The are so many people talking weight loss, technique, systems, tools, pills, shakes, methods, calorie strategies, fat metabolisers. They have been for decades. There is a very crowded sea of options if you’re wanting or needing to shed pounds – from the miracle pills to the sworn-by-models magic shakes.
My problem with product oriented weight loss campaigns isn’t the message – Of course we should maintain healthy weight range! It’s more what they teach people to do, and then what that teaching ends up meaning both nutritionally and habitually. These are the types of weight loss cures I’ve been pondering.
Get thin and buy this range of food-like products…
Have you looked at an ingredient panel of the average low carb bar or meal replacement shake? It’s not pretty, and while some are of course better than others, most involve a number of food-like substances rather than Real Food. The Shakes are a little dangerous also, because they interfere with our body’s natural digestive signals for bile secretion and liver function, because there’s no chewing in the ‘meal’. Meal replacement is a dime a dozen, and the companies that peddle it are making far more than a dime out of your insecurities & our common desire to get big results without big effort.
Get thin: Use our free food scanning app!
Scanning food as a way to measuring your food and calories, is something I find really dangerous. It encourages people towards packets. It doesn’t distinguish any artificial flavours, disguised msg, highly proceed food, or preservatives (the ones i’ve looked at don’t, anyway). So what you get is a hungriness for low calories and a feeling of achievement if you come in at ‘under 1500’. What might have gone unnoticed in your scanning efforts is that 4 items had GMO soy derivatives, MSG disguised as yeast extract or hydrolized vegetable protein, meaning you remain starving because your brain receptors that say ‘i’ve eaten a meal, i’m done’ are blocked off. You’re therefore spending the next couple of hours, if not weeks, trying not to listen to the ‘give me more, give me more’ voice. Then your rice cake, although a teensy 21 calories and a glowing single ingredient product, is made by extrusion, a process which seriously denatures the grain and introduces toxic proteins, making it an anti-nutrient and a probable bowel irritant – awesome. “Why didn’t my scanner tell me about these bad things!?!?!” If it could talk, it would say “Hey, I’m just here to count the calories, lady!”
Get thin: Follow our recipes to the letter. The support that programs give with recipes is great, but often 2 things happen. If you haven’t fostered long term education on how to cook and prepare food once the program ends, people are lost. Then they find it too hard, get bored of the recipes from the program, and of course then the old habits creep back in. Secondly, often the recipe plans are still stuck in the ‘fat free’ fad land, which is not very good for us at all, especially our brains. Healthy fats are important. They often involve horribly processed ‘fat free’ or ‘sugar free’ desserts or snacks from their brand that you can buy as ‘treats’. Do you know what E471, 221, Colour 140 or Aspartame actually are? No? Well, neither do our bodies.
So, what are we to do?
I’m going to be radical here with my list!
- Eat real food and the food that’s right for you. Organic where possible will make a world of difference, meaning your body’s not trying to cope with pesticides during the digestion process, getting all confused.
- Ditch all the processed crap and numbers in an ingredient list you don’t understand. You’re half way there and it’s only point number 2 : )
- Then, add in a walk, some weights and core (key!) and a bit of dance floor action. Getting sweaty and being a bit of a beetroot face is a good thing for eliminating toxins stored in fat – sounds so sexy, doesn’t it?!
- Then, the more subtle signals. Listen to when you get bloated or feel irritated. Listen to the foods that make you seem to get hungrier, not fuller. Listen to the days when you get a random head ache after a meal, or wheezy. Your body tells you if you listen hard enough what the absolute best food range is for you. We’re all different. It’s all an experiment. There might be some general truths, but the most important expert is YOU, when it comes to YOU.
- Don’t ignore crucial healthy fats such as coconut, activated nuts, pasture raised eggs or grass fed meat- these fantastic foods shall switch your “i’m full” receptors on and keep your blood sugars smooth sailing for hours.
- Do cut the sugar and wheat. It will help enormously. Substitute sugar with glucose based rice syrup or even maple, coconut syrup or raw honey, and instead of wheat, try baking a few grain free or alternative flour recipes from coconut flour, amaranth, quinoa, spelt or kamut which are most definitely less taxing on digestion.
- Do take the time to soak if you eat grains and nuts – anti nutrients such as phytic acid are stopping you from getting the nourishment from those foods if you don’t soak before cooking / eating.
- Get your gut healthy! Either get an awesome probiotic or get into fermented foods – sour dough, pickled veggies like Kim Chi… Our guts have taken a beating and been stripped of lots of good bacteria these past few generations, progressively worse and worse. Build up a healthy gut with loads of good bacteria, and your immune system will be stronger and you’ll digest food better – amazing!
- Lastly, one thing your body will tell you for sure, is get those veggies. *Yawn* you might say, but my are there some magnificent ways to get into vegetables. I am absolutely in love with them all – even cauliflower! Check out my veggie recipes in the recipe tab or my favourite veggie bible by Hugh Fernley Whittingstall, simply titled ‘VEG’.
If you’ve tried all of these things and have ‘resistant weightloss’, Dr Libby’s book “Accidentally Overweight is excellent. Sometimes things can be murkier than diet and exercise, and that’s when it’s especially important to not follow drastic fads.
I myself am STILL on a weightloss journey recoving from an underactive thyroid and PCOS, and that is definitely a slow and steady wins the race scenario!
With respect for the motives many well meaning weight loss companies and people have in helping people lose weight, I honestly don’t believe that weight loss will come in the form of a protein bar, pill, shake or I pad app, for the majority of people – certainly not as a healthy, long term solution. Get into clean, real food and eat when you can honestly say you’re hungry. Be nourished. Listen to your body to know what foods are the best for you. Reconnect with getting a bit sweaty and invigorated. If there’s an unnatural problem that needs fixing, it seems to me the answer lies in nature to fix it. If you agree, feel free to ‘like’ and share. Too many confused people out there that need a dose of the REALs.
Real Food. Happy Bodies.