A Guide To Reclaiming Our Ancestral Diet For Weight Loss
If you’re looking for a sustainable, healthy and permanent way to lose weight without gimmicks, fads or unsustainable portion control, then the sections of How Not To Diet provide the answer.
This comprehensive guide focuses on evidence-based advice, such as cutting out unhealthy processed foods that can make us overweight.
It also looks at our ancestors’ diets — those centred around nutrient-dense whole foods —before sugary and fatty foods became so commonplace just fifty years ago.
In this book summary you’ll discover fiber’s ability to help discount calories consumed; why obesity is a natural response to current eating behaviors; and how adding beans to your diet will stop you from overindulging when it’s time to sit down for a meal.
All in all, its an effective method for weight loss that not only works in the short term but can be sustainable over the long haul!
Obesity Is A Natural Response To Our Calorie-Rich Environment
There’s no denying it, in the United States alone, 71 percent of adults are overweight and 40 percent are obese.
This alarming statistic doesn’t just exist out of nowhere; part of the reason behind this is our modern lifestyle that provides us with an abundance of highly calorific and processed foods.
For centuries, food was scarce and scarce therefore, humans preferred to eat more calorie-rich foods as those required less foraging for the same daily caloric intake.
This preference for calorie dense foods has been hardwired into our biology since then and we can still observe this in human behavior today.
For instance, studies have found that young children tend to prefer higher calorie dishes over lower calorie ones.
However, what was meant as a survival strategy is no longer a necessity because these days finding calorie-dense foods like chocolate chip cookies or grilled cheese is much easier than trying to catch wild animals or anything else very nutrient-dense yet calorically lacking food.
Therefore, when people gain weight nowadays they’re actually doing what nature has taught them to do: preserving energy by eating sugary and starchy high caloric processsed food when abundant.
Keeping those facts in mind it’s easy to understand why so many people are overweight or even obese.
The Real Cause Of The Global Obesity Crisis: Too Much Processed Food
It is clear that the modern food industry is to blame for the rise in obesity rates over the past few decades.
We are now consuming an average of 500 extra calories per day, which has caused us to gain weight at an alarming rate.
The cause of this phenomenon is due to the technological advances in food manufacturing and preservation that allow companies to produce calorie-rich and processed foods more conveniently.
These “CRAP” (calorie-rich and processed) foods are much more profitable for big businesses like Frito-Lay than healthy produce like canned beans or tomato paste.
This means that we are constantly bombarded with tempting, unhealthy snacks, contributing to our ever expanding waistlines.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
By making healthier choices and being mindful of how often you consume calorie-rich packaged snacks, we can take control of our health and turn the tide on this very serious issue.
The Secret To Weight Loss: It’s All About The Fiber!
Think of a diet for weight-loss as more than just avoiding calories and counting points, but a way to fuel your body with the essential nutrition it needs to properly function.
Fiber is one of these important nutrients that can play an huge role in successful and long-term weight loss, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it daily.
Eating fiber-rich foods is an integral part of a successful weight-loss program because it can help reduce calorie intake.
For example, if you eat five cups of apple slices instead of drinking a bottle of apple juice, the same amount of calories are ingested but you will feel much fuller after eating the apple slices due to the added fiber content.
Not only does fiber help to make us feel full, but studies have shown that people who consume 14 grams more fiber each day lose an additional 1.9 kilograms in four months.
This occurs because fiber absorbs some of the calories from our food which are not digested or absorbed by our bodies and traps them before they enter our system.
These little 100 calorie reductions each day can add up over time and start preventing gradual annual weight gain when we reach middle age.
If you want to reap the full benefits from consuming plenty of fiber while trying to lose weight, try incorporating legumes, beans, chickpeas, lentils an whole grains into your meals!
These things all pack in lots extra vitamins and minerals as well which are beneficial for any diet overall!
How To Improve Your Health By Eating The Right Carbohydrates
In “How Not to Diet,” it’s explained that a low glycemic load diet can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to weight loss.
Glycemic load is the measure of how much of an impact specific carbohydrates have on your blood sugar level.
High-glycemic foods like white bread and Corn Flakes cause large spikes in your blood sugar, while low-glycemic foods like oatmeal release their sugars more gradually and don’t trigger cravings.
Because high-glycemic foods cause cravings, they can make it more difficult to stick to a diet.
A lower glycemic load encourages you to stick to healthy eating habits, even hours after your meal is done!
