The thing about losing weight is that no one recipe will work for everyone. The absolute truth is that you will not cruise to your natural weight and stay there by changing how you eat for a month or two. You got fat by eating the wrong foods (probably) for most of your life. If you manage to lose it by starving yourself for a while you will go right back to gaining weight the moment you go back to eating like you are used to.
You will not lose weight by “eating healthy” because that (probably) means to you that you are going to read the labels on the boxes, bags and bottles of food that you are enticed by at the grocery. A product that shouts about it’s “Low Fat” contents will not help you in any way. A product that screams “No Calories” is full of something more than water or pure vitamins, and what it is made of is decidedly un-healthy.
I am reading this book by Robert H. Lustig, M.D., “Fat Chance” where he details how fat is made, the known biochemistry of obesity as a disease, the different ways that chemicals we are in contact with contribute to our obesity as a nation and world. For instance:
Scientists have coined the term obesogen to refer to any endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) that promotes weight gain and obesity in people. Obesogens can promote obesity in various ways. Like estrogen, they can increase the number of, or promote fat storage into, existing fat cells. Obesogens can alter energy balance to favor the storage of calories and reduce the amount of calories burned at rest (REE; see chapter 13). They can change the mechanisms through which the body experiences appetite or satiety. In other words, obesogens can insidiously hijack the body’s energy balance system, making energy go places that are detrimental to your metabolic health.
Here are a few common “Obesegens” that you may have heard of. BPA, a plastic component chemical– which leach into our foods and drinks from the linings of cans, the plastics that our drink bottles are made of, our food storage containers are made of, our baby bottles are made of (just the hand me downs, these are banned from baby products these days). Soy contains an obesogen, it acts like estrogen in the body, ladies know this and women in menopause take advantage of it. However, they probably don’t know that estrogens are obesogens and contribute significantly to weight gain…
…genistein, a soy and alfalfa estrogen. Genistein drives fat cell differentiation in rats; exposure at birth predicts increased fat deposition at three and four months. And because it’s in soy, it’s in everything we eat. Even if you’re a carnivore, the meat you consume will be from animals that were fed soy products. If you are a vegetarian, you’ll still be ingesting it in your milk and cheese. And vegans are likely eating lots of soy products anyway (e.g., tofu), so no one is immune.
Lustig, Robert H. (2012-12-27). Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease (p. 161). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
This hormone-like obesogen is passed from your food and food animals to you. If you eat commercially raised meat that is fed soy, you get that passed up the food chain to you. Yay! If you feed your babies from your breast you get to pass that on to them. Yay!
To eat healthy, really healthy, you have to eat much closer to nature. I have read hundreds of pages of the book I am citing and between every line is the idea that natural foods are healthy. Processed foods are poisonous. Not poisonous in the “will kill pests in an instant” kind of poison, but the “if you eat this every day you will die fat and sick” kind of way.
The advice I have given in these pages for more than a year is borne out here, although now I have about 500 more reasons to give it. Quit eating processed foods. If it’s in a box, bag or bottle then it’s processed. The processing changes it, now it’s something that will make you fat. Adding chemicals to keep it “fresh” in your fridge or pantry for a year is not a feature, it is a bug. The chemicals that are not calories that it contains are still chemicals. You are putting chemicals in you that have not been tested for side effects, they are only proven to not kill you the same day.
In a lot of ways eating processed foods is more dangerous than smoking. Someday the food industry will get to pay for it’s sins, but for now it is entirely up to you to protect yourself from them.
Stop buying factory made food. Buy meats from your neighbors. Buy single ingredient foods from the outside walls of your local market when you can’t buy them from your local farmer. Learn to cook and process foods yourself, because you will make things that don’t keep forever, but they won’t make you fat and sick, either.