How Not To Diet has been a widely asked question for centuries. Most women just want to lose a few pounds, reduce their problem areas and maybe get a flat tummy again. Despite this, almost 70% of women will go on a diet this year. The trouble is, most diets don’t work. They cause cravings, deprivation, cheating and ultimately failure. This post will tell you how not to go on a diet.
How Not To Diet
Tired of beginning the year with the newest failed diet fad? Here, we present the research from Dr. Michael Greger’s most recent book to dispel diet fallacies and assist us in permanently ending yo-yo dieting.
January is a month when many of us think about making healthier decisions and perhaps losing a few pounds. But it might be difficult to know where to begin with all the contradictory signals out there. Does sporadic fasting have any effect? Is gluten truly unhealthy for you? Do calories actually consist of only one thing?
Michael Greger, MD, can help with that. Diet books irritate Dr. Greger. He despises “diet books that pretend to abhor diet books yet indulge in all the same absurdities” even more than that. Because of this, the doctor, nutritionist, and best-selling author of How Not to Die’s newest book is written for readers who like “facts, not filler, fiction, or fluff.”
Over the course of the book, supported by more than 5,000 academic citations, Dr. Greger dispels a number of widely held myths about diet and nutrition while presenting the scientific evidence behind long-term weight loss. Hopefully, this will help us avoid the annual dieting cycle. Here are some of the most prevalent lies.
Myth #1: Low-carb diets are the only way to lose weight
Put people on a ketogenic, 800 calorie-a-day, low-carbohydrate diet, says Dr Greger, and they lose ten pounds in ten days, compared to only six pounds lost on the same number of calories of a higher-carb diet. Same calories, yet four more pounds lost. ‘What the bathroom scale isn’t telling you, though, is that those four extra pounds were all water.’ Indeed, he adds: ‘In the first week of a ketogenic diet, most of the weight lost is in water, not fat.’
So why are we still so obsessed with keto? He claims that when a diet doesn’t work, dieters frequently place the responsibility on themselves, yet the early intoxication of quick weight reduction may lead them to relapse. It’s similar to being drunk once more after having forgotten how awful the previous hangover was. The diet industry depends on two things, absurd claims and loyal clients, and one automatically leads to the other.
Myth #2: Intermittent fasting should take place in the morning
Dr. Greger’s research indicates that while intermittent fasting may have gained popularity recently, time-restricted feeding is the only type of intermittent fasting that actually appears to be effective. This entails limiting your daily dietary consumption to a specific time period, such as between 10am and 6pm. Dr. Greger advises delaying time-restricted food until the morning: “If anything, forgo supper and enjoy breakfast.” Unfortunately, this is how most people approach things.
Myth #3: All calories are equal
A calorie is a calorie in a lab, but not in real life, according to Dr. Greger. A calorie might not even be a calorie even if you consume and absorb the same quantity of calories. According to him, various quantities of body fat can result from eating the same number of calories at different times of the day, with varied meal distributions, or after varying amounts of sleep. Not only what we consume matters, but also when and how.
How does that work? Dr Greger uses carrots vs Coke to illustrate the science. ‘While it’s true that in a tightly controlled laboratory setting, 240 calories of carrots – ten carrots – would have the same effect on calorie balance as the 240 calories in a bottle of Coke, this comparison falls on its face out in the real world. You could chug down those liquid calories in less than a minute,’ he argues, ‘but eating 240 calories of carrots could take you more than two and a half hours of constant chewing. Not only would your jaw get sore, but 240 calories of carrots is about five cups – you might not even be able to fit them all in your stomach.’
Myth #4: If everyone exercised, obesity wouldn’t exist
Years have been spent by food and beverage businesses attempting to “leanwash” consumers into believing that obesity is caused by a lack of exercise. The scientific community has, however, “reached a very definitive conclusion that the factors determining caloric intake significantly more powerfully effect overall calorie balance,” according to Dr. Greger.
He notes that there is even disagreement in the scientific literature over the question of whether variations in physical activity played “any effect whatsoever” in the rise of the obesity pandemic. The rise in calorie intake per person over time is more than sufficient to account for the obesity epidemics in the United States and around the world at that time. In reality, rather than declining during the past few decades, physical activity levels have somewhat increased in both North America and Europe.