In addition, research has shown that people on high-glycemic diets experience a slowing of their metabolic rate – meaning they burn fewer calories than those on a low-glycemic diet – for up to eighty calories a day.
If you’re looking for ways to support your weight loss goals, avoiding processed carbohydrates like potatoes, white rice and white bread will help decrease your daily glycemic load.
Instead opt for legumes, fruits and non-starchy vegetables which are all great options for helping you work towards reaching your health and fitness goals.
Low-Fat Diet Can Lead To Significant Weight Loss When Done Right
A truly low-fat diet is a surefire way to effectively lose weight.
This involves cutting back on fat intake and getting around 10% of your calories from fat.
Many people think that this means avoiding food and eating too little, but it does not!
All you need to do is be discerning about what fats you are consuming.
You don’t have to cut out all fats; in fact, many foods that contain healthy fats like avocados or nuts should still be part of your diet if you’re trying to go low-fat.
The key is to watch out for the added oils -especially those used for cooking – as these can contribute extra fat without necessary nutritional value.
So instead of frying foods with oil, opt for sautéing with a small amount of liquid such as wine, sherry, vinegar or broth.
This way you can ensure that you are only consuming the essential fats required for optimal health while still being able to enjoy delicious meals that don’t leave you feeling deprived!
Radically Reducing Added Sugar Is Essential For Weight Loss
Radically reducing added sugar consumption is essential for weight loss.
This is because current US Dietary Guidelines recommend that we get no more than 10% of our calories from added sugars, which experts say is already ‘extremely low’.
In reality, we don’t even need any added sugars in our diet at all!
Studies have also shown that adding sugar to certain food items leads to people consuming more and not stopping until they are full.
This is dangerous, as if you eat too many calories then the excess will convert into fat and lead to weight gain.
It’s clear that adding sugar needs to be drastically reduced – and it can be done!
Studies suggest that if you cut out all added sugars for just two weeks then you won’t even crave sweet things anymore.
Cutting out the added sugars altogether could help keep your weight in check forever!
The Key To Healthy Weight Loss: Reduce Calorie Density, Not Portion Size
When it comes to achieving a healthy weight, eating smaller portions doesn’t always mean losing weight – it’s also important to choose food items that have a lower calorie density.
Calorie-dense food products like added fats and sugars may be packed with calories but don’t fill you up as much as food with a low-calorie density, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
In fact, research has found “strong and consistent” evidence that high-calorie-density diets lead to weight gain: because our stomachs register volume more than they register calorie intake, we can end up consuming the same number of calories in one meal even if it’s not filling us up.
For example, if you eat an ice cream cone instead of 44 cups of strawberries you’ll receive the same amount of calories in one sitting but your stomach will still expect to consume other food during the day!
The How Not To Diet book drives this point home by advocating for swapping out these added fats and sugars for their low-calorie density counterparts such as fruits and non-starchy veggies.
In fact, this swap was put to test in one particular study from Brazil where participants were asked to eat three apples on top of their normal diet each day; those given sidereal comparative oatmeal cookies did not reduce their overall calorie intake nor lost weight.
As you focus on maintaining a healthy weight, keep in mind that eating less does not mean aiming for tiny portion sizes – reducing the daily calorie density should be just as important!
Eat things like nuts, oil, and cheese sparingly but feel free to load up on fresh fruit and veggies without fear of gaining additional pounds or inches!
Add Legumes To Your Diet For Healthier And Longer Living
If you’re looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, legumes should be an integral part of your diet.
These beans, chickpeas, lentils and split peas belong to the vegetable food group and the protein group, making them a great source of important nutrients like fiber, potassium, iron and zinc – all essential for good health.
Legumes are also incredibly satiating, meaning they’ll leave you feeling fuller for longer than most other foods.
Studies have shown that those who consume legumes eat around 200 calories less at their next meal than those who consume white bread with butter.
Research suggests that by adding legumes to your diet you can even take up to an inch off your waistline in just three months.
Yet despite all the benefits legumes offer, only 8 percent of Americans incorporate them into their diets; many are put off by the idea of soaking chickpeas overnight or having to cook beans for hours.
But there’s no need to worry!
Legumes are easy to prepare – simply open a can of presoaked ready-to-eat ones or boil red lentils with lemon juice and herbs for 20 minutes and you’ll be good to go.
In essence, it’s clear why Hispanics tend to live longer than other Americans.
They understand that you don’t need meat as part of your diet; rather by ensuring that legumes are present in their meals it provides optimal nourishment for a longer life expectancy.
