Why That New Miracle Diet Isn't So Much of a Miracle After All (And Why You're Guaranteed To Hate Yourself On It Sooner or Later)
Diet Trap #1: A low fat, high refined carb diet
a. Deprives the body and brain of healthy fats which it NEEDS to thrive.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids, as most people knows, are CRUCIAL to optimal heart
(and brain) health.
2. A lesser known need is MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which is found in
Coconut Oil. These MCT fats are easily broken down by the body, and immediately converted and used as energy. They are also a good form of relatively "tasteless" calories that can be used to suppress appetite.
b. Causes major chronic insulin resistance and inflammation, which are the leading
causal factors of most major disease
1. This is in large part due to high blood glucose spikes that the body cannot
handle, and that are not mitigated from adequate amounts of fat (which would
be present on a smart nutrition plan)
c. Is taken too far to the extreme. Fat is likened to the devil in the minds of many
people. They avoid it at all costs, and are then surprised when they just don't feel
right, their brain is foggy, and their skin, hair and nails look "off". ("Off" as in
decaying and/or dead...)
1. The "avoid fat" advice also leads to people justifying high amounts of refined
carbs under the rationalization that "it's low fat so it's good for me".
2. Sure if you're eating natural, toxin-free carbs like fruit, rice, potatoes, and
quinoa you'll be fine. But eating pretzels, bread (usually made with 20+ ingredients), genetically modified corn and wheat, low-fat snacks made with industrial oils, and other junk just because they're "low fat" is not healthy.
Diet Trap #2: A very low carb, or zero carb, ketogenic diet
a. Can pollute the body with millions of chemicals and toxins if food quality is not
1. Eating factory-farmed meats, cheeses, and more at mass quantity is NOT
b. Deprives the body of crucial vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and more.
1. Smart, temporary low-carb diets DO include intake of numerous veggies and
low-glycemic fruits, but people conveniently forget to eat these. When the
prospect of beef, bacon and cheese all day comes into play, making a salad on
the side isn't all that appealing.
c. Doesn't address metabolic stress factors.
1. In most cases, only general strength training (max of 6-8 reps per set) and
occasional sprints can be sustained well by a low-carb and high-protein diet.
2. BUT, intense, metabolically demanding exercises such as Cross Fit workouts,
dumbbell and barbell complexes, and circuits are often too stressing on the
body. They are glycogen-depleting activities which need glucose (preferably
from carbs) to properly recover.
3. Similarly, moderate to intense cardio depletes glycogen and needs glucose
(preferably from carbs).
i. Glucose can be produced from protein via gluconeogenesis but it is not
always efficient, and is far from being the preferred source of energy for the body and brain. (i.e. instead of forcing the body to convert protein to glucose, why not give it glucose from the start?)
4. The body is in a stress-induced, catabolic state following a hard workout, and
adequate post-workout nutrition (with carbohydrates for most people) is
i. Without proper post-workout nutrition, it is possible that these no/low carbers are simply prolonging the catabolism/muscle breakdown which occurs via extended cortisol output (cortisol is created as a response to stress, in this case, exercise stress)
d. The body gets "used" to eating low/no carbs when done for too long. So when you
end up eating higher carb foods, the body doesn't know how to process it efficiently
and some it turns into fat.
1. This prolonged/no-carb stage similarly causes insulin resistance because the
body literally "forgets" how to properly intake glucose and the insulin it
2. Note: This is a SHOCKER to even the most devout low-carbers. The body is
adaptive, and it changes its internal workings when it notices a prolonged shift
in this case, it starts resisting insulin, thinking the body will no longer need to digest it. This was probably great
in evolutionary times, when a food source might simply drop off the map and the body would have to adapt...but that's not the same as going on a hardcore diet to lose weight, and then eating carbs a year down the road (only to have a damaged insulin response mechanism).
i. This is one BIG reason why you'll notice some chronic low-carb dieters never quite get "there" in terms of body composition and overall leanness. Insulin resistance down the road may promote increased fat storage when carbs come back into the game (and just
ask hundreds of long-living cultures...carbs should definitely come back into the game).
Diet Trap #3: A very low calorie diet, especially with little regard to food quality
a. Possibly the WORST of all diets. Don't get me wrong here -- decreasing calories is
crucial for weight loss.
1. But people think low calorie means "eat next to nothing and exercise like a
maniac". (this is a recipe for disaster)
2. People think it also means "eat anything as long as it's under X amount of
calories". (this is terrible for your internal health, blood lipids, etc.)
3. And people think it means "well I'll just eat this few calories for a few weeks
and then it's all over!" (Bad, bad idea. Hello uncontrollable binges and
uncontrollable fat gain once you try to eat "normal" again.)
b. With the advent of 100 calorie packs, 250 calorie frozen dinners, and more, our
society is conditioned to think they just have to eat these foods and the pounds will
just disappear (well played, big business)
1. The truth is, while these foods may be low in calories, many of them are very tasty and very rewarding, as artificial as they may be. Which means once we have it, it can very easily trigger cravings for other foods (this is the "food reward hypothesis").
2. These foods are also very low on the micronutrient scale. This essentially means the foods lack the crucial vitamins and minerals that would otherwise appear in a whole foods diet. Your body and brain crave these vitamins and minerals, and until you have them, you will continue to crave more and more food.
3. And assuming you continue to eat processed, nutrient-poor foods, the cravings
are bound to continue until you have far exceeded your calories for the day.
4. Also, these foods are full of blood sugar spiking refined carbs (white flour and even wheat flour break down to sugar very quickly), and are packed with industrial seed/vegetable oils (high in toxic Omega 6, which our body needs very, very little of) and partially/fully-hydrogenated oils (the dreaded trans fat that clogs our arteries and cause inflammation, fat gain and disease)
So we've "tore down" all the fad/nonsense diets, and we know that weight loss is all about eating whole foods at a calorie deficit, frequent movement, and natural herbs/ plant extracts to cut out the inflammation/insulin resistance issue...is that all there is longevity and living well??
I'm glad you asked!
Here's where I think most "experts" go wrong.
They say, "eat right, move, take some supplements, and you'll live a happy, long life."
I don't agree.
I believe eating right, moving, and using natural compounds is a huge part of living a happy, long life, and without it, you're definitely putting yourself in danger...but it's not everything.
Interested in losing weight? Then click below to see the exact steps I took to lose weight and keep it off for good...
Moving forward, there are several other articles/topics I'll share so you can lose weight even faster, and feel great doing it.
Below is a list of these topics and you can use this Table of Contents to jump to the part that interests you the most.