don’t believe that their diet is the root cause of their illness, they will unlikely be motivated to change it.
You might find your own family to be the source of much of your frustration. Saying no to foods and treats that were once familial staples can often rub family members the wrong way. There is much truth to the adage “we mock what we don’t understand.” Your new way of eating will be quite confusing and seem counterintuitive to those who don’t care enough to listen to your explanations or do their own research.
5th Stage – Acceptance: At this point you’ve settled-in to the realization that this new way of eating will be a fixture in your life for the rest of your days. You’ve come to terms with, and have accepted the unfortunate reality that not everyone in your life cares to learn about your new lifestyle. You may even adopt an “only discuss if asked” type policy for yourself, realizing that if you continue to lead by example, opportunities to share will inevitably come.
It’s also important to accept the fact this new lifestyle that you have chosen will require you to continue to learn. New insights into optimal health are discovered constantly and continuously. Stay thirsty for knowledge, because nutritional research science never relents. It is unlikely that you will ever come to a point in which you feel that you “know everything” and that’s okay. Keep your mind open to new ideas. It’s important that we in the low-carb community not fall prey to the same dogmatic thought processes that we accuse the mainstream medical community of.
As cliché as this may sound, this new way of eating (WOE) that you have chosen is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It is sustainable and does not have an end-date that coincides with a predetermined goal weight. Sustaining physiological, metabolic and immunological health is a process that never ends, therefore it is imperative that you acquire at least a broad-strokes understanding of the science before you begin. Besides, understanding the “why” will facilitate ease in making proper food choices.
My hope is that perhaps you might learn from some of my mistakes, and put your days of yo-yo dieting and déjà vudoo behind you!
Below is a link to my story, published last month by Dietdoctor.com. I hope it provides you with some helpful insights:
Click here to read my interview with Amanda Åkesson, a health and wellness writer for DietDoctor.com in English.
Click here to read in Espanol
2017 has been a banner year for unlrean-rethink.com. I’d like to extend a special “thank you” to Dietdoctor.com, The Huffington Post & MyFitnessPal for publishing several of my articles this year. I’d also like to express my appreciation to both Dr. Jason Fung and Prof. Timothy Noakes for helping me spread the word via Twitter. (It’s amazing how impactful a simple re-tweet can be). But most of all, I’d like to thank YOU, the reader, for always being supportive and sharing my articles about the vast interwebz!
Best wishes to you all, and may 2018 be fondly remembered as the year your journey to health and wellness began!
- Sugar & Cancer: Connecting The Dots
- The Rabbit Hole: Essential Reading (Nutrition Edition)
- “Eat Less, Move More” Is A Result, Not A Method
- Ghosts of Diets Past, Present & Future
- Treating The Root Cause Of Metabolic Disease
- Talking Fast, Intermittently Fast
- Change Your Doctor Or Change Your Doctor
- Arm Yourself With Science
- Stallbusters: Scaling Weight Loss Hurdles
- Optimising Your Metabolism
- Cholester-All You Need To Know
- By Any Other Name, It’s Still The Same
- The Only Fats To Fear
- A Rebel Without A Carb
- To Snack Or Not To Snack
- What’s Wrong With Weightwatchers
- Everything In Moderation: The Balanced Diet Myth
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