The dietary focus on this diet also has some limitations. The idea of "good carbs" and "bad carbs" is controversial. While there is some truth to the role of glycemic index in hunger, it is not a guaranteed tool for weight management. Labeling foods as "good" and "bad" creates problems for people trying to develop healthy eating habits. A well-balanced diet requires whole wheat sources of starch, while allowing for some sugar.
Refined white breads are simple carbohydrates that your body processes as sugar, and can really hinder your weight-loss efforts. Whole grain bread, on the other hand, is chock-full of slimming fiber and can help you feel fuller, longer. Just be sure to read your labels. “If the ingredients at the top of the ingredient list read sugar, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, white or wheat flour, these foods contain mostly simple carbs and should be limited,” Rebecca Lewis, RD, told Eat This, Not That! in our article for 20 Secrets for Eating Bread Without Getting Fat. “A food is only considered a whole grain if the first ingredient on the packaging says, ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat.’”
Are you like Old Faithful when it comes to your morning walk or evening jog? Know this: The more you do an activity, the more your body adapts to it, so you burn fewer calories. If you want to light a fire under your metabolism, consider cross-training. For example, if you normally walk, try biking instead. "Since you're not used to working all those different muscles, it's a more intense workout, which can translate into a greater metabolic after-burn because your body is working harder to recover and get oxygen to all your tissues," says Carol Espel, M.S., an exercise physiologist for Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City.
The theory is our bodies were designed, and still optimized, to eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Like your hunger-gatherer forefathers, on Paleo you get all the meat from wild animals and unlimited fruits and vegetables you can eat. But no starchy vegetables (like potatoes), no legumes (like lentils or beans), no wheat, and no grains (like quinoa or corn) because those plants were invented by human beings during the agricultural revolution after our Paleolithic ancestors left the planet. You get one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want (“Occasional cheating and digressions may be just what you need to help you stick to the diet.”) No oil because it puts omega 6 and omega 3 ratios out of whack which should never exceed 2:1, except olive oil if you must. Dairy is also prohibited. And meat must come from animals that weren’t fed grains (like corn) because grains lead to inflammation and increased fat.
Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
“Research continues to support the role of a high-protein diet and weight loss, however, we don’t want to reach those protein needs exclusively with animal proteins. Plant proteins found in beans not only help us feel full and stabilize blood sugar but beans are associated with longevity. Who cares about being skinny if you die young?” —Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert
We're now into a section about attitude. Yes! The right attitude can help you lose weight, however all of the generalizations about "most obese people." I'm really getting sick of being lumped into this arbitrary generalization. Really, again, where is the research that shows that most obese people think this and do this. Is it really most? Sorry, but everyone I know knows how freaking hard it is and we're sick of people telling us what we think. Really, it's not the problem. We know it's hard, we know we're eating the wrong stuff, we know we don't exercise enough. Stop putting words in our mouths, your assumptions are just another reason we're not motivated to lose weight...again completely counter to what the book promises when it says this book will motivate you. Um, no shaming and putting words in my mouth doesn't really motivate.
As with all diets, nothing works for everyone, and nothing works forever. The celebrity endorsements are great when they work, but the celebrities who regain their weight once they discontinue this plan are proving that this is not the answer for everyone. Many people prefer to be able to eat food they prepare and do not like the idea of prepackaged foods.
I actually woke up this morning thinking that just as we plan our days, our social lives, our journeys so we need to really plan what we eat and – like a route map – and stick to it without deviation if we want to reach our goal. So that’s what I’m about to try. It is, however, all too easy, come the weekend, to be influenced by those around us who are not so bothered by their reflection in the mirror. But to be true to myself I am going to listen to my body and be strong in aiming for that end goal and not succumb to all those crisps with double gin and tonics(!), slices of toast with eggs for breakfast and snacks that I am given that I haven’t been in control of making. I’m going to ask if I am actually hungry or just bored or just being plain greedy. I will need to politely decline my husband’s pampering treats of cheese, pickle on brown bread – or offer to make a more healthy snack of my choice and making – crisp bread, crudités. Or perhaps I’ll simply half the snack and give my husband the other. I’ll listen to my body.