We enter that time of year when all kinds of miracle diets and magic products are offered you to get that body “beach-ready,” by allowing you to lose weight while you sleep. As far as I am concerned, obtaining that “beach-ready” body shouldn’t be the real goal; being healthy, strong, wild, and free should be!
However, few people talk about what exactly you do wrong when you diet, and why you are not losing weight. Nor will they tell you that you do not need to spend a fortune to diet, or that by just changing some habits you can get visible results.
Because it’s free, and you don’t have to buy strange products or follow impossible weight loss plans full of deprivation.
Today I want to talk about three mistakes I’ve made myself for a very long time simply because of pure disinformation. Once I corrected them, the results were more than encouraging. This disinformation is backed by scientific errors. Here and here there are a couple of studies to read if you want to pursue the subject.
As you know by now, we at rewilding drum are committed to getting back to the basics and to solve the problems generated by today’s Western societies (obesity, stress, burnout, boredom, lack of energy, etc.). Like it or not, our genes are still 99.5% identical to those of Homo sapiens – a strong and healthy race. And how did they succeed? By living in harmony with their natural environment, feeding on what was offered by nature without any industrial processing, and moving a lot to find food and survive.
Error #1: You are Eating Carbohydrates in Excess
It is clear that 10,000 years ago, before agriculture, nature offered no croissants for breakfast or pizza for dinner. You’ve heard it on more than one occasion, but just the idea of leaving bread behind makes you nervous.
Before saying “impossible”, why don’t you give that thought a chance? Most of the Western population consumes carbohydrates in excess.
Does this routine sound familiar?
- bread or cereal for breakfast
- pasta, rice or tubers for lunch
- more starch for dinner
- all accompanied by snacks and drinks high in sugar throughout the day
I am not saying per se it’s your case but check out your daily routine and record the percentage of carbohydrates you consume. You will be surprised.
Why are Carbs a problem?
Excess carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in our diet is the #1 cause of obesity.
Of course, not all carbohydrates are equally bad for you, and a minimum amount is required.
We distinguish two types:
1. Industrial carbohydrates from refined cereals and refined sugars (bread, pasta, pastries, cookies, pizzas, etc).
2. Carbs offered to you by nature without industrial processing such as fruits, vegetables, root vegetables (such as sweet potatoes or beets), and pseudo grains, like quinoa, or buckwheat.
Excessive consumption, particularly of the carbs in the first group, prevents you from losing weight for the following reasons:
- It causes increased blood glucose (sugar). Glucose is vital. It is absorbed by the cells and it is used to produce energy. If there is too much of it available in the bloodstream, it is stored in muscles and liver. When there’s no more room left for storage, it is converted to fat and stored .
- To metabolize glucose, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin. If there is a constant presence of insulin in the blood, which is usually the case for most people in the West, your body is unable to burn fat. It will use glucose first, but because it is always present, it never prompts the body to burn fat. Moreover, less testosterone and less growth hormone are produced when there is too much glucose present in the blood, and both are necessary to burn fat.
These are the main reasons why carbs don’t help you to lose weight. In addition to them:
- The hormonal balance can be restored only by drastically reducing the intake of carbohydrates, especially the industrial ones.
- They fill you momentarily but they do not really satiate you, so you need to eat more
- And to make it even worse, they are addictive!
I think the message is clear, right?
Error #2: You are not Eating Enough Fat
For years we have lived with the myth that fat is bad, especially saturated fat, for its alleged involvement with heart disease and high cholesterol. However, no research to date has been able to show either hypothesis to be true. What actually has been proven is the relationship between those two conditions and a high intake of sugars and starches. (Check this study out)
Again, we have to distinguish between two groups of fats:
1. Industrial fats: refined vegetable oils and trans fats (derived from hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as margarine, for example)
2. Natural fats:
- present naturally in certain plant foods such as seeds or nuts. The best are olive oil and avocados, consumed rawto prevent oxidation and coconut oil for cooking, as it is more stable and better withstands high temperatures without degrading.
- animal fat, such as butter (from grass fed animals), ghee (clarified butter) and fatty fish (like salmon or sardines).
The combination of natural fat plus protein has a much higher satiating effect.
Consuming natural fats is important for the following reasons, among others:
- Fat is energy. When all the glucose is consumed fat becomes your energy provider.
- Fat is necessary to regulate your hormone function.
- As already mentioned, fat has a high satiating power in combination with protein and fresh vegetables of high quality.
- Fat facilitates the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (ADEK), and favors the binding of calcium in your bones. More absorption of nutrients makes you feel more full.
- Fat promotes brain activity.
- Saturated fat is indispensable for forming the cell membrane, protective cells, and nervous system.
Error #3: You don’t Move Enough
Your body is programmed for movement. You already know this. However, the world we live in favors quite the opposite: cars, chairs, sofas, elevators, escalators, etc. Our actual habitat doesn’t favor movement at all (learn more on this topic by clicking here). We eat more than ever, and we burn less than ever.
Exercise is essential to
- Burn fat
- Build lean muscles
- Prevent the metabolism from slowing down.
But remember: Exercise is not just about burning off calories, it’s about well-being.
Choose the activity you like the most, but move, EVERYDAY. Walk, run, swim, dance, ride a bike, climb stairs – do whatever you love that keeps you motivated. Not only will you lose weight but you will also feel better than ever before.
Now, it’s your turn.
Do you make any of these errors? Do you want to share your experience with us?