I know, no fat person wants to hear about not having to diet from a person who’s never been over 120 lbs. non-pregnant. Well, like it or lump it, I feel the one’s who can help you, (if you are struggling with weight,) are the thin ones who can show you how to live, not how to diet.
First things first though, I want to tell you what not to do when trying to lose weight.
Don’t drink diet Pop/soda/Coke!
Diet pops, which combine Aspartame and Caffeine, are very addictive for one thing. Not only that, but the buzz they give you also does a bunch of other bad stuff that would hardly justify the zero calorie “advantage”.
The top 10 reasons to avoid diet soda:
1. There is absolutely no proof that diet soda helps people lose weight. The calorie-reduction argument is total bunk, and zero studies have shown a positive correlation between drinking diet soda and weight loss. On the contrary, there’s significant evidence that diet sodas and other noncaloric, artificially sweetened drinks actually lead — quite powerfully — to weight gain!
2. Diet sodas are billed as being good for type 2 diabetics and other blood-sugar- challenged types, but they aren’t. Because of something called the “cephalic phase response,” your body tastes the sweetness, and even though there are no calories to shuttle, the brain triggers a release of insulin from the pancreas and also a “Sugar is coming! Stop-burning fat” response from the liver. The result is the usual array of insulin-related problems (increased urge to eat, increased tendency toward fat storage, pro-inflammatory biochemical cascade), plus an arrest of healthy protein-and-starch production, and a confusion of the body’s built-in caloric monitoring systems, all of which compel you to plump up and eat even more unhealthy stuff later.
3. Diet sodas and the chemically derived artificial sweeteners they contain (especially aspartame) may act as neurotoxins and have been linked to headaches, memory problems, anxiety, brain fog, depression, skin irritations, menstrual problems, fibromyalgia, joint pain and more.
4. The act of drinking diet soda — and of seeing it in your fridge — sends your psyche a slew of negative, demoralizing mental messages (I am afraid of getting fat; I don’t trust my body to crave the right things; I need to be on a diet; I am compelled to drink sweet stuff, even though I know it’s not good for me; I’m being “good” now so I can be “bad” later), all of which tend to drive other unhealthy eating behaviors even as they trigger disempowering feelings of self-denial and self-indulgence.
5. Artificial sweeteners, salt and artificial colors tend to drive cravings for more sweet and hyper-flavored foods (more diet soda, please!) and reduce your ability to properly taste more subtle flavors or natural foods, perverting your palate and dissuading you from making other healthy changes to your diet because nothing natural tastes the way it ought to after drinking it.
6. Diet soda contains all kinds of icky chemicals that add to your body’s toxic burden, lowering your immunity, contributing to inflammation and reducing your body’s ability to deal effectively with other, less easily avoided toxins like those pervasive in our food, water, body-care products
7. Frequent sipping of diet sodas reduce your intake of pure water
, which is a much better choice for hydration (whereas the high salt in soda actually makes you more thirstier in the long run) and helps to clear toxins from your system. Regular imbibing of soda may also interfere with your body’s healthy hunger signals and thus dissuade you from eating healthy snacks that would support good nutrition, metabolism, energy and mental function throughout the day.
8. The acids in diet soda (and regular soda, for that matter) eat away at the enamel on your teeth. They also are acidifying to your entire system, and thus disruptive to your general health, including the good flora in your gut, where about 60 percent of your immune system resides.
9. Diet soda (like regular soda) is generally bottled or canned, and is an unnecessarily wasteful use of fossil fuels. Drinking any soda is also incredibly expensive, an important point for anyone who protests that they can’t afford high-quality food or decent nutritional supplements.
10. Despite all its amalgamated cruddiness, diet sodas somehow get a pass in practically all weight-loss plans, and are actually promoted by many dietitians as “free” foods or “good” treats despite the fact that they are categorically lousy for people. They are aggressively advertised as being “better choices” for health- and weight-conscious people, and as a result, many kids and teenagers make them a habit early in life.
The food industry claims aspartame is safe. However, if you look at the studies professing to support aspartame’s safety, you will see that 90 percent of them were funded by the very industries selling it.
