I’ve spent several years now studying nutrition and, if there is one thing I have learned, it is this: You can live on processed, low-calorie, low-fat foods and diet sodas for a little while but eventually your body will be so toxic that you’ll find it hard to keep your energy up and the weight off. I’ve seen this time and time again; people who have tried every single diet out there, yet they can’t maintain a slim physique. They cut the carbs, count every calorie, ban desserts, use artificial sugar in everything, and spend their lives writing down every food they have consumed. This type of dieting is simply a complete waste of time. Sure, you might lose a belt or dress size or two but eventually, because you body is so out of balance, you will regain it all back.
Why? You ask. It’s really quite simple. Nature did not intend for us to eat this way. Our bodies are not designed to eat this food. Processed, chemical-laden foods have only existed in modern society. Man made food-like substances top the category for largest number of foods on grocery store shelves, and all of it, it’s not only stripping us of our health and beauty it’s slowly blowing us up as well.
When you eat these types of foods your body treats them as foreign substances and begins to store toxins. The Nemours Foundation describes body toxins as “a chemical or poison that is known to have harmful effects on the body. Toxins can come from food or water, from chemicals used to grow or prepare food, and even from the air that we breathe. Our bodies process those toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine, and feces.” It’s the accumulation of these toxins that are the single greatest contributor to weight gain[i].
A toxic body finds it difficult to digest foods and retain their nutrients properly. That’s the reason why so many overweight people are always hungry – their body can’t process the nutrient of the food they are being given[ii]. I know when I was overweight I was always hungry. It’s like I just needed to keep eating, I was never satisfied, but in actuality I was starving for nutrients.
Calories are not the enemy. “It is true that, in a vacuum, all calories are the same. A thousand calories of Coke and a thousand calories of broccoli burned in a laboratory will release the same amount of energy. But all bets are off when you eat the Coke or the broccoli. These foods have to be processed by your metabolism (not a closed system). Coke and broccoli trigger very different biochemical responses in the body—different hormones, neurotransmitters and immune messengers. The Coke will spike blood sugar and insulin and disrupt neurotransmitters, leading to increased hunger and fat storage, while the thousand calories of broccoli will balance blood sugar and make you feel full, cut your appetite and increase fat burning. Same calories—profoundly different effects on your body.”[iii]– Dr. Mark Hyman
So, I’m here to tell you, you can stop counting calories. Yes, you can stop counting calories forever. Why? Because nutrients matter more then calories. Way more. When you’re trying to lose weight many experts will tell you to track your calories. I’ll give you another, and better, measure. Track your nutrients. The more nutrients you eat, the faster you will lose weight. It’s so simple and I’ve seen it work consistently.
But why? The answer is two fold actually. First, the majority of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet are the lowest in calories (largest volume vs. calories), and second when your system is clean your body naturally utilizes and blasts away those calories much faster….
“Food supplies both nutrients and calories (energy). All calories come from only three elements: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micronutrients, on the other hand, are noncaloric food factors, such as vitamins, minerals, fibers, and phytochemicals. These noncaloric nutrients are vitally important for good health. The key to optimizing your health and achieving your ideal body weight is to eat predominantly those foods that have a relatively high proportion of nutrients (noncaloric food factors) to calories (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins).”[iv] – Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
So what are the most nutrient dense foods anyway? The most nutrient dense foods include greens, fresh vegetables, raw fruits, beans, legumes, sprouts, seed and nuts. Not surprisingly, you’ll notice that the foods that have the highest nutrient density are also straight from nature. Bingo.
Over the course of the next several months, along with healthy living recipes, we will explore many facets of how you can change you diet to change your life. The results or which are radiant health and lasting wellness.
Until then, take care and be well.
[i] Increasing Adiposity. Consequence or Cause of Overeating? Journal of the American Medical Association. 2014;311(21):2167-2168. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4133.
[ii] David S. Ludwig and Mark I. Friedman. Always, Hungry? Here’s Why. New York times Sunday Review. May 16, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/opinion/sunday/always-hungry-heres-why.html?_r=1
[iii] Dr. Mark Hayman. The Key to Automatic Weight Loss! http://drhyman.com/blog/2014/05/19/key-automatic-weight-loss/#close
[iv] Dr. Fuhrman. Smart Nutrition. Superior Health. https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article17.aspx