I read this amazing article yesterday about how in order to change our bodies we cannot just focus on calories. The theory is that by only focusing on calories we have created an oversimplified way of looking at food and exercise that is totally incorrect and ineffective. How many of you have found that even with a low calorie diet your body is not changing?
The article begins by referencing this new Coca-Cola ad that is trying to say that it will be fun to burn off the 140 calories that you have put into your body by drinking a can of coke! Basically what Coke is saying (along with the rest of the junk marketed to us) is “Keep eating junk food, just exercise the calories off” James Hamblin, the journalist who wrote the article, goes on to explain why this is a terribly wrong way to look at weight management and health! You cannot just exercise off a bad diet!
The article quotes an NPR interview with Dr. David Ludwig, a professor at Harvard Medical School. The interviewer begins by stating how so many of us believe that losing weight is only a matter of calories in vs. calories out and how very few people lose weight this way. Then Dr. Ludwig explains how losing weight is such a complex issue! It is not just a matter of calories in vs. out. He emphasizes how our our fat cells are over-stimulated by “eating too many carbohydrates, especially grains, potatoes, concentrated sugars, especially the refined grains.” This is due to the rise in insulin levels and by eating this way our fat cells suck up and store these calories then the rest of our body perceives this as a lack of calories and triggers a starvation response. So then we feel extra hungry and our metabolism slows down!
He also talks about how other factors are playing a role, which just adds to the complexity of the dilemma. These other factors include genetics, levels of physical activity, sleep, and stress. They all effect our abilities to release fat. But then he goes right back to blaming insulin!
Hamblin, the author of the article sums it up so well. He basically says, if you think that eating a low calorie meal or diet is the way to decrease your fat then you’ve got it all wrong. This is because eating a low calorie, unbalanced diet will make you constantly feel hungry, slow your metabolism, you will feel lethargic, yucky and you probably will not be able to maintain the diet anyways. So that equals no fat loss.
With that knowledge, you can understand why I (and so many others ) are encouraging quite a different balance than what the food pyramid recommends. This new consensus on how to eat is based on this article, others from The New York Times, books like Good Calories Bad Calories, evidence from studies such as this one that show how a high protein diet decreases the likelihood of stroke. But also tons of people who are proving through their own success that we cannot eliminate fat from our diet and get healthy and fit… The picture is way bigger and way more complex! So what is the best strategy? Focus on a diet of good quality free range sources of protein, a variety of green vegetables and other ANDI rated (you must familiarize yourself with this list) fruits and vegetables, generous portions of healthy fats (salmon, hemp seeds, coconut oil…) and a little root vegetables and whole grains if tolerated. This means leaving out the processed, refined, sugared, low-fat, modified, enhanced products and sticking to real whole clean foods!
So don’t just read this and go back to the way you were eating! Let’s get proactive and start changing our habits!
I propose a Perfect Plate Challenge! Submit your picture/s of what you feel like is a perfectly balanced healthy, delicious, and beautiful meal. This meal should include all the aspects listed above:
A generous portion of the healthiest veggies
A healthy source of quality protein
A delicious source of fat (remember that not all fats are equal)
Possibly a small portion of an unrefined healthy grain, starch, or other carbohydrate such as fruit.
My goal is for this challenge to help everyone brainstorm on ideas for their meal planning and to learn more about how to create a balanced and satiating meal!
Plus you could also you could win a prize!
So that means you will have to vote! I will make sure all the pictures are up on pinterest in two weeks I’ll send out a reminder to vote.
How to do I submit my pictures?
Text me or email me your picture with a description. I will post them all to a group board so that everyone can vote on their favorites.
*If you want to post them directly on pinterest just start following me and then let me know and I’ll invite you to the board.
Please share your photos by July 12 and then voting will take place over the weekend. Monday July 14 we will tally up the votes and decide the winner!