I was checking out at the grocery store the other night and the lady behind me, who had a few pounds to lose, was unloading her items onto the conveyor belt. She had a cart full of Diet Products: diet bread, diet soda, diet ice cream, diet frozen meals, diet cookies, diet cheese. She looked at me and said,” time to do this again because I’ve gained so much weight with this snowy winter”. I wish I could have said something, but that would have been rude. She was a stranger. I save unsolicited advice for my kids and husband, (who appreciate it tons and hang on my every word).
Just an hour earlier, I’d wrapped up a nutritional consult with someone who’s under a tremendous amount of stress (seriously, if there were a competition, she’d win. I don’t know how she does it.) She comes from a heritage and country where rice and noodles are common and normal. (sounds like America, but it’s not.) She’s lived here several years and feeds her family traditionally. She and I have met before about her weight and her willpower, and my advice is the same now as it was then.
To both ladies, and everyone out there trying to lose weight: Traditional dieting, where you cut calories and fat, and maybe use Diet Products, is PROVEN to MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT. PROVEN, in study after study. You might lose a few pounds or several initially, but if you lost the weight DIETING, you’ll gain it back. Unfortunately, the havoc you wreck with your hormones (thyroid, estrogen, neurotransmitters, insulin, cortisol) and your liver, will slow your metabolism and create signals in your brain that are focused on GAINING weight in case the starvation situation happens again.
Let me repeat: If you’re eating products like pasta and bread, or any sort of Diet Product, you’re putting substances in your body that make you GAIN WEIGHT and cause disease. Also, those foods are addictive. “Moderation” doesn’t work with these foods. As long as you’re eating flours, sugars, and chemicals, you’re nurturing the addictive areas of your brain. If you want to lose weight you’ll have to Ditch Those Foods Forever. Scary? I know. And sad too. Trust me though, once you’re free, you’re FREE. You won’t miss them once the addiction is gone; as a matter of fact, fake foods and processed foods will taste horrible once you switch to Real Whole Foods.
Here’s the amazing thing: we’re all smart people. In most of life, if we try something and it doesn’t work, we move on. That’s normal. That doesn’t happen with Dieting. It’s NEVER worked. Ever. In all these years. I’ve counseled people now who’ve literally done more than 20 attempts at losing weight through several different and some repeat Diet Methods. There’s some initial weight loss, regain, additional gain, and eventually, NO WEIGHT LOSS AT ALL using methods that previously worked. And yet, there’s this odd willingness to keep trying the same old thing over and over and over. What’s the definition of Insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Listen to what your body is telling you: Flour, Sugar, and Diet Products make your mind and body sick. You’ll never lose weight permanently, feel energetic, and be healthy as long as that’s your paradigm. Ever. If you read this and you think, “no way can I give up my cereal/crackers/wine/girlscoutcookies etc, know this: your addiction centers are calling your shots.
You can quit, you can change, you can lose weight and feel great, but ONLY on Real Whole Foods. Really, google “keep weight off after dieting” and read the depressing headlines that pop up. If you’re struggling, get in touch with me. People with the same addictions to food that you have have successfully changed their life because they developed HABITS and ATTITUDES about their health and their food that makes their body happy and calm, as opposed to the stress and anxiety of Dieting.
Here’s that Success Story, use it for strength. Cindi is a single mom with a more-than-full-time job and 2 boys who play lacrosse every day up and down the East Coast. She’s busy, and she’s managed to make Real Whole Food work for her and her sons. ( No, she doesn’t have a cook.) It’s just an attitude, a lifestyle pattern, remember that other quote I love: It’s just an effort until it’s a habit.
I am a 54 year old mother of two teenage, very active boys. I am the Program Execution Director for a large business unit of a major defense contractor. I commute roughly four hours each day and have a demanding job while at work. I am active and energetic and am used to feeling good most of the time. I have suffered from periodic migraines for many years along with annual bouts with colds, bronchitis and allergies. Overall, I felt pretty healthy and other than my migraines, I viewed the colds, etc as somewhat routine. I love to cook and make many of our meals but we eat out often or I turned to convenient meal options at home (tacos with taco seasoning mix, recipes including packaged ingredients, lunch meats) due to my hectic work and my boys’ hectic lacrosse schedules with year round games and tournaments. Over the last year or so, I began feeling increasingly achy, particularly in my knees and joints. I also was unable to shed the extra 10 pounds that I had gained over the last couple of years despite following multiple regimens (very, very frustrating and demoralizing!). I was tested for arthritis and went to the orthopedist as well for a knee check…..nothing abnormal. I continued to exercise regularly by walking, lifting weights, doing yoga and ballet barre work but always felt very stiff even after yoga stretching and ballet. Given that there are so many variables to how a person feels, along with the marching of time, I just assumed I felt bad because I was getting older and had a stressful life.
I have known Debbie Abbott for over 9 years and have trained with her regularly throughout this period. She is extraordinarily positive, compassionate, educated, and interested in learning and teaching friends and clients about nutrition and health in a non-judgmental, kind manner. I value immensely my time with Debbie as I always feel good after being with her. I mentioned how I was feeling to Debbie during a training session and she suggested I do a nutritional analysis. I completed the paperwork. Debbie also suggested a simple 10 day detox that consisted of organ supportive supplements and easy-on-the-liver-and-organs organic whole foods such as a fruits and vegetables, homemade broth, lean protein AND NO CARBS other than those from fruits and vegetables. Debbie was very supportive leading up to and during my detox, offering to gather the foods that I needed and bringing over homemade bone broth to kick start the process. I have to admit that I did not have very high expectations for this 10 day period as it just didn’t seem like I was doing that much that was different from my regular eating routine. Boy, was I wrong. I got on the scale routinely during the 10 day period and the number was going down almost every day. At the end of the detox period, my weight had dropped almost 10 pounds and my general feeling of achiness was subsiding. I did another 10 day detox. After the 20-day period, I had dropped 14 pounds and my knees and joints felt much, much better. It was as though my system had been clogged and my revised diet and supplement regimen had freed the clog to enable my body to function normally again! I went through the detailed nutritional analysis with Debbie after the detox and she recommended specific supplements and enzymes for me to correct what appeared to be a general inflammatory condition that had probably developed over years. I have now been taking the supplements and eating (for the most part) a sensible whole foods diet with very few carbs for over 15 months. I do not place limits on any real foods, including the use of butter and nuts. My weight has remained stable within a pound or two over the 15 months and overall I feel very good. I have not had a migraine in 15 months which is remarkable as I was having one almost every month prior! I have not had a cold or any digestive upsets in 15 months. As a matter of fact, this is the first 15-month period since I was in middle school that I have not gotten bronchitis and had to go on antibiotics! I am mindful of the things that I buy and eat by asking myself if the food will do anything for me and my boys nutritionally……..sounds like a little thing, but over time it works.
I am thrilled that I now have a sensible diet that is flexible with few restrictions. I eat well and feel good almost every day. I am thoroughly convinced that the marching of time is not a leading indicator for feeling bad and that what we eat is hugely important! I am very grateful to Debbie for her insight, support, and nutritional guidance. If you have the opportunity to work with her or interact with her, seize it! You will be rewarded in many, many ways. – Cindi Shelburne