Myth #5: Your genes trump your diet
You might have heard about the ‘fat gene.’ But does this really exist? According to Dr Greger’s research, ‘to date, about one hundred genetic markers have been linked to obesity, but when you put all of them together, they account for less than 3 percent of the difference in body mass index between people.’ The ‘fat gene’ you may have heard about (called FTO, short for ‘FaT mass and Obesity associated’) is the gene most strongly linked to obesity, but it explains less than one percent of the difference between people.
In essence, “the power of your fork is nothing compared to the power of your genes” when it comes to obesity. Even the minimal effect of the FTO gene does seem to be diminished in people who are physically active, and may even be totally eliminated in people who eat healthier diets. Even if they acquired the “fat gene” from both of their parents, people who eat more healthfully don’t seem to be at an increased risk of weight gain.
Myth #6: You need to cut out gluten to be healthy
How many people had even heard of gluten 10 years ago, wonders Dr. Greger. And currently, according to certain surveys, up to 25% of the population is attempting to avoid it. More than ten thousand goods now have the gluten-free label as a result of this growth.
‘Ironically, gluten-free products may be less healthy, with more sugar and salt, less fibre, and fewer nutrients, but they’re mostly just different shades of the same processed junk. A gluten-free donut is still a donut. And a nutritional analysis of foods marketed to children found that about 90 percent of products—both gluten-free and not—were classified as ’unhealthy.’’
Do This If You Don’t Want To Diet
There is a cause for Americans’ obesity. Despite the fact that many individuals aspire to lose weight, the infographic below demonstrates that we are still as obese as ever. I am aware that reducing weight was challenging for me. I tried dieting numerous times, but after a few months I would always give up. The problem was that I didn’t know how to lose weight and maintain it so that I could continue to do so. This is when the advice to “do this if you don’t want to diet” is applicable. Everyone who wants to reduce weight but is unsure of where or how to begin needs it
Myth #7: The amount you eat is all that counts
Dr. Greger claims that what matters is what you absorb, not what you eat. Because some of those calories are held and never enter your system, you can lose more weight on a high-fibre diet while consuming the same number of calories.
What happens, for instance, if you serve individuals either whole-wheat or white bread with butter along with a large amount of fruits and vegetables, and then you measure how much butter comes out the other end? Since part of the butter calories are contained in all that fiber, the higher-fibre whole-wheat group passes out more than twice as much fat as the white-bread group.
Myth #8: You shouldn’t weigh yourself regularly
According to Greger in his book, self-weighing on a regular basis is linked to successful weight loss and maintenance. The scale is a crucial feedback tool. His advice to step on the scale after waking up and before going to bed is based on a study that concluded this practice was preferable to doing so only once per day. But isn’t there a chance that this will lead to obsession? According to Greger, “There is reasonable worry that it could have adverse psychological effects for persons with eating problems.”
But it turns out that, with the exception of those with a history of eating disorders and normal-weight adolescent women, having people weigh themselves every day actually provides psychological advantages.
It can be confusing to diet. The diet industry claims there is a better, more effective approach to reduce weight every day.
The final book you need to read on the subject may be How Not to Diet. Dr. Greger offers empirical evidence and cutting-edge research on healthy weight loss and body fat reduction. This approachable and unthreatening manual offers a wealth of pointers, counsel, and straightforward recommendations that can be used right away.
We have a lot of alternatives for dieting that look “quick and easy,” and fad diets come and go. There is a barrage of contradictory information available, and they all claim to be the best approach, whether it be Keto, Mediterranean, Banting, or Paleo. Therefore, this uncertainty and the several options available that each claim to be “the perfect diet” may be quite annoying and may prove to be a barrier to starting for anyone looking to lose weight.
The multibillion dollar weight loss industry is full of exaggerated claims, false information, and pseudoscience. Most participants in these treatments put the weight back on; others even end up gaining more. In order to attract customers, the industry also regularly makes exaggerated promises about the transformative powers of a particular diet and mainly relies on anecdotal evidence.
Our diets are crucial to our general health, but we frequently focus more on the outcome than the actual process. This strategy can be detrimental. Numerous diets are quite unhealthy. We need the most precise evidence available when making a decision that could affect your life or death, like what you put in your mouth.
