In the first post in this series, we learned that despite all the conflicting information on what to eat out there, there are certain reliable guideposts (like our ancestry and intuition) that show us the way. But before we turn our Holmesian magnifying glass to the details of the right diet, I want to illuminate a few well-known saboteurs.
The Perfect Diet Does NOT Make You Miserable
In the 1970s, the word “diet” acquired an evil twin: the meaning of “going on,” or worse, “being on,” a diet. Suddenly, low-cal, low-fat dieting became an American epidemic, while other epidemics like those of overweight, obesity and diabetes caught steam.
No connection? Think again! Low-cal dieting make you gain weight in three powerful ways:
- During periods of undereating, your body cannibalizes muscle. Since muscle requires caloric fuel to be maintained, eating the same number of calories after dieting as you did before will likely cause you to store some of those calories as fat.
- Your thyroid, responsible for regulating metabolism, will continuously downgrade your metabolic rate until, like for many chronic dieters, even eating very minimally can and will cause weight gain.
- When your body thinks it’s starving (dieting in real terms), it amplifies your hunger to the point that you can no longer ignore it, finally “slipping up” and overeating to compensate.
Eating well means eating enough to satisfy your body’s needs for nutrition and comfort. Which reminds me, eating well doesn’t mean living off of broccoli and sunshine, either. If I can’t eat chocolate I don’t want your revolutionary diet!
The Perfect Diet is NOT Processed
Think back. Way back, like about 100 years ago. For all my non-centenarian readers, it’s hard to imagine, but there was indeed a time when not every food came in a bag, box, can or bottle. In fact, hardly anything did. Food was grown. Grown! Just imagine.
Seriously, when you buy the sickly sweet food in the colorful box, what you’re paying for is dirt-cheap, anti-health sugar, a colorful box and the marketing that made it attractive to you to begin with. In one study, a group of rats was given breakfast cereal to eat; the other group ate the box the cereal came in. Though neither group lived a normal life span, the second group lived longer.
If it wouldn’t grow in the ground if you put it there – and if microbes want nothing to do with it because it’s full of chemical preservatives and refined sugar – then it doesn’t have a place in your precious body.
The Perfect Diet is NOT Sweetened
Quietly, just about everything in those sinister cans, bags, bottles and boxes has become infected with a highly noxious substance called sugar. Nancy Appleton identified 141 ways sugar damages your body, including contributing to cancer. It wasn’t the tooth fairy behind the conspiracy, but food companies themselves, who would like nothing better than to hook you on their foods by adding addictive substances to them.
In fact, sugar has been proven to be as addictive as heroin and four times as addictive as cocaine. Scared? Read on to find out how to conquer sugar addiction.