Over two-thirds of adults in America are overweight and if we’ve learned anything since the inception of trendy diets – it’s that they don’t work! In fact, 95% of people who lose weight on a diet regain the weight within 1 to 5 years and many of them weigh more than they did before. Dieting also damages your health, UCLA research shows the majority of dieters would have been better off weight and health-wise had they never dieted at all.
Why Diets Don’t Work
Diets don’t work for multiple reasons. Firstly, going on a diet suggests that you are making temporary adjustments to what you eat. Sure that may result in weight loss but it will only last so long as you remain on the diet, and most are not sustainable in the long run. Secondly, when you restrict calories your body becomes more efficient and requires fewer calories to sustain itself and you often lose muscle mass – both of which reduce your metabolic rate. And thirdly, the restrictive nature of most diets tricks your body into thinking it’s starving and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Your body responds by sending out powerful hunger signals which override your willpower and often lead to compulsive overeating and poor food choices. This is why so many people unwittingly become Yo-Yo dieters.
Dr. Greger’s Non-Diet Diet
New York Times bestselling author and founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, recently published a book called “How Not to Diet.” In his book, he shares the secret to lasting weight loss and optimum health. The following solution is something I have been advocating for decades, it’s supported by placebo-controlled research and it’s the most effective weight loss intervention in the history of medicine: consume a whole foods plant-based diet.
Unprocessed plant foods (whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits) should comprise the majority of what you consume. Packaged foods, vegetable oils, and animal products should be eliminated or kept to a minimum. This is not a diet, because it is not meant to be temporary and it does not restrict calories, you can eat as much as you want.
The Research and Benefits
The BROAD study, published in Nature Journal, March 2017, was a randomized controlled trial using a whole foods plant-based diet (WFPBD) as a weight loss intervention. The participants were between the ages of 35 and 70 and either obese or overweight and had at least one of the following: diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, or ischemic heart disease. They were told to eat a WFPBD and encouraged to eat starches such as potatoes, pasta, and cereals without energy restriction. They were asked to avoid animal products and refined oils such as olive oil, vegetable oil, and coconut oil and we’re not instructed to exercise.
After 3 months, the average weight loss among the participants was 19 pounds and they experienced a significant reduction in cholesterol levels. The study concluded at 3 months but out of curiosity, the researchers asked the participants to come back 6 months later to see if they had regained the weight. And guess what – they had lost even more weight, they were down 27 pounds! And a year after the study, unlike other diets, they actually maintained the weight loss.
The participants had continued with the WFPBD on their own accord because it made them feel so much better, allowed them to discontinue certain medications and improved their physical and mental health. The researchers concluded the following: “To the best of our knowledge, this research has achieved greater weight loss at 6 and 12 months than any other trial that does not limit energy intake or mandate regular exercise.” And the benefits don’t stop there, countless studies have shown plant-based eating reduces overall mortality rate and helps both prevent and reverse type-2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and several other chronic diseases.
Additional Non-Dieting Weight Loss Techniques
A common cause of excess body fat in both males and females, especially in the midsection is estrogen dominance. If you suspect you may have estrogen dominance (there is a list of causes and symptoms here), DIM 259 can help restore hormonal balance. DIM or Diindolylmethane, is a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables that promotes the metabolism of excess estrogen. For maximum hormonal balancing, you would have to consume three pounds of cruciferous vegetables a day, however, you can get the equivalent dose of DIM with just one capsule of DIM 259. Additional benefits you may notice from taking DIM 259 include clearer skin, a greater ability to gain muscle mass, balanced emotions, restored energy, a reduction in PMS symptoms in women, and a reduction in fatty breast tissue in men.
If you’re experiencing stubborn weight gain in conjunction with ongoing fatigue, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. When your adrenal glands are operating suboptimally it can lead to an inability to manage stress, strong sugar cravings, a loss of energy and interrupted sleep – all of which contribute to weight gain. If you experience these symptoms you can take Adrenal DMG to help nourish your adrenal glands back to health and catapult your weight loss. Adrenal DMG contains adrenal cortex plus garlic and a bunch of immune systems and energy-boosting herbs.
You may also want to consider taking a B-12 supplement because it can increase energy and metabolism. In fact, the Broad study participants were given vitamin B-12 supplements (50 ugs daily) and twice-weekly injections as part of their weight-loss protocol. Dr. Greger recommends in his book garlic bulb, ginger and several other spices which have been clinically proven to accelerate weight loss for just pennies a day. You can find these in condensed supplemental form (e.g. Adrenal DMG), or simply include a wide variety of spices in abundance in your diet. Greger also suggests consuming negative-calorie foods which are foods that take more calories to digest than they contain (e.g. celery, cucumbers, lemons, limes, cabbage, broccoli, and grapefruit). Another great clinically proven way to accelerate weight loss is to consume the majority of your calories in the morning as opposed to the evening.
Whole food, plant-based eating is a way of life. Trying to make rapid changes and immediately cutting out all processed foods may work for you, however, for some, it can lead to resistance, feelings of deprivation and self-sabotaging behavior. So if cutting everything out is too overwhelming for you, try focusing on increasing your intake of whole plant foods first, while allowing yourself to still consume animal and processed foods when the cravings hit. You can take weeks or even months to make the transition, perhaps reducing one unhealthy food at a time. For example on week 1 cut out sugary drinks, on week 2 reduce your intake of dairy, on week 3 or 4 vastly reduce or eliminate red meat, etc. Go easy on yourself and don’t stress if you ‘fall off the bandwagon’ simply jump back on the next day. With time you will notice how much better you look and feel when you consume whole plant foods, and naturally, gravitate towards them.
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