When you examine independent aspartame studies, it’s a totally different story. . . The FDA merely evaluates the studies (that the industry who is marketing it submits)—it doesn’t have a team of researchers conducting those studies itself, contrary to what you might expect of a government group supposedly set up for our safety. The truth is that aspartame causes formaldehyde to build up in your brain, which results in all sorts of potentially serious medical problems, including:
- Frontal lobe inflammation
- Visual disturbances
- A syndrome similar to multiple sclerosis
- Cognitive problems
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease
- Symptoms similar to attention deficit disorder
Don’t eat low fat dairy or substitutes either!
While it’s true that whole milk contains more calories and saturated fat. ( A cup has 146 calories and almost 8 grams of fat, reduced-fat (2%) has 122 calories and almost 5 grams of fat, low-fat (1%) has 103 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, and nonfat (skim) has 83 calories and virtually no fat.) Does that mean that calories and fat is bad and a low fat diet is good? The USDA has been telling us that for years, and we all know what a great track record they have for protecting our best interests and keeping us thin. . .(Dripping with sarcasm here.)
It’s becoming widely accepted that fats actually curb your appetite, by triggering the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which causes fullness. Fats also slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, reducing the amount that can be stored as fat. In other words, the more fat in your dairy, the less fat around your waist. Not only will low-fat
milk, yogurt, margarine, sour cream etc.. . . fail to trim your
gut, it might even make you fatter!
In 2005, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and other institutions studied the weight and milk consumption of 12,829 kids ages 9 to 14 from across the country. “Contrary to our hypothesis,” they reported, “skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not.”
But surely low-fat milk is better for your heart? We are often told to watch our consumption of dairy because it raises our bad cholesterol, the kind known as LDL. But LDL comes in at least four varieties, and only the smallest and densest of them are linked with heart disease. Dairy fat, it turns out, affects only the large, fluffy kind of LDL—the benign kind. source
And speaking of benign, the scare of saturated fats is all messed up too. There are some saturated fats that are very good for you! Coconut oil, avocados and almonds to name a few. Meat has gotten a bad rap from the hype too. Fat is claimed to be the cause of heart disease, but this chart shows some of the real causes.
The thing is, the health of the animal when butchered makes a big difference, because the junk that they ate is majorly stored in their fat. So the industrial raised and grain fed cow will be fat and unhealthy, (needing hormones to produce better, and drugs to stay alive) leading the one eating a lot of meat from the cow to likely be fat and unhealthy too. (Thus some of the confusion.) While I’ve instinctively stayed away from fat in meat over the years, and even went vegan for a while, I think it was my source that was the problem. I indulge on free range, grass fed beef and broth now (when I can afford it) and don’t mind it at all. . . and I’m at my lowest and healthiest weight since I was a teen. (100 lbs.)
Back to milk though; there is a live bacteria in raw milk called lactase, which breaks down lactose, which is what causes most people to have an allergy to milk. Actually, many experts are just throwing out the baby with the bathwater and believing that milk is undigestable because of this lacking enzyme in processed milk. But in reality, only processed milk is allergen causing, constipating, and consequently fattening. Source.
To make matters worse for processed milk, the companies have to further process it to turn skim milk white, “some companies fortify their product with powdered skim,” says Bob Roberts, a dairy scientist at Penn State. Powdered skim (which is also added to organic pasteurized low-fat milks) is produced by spraying the liquid under heat and high pressure, a process that oxidizes the cholesterol. In animal studies, oxidized cholesterol triggers a host of biological changes, leading to plaque formation in the arteries and heart disease, Spanish researchers reported in 1996. “Oxidized cholesterol’s are mutagenic and carcinogenic,” they wrote. So if you have powdered milk for your food storage. . .not so safe I’d say. Raw milk is the best, or just go with the nut milks and skip it completely. (Though some of those can have preservatives in them too. . .)
So to wrap up here, I’m not advocating chips over celery, just because they are fattening, but just that if it’s marketed as “Diet”, “fat free”, “low fat” or the like, it is probably worse then the original full fat version. (Most if not all of which you probably would be better off avoiding as well.) I’ll get into the confusion over fats and oils more in my next post.