The superfood that will help you lose weight (and the food that will keep the weight on)

Should I just tell you what the magic superfood is?

Oh come on Mr ‘Please just tell me what to eat’ Nutritionist, I’m really busy and I just want to know what is this ingredient. Is it a capsule that you sell? Is it a new Amazonian fruit with an exotic name that will just melt the kilograms away?

Is it some sort of food with a special type of fibre that will ‘bind onto’ all this fat and I’ll lose weight this way?

It can’t be turmeric ’cause I know about that one. It won’t be resveratrol in red wine as I know that one too. Olive oil? Nah, I’ve been doing that for years and I’m still not losing weight.

Is this a trick question Mr Nutrition guy?

Have you got a special 6-week nutrition bootcamp coming up with some special supplements that will get rid of those love-handles forever?



                                


Well, I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t the tired and ‘we don’t have any answers, so we’ll roll it out again: ‘eat more vegetables and fruit’ that is rolled out again at tax-payers expense. 

This is actually this year’s nutrition week theme (again?!) and it must have cost a huge amount of money. But I can tell you now, it ain’t going to work and it will never work.

Eating some extra serves of fruit and veggies will not help you lose weight and it isn’t because the evidence says so, but when you think about the logic, how can eating extra food make you lose weight, reverse that diabetes or that cardiovascular disease?


                    

Sure they will provide you with some vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients and fibre, but weight loss? How? How is it suddenly going to burn the fat away and clear all that fat from your fatty liver and arteries?

But it’s not just F&V that won’t cut it, it is also those dark-chocolate coated almonds that you’ve just forked over $15 for at the health shop. Or the special crackers made on almond flour or the coconut yoghurt (that just has to be better than real yoghurt right? Just for the record, it is highly processed goop that is mostly water…a bit like soy, almond, rice and oat milk).

                           

Without trying to sound like a smart-arse, the superfood that will reverse that diabetes (pre-dibaetes IS diabetes), help you lose weight, reduce the inflammation in your arteries, reduce your blood pressure and that horrible burning reflux, bloating, heaviness and queasy gut?

It is NOT eating. 

Nil!

Not snacking on ANYTHING between meals.

It is about fuelling up on quality, long-term, steady-state ‘fuel’ and then not eating again for another 6 to 8 hours. Think of yourself like a car. Fuel up at the servo and then don’t fill up again until you are empty. We don’t go popping $2 into the tank every time we drive past a servo do we? So why do we do it with food.

                      

Yes, it is bloody tough and something that has taken me personally many years to master. My payoff? I have finally gotten rid of that horrible sweet tooth that plagued me for or years, that fatigue, that foggy head and bloating and the inability to lose those last 5kg (I ended up losing more than 10kg and they’ve never come back).

Learning not to eat will be one of the most difficult but life-extending and health-promoting things you will ever do.

Getting off that horrible out of control carbohydrate/sugar roller-coaster is hard, but I’m here to help. I’ve done it and I’ve helped many patients do it.

When you are on the ‘roller coaster’, you are not in control. Your insulin and blood sugar levels are so dysfunctional that they ‘tell you when to eat’. Oh, you thought you were the boss? No. You are being ruled by the big bully of a hormone called insulin. The only way to turn it off, is to extend the time between meals, and not to snack on anything! (coffee and tea and soda water/water and clear broth/soup is fine).

             

The two biggest hurdles to prevent you from changing?

Stress is one. Eating carbohydrates will make us feel good for a few minutes in a mad, crazy and tough world. It will boost dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. That is why the most difficult time is at night when you are ‘in your cave’ in front of Netflix and suddenly, that urge to eat becomes so powerful it is like the hand pushing you towards the fridge or pantry.

So filling that ’emotional hole’ to help you to relax with something other than food will be so crucial. Do you need to stop watching TV? Do you need to stop buying ice-cream? Do you need to tell yourself that after you eat your dinner, that there will be NO snacking. Its a scary thought isn’t it? It still scared the daylights out of me occasionally.

                                    

Maybe you need to learn that language you’ve been putting of for ages, learn to paint, or sing, or juggle or swim, or ride or write or walk?

Reducing alcohol is all tied up in this. I truthfully think that long-term health, weight-loss, a better heart and reversing diabetes needs you to kick the grog. Yep. I mean stop drinking until you see a change that can be sustained. I don’t think the majority of us can make meaningful change until we kick drinking.

The second one is building muscle and getting strong. It’s not about vanity. It is about improving our brain, body and muscles by working on the biggest muscles in the body, our quads and glutes. Building those muscles will boost metabolism, improve our blood sugar control and reduce inflammation in our body. We are machines, and we are meant to move and stay strong otherwise we will rust away.

Just utter words along the lines of: ‘I want to get strong and build muscle’. It will take time to do. It will take time to get your form right. It will take time to do it without feeling back, leg or neck pain. But keep going and keep working towards that first squat, or deadlift, pushup or chin-up.

Again, I don’t think you can be truly ‘healthy’ until you ‘get strong’ by ‘building muscle.

                              

And the food to ‘kick’ to lose weight?

Weet-Bix.

It will increase your blood sugar and insulin just as much as sugar (sugar has a GI Index of 69, Weet Bix 66). It is 70% carbohydrate so will burn up like rocket fuel in your body and you will be starving in a short period of time. As this cereal is broken down to glucose in a matter of minutes, the body has one option, to convert it to fat. 

            

This goes for 98% of cereals (including oats!)…and breads…and rice…and noodles, pasta, fruit, starchy veggies and dried fruit.

Kick these foods until you can control them and not vice versa.

So matter how many supplements you take, how hard you hammer yourself running and how many activated almonds and kale you eat, they are not going to ‘help you lose weight. 

What to eat for (a late) brekky instead?

Try a handful of any nut/seed you love, a few spoonfuls of full-fat, organic plain yoghurt, a handful of berries plus some cinnamon/nutmeg. Whack on a pinch of pure stevia if needed. This bowl of goodness has more protein, fat, fibre, minerals and vitamins than 5 bowls of cholesterol-lowering Weet Bix, with just a fraction of the fast-burning carbohydrates 

Or, have some bacon and eggs.

                                

The key is not to snack and to stay away from ‘rocket-fuel foods’ like carbohydrates. They burn bright, then burn out, and leave you tired, inflamed and fat.

I am a regular on ABC Radio Brisbane if you would like to have a listen to past episodes or you can watch some short videos that may explain in a simple way, complex ideas.  

If you would like to book an individualised appointment, simply do thaton-line.

Or visit my website Twitter or Facebook should you want to know a bit more about me. Instagram has a few more recipes as well.

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