Last week I thoroughly informed you why you shouldn’t listen to the most common weight loss advice: “Eat less, move more”.
Today we are going to discuss an advice that is actually not so bad in principle. However, people interpret it in a wrong way. They follow it when they have cravings for chocolate or other rich foods even though those same foods are preventing them to get fit and healthy like they so deeply desire. On the other hand they ignore this advice, when their bodies are crying for help.
Today we debunk the advice: “Just listen to your body and do what it tells you. We are all different and everybody must figure their own best way of eating.”
We are all different and everybody must figure their own best way of eating
Let’s start with the second part of advice that is somehow saying that every human being should discover a proper way of eating for his own individual preferences. I guess a person should do this by trial and error or by consulting with an expert?
What a waste of time and many times also money.
It is true there are differences among us. Some people have brown eyes, others have blue, some people are darker, others have light skin, some have less and other more hair, some are tall and thin and others small and thick.
Up to here, differences are accepted. However, if we take a look at a body on autopsy, our internal organ structure is practically the same. We all have lungs and heart in about the same size and position, same as we have stomach, liver and brain.
Even if some individuals may be smarter than others, that doesn’t mean that others don’t have brain. If somebody is more capable for running then you, that doesn’t mean you don’t have legs and muscles. It just means his tissues are a bit more responsive and have a bit better capacity.
But these are still just different variations of the same tune.
All women have period every 28 days and they all carry a child for 9 months. I could go on and on with this but I hope you get the point. We are all of the same kind in spite of all the outside differences.
Our differences do not outweigh our similarities.
It is important for you to understand that even though we are quite different to each other, we are yet more similar to ourselves than other species. An Asian man is more similar to European man than he is to a lion or a tiger.
What is interesting is that every animal kind has its own primary diet. Cats are known by hunting and the fact they can live mostly from meat, elephants prefer eating mostly grass, apes have most meals in the shape of fruits etc.
Animals can of course vary in their diets and eat things that are not primarily their food in order to survive. But every kind has its basic food on which it functions best and on which it would thrive even if all other food sources were depleted.
People have captured animals thousands of years before to use them for labor. But those numbers were small and we didn’t use animals as our primary source of food. After all it is utterly pointless to kill the animal that is helping you move things and pulling your carriage until they are too old for that. And even if you did that, you couldn’t save that animal for long without a fridge. You could dry some of it, but the rest you should eat right away and share with other members of family and village.
The new World order
Today however the situation is different. Hens are tricked into producing unfertile eggs often in order we can consume them. We take milk from cows for their entire lives. In order to make sure they have milk, we have to inseminate them with force every year and then get rid of their children right after birth or after feeding them enough for slaughter and stakes.
Since we can store them nicely in cold rooms and fridges, we can buy them all year and eat them multiple times per day.
The issue of those “foods” however, is that they are calorically very dense. This is logical because an animal will use a small part of the feed to incorporate into their body, the rest the animal will use for energy and poop.
That is why her body and her milk and eggs will be more calorically rich than her food sources. All that will be left are going to be protein and fat.
We live in abundance of what is not our primary food source
We all “know” people have always eaten animal flesh. What very few people actually realize is that the consumption of corps has grown sky high in the past 100 years or so. Because the industrial revolution and burning fossil fuels has enabled us to produce huge amounts of crops and the invention of freezers and fridges, we were able to feed, breed and lastly kill and save millions of animals every year.
Since we started eating more and more animals, we begin to assume and believe, that is the food we necessarily need. We started to think that abandoning these foods will make us get sick or less competent.
Food that was the food of the rich in the old days has become the food of almost every household of the western world. Most people today can’t even imagine a meal without meat being the centerpiece of the plate.
Royal families and priests were often quite obese which we can see from the old paintings of them. And I am sure they were even fatter then they seem on the paintings.
I firmly believe that people were just as vain in the past then they are today and they instructed the painter to make them look as thin and good looking as possible. As we now need 50 pictures to get one Instagram appropriate, they had the ability to make sure painters were portraying them in a flattering way.
Too good to be good
The issue of royal families was that they could eat those calorically dense foods in big amounts on a regular basis. The peasants on the other hand had to eat grains and legumes on the other hand. And the biggest trap of rich foods is the so called cram circuit which makes us crave those foods and also makes it hard to quit them.