Dr. Greger now enters. Dr. Michael Greger is a doctor, public speaker, bestselling author, and lover of natural foods who has combed through the medical literature to create a tried-and-true weight loss manual. He has condensed his recommendations into a diet that is both sustainable and healthy, supported by approximately 5,000 references.
You’ll quickly learn how to manipulate your food in this summary to lose extra weight. Dr. Greger provides us with a sound strategy that emphasizes a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix by using a scientific method and learning from historical facts.
The Obesity Epidemic
Amazingly, compared to just 100 years ago, we are ten times obese now. Additionally, obesity rates in wealthy countries have soared since the 1970s and are continuing to rise. Obesity is not a result of a lack of willpower, thus we need to understand what causes it. It’s simply our bodies acting as they were intended to.
Humans are experts at surviving in the wild because our bodies were designed to do so. Food was scarce long ago, so humans learnt to store any extra as fat to get through the colder months. Due to the uncertainty of our food supply, we developed a natural preference for foods high in calories as a result of food scarcity. We consequently evolved to favor foods that provided us with the most calories in the most basic form.
Even while we’re still professionals at loading on additional weight now, our environment has greatly altered, and fatty foods are now widely available.
For many years, the food business has benefited from our biological appetites. The 1970s marked a turning point. The decade in which the prevalence of obesity suddenly increased. Looking at the usual food aisle of a supermarket from the 1970s reveals the explanation for this. The food sector was developing rapidly at this period in terms of manufacturing. Deep-freezing technology, for example, made it possible to produce affordable, ready-cooked meals in large quantities. When the TV meal was introduced, dishes that were previously considered treats became commonplace and easily accessible wherever you were.
Food processing reduces the fiber and nutritious content of the food. Additionally, food producers frequently include undetectable oils and sugars. The result is what the author refers to as “CRAP foods.” We unintentionally consume an additional 500 calories per day on average thanks to the availability and ease of CRAP foods, which are processed and high in calories.
The health crisis of obesity has been called an epidemic. It shortens lifespan and causes crippling conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, combating obesity may result in greater lifesaving than cancer treatment.
We should all choose to eat a diet that is healthier and more sustainable. Therefore, you’re in luck if you’re seeking for a plan that offers a weight reduction guarantee. Additionally, there is no story in sight; only solid science.
All of the components for the perfect weight-loss diet are offered by Dr. Greger. He walks us through the large body of research that demonstrates why a whole-food plant-based diet, or WTPB for short, is the best way to lose weight.
Get Plenty Of Fiber
Admittedly, it’s tough to make fiber sexy. But, it’s the secret weapon when it comes to shedding the flab.
Because fiber increases the amount of our food without adding calories, it makes us feel full. It’s also a beneficial food group because we often consume high-fiber foods more slowly and feel satiated sooner as a result. Our overall calorie intake decreases when we speed up the process of feeling full. For instance, five cups of diced apple would be required to provide the same number of calories as a glass of apple juice. It’s simple enough to down the juice, but good luck trying to chew your way through all that apple given its size and the amount of time it would take.
There’s another critical element to fiber, and that’s that it traps the calories in food. Plant fibers have a tough outer layer, and no matter how hard you chew, this layer is difficult to digest. Hence, your colon can’t access all the calories. So, by walling off your calories, about 100 calories can pass through your colon and be excreted, with zero effort on your part.Our gut’s microbiome plays a part, too – our gut flora feasts on the fiber that we eat. In return, short-chain fatty acids are released into our systems, which reduces our appetite, and boosts our metabolism. A 2017 study found that these acids made high-calorie foods such as donuts seem less appetizing, even up to 12 hours after a meal.
Less than 5% of Americans, it is a sad fact, consume the recommended daily amount of fiber. Due to the fact that these foods are abundant in fiber, it is advised that we increase our consumption of plants. So whenever you go grocery shopping, put root vegetables like sweet potatoes and legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans in your shopping cart.
Pick Low GI Foods
Low GI eating is more than just a fad. Eat a variety of low GI foods if you want to lose weight and improve your general health. White bread and other high GI foods raise blood sugar levels after consumption. You may have noticed that after eating white bread, it tastes sweet. This flavor results from the fast conversion of processed food to sugar by our bodies.
