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Weight Loss Series Part 2: What the Hell am I Supposed to EAT??

February 9, 2011

The trouble with most diet advice out there for people trying to lose weight (or get healthier) is that most people who are giving them advice don’t have a hot clue about nutrition….. or health for that matter. Uneducated editors from popular magazines or celebrity talking heads grab conventional wisdom or junk science and spin it into a product or a book that they want you to buy for $ 29.99. It’s time to get real with the facts, make it plain and simple for you without all the baloney to cut through. Here we go….

TOP 5 THINGS THAT YOU MUST STOP CONSUMING

  1. Artificial Food. AKA Food products. AKA Packaged Foods. AKA dead food. AKA Shit.  This is all the nutrient deprived, vitamin-free, franken-food that never goes bad because it’s so preserved that it could survive nuclear warfare. If it comes in a bag, box, carton, and has an ingredient list of over 5 items then throw it away. Your body has absolutely no idea what to do with these foods.  Our genes have no idea what to do with doritos, pepsi, power bars, hamburger helper or slim-fast. These food products are full of DNA damaging trans-fats, preservatives, chemicals, and sugar.  Stop confusing your body with packaged man-made foods because these foods of convenience will not only lead to weight gain, but cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and a whole laundry list of chronic preventable disease. Use the rule that if you’re great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it. If it didn’t grow from the ground or have a mother, don’t eat it. Ever.
  2. Grains.  This goes for all bread, cereal, pasta, cake, muffins, and cookies (YES WHOLE GRAIN TOO). Our ancestors who were responsible for shaping our genetic nutritional needs never had processed grain in their diet.  Human consumption of grain has only been around for about 10,000 years which is only a sliver of time compared to the amount of time the human species has been around. The point being that we have not evolved to digest grain well and the result to our health has been disastrous.  Processed grain is full of gut irritants called lectins and phytates that cause inflammation and poor digestion (Know anyone with IBS, Crohn’s, or Ulcerative Colitis?). It is also made up of nothing but processed carbohydrate and is relatively devoid of nutrients.  Think about it, you’ve probably never eaten a plate of plain boiled pasta, or a plain piece of toast right?….Grains are usually just there to shuttle some sort of unhealthy condiment into your head.  No, contrary to what the food pyramid told you, grain is not healthy. Cereal grains are acidic foods that are hugely responsible for chronic disease and obesity. Cut them out and you will immediately start to feel and look better.
  3. Dairy. Again, contrary to what the all-mighty food pyramid told you dairy is not a healthy food choice. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the occasional raw yogurt, organic grass-fed butter or unpasteurized goat milk, but that’s not 99.9% of the dairy that is consumed in the general public.  Industrial dairy that you find on the shelf in the grocery store is FULL of insulin-spiking sugars that promote weight gain, and they are laden with nasty endocrine disrupting hormones and foreign protein.  We are the only species of mammal that drink the milk from another mammal, and we happen to be the sickest for a reason.  Cow’s milk is great for a developing calf, but for you, not so much.
  4. Booze. The occasional (I’m talking once or two per month) glass of wine or snort of whisky isn’t going to kill you. If you are drinking alcohol on a regular basis though this is one of the major reasons so many people have a hard time dropping weight due to the excessive empty calorie consumption.  Not only does alcohol put the brakes on fat burning, it’s also one of the most effective ways to slash your testosterone levels. Just a single bout of heavy drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting hormone cortisol and increases the breakdown of testosterone for up to 24 hours. Alcohol consumption can also lead to deficiencies in B vitamin, magnesium and zinc.
  5. Added Sugar and Sweeteners. AKA Excess processed carbohydrate and toxic chemicals. These baddies will thwart weight loss efforts worse than anything else you can eat.  Added sugar (syrups, sugar cane, fructose, agave, dextrose, any -ose for that matter) is immediately stored as fat thanks to the insulin spike they create, and also prevent your body from burning fat by screwing up your hormones.  Artificial sweeteners are often sold as a guilt-free alternative to sugar, but alas it is proven that it is in fact too good to be true. Your body registers that you ate calories when you taste something sweet, but by the time it gets to your gut and your body figures out that you didn’t eat real food it tells you to eat MORE! Not to mention how it screws up hormones like leptin that help tell your brain when your stomach is full and you should stop eating. Artificial sweetener consumption actually leads to weight gain, not weight loss. Please don’t ever eat artificial sweeteners and keep the added sugar to a minimum!
  6. 