So the revolutions made sure the food of the rich fat kings became our food. This is food we feel is our justice and necessity. In my humble opinion however, it is nor the first nor the second.
I will tell you more about scientific data that prove a human’s body is mostly a machine that prefers sugars. For now, it is important for you to understand this:
Even though we can eat many things, our body was designed to digest and thrive on one type of food that should represent most of our plate. However, because of the interests of strong lobbies, tradition and our rich food addictions, it is hard for us to accept the truth. And because we ignore the truth about the food we were made for, we get into trouble.
The people who feel those issues mostly are the people that have trouble losing weight and have no problem getting fat.
Made for the same foods – different in our reactions on “anti-food”
We were all designed for the same food, yet the consequences of stepping away from it are different for different people. Let me explain.
As I showed you in my latest blog, people have receptors for stretch and calories in our stomach. We can evaluate the caloric density of foods just by looking at it and smelling it. We have developed these sensors so we can stay alive for the longest possible time as I mentioned in my last blog.
However the issue is that some people’s receptors are more precise when it comes to rich foods than others and that causes trouble.
Let’s demonstrate that on the case of two sisters.
Let’s say Shelly has very little of those receptors while her sister Esther has many. One day Shelly and Esther decide to go get some ice cream. They both take two balls of ice cream.
Ice cream is a very calorically dense food and is made purely out of fat, sugar and protein while it has zero fiber. One ball of ice cream has about 200 kcal, and two balls have 400 kcal.
400 to 500 kcal is almost the amount of one main meal for a girl! Two balls of ice cream have equal calories than 0.6 kg of potato! 100 g of potato has 76.7 kcal!
The issue is that those two foods are for the same calories different in their weight and the amount.
If you want to eat 500 kcal of potato, you have to eat more than 0,6 kilo of it. That could be one bigger sweet potato that mainly consists of water, carbs and fiber. Water and fiber have no calories and carbs have less than half the calories than fats do.
Did I confuse you with this data?
Let me simplify this story: While Shelly and Esther can lich their 500 kcal ice cream as a dessert in 5 minutes somebody else will have to put quite some effort into eating the same amount of calories in the shape of sweet potato.
Some people will now say, well then I shall just eat two balls of ice cream instead of dinner.
Well, that is not so simple. The issue is that two ice cream balls don’t press enough on the stretch receptors. Many stomachs will therefor assume that this is not enough food. Those stomachs will urge their owners to eat more in order to prevent starvation.
The power of individual differences
Here the calorie receptors play a crucial role.
If you remember correctly we said Shelly has less of those receptors than Esther. Once they both finish their two balls of ice cream, the following will happen:
Esther’s stretch receptors will say there isn’t enough food, but her calorie receptors will say: “No, no, this food is enough calorically dense. We’ve had enough.” Esther will not crave for more food after that ice cream.
But with Shelly things get a bit more complicated.
Her stretch receptors evaluate that there is not enough food in that portion and the calorie receptors say: Hm, this food is very fatty, but stretch receptors seem to think that there is not enough of it. We probably ate 300 kcal, not 400 kcal we need. That’s right, we need another 100. Let’s take that one pancake with Nutella at that other stand and we will get that 100 kcal (the evaluation is wrong again because that pancake has 200 kcal).
So as we can see Esther feels satiated, while Shelly’s receptors were confused by the unnaturally rich foods her stomach and brain were not designed for. She accidently ate 600 kcal while her stomach thought she ate the optimal 400 kcal.
If Shelly had those type of foods on a regular basis, she systematically overate but not by choice.
Generalization leads to wrong and unjust conclusions
When people would see Shelly and Esther after years of this type of eating they would probably say: Well, obviously Esther is fitter because she moves more and eats less, and this Shelly will have to pull herself together. Look how fat she is, can’t she stop eating when it’s enough?
The truth is, she can’t eat less food and the truth is, Shelly is actually more “normal” than Esther. Such a precise evaluation of caloric density of the “anti-foods” is rare among people. People that gain fats from it are way more common.
Of course Shelly moves less than Esther. The excess weight is in a way when it comes to exercise. She has problems when she goes running because her knees started hurting in high school when she had her first extra kilo on her hips. She also doesn’t feel so good. Her nose is constantly full of phlegm she is constipated most of the days and also feels lazy and tired.
