Friday, August 16, 2013
Some thoughts on food, weight Loss, and health
A few years back, I lost a substantial amount of weight. I started out as a size 12 Petite and am now a size 2 Petite. So that's an achievement, and I feel pretty good about it on a personal level. When the weight came off, it seemed to be noticed rather suddenly. The last 20 lbs or so really did seem to come off fast. So how, people asked, without wondering whether the question was offensive, did I do it? Short answer: I ate less. But a longer answer is required. How do you eat less? Cut your cravings. How do you do that? You eat real food. Food that is unprocessed or minimally processed. Eat real food, not too much, like Michael Polan says. The "mostly plants" part is pretty sound advice, though there's some controversy about it. I do NOT eat low fat. DO NOT DO THAT. I do not eat low fat, my cholesterol is exemplary (the bad kind is very low, the good kind is high), and my blood pressure is low. I do not avoid saturated fat, and that includes animal fat. (I do buy local and organic, but that's a subject for another post.) The only fat I avoid is any oil that has been highly processed: hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Beware of canola oils: most of them are more processed than the label lets on. I use mostly coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil (mostly EVOO), flax oil, hemp oil and ghee. (I don't cook with all of these--also a subject for another post.) I eat a fairly high protein, high fiber, and somewhat high fat diet. I am satisfied. I am not hungry. I do not have cravings. I NEVER drink soda. I have never looked back. Sometimes I take supplements, but I don't encourage it for two reasons. First of all, it's a big money making racket, and most supplements don't do much of anything for you. Some can harm you. The supplement market is unregulated. You're taking risks there, so if you take a supplement, you must do your homework. Know your company, and know the peer reviewed research. If in doubt, don't take it. I don't think you have to take supplements to be healthy or lose weight. Also a topic that deserves its own separate post, and I have posted on it in the past. I do exercise, though I don't credit that with my weight loss. It's important for maintenance and overall health. I like exercising because it makes me feel good. I highly recommend low impact exercises like yoga, swimming, and walking. You don't need to hurt yourself. I could go on, but if you're looking for some big secret to weight loss, or some "weird little trick," you're looking in the wrong place. There is no "trick." It's not magic. Eat a complex and varied diet of actual food rather than chemicals, and Bob's your uncle. Try it, and let me know what you think.