High GI foods increase cravings, which is problematic for weight reduction. Children who ate oats for breakfast in one research consumed significantly less food at a lunch buffet that same day. Children who ate sugary cereal, such Froot Loops, ate more at the buffet than other kids. According to science, low GI foods provide a gradual release of energy, which helps reduce hunger and prevent overeating.
Consuming low GI foods might also aid in breaking through the dreaded weight loss plateau. Those of us who have attempted weight loss in the past may be aware that our bodies slow down our metabolism in response to fat loss.
Therefore, substitute slow-releasing, low GI foods like whole grains and legumes with those conventional white starches like white rice, white bread, and cornflakes.
Do All This If You Don’t Want To Diet
It’s not fun to diet. It’s constrictive, monotonous, challenging to maintain, and occasionally requires more willpower than you have available. You know what’s more difficult than dieting, though? being obese or overweight. In instance, did you realize that obesity or being overweight can lead to major illnesses? Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, various cancers (including colon cancer), and osteoarthritis are a some of these. You get where I’m heading here, don’t you? We wish to take all precaution to maintain our health and a lean body mass index. Therefore, in order to start building healthy fitness routines and get lean and trim, we must do so. Let’s examine several behaviors that have been shown to support weight loss without dieting in a healthy manner.
Get Rid of Excess Fat and Sugar
You may be familiar with the proverb “fat equals fat.” The notion is that eliminating it from your diet is a good idea if you want to lose weight. The best strategy to reduce weight is to eat a low-fat diet, which excludes foods like butter and oil.
This counsel runs counter to low-carb and ketogenic diets, which demonize carbohydrates. Keto advocates blame the growth in obesity on sugary carbohydrates. In actuality, both sugar and fat are at fault. Additionally, fat is, as its name implies, fattening.
One tablespoon of salad dressing, for example, contains a whopping 120 calories due to the high caloric density of fat. It is considerably simpler for our bodies to transform it into body fat because it is already in fat form. However, when it comes to carbs, our bodies must transform them into body fat in order to burn calories.
Fat is pervasive and increasing in quantity. Because excess fat has been intentionally bred into animals raised for animal agriculture, today’s meat is much fatter than it once was. Only 10% of our calories in earlier times came from fat. These days, a serving of ‘extra-lean’ mince nearly triples that. According to a research by Dr. Dean Ornish, people who followed a WFPB diet and cut their fat intake by 6% lost an average of 24 pounds.
It is advised to reduce or completely stop eating meat in order to lose weight. Using butter or oil for cooking is also not recommended. Instead, for more taste, try using wine or broth as the cooking liquid.
But that just accounts for half of the situation. You must stop eating sugar in order to lose weight. Sneaky added sugars are as prevalent as fat. It should come as no surprise that our consumption of sugar has increased twelve times since 200 years ago.
Sugar may taste nice, but it has no nutritional value and is not at all necessary for our bodies. Extra sugar increases calorie intake, promotes weight growth, and makes us eat more. According to a study, youngsters who choose high-sugar cereals like Coco Pops eat 77% more than those who choose low-sugar cereals.
Therefore, it is best to try and reduce fat and sugar as much as you can. You should consume no more than 5% of your daily calories from sugar, and you shouldn’t worry if you experience cravings because your taste buds will adjust to eating less sugar.
Go For Low-Calorie Density
When you look at a typical meal, the majority of your plate should contain low-calorie dense foods. One of the best things about a whole-food, plant-based diet is that you don’t have to restrict your portions. You can enjoy unlimited quantities of food, as long as they have a low-calorie density.
Low-calorie density foods typically have a high water content. So non-starchy vegetables, which are almost 90% water and fruit, which is about 80%, are good choices. As individuals we tend to eat roughly the same volume of food every day, and stretch receptors in our stomachs tell us when we’re full. Therefore it’s important to fill ourselves up with low-calorie density foods so that we don’t compensate for our hunger with high-calorie foods.
There are a lot of plant foods that are virtually impossible to overeat on. The secret is to swap out fats and sugars, which have loads of calories, for fruit and non-starchy vegetables, which are full of air and water. So when it comes to foods such as zucchini, celery, apples, and pears, you really can eat as much as you’d like.
Lentils are a miraculous food. Did you know that despite generally falling into a lower socioeconomic bracket, Hispanic Americans have a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease? One widely held explanation attributes this to their diet’s abundance of legumes.