She is bothered by the way people look at her and by the fact she sees her chunky thighs in the mirror. All of her family is in sports, however her dad is also over weight, but mom isn’t.
She is thinking whether it is smarter for her to accept she is like dad genetically and to stop trying or maybe she should go on some sort of diet. Until now she hasn’t tried any diets, since all the people she saw going on a diet were either hungry or over eating. She thought that probably wasn’t too healthy, plus she didn’t believe she could restrain herself from eating because of her big appetite for food.
Differences between us exist, yet they do not have to define us
She has come to realization that what was causing her weight gain were not bad genes or some special requirements for her food.
After years of studying of the nutritional literature and different authors, she realized, both her and her sister should eat different food. The only advantage Esther had was that the food they were eating was not making her fat.
However, Esther had the same food related problems Shelly had. She had asthma, severe house dust allergy and she had to give up sports career due to repeated injuries before she even turned 30.
Shelly has discovered that they both ate food that did them harm, she just happened to also get fat from it.
In the moment she realized that she was grateful for her excess weight and health problems. Because once she found the solution for the first issue (the weight), she has successfully eliminated the second (her health).
She realized she should never listen to her body when it wanted her to eat the “anti-food”, which her body was not designed for.
Being overweight as a gift not a curse
Until now we have figured out how our main difference is in our reaction to bad food. Some people get fat and sick and others remain thin. Over the years I have come to realization that those who gain fat are actually luckier. Their bodies show them right away when they are doing something wrong. If they are eager enough to learn about the principles of proper human nutrition, they have the ability to get in charge of their weight once and for all.
Those who are thin on the other hand should start being a bit cautious. They may get some inexplicable auto-immune disease or even cancer and they will not know where that came from. Those who will on the other hand gain weight beforehand will at least be warned that something wrong is going on inside their bodies.
Unfortunately individual differences have small power, when we talk about long term regular and wide consumption of the foods our body was meant to use only in times of emergencies or never. Those are the foods of the kings or animals the hunters in the past managed to catch by luck. Besides those we also have the new rich foods, made by people that are even more calorically dense than anything from nature (oils, junk food, sweets etc.).
However, we should all eat the food we were made for. Some people might live for long, however, because of their habits, they might reach their age deaf, half blind, sick and with slow and weak bodies….
Why wouldn’t we do everything that is in our power in order to preserve our body’s capability to do all the things you enjoyed doing when you were young (yes, that includes the bedroom activities as well!). What is the worth of life where all you can do is watch other people doing the stuff you once liked doing and you still wish you could do them?
If you know what type of food does your body best and keeps it vital until the very end, wouldn’t it be wise to follow that diet as much as you possibly can?
Listen to your body when it deserves
Now, let’s take a look at the other piece of “smart” health advice.
“Listen to your body.”
This saying is actually not bad, but the problem is that people usually listen to their bodies in the wrong moments. Our body reacts to food in two ways. One way is with cravings and desire, and the second is crying after we give him the wrong kind of food. With the first one, the body tells us what it wants and with the second it tries to tell us what food hurts it.
Our problem is the fact that we are guilty of committing the no.1 parental mistake. We give the kid chocolate before lunch when he cries for it in the store but then we ignore or forget about the kid when he is oddly quiet. We don’t realize, that the kid being quiet can mean he is actually in trouble.
We do that same mistake with our body. We feed it with wrong foods it craves but are bad for it. When on the other hand our body is silently crying with headaches, menstrual cramps or high blood pressure and tiredness, we tend to shut it down with pills or we simply ignore it.
Ignore the begging of the body like you should ignore the kid who tries to manipulate you
Kids always know they want chocolate and ice cream. However good moms know, those are not good for them. That is why they don’t give them those every time they scream in the shop they want it.
The problem is that moms have the same problems with chocolate, especially in some parts of their menstrual cycle.
As I explained in my last blog, your body is craving high calorie dense and fatty foods because this food promises long term survival.
Survival instinct is a powerful drive therefor people can’t fight it on the long term. It is especially hard for us to do that if the object that will enable us that survival is in our fridge or in any other easily accessible spot.
If you read the last blog, you now understand that in these days of rich anti-foods, body is not our ally. It is our enemy.
