Well I got through Christmas with only a few falls off the wagon. A few mince pies. Gravy and stuffing. 3 slices of fruit cake. An Egg McMuffin on the road. But for the most part I stuck to my guns.
Results in 6 weeks:
- My belly fat is all but gone. My waist is now a 32 versus a large 36. This in 6 weeks. Belly fat is the single most important indicator of trouble for men. Belly Fat is more important than weight itself. For years I have been told that to get rid of this, I would have to exercise a lot. Many say that you have to starve yourself and eat less. I have not done this. All I have done is to walk the dogs! I have eaten about the same total amount. This band of hard fat has melted away. Why has this happened? The answer later in this post.
- I can bend down again! More important - I feel great and have got a lot of energy back. Why has this happened? Why if I am not eating sugar, carbs and dairy do I have all this energy that I did not have before? The answer later.
- I am never hungry. Never. How can I lose this weight and not starve myself? After all, are we not meant to eat less and take more exercise? I am eating the same and taking only moderate amounts of exercise. Why? Answers later.
So here is the "Heresy" that is at the core of what I have been talking about in this series on a return to our Paleo way of life.
Eating Fat does not make you fat.
Eating less does not always make you thin or healthy.
Taking lots of exercise on its own does not make you thin or healthy.
For I am eating a lot of fat. I am eating a lot of food. I am taking only moderate exercise.
But I am NOT eating any sugar, any grains and any dairy. I am not eating any processed food at all. I am eating what I have been designed to eat.
But then I am disobeying the Food Guide! Ask who designed this!
Most of this chart is not what I eat. And it is not what you are evolved to eat.
What makes you the "right weight" and the "right healthy" is to mimic the diet and lifestyle of our evolutionary heritage. The link will take you back to my first post on this that lays this out.
What makes you fat and unhealthy is eating foods that are not part of this heritage. Public enemy #1 on this list is sugar. An entirely new food for us.
So what is so wrong with sugar anyway?
Sugar is also addictive. That it is why it is also so hard to give up. The good news is that - as with cigarettes, if you can stay off for a year, it gets easier and easier to stay off.
Heresy #2 That getting fat is a mechanistic process where more calories in than we use = fat gain. In reality a calorie is not a calorie. We process different food differently. Sugars tend to go to fat and the more fat we have the more energy is diverted to the fat and the less is available for activity. Why when you are fat, you feel lethargic.
If the "Fat is bad idea" is correct - ask why we are all getting so fat? For we have been eating less fat.
Ever since the "Fat makes you fat" idea gained dominance, we have have been reducing our consumption of fat but at the same time our weight have been going up. Why?
But what have we replaced it with? Why are we getting fat? What are we told to eat instead? More grains. What is in that low fat yoghurt that makes it feel "fatty"? Cornstarch.
We have replaced animal fats with vegetable oils. We have replaced butter with margarine.
The obesity epidemic began in the late 1970's. It is accelerating today. So is diabetes. Related to all of this is heart disease, cancer, strokes and dementia, arthritis.
We think that it is normal to get these diseases. But they do not exist and never have in populations that do not eat a modern western diet.
These diseases are only normal the same way that typhus was normal in big cities before we understood the link between poor sanitation and the disease.
One day, maybe, in the future our great grandchildren may have a slide like this - showing the result of us awakening to the link between the modern western diet and our own modern diseases.
Why do this? I am doing this to get healthy and most important for me as a 60 year old man - to stay fit and active well into my old age.
I don't want to be the average PEI man who is helpless by 65!!!! I want to live out my life fit and independent and then drop dead - as I and you are designed to do.
I can't make the detailed case in a long post like this. But I do offer you this New Year Challenge - Give up these food for the month of January and then think about how you feel and look as a result.
- All processed foods
- ALL grains - ALL!!!!
- All beans and legumes - includes peanuts
- All dairy
I bet that you will notice a big difference. Then you may wish to see the science. You may wish to see it now - if so - here are the heavy weights plus a couple of easier ways into the idea of matching your life to your evolutionary biology.
- The calorie is not a simple calorie - Gary Taubes has reviewed the entire literature and here is a link to a lecture of his that will give you I think the best context. His big book is called Good Calories Bad Calories. His new book which is more for the general reader is called Why we get Fat.
- Sugar - the arch villain in the story - there is no better source than Dr Robert Lustig - here is his tour de force lecture.
- Your health and a paleo lifestyle - Dr Staffan Lindeberg is the authority - he has reviewed all the literature on all foods. His book - Food and Western Disease - is a landmark but is not cheap. Here is his website that will give you a taste.
- If all of this is too much - and my role here is to show you where to find good material that I have read for you - Robb Wolf has it all summed up in The Paleo Revolution
- One of the most fascinating books out there is called Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham - he tells the evolutionary story of how fire made us human. Cooking enabled us to eat a lot more meat - you try chewing raw steak - fire made us human.
In closing here is a very short and funny video that sums all of this up in just over 5 minutes.
Happy New Year and good luck in trying this.