Why Can’t I Diet? – 4/7
We all know that organic is better for us but the reality is that organic food, especially meat, is beyond the financial capability of most. However we can control the quality of the ‘regular’ food that we eat to a large degree and this is VITALLY important for a number of reasons.
I’ll keep this brief so some things you will have to take my word for. Hormones control everything that our bodies do, everything. For the purpose of this post we are concerned with the hormones that control
- Fat Burning
- Metabolism Control
Hormones tell your body when to burn fat, when you are