Overweight / Obese

Being overweight and obese is one of the major medical problems of our modern western world. It causes more concern to more people than anything else. A lot of the concern is about their image; how others perceive them. But they also realise it’s a condition that has an enormous impact on their health. Overweight people face a lifetime of health issues. Being overweight will often cause heart disease and diabetes and act as a stimulant for many other health conditions. Therefore many people are desperately trying to lose weight and in most cases failing. People try diet after diet. Most diets are some form or other of calorie restriction. But unless they are superhuman with superhuman willpower they are doomed to failure. They work initially; people lose some weight; then they fall off the wagon, give up and put the weight or even more back on. They blame themselves; lack of willpower. Then they move on to the next calorie restrictive diet plan.

Well there is an easier and more successful way to reduce your weight; to get back to a normal, healthy weight. It’s simply once again to just eat the foods we were built to eat – eat what you are. That diet is a whole plant food diet, mainly starchy foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains (rice, wheat, barley, corn, buckwheat, quinoa etc.), legumes, plus a few non starchy vegetables and a few fruits. Just look through the Dr McDougall (Dr Logic) Colour Picture Book found on the home page, or even better visit www.drmcdougall.com . All the recipes, all the great advice you need to reach your optimum weight.

Starch is the secret, oils and fats are the enemy. When we consume starch, our digestive system breaks them down into the simple sugars that are our natural fuel. They are taken into our cells and used by the mitochondria (the engines of our cells) to convert their chemical energy into our biological energy (via a complex cycle of enzyme reactions) for all our movement, biological processes, growth and repair. Starches are the essence of our existence. They must be the bulk of our food

Once you take in that fact, it all becomes easy; for great health and optimum weight, all you really need are those starches; those carbohydrates. Consume them in their whole, unprocessed form with a couple of fruits and veggies and you’ve got it.

There’s no need to count calories, your body does that for you. Yes, eat to your fill. Fill up with starches and you will feel satisfied. You won’t feel any need to snack between meals; to be constantly hungry. That’s the problem with all those calorie restrictive diets and why you can’t stick with them. It’s not your willpower, it’s just long term calorie restriction can never work.

When you consume starches and they are broken down to our glucose fuel, the body can store that fuel in our cells (mainly our muscle cells for instant use) and in our liver by forming it into glycogen, which is just a whole lot of glucose molecules bonded together. Our bodies can store around 12 hours of our glucose needs. If you eat too much starch, don’t worry about putting on weight because our bodies don’t like to change starches into fats. It’s not an efficient process. Instead our body will turn up its metabolism to burn off, through heat, the excess fuel. It’s pretty rare but people can actually blister when this happens. That actually happened to me.

Compare what your body does with fats. There is a small amount of essential fat required but beyond that all that happens with the fat is – it gets stored. As Dr McDougall puts it “The fat you eat is the fat you wear”. Your body doesn’t like to use fat as fuel, so it just dumps it, almost unchanged, into your cells. So if you eat a meal containing starches and fats, the starches are broken down onto glucose, insulin allows a pathway into our cells, in goes the glucose and in goes the fat. That’s the reason you should never use those vegetable oil dressings. Those high calorie oils are just being dumped into your cells.

Everything gets worse when you start eating meat, eggs and dairy which average around 70% fat. If you don’t restrict your calorific intake, and you include 1000 grams of meat, eggs and dairy in your diet, then chances are your body will store those 700 grams of fat from that 1000 grams of meat, eggs and dairy.

I can guarantee that if you change from a meat, eggs and dairy diet to a whole food, starch based diet, you will lose weight without feeling hungry. If you wish to go further with the weight loss then I would suggest you cut back slightly on the starches and replace them with some low carb, bulky vegetables. Have a salad once per day, but no oily dressings. Drop oily vegetables (avocados, coconut, seeds and nuts) from your diet. You can go all the way with starches. If you just ate potatoes and nothing else, you would get all your vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats and be healthy and slim. Bit boring and unnecessary but it would work – starches are the secret.