You probably recognize that I have a certain affinity for the low-carb or paleolithic style diets, and I do.
I’ve said it enough if you read this blog and, I think to be healthy, we should only be eating meat and vegetables (and the occasional low-sugar fruit). So you will often find me agreeing with much of what low-carb diets are saying. The problem is that I think diets like Atkins, South Beach, and even many of the “caveman diets” miss some key points and these points are crucial to your long term ability to maintain your weight and avoid common chronic diseases.
But before I tell you about what I think they are missing, let’s talk about what they get right:
- Professionals don’t know what they are talking about: If you want to live long and maintain a good weight you are going to have to ignore the advice of your government, medical doctors, and nutritionists. Advice from these professionals is not based in science but politics and many of the people who are supposed to be looking out for your health are not.
- Carbs are killing us: There is no doubt that we shouldn’t be as afraid of many of the fats we eat (go ahead and fear vegetable oils) as we are and that sugar is the main reason why most of us gain weight and why we are so sick. Many of our health problems arise from that fact that we decided to grow and eat grains and foods that act like sugar in our bodies.
- Weight Loss: The best way to lose weight is to keep carbs out of your diet. While many of the low-carb programs disagree on how many carbs you should eat a day and whether you should be producing ketones or not, the research is clear that there are cutoffs for the amount of carbohydrates you should be eating if you want to lose weight and that is generally under 50-100 grams of carbs a day.
While many of the low-carb diets are maligned by mainstream they are on the right track, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect. Here is where they miss the boat:
- Food Quality: Many of the low-carb diets don’t even mention the quality of food and food quality makes a big difference in how healthy you are. Where you get your food and how it was raised is an important factor in your health.
- Fake Sugars: Most low carb diets suggest that you use artificial sweeteners. You probably already know my stance on this: they are bad for you and they keep you addicted to a super-sweet taste and that will only keep you craving sugars. Enough said.
- Consistency of Food: No hunter is ever able to hunt every day, so that means that our cave-person grandparents had to eat something when they didn’t have meat. Building in days when you eat only vegetables or even fast is a great way to maintain your health.
- Lifetime: Most diets have an induction phase and weight loss phase and a return to normal phase. This way of thinking only hurts the person and a diet because they think they can go back to the way things were before the diet began, and this just isn’t true. Your body thrives on foods that existed before we discovered agriculture (around 6,000 years ago) and if you want to be healthy, you are going to have to change the way you eat forever. Does that mean that you can never have cake? That is up to you. But you might be surprised that you don’t really want cake after you try it a few times after not eating it for a while.
What you will find as you move from your way of eating to a human-based diet that you are able to get off the emotional roller coaster that you find yourself in now. You may occasionally look longingly at the some sugary treat you used to enjoy, but most of the time you will feel full and satisfied like you never have. You will also maintain the weight you want to and avoid many common diseases (like diabetes, heart disease, cancer) that all your friends who eat a standard diet will fall prey to. Changing the fuel source of your body (which I will explain later) takes away much of the urgency you used to feel around food. If you need to skip a meal, it is usually no problem.
So, join my 30 Sugar Free Day Program, or use some other low-carb or paleolithic diet, just make the change today and start feeling great again.