So regardless of socioeconomic status or health-insurance coverage make sure to include them in yours!
The Key To Sustainable Weight Loss Is Adopting A Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet is an effective and sustainable way to lose weight.
Rather than following fads, this diet involves reducing or eradicating consumption of calorie-dense and processed foods and minimizing intake of meat, eggs and dairy products.
You’ll fill up on plenty of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, spices and herbs instead.
Unlike trendy low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet which were shown in a review of 48 trials to aid weight loss (12 lbs in a year), this approach works for the long term without damaging your health.
In fact, research has demonstrated low carbohydrate diets can harm arteries, reduce blood flow and potentially increase risk of heart disease – not worth it when you’re trying to get healthy!
There’s no need to worry about calorie counting or starving yourself when following a plant-based diet either: you can indulge all you want so long as it’s from a natural source!
This approach aligns perfectly with what our ancestors ate for millions of years before the advent of modern food processing techniques which have brought massive quantities of sugar and fat into our lives.
So forget crash diets that leave you worse off eventually – go green instead!
The Key To Successful Dieting Requires Accountability And Front-Loading Meals
Empowering yourself to lose weight and keep it off long-term means embracing accountability and front-loading your diet.
The Trevose Behavior Modification Program, a volunteer-run self-help group in Pennsylvania, emphasizes this approach—so much so that if participants fail to meet their goals they’re kicked out and not allowed to rejoin!
The key message here is clear — boosting weight loss requires embracing extreme accountability, as well as tracking your behavior and weight regularly.
Group therapy tends to produce better results than dieting alone, according to trials, and health coaches can also help people stay accountable for reaching their goals.
But being accountable for yourself is important too — researchers regard self-monitoring as the foundation of a successful weight loss program.
One of the largest studies found that those participants who lost 70 pounds or more weighed themselves at least once a week.
Therefore, those looking to slim down should make sure they weigh themselves regularly.
In fact, one study has found that twice-daily weighing (before and after sleep) produces the best results.
Another helpful strategy in losing weight is considering when you eat during the day — there’s truth behind the advice that breakfast is the most important meal!
Studies show again and again that front-loading your meals assists with weight loss – Israeli researchers even discovered that those who ate 700 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and only 200 for dinner lost more than twice as much body fat compared to others eating a large dinner meal.
This phenomenon can be explained by diet-induced thermogenesis – our bodies use more energy digesting breakfast than dinner so there are fewer calories available to be stored as fat.
So remember – don’t just watch what you eat but also consider when you are eating it!
Staying Hydrated And Getting Plenty Of Sleep Are Essential Parts Of An Effective Weight-Loss Program
Drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep are essential for good health as well as boosting your weight loss program.
According to recent studies, drinking more water can lead to a reduction in calorie intake by up to 235 calories per day if you substitute sugary drinks with water.
In addition, hydration is linked to improved weight control thanks to several studies conducted out of Harvard that tracked the dietary habits and health of over a hundred thousand individuals over extended periods.
To ensure adequate hydration, aim for your urine color being light yellow, or like straw.
Getting a good night’s rest is just as important for successful weight loss as well.
People who skimp on sleep tend to eat 700 more calories on average than those who get enough rest every night.
Plus, lack of sleep can lead to bad decisions when it comes food choices such as opting for calorie-rich options instead of healthier alternatives.
Studies have demonstrated that increasing someone’s nightly sleep from five and a half hours to seven hours can reduce their craving for unhealthy foods in just two weeks.
Not only that, but sufficient amount of sleep can help people lose fat while those getting less rest will burn lean body mass instead.
So make sure you drink plenty of water and get a full night’s rest regularly if you want to achieve success with your dieting goals!
“How Not to Diet” by Dr.
Michael Greger has shown us the reliable, proven, and healthy way to keep weight off permanently: a plant-based diet.
This diet is low in fat, sugar, and calorie-dense foodstuffs but high in whole grains, legumes, fruit, and vegetables.
Eating this way does exactly what our bodies were designed for.
Furthermore, preloading with water-rich fruits, salads or vegetables before a meal could help you eat significantly fewer calories during the main course of a meal.
Starting your meal with an apple or salad also adds important nutrients without adding too many calories.
In summary, “How Not to Diet” by Dr.
Michael Greger is a book that promotes switching over to a plant-based diet full of nutrient rich foods as the best way to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
When following this approach you can also benefit from preloading with water-rich fruits or salads before your meals which can reduce the number of calories you consume at those meals.