TOP 5 THINGS YOU MUST START CONSUMING

  1. Drink Water. This behavior more than any other could be the best thing you could ever do to improve your health and weight loss.  Choose water instead of that sugary or caffeinated beverage and you will start to lose weight within a week. You will cut down on unnecessary calories, reduce your inflammation, have healthier skin and joints, and have better digestion. This is a total win behavior. You can do it! The rule of thumb is to drink water when you’re thirsty. Some specific recommendations of how much water you should drink, watch this short video:
  2. Vegetables. Everyone knows that if you want to eat a healthy diet then you need to have more vegetables, but do you really own this well proven fact? If you don’t have some vegetable matter in almost all your meals then it’s time to add some life to your diet. Use as many colors as possible, and the more variety the better. Vegetables are not only low calorie, but high in nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and water. They are alkaline foods, meaning they prevent acidity in your body.  This behavior is a must for anyone who wants to enjoy an ideal weight and optimal health. Read the following article that will help you implement more vegetables in your diet.
  3. Protein. The importance of protein for weight loss and health is paramount. Protein is essential at EVERY MEAL.  A hunk of animal protein at every meal ranging from 2 to 6 oz (about the size of what you can fit in your palm) will not only help you build muscle but also keep you full longer, help release hormones that burn fat, keep your immune system strong, and lean you out fast. The quality of the protein is also of prime importance. In my definitive guide of what the heck am I supposed to eat you will find that your meats should come from grass-fed sources (animals fed their natural diet and not wheat and corn!), free-range organic chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and organic eggs. This ensures high nutrient dense food in its natural state that will make you healthier and trimmer in no time! Do not rely on non-animal proteins such as soy, beans, and nuts since they are not dense protein sources. These sources do not have the same hormone effect in the body and are difficult for your body to get a complete amino-acid profile that it needs for optimal health. Soy in general is nasty and should be avoided at all cost. Most of it is genetically modified and full of chemicals that will make you sick and gain weight.
  4. Fat. Don’t believe the bogus conventional wisdom that fat is to be avoided. Eating fat for the most part is a good thing. Fat won’t make you fat. In fact, it will help you lost fat. The human species has perfectly evolved to burn fat as a primary fuel source, and it has only been recently that most Americans have lowered their fat consumption and now are consuming most of their energy from carbohydrate rich crap like high-fructose corn syrup sodas, sugary snacks, grains, and low-fat dairy products. The result…we are now the sickest species on planet earth.  There is a lot to learn about fat, but what you need to know is that a vital behavior to weight loss is eating some fat at every meal.  Just like protein and carbohydrates though, not all fat is created equal.

Great sources of fat are:

  • Avocado and avocado oil
  • Olive and virgin olive oil
  • Coconut products (oil very stable for cooking)
  • Fish oil (1-2 tablespoons of cold pressed pure fish oil)
  • Nuts and seeds (up to 1 handful per day)

Fats to Avoid:

  • All trans fats, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated (Usually in fast-food and packaged food)
  • Excess fat from meat that is industrialized (Not organic, grass-fed, free range, wild)
  • Plant oils such as vegetable, corn, safflower, soy, canola (Excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils has been shown to contribute to a large number of disease conditions including increased cancer and heart disease; immune system dysfunction; damage to the liver, reproductive organs and lungs; digestive disorders; depressed learning ability; impaired growth; and weight gain)
  • Peanuts (not really nuts, they are legumes)

5.   Choose Real Whole Food.  Eat food that spoils, stuff that comes from the ground or a tree, from animals who grazed freely, and has been around for thousands of years.  Basically this means that you are choosing foods like veggies, meat, healthy fats, some nuts and seeds, and fruit and starchy veggies once in a while.  Favor veggies over fruit most of the time but a piece of fruit per day is fine. Every so often throw a starchy vegetable in there too like sweet potato or squash with your dinner to spice it up.  Fruit and starchy veggies are higher in natural sugars so it is important to not overdo it, but they are healthy choices nonetheless. Get creative and prep your meals in bulk and ahead of time. This will save you the headache of trying to figure out what to eat on the go and at the end of a long day.

There you have it, follow this advice and I guarantee that you will see results within weeks. If you feel kind of crappy at first when you switch to this diet style, don’t fret. Imagine what people feel like when they are giving up cigarettes or cocaine. There might be some withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue, nausea, or sugar cravings. Stay the course, it is totally expected and a good thing. This is your body going through a metabolic reset and a type of detox. Your taste-buds will need to rid themselves of the chemical hijacking that fake food gives them and start to appreciate fresh whole food again. Your gut will finally have a chance to heal and absorb your food properly again. It will be a phenomenal feeling, you just have to press through those first couple weeks. You are worth it, and you can do it! Diet is 80% of the battle with health and weight loss. Next up, we will talk about the other 20%- Exercise!

Your health coach,

Dr. Ryan Hewitt

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2011 5:56 pm

    Dr. Ryan – thanks so much for the links, and this great summative article. It’s encouraging to see folks in the medical profession bucking conventional wisdom and helping their patients truly get healthier!

    Best,
    Melissa & Dallas
    Whole9

  2. drhewitt permalink*
    March 3, 2011 1:08 am

    You are welcome, and keep up the great work that you guys are doing! It is inspiring to see how many people are getting well by following your teachings.

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  1. Weight Loss Series Part 2: What the Hell am I Supposed to EAT … | Adult Society
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