As we prepare to spend time learning about the new breakthroughs in nutrition, I want to make one more point very clear. Our goal is not to find a new “diet”! To me, the word diet implies a short-term approach for losing weight. Lord knows we have lived through a steady stream of diets with their false promises. The high protein diets. The high (or low) carbohydrate diets. The low fat diets. The sugar free diets. What are the results? 98% of all lost calories are eventually regained. In fact, the more you diet, the heavier you become. From my perspective, I associate “diets” with the word “die.” They offer a way to die, not a way to live. Collectively, we need to find a different path for improved health and extended longevity.
At the same time I want to emphasize that the solution will not come through your physician’s office. Most physicians do not know the intricacies of different diets or the most recent developments in nutrition. What do many physicians do? If you are overweight, they ignore it. If you are obese, they refer you to a surgeon for gastric-bypass surgery. Let me give you some advice. I have reviewed well over 30,000 psychiatric charts – and that is not counting all of the medical charts. With those psychiatric charts, there are an incredible high number of gastric bypass operations, clearly documented in the medical history. I cannot give you a scientific percentage, but it is the most common surgery that I see with the psychiatric patient. So, to me, surgery should not be an option. You need to take control of your health. You need to face your current eating style and you need to change it.
Maybe you are one of those people who are already on some diet. After all, there are therapeutic diets, prescribed by physicians, for certain illnesses. If you have a heart disease, the physician may have placed you on a specific heart diet. If you have diabetes, the physician may have placed you on a different diabetic diet. Do you know the problem with these diets? They are all designed for one illness, thereby often increasing your risk for one of the other illnesses. So – spoiler alert – I am not a fan of any diet that even addresses a single illness. What do I recommend? Brace yourself. I want you to accept the notion of an “experimental” eating style for overall improved health and longevity.
Why would I say “experimental”? You mention that word to an insurance company and you can rest assured that it will not be covered. To them, experimental means unproven. Of course, insurance companies like to wait a full decade to declare any new treatment successful. That saves them a fortune of money. That approach is not for me. I am not after some profit; I am after our improved health. Here’s my bottom line. I believe the success of a new “experimental” eating style can occur within months, even weeks, as long as you make the effort to learn. But I also believe that one eating style does not fit everyone. That’s why I choose to use the word “experimental” – because I want you to experiment with the cutting edge nutritional news. Read it. Digest it. Then apply it. Why? Beczause I believe the upcoming blogs will offer value for improving your health.
However, I also want you to remember something: what feels right for one person may not feel right for another person. What works for one person may not work for another person. That is not the way medicine likes it. They want one standardized treatment, which is why we have had so many different, but standardized diets. Well, we are all different. If you want to push aside the mirror, just think of the blogs on our blood types. A person with blood type O (with a greater ability to digest meat) may react very differently to one single nutritional suggestion. Now is the time to experiment. Some people worry that it is going to damage their health. I don’t worry – if you just pause and measure your response. After you add something new to your eating style, simply assess how it makes you feel. It is not that difficult. How do you feel after a Thanksgiving feast? How do you feel after a salad? The distinctions are surprisingly easy.
But let me close with one point that may have escaped your attention. Your brain is already addicted to certain foods. Just like someone is addicted to heroin. When you select a food on a menu, you are convinced – no doubt – that your choice is voluntary, completely under your own control. Wrong. Almost everyone is food addicted, at least to something (if not to several food items). Sugar. Processed foods. Chemical additives. Caffeine. Simply stated, our taste buds have been trained to yearn for certain products. Find that hard to believe? Look at the plates of the different cultures. The people have all been trained to love certain foods. Worse, those trained taste buds dictate what we currently crave, what we currently eat. Many of those choices are not healthy, but they satisfy our addiction to the foods of our past.
There is hope. Your taste buds will change over the course of these blogs. They will change as you try some new foods. Don’t believe me? Try eating something new this week. At first, it may seem awful, but after several meals the food begins to taste better. Eventually, to your surprise, it tastes good. Here is my prediction. What you like to eat today – what your body demands (dictates) you eat today – will not be the same at the end of these blogs. It may be hard to believe until you have gone through the experience. The interplay between your taste buds and your brain may be complex, but the connection is not calcified. Nutrition is equally confusing, but it too is not calcified. There are so many new ideas and new insights, all worth learning. Is it worth incorporating this learning into some “experimental” food choices? Where your taste buds may change? Will your health will improve? At least give these next blogs a chance … fair enough?