The Food Pyramid diet makes me fatter

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In 2011, I decided to get serious about losing weight, getting fit, and working toward long-term health and longevity.

I have been fat my entire adult life. Considering that, it might be considered remarkable that I have, thus far, avoided developing obesity-related disease or any weight-related problems worse than lack of stamina. I have had short-term success with Weight Watchers (once) and Atkins (once), but I always gained the weight back. So I thought about why that should be. Because, according to Conventional Wisdom, I was doing everything pretty much right. Maybe I ate too much at meal time, but I was eating the good stuff. I wasn't eating between meals. I wasn't eating junk food. Fruit, cereal, and yogurt for breakfast. Low fat lunches and dinners. Desserts only occasionally. I stopped drinking even diet soda years ago. I don't really like potato chips and all the savory snacks. Yes, I like sweets, but I was pretty sparing on those. I even stopped taking sugar or sweetener in my coffee. And I didn't really drink much alcohol.

And yet, there I stayed, hovering near 300 pounds, and still hungry. What else to do but to eat more food, to satisfy the hunger?

And then I heard, from a couple of different friends, about the Paleo / Primal diet and lifestyle. Eating real, whole food, sourced as close to nature as possible. Animal protein and animal fat - because saturated fat not only isn't bad for you, it's an important source of vitamins and minerals your body can't absorb from any other source. Vegetables aplenty. Nuts and seeds. Natural, healthy fats, from things like coconuts and avocados and olives, and animals. Fruits.

What did I give up? Industrial food. Sugar and grains, which have to be extensively processed to make them edible by humans (who did not evolve to eat them, especially in the quantities we get them now). Seed oils like canola and sunflower, whose chemical-heavy production process damages the molecule to the point where the oil becomes an anti-nutrient. Any "food" that came in a box or a bag. Almost anything with a "Nutrition Facts" label on it. Anything low-fat, though honestly I gave up low-fat dairy years ago because it's unutterably disgusting and I just can't stand it.

I started eating better-quality food. Fresh, local, seasonal produce. Locally-produced grass-fed beef. Eggs and meat from pastured chickens. Avocados and coconuts - neither of which grow locally - whenever I could get my hands on them.

And it worked. I started eating this way in October 2011, and 19 weeks later, in February 2012, I was down 33.4 pounds, 17 inches, and two (nearly three!) clothing sizes.

I can eat this way for the rest of my life, I think. And honestly, I don't miss bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc. I'm happy to have traded bread and pasta for eggs and bacon, and my size 22's for size 18's, which I'm shrinking out of, too.

Take that bottom layer off the food pyramid, and you've pretty much got the recipe for a good healthy diet. Thank goodness I found it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's great when you find a plan that works for you that you really enjoy. It seems like a lot of people are more successful with low carb programs like Atkins and South Beach. They pretty much eliminate bread, rice and starches too. Whole grains are always promoted for the fiber content, but there are plenty of fruit and veggies that are good sources of fiber too. I saw another food pyramid that looks much better. Fruit and veggies were on the bottom tier. Meat, seafood, eggs, and cheese were on the second tier. Bread, pasta, and rice were moved up to the third tier and the top tier was still fats, but healthy ones like olive oil, nuts and seeds.

    2550 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/26/2012 7:20:02 PM
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