Of course your body could lead you just fine if all you had around you was the food you were build for.
Unfortunately you are surrounded with calorically dense foods every day. First you can eat parts of dead animals and their excretions every day in big amounts. Next, almost all the cooked foods in restaurants contain a lot of oils. And last but not least, the world is full of anti-foods (chips, nuggets, biscuits) that contain all the chemicals that induce over eating (salt, sugar, oil). I will write about those chemicals in some other blog so make sure you subscribe to the news and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
The best that you can do is to simply say no to all of that.
Just as you drag the screaming kid out of the store, you must drag the shitty food out of your home forever. If you want a permanent health and weight loss success of course!
There should be no debate or negotiation about this. You do it because it’s good for you even if it’s not pleasant at the beginning.
Do not ignore the silent cry
A kid that is quiet, calm and sad can be in bigger trouble than the screaming brat. Same goes for the body that is slowly showing consequences of abuse. High blood pressure, headaches, menstrual pains, infections, sports injuries, bloated belly, constipation and many other inconvenient things should never be neglected as minor issues.
Small signs of sadness are often more important than big cravings.
The issue is that the kid or the body in trouble tends to cry gradually. First they cry just a little every now and then, but then more and more and more. Sadly, people adapt to crying to easily and we don’t wake up until things are already really, really bad.
10 years ago we were constipated for a day, now we are constipated for two days. No big deal for us.
Once they discover we have a spread colon cancer and they have to cut half of our colon, it is a little late for action. Of course good habits are beneficial any time, but it is sure better to start with them when we have our organs intact.
The point I am trying to make is that you should start listening to your body in a proper way. Listen to it when it tells you something is wrong.
Why people don’t do that?
The body sometimes cries long after it has received the food that caused its pain. Menstrual pains for example come with period. However, what we eat during our cycle majorly affects the appearance of pain and the force of bleeding, but I will write about this more in some other blog.
Message to take home
The biggest issue with changing our food habits is that the pain caused by food, doesn’t follow the act of eating the wrong kind of food immediately. That is why people assume their issues were caused by stress, weather, spring, moon, etc. Of course they can contribute to our wellbeing, but since food and water are the two biggest connections we have with the outside world, it is wise to focus on those two first.
Many times the people we try to advise to change their diet to resolve their issues, get defensive, because they don’t believe us. They are angry with us, even though this “therapy” could help them a lot plus it wouldn’t cost them a dime.
If you got stomach aches the second you ate a piece of cheese or salami or drink a cup of milk or eat a spoon of Nutella and get a diarrhea, you would probably be more opened to changing those habits.
Sadly, our body doesn’t work this way. That is why you need those types of blogs and people, who give you hope to finally achieve the health and wellness you deserve.
From this day on you know that trim people who eat the wrong kind of food are no better than fat people, who eat the same food. The difference is in how their stomachs evaluate the calories that enter their intestine.
At the end of the day, both of those groups are victims of bad nutrition. If you are fat, you were at least warned about the fact that you are doing something wrong.
If you are fat, your fat is a constant reminder that something is “off”. The skinny people don’t have a freakin’ clue.
That is why you (if you have excess fat) have a unique opportunity today, to show the skinny people, that the right kind of food is essential for health and wellbeing. Being trim should be a consequence of eating healthy and it should not automatically serve as proof.
If you are skinny and eat crap, you can use this blog as a reminder, that flat belly isn’t insurance for the “happy ever after life”.
If you can get away with doing something, that doesn’t mean that’s good for you
Both groups should remember one thing: No individual difference between us can deny the fact that we are all human. And as human we are more similar to each other than we are similar to birds, frogs or tigers. That is why we must accept there are laws we can apply to all of us.
One of those laws is the diet we were designed for. The mere fact we were able to survive by eating other things should not be used as an argument to persist to eat those things or even think those foods are good for us.
After all a human being is able to live until 100 years old and even more. The mere fact that somebody managed to crawl up to 83 years, eating the traditional western diet, where he spent the last 10 years with dementia and last 30 years impotent, should not be considered as an argument to eat that kind of food.
Just think about it. You don’t have to believe me, just think and make your own conclusions and research. I am not here to win the argument, I am here to make you think on your own and not accept everything the media throws at you.
My main purpose here is simply to make you feel and look better.
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Take good care of yourself and your family,