“I really don’t eat that badly.” If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that, I’d be retired. If you’re seeking advice on nutrition there’s something about your body you want to change that your current eating habits are not satisfying.
What is the basis for your nutritional guidelines? Are you following food industry principles and sponsored studies or independent PhD research? Most of the reliable information isn’t new; it has just been overshadowed by business propaganda.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, obesity in the U.S. has increased dramatically since 1985; currently one-third of adults are in this category. And the 1980 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans supported a major shift to double the recommended servings of carbohydrates, including starches, whole and enriched grains, as well as a greater reduction in fats. The effort was to reduce the risk of chronic diseases ― but it’s not working. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer percentages are all on the rise. Furthermore, food is big business, and all major industries have lobbyists influencing government agencies. As food companies’ profits expand, so does your waistline. So whose standards are you following?
Spend this weekend counting how many ads you view in any media for diet/nutrition programs. Now, think back through the last 10 years. Atkins®, Sugar Busters®, Zone®, South Beach®, Weight Watchers®, Nutrisystem®, etc. Which one is the best?
All are based on reasonable medical facts. Try any one and follow the program strictly, no exceptions, and you will lose weight. And then what? Whether it’s because you reach your goal weight or quit during the program, they are all banking on the fact that you will stop.
They are all companies seeking profits, and they have statistics predicting when you will gain the weight back and return to the program or try another one. It’s a vicious cycle that wreaks havoc on your body physically, mentally and emotionally.
What do I do?
Stop focusing on weight loss. This is a short-term goal with little concern for more important factors. Reducing your total body weight doesn’t improve your body. Focus your efforts on improving your overall health ― blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, sleeping better, sustained energy, elevated mood, mental clarity, and so on. The side effect? Long-term fat loss; you won’t be merely losing weight, but losing fat. Remember, it’s possible to stay the same weight while also lowering body fat.
Try this logic. Would Mother Nature provide anything to deliberately harm you? Is she focused on profit? All-natural means you can chase it, pull it out of the water, dig it out of the ground, or pick it off of a plant. Then you can eat it as is (or with minimal cooking because we’re not cavemen anymore).
Ever try Natural Cheetos? Tell me where I can find the Cheetos tree so I can pick a fresh bag. Remember that on your next trip to the grocery store. There are programs such as Paleo or Gluten-free living that are a bit extreme, but they do teach you to make better selections.
Nothing worthwhile is easy
Remember why and how badly you want this. It takes effort, discipline and desire. If it was easy everyone would look and feel great!
Educate yourself to make proper choices for your body and your lifestyle. Are you expected to maintain these choices all the time? Yes! That’s what a lifestyle change means ― for the rest of your life.
And although clean eating can put more demands on your budget, ask yourself this: would you rather spend now on better food or later on increased medical bills?