In the various communities on the Internet that I visit from time to time, I often hear people ask, “What can I eat on this diet?” That always strikes me as an unusual question. Which is why my reply would be, “Whatever you choose to eat.”
People don’t realize how critical their intentions are no matter what diet plan they are following. Most people talk out of both sides of their mouths. That is, they say they want to eat low-carb, then they don’t. They say they want to lose weight, then they don’t. They say they want to exercise, then they don’t. (And FYI, I’m referring to the average person who doesn’t have any physical or mental-health challenges getting in the way.)
One thing I am convinced of is that your actions always reflect your true priorities. Talk is cheap, but actions tell the whole story because they are aligned with your truest intentions, whatever they really are.
If your weakness is drinking wine and your priority is drinking wine, you’ll drink wine. If you say you’re going to stop drinking wine, but your priority is drinking wine, you’ll drink wine.
Though I haven’t been doing regular weekly updates here, I’m still all about the benefits of quitting sugar. In fact, in just about every way, I’ve gone further than ever before on my own journey. In fact, I’ve gone extreme! But I’ll explain that in a minute.
When I first gave up sugar, I stopped eating any food that had “sugar” listed as an ingredient, even though it may have contained no carbohydrate. My goal has always been to find what’s going to work best for me, for my body and health, while also enjoying the pleasures of life. But that’s a tough thing to sort out because many “authorities” in various dietary camps tell a different story about the “perfect diet”. Well, it may turn out that the so-called perfect diet is a fairy tale.
Since October of 2011, my own understanding has changed many times. I’ve gotten mixed messages from far too many different sources. Each source seems like an authority and makes so much sense. Just when I think I’ve found a perfect source, something overturns the apple cart and I’m back to my normal diet confusion. Have you been there? What’s “good for you” one day, is “bad for you” another day. What you thought was a healthy diet turns out to be the very diet that’s making people unhealthy. It’s hard to stick to any kind of healthy lifestyle when you’re constantly confused by the different experts telling opposite stories. Then add in everybody else dumping their two-cents on you.
In a recent thread on my Quitting Sugar Facebook Page, I was asked a question about how I’m eating and specifically, if I avoid grains. So I decided to post an overview of how I’m eating lately. I’ve love to read your version of how you’re eating as well. I like to observe how other people eat. It gives me ideas, and that’s always great because it keeps things interesting.
When I first quit sugar, I was so strict that if the nutrition panel on a product listed zero carbohydrates but sugar was listed among the ingredients, I wouldn’t buy it. However, I’m always learning more and my knowledge and beliefs are evolving.
While I believe there isn’t one way to eat that’s right for everyone, staying relatively low in carbs is always a good idea. So that’s still my primary focus. Quitting sugar is a good move on all levels and has had a big impact on my life. So I’m going to break down how I typically eat on a daily basis. I’m not going to get super detailed. I mainly want to share an overview. So here’s an honest look at how I’m currently eating.
“What if bad fat isn’t so bad?” This is the title of an article I came across recently from MSNBC and the subtitle stated: “No one’s ever proved that saturated fat clogs arteries, causes heart disease“. That sounds like health blasphemy, right? But I am living proof that it’s not. Why? Because I quit eating sugar and greatly increased fat in my diet and the results are completely the opposite of what we’re told will happen if you eat a diet that’s high in fat, including saturated fats. After years of trying to eat a low-fat diet and struggling to lower my cholesterol, the results were that I was always hungry, which caused me to eat more food, my weight steadily climbed higher every year, and my cholesterol continued to rise, regardless of how healthy I tried to eat. The truth is, since adopting a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet (think Atkins Diet)–which is exactly the opposite of the “low-fat, healthy whole-grains” diet that most doctors, public health officials, and health-regulating government bodies promote–my weight dropped over 20 pounds and I have not struggled to keep it off. Also, I’m not always hungry, as I was on a low-fat diet. My cholesterol levels have improved dramatically. And finally, I feel great.
The Truth About Low-Fat Diets
One good thing about eating a low-fat diet is that you reduce your intake of sugar which helps with weight loss, but otherwise, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. But how did the unhealthy low-fat diet ever get accepted as the healthiest diet on the planet?
Since quitting sugar on October 24th, 2011, I’ve adopted a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat diet. Basically, the Atkins diet. That’s been going really well.
Though I’ve lost a lot of weight, it was never my primary focus. Sure, I’m stoked about being leaner. It feels great to fit into some of my old clothes. Also my abs are beginning to resurface, which totally rocks. And one of the benefits of the Atkins diet (if you do it right), is that you never…and let me emphasize this point…NEVER(!) have to go hungry. There’s always something you can eat when you’re hungry. In fact, if you’re keeping only fresh and mostly unprocessed foods in your refrigerator and pantry, you can almost eat whatever you want when you’re hungry and not gain any weight.
So when I hear about people following other diets, I almost pity them. I want to pull them aside and explain how awesome the Atkins approach is. I’m pretty much convinced that it’s hands-down, the best diet, period. …or is it?