Here’s the simplest diet you’re ever likely to see. It’s totally healthy. It’s all you really need to know, and it’s only 35 words and it’s based around the simplest truth there is. It’s not calories in, calories out. It’s nutrients in, nutrients out (NINO). And as soon as you start thinking like that, foods like whole grains fall to the bottom of the pile while meat rises to the top.
So, let’s cut to the chase. In 35 words, here it is:
1) Eat when you’re hungry. If you’re still hungry after eating, eat something different.
2) Eat lots of meat, fish, vegetables, saturated fat and whole foods.
3) Eat little grains, sugar, legumes, and vegetable oils.
4) Eat no gluten.
That really is it.
Q&A (add more by sending a comment below and I’ll add it in)
What does ‘eat something different mean’?
You can eat as much meat, fish and healthy fats as you like but everything else has anti-nutritional properties – even vegetables. Of course, this doesn’t mean they contain no nutrients, it means they have the ability to strip nutrients, or prevent you absorbing them as well as provide them, all to varying degrees. Rather than figuring out exactly what these combinations are, trust your hunger. Ensure every meal contains protein and fats which are essential in your diet, and then rotate the remaining food groups. Just eaten a meal with potatoes and still hungry? Eat nuts and seeds. Just eaten some beans and still hungry? Eat a piece of chocolate. Etc. Note it doesn’t matter what order you cycle through, just ensure it’s something different.
The different food groups you need to know are broadly:
- Meat and fish
- Healthy fats – saturated (animal fats), olive, omega 3 fats found naturally in fish and nuts
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips
- All other vegetables, from spinach to aubergines. Also tomatoes (strictly a fruit I know)
- Grains like rice and corn, but not wheat, barley or rye that contain gluten which are off limits
- Nuts and seeds. Not peanuts as it’s a legume
- Fruits – any and all except tomatoes
- Sugary foods – preferably stick to dark chocolate
- Legumes - beans, lentils, peanuts
How fast will it work? The fitter and stronger your metabolism, the quicker you’ll see changes – anywhere from 1lb a week if you’re elderly and sluggish to 7lbs in a week if you’re fit.
What about fruit juices and sugary snack? The quickest way to derail a diet is by eating crap. You know it, I know it. Fruit juice is always best avoided and eat the fruit instead because otherwise you’ll continue to rely on sugars for a fuel source. Sweets should all be limited – stick to dark chocolate instead
Why no gluten? I’m not allergic to gluten. The damaging effects of gluten are universal, not just to celiacs (clinical intolerance to gluten). Read the posts on wheat for more.
How can I stop sugar cravings? The more you crave sugar, the more you absolutely shouldn’t have it. The craving (not simply ‘enjoyment’) for sugar is your bodies way of saying that it cannot use body fat as a fuel source, and the most likely culprit is a lack of essential vitamins, minerals and fats. Perversely, eating sugar will make it worse, whereas eating other mineral rich foods like spinach will improve it. If you don’t believe it try it – compare eating milk chocolate with dark chocolate and spinach, and find out which sorts out the craving faster.
How can I stop wheat cravings? Only by eliminating it completely. It’s been shown to have similar effects to heroin on the brain. Cold turkey is best
What about fruit, nuts and seeds? Cycle as you would with any other foods. Ensure nuts are unsalted, and seeds like flaxseed ground to have any use whatsoever
Won’t saturated fat kill me? Nope. Read posts on saturated fats for more.
Won’t saturated fat make me fat? Nope again. It’s really important not to eat the half-fat or skimmed milk versions of products. It takes away essential vitamins found in the fat (A, D, E and K) which you need to burn off fat. Avoiding fat will make you fat. Strange but true.
What about other fats? Olive oil? Omega 3/6 ratios? If you’re asking you already know. If you don’t, the upshot is you need to keep omega 6 ratios low relative to omega 3 ratios. The easiest way to do that is to avoid omega 6 fats and eat fish and oils high in omega 3 like flaxseed. Olive oil is always good.
How about milk and cheese? Totally indulge. Full fat. However, if you’ve suffered gluten-based damage to your GI tract, you may need to avoid dairy for a few months. In celiacs (those completely intolerant to gluten), this takes anywhere from 6 months on. If you feel fine, it’s all good.
What’s gluten found in? Wheat, barley and rye. In short, tons of stuff from breads to pasta to malt vinegar to cheap chocolates. Check.
Is this a diet for life? Why shouldn’t it be?
Is this a paleo/caveman diet? Not exactly though it shares some principles. Paleo diets exclude all grains and legumes. Traditional paleo excludes saturated fat too. Either versions are at extreme ends of the scale. It’s perfectly possible to eat these foods, but only if you’re aware of what they’re doing to you nutritionally speaking.
What does burning fat as a fuel feel like? If you’ve been overweight for a few years you probably won’t recognise it – it feels like a fire in your belly, but in a good way. You can actually feel it happening. And you won’t feel as hungry as you did while you’re burning off fat.
Fruitman in the Caribbean from Tabooze
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