In terms of nutrition, legumes are a cross between a vegetable and a protein. They are also rich in fiber, protein, iron, zinc, potassium, and other essential nutrients.
Legumes are far more satiating and effective at promoting weight loss than meat. In one experiment, chickpeas competed against bread and butter. At their subsequent meal, the chickpea eaters consumed 300 fewer calories than the bread eaters. In a another experiment, participants were given either fava bean patties or pork patties; once more, the legume eaters felt less hungry later on.
In order to lose weight, beans, lentils, and chickpeas are essential. If you have the time, boil them on the stove. If not, simply grab a few tins from the shelf for an incredibly time-saving meal.
Recruit an Accountability Buddy
We’re often told that there are secrets to weight-loss. And while there may not be any secrets, per se, keeping accountability is key to successful weight loss. The suggestion is to create a support network or community, and by having a support structure, your weight loss is much more likely to succeed. There are many ways to do this such as weight-loss group, group therapy, or getting advice from a health coach.
If group work isn’t your thing, then the important message is to stay accountable to yourself. One study found that those who weighed themselves once a week consistently lost weight. Dr. Greger even recommends weighing yourself twice a day for optimum weight loss.
Front-Load Your Calories
The proverb “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a poor” is well known. It turns out that this is wholly accurate, and we should all start each day by front-loading our calorie intake.
The ideal caloric distribution for the day, according to research, is 700 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and 200 for dinner. This approach resulted in twice as much weight loss as eating a high-calorie dinner. This weight-loss strategy is based on our chronobiology, as our bodies expend more energy digesting breakfast than dinner. So, if you eat more at breakfast, you eat less overall. So, take advantage of your biological clock by eating a substantial breakfast and limiting your food intake during the day.
Drink More Water
Everyone has heard that we should consume eight cups of water each day. Studies on how water truly affects weight reduction are contradictory, though. Nevertheless, Dr. Greger advises daily hydration after considering all the scientific evidence. The substitution of water for sugary drinks with high calorie counts will help you lose roughly 235 calories each day.
According to research, those who are well-hydrated burn fat more quickly and create less angiotensin, a hormone that can cause weight gain. Remember that everyone has different water requirements, and use your pee as a reference. Aim for a light yellow tint, and you’ll be on the right track.
Don’t Neglect Sleep
One of the foundational elements of successful weight loss is sleep. Get to bed at a decent hour because one of the things that occurs when we are fatigued is that we tend to eat more and make bad dietary decisions. Late-night eating can result in an extra 700 calories consumed per day, and at this time of day we are more vulnerable to the addictive appeal of fatty and sugary foods. Similar to drinking water, napping tends to help people lose weight. People who sleep less tend to burn more muscle than fat, even when they are eating fewer calories.
Preload With “Negative Calorie” Foods
How many calories does an apple have? Unexpectedly, it can have negative calories if you eat it before a meal. We will eat less at the meal if we preload it with a salad, vegetable soup, or fruit at the beginning. According to research, those who have an apple or two glasses of water prior to a meal feel more satisfied and consume less food overall. It may sound absurd, but try serving a low-calorie item before your main course to see if you don’t wind up eating as much.
This book might just be the kickstart that you need to lose weight and lead a healthier life. According to popular belief, there are loads of ways that we can get there; we can drink powdered shakes, eat half a grapefruit with every meal, or chain ourselves to the treadmill. However, many of these options are downright dangerous and will probably result in an initial weight loss, followed by a bigger weight gain. The truth is that the most effective, scientifically proven, and healthy is the whole-foods plant-based diet. So, if you’re looking for a sustainable approach to weight loss, without compromising your health, then minimize the consumption of animal products, and reduce or eliminate CRAP foods.
Not only does this book give a comprehensive look at what foods we should be eating, and how to support a healthy lifestyle, but it also offers some great hacks. We’re told about the powers of vinegar, why we need to chew our food more, and be more mindful when eating. Studies show you’ll get fuller faster.
The success of the WFPB diet is its abundance. There’s no limit to how much you can eat, and there’s no need to count calories, or to restrict your portions. Instead, you can enjoy unlimited vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, spice, and herbs. And, while you may think this is limiting, you’ll find that there’s even more variety that comes with an open mind about these foods. After all, they’re the foods our bodies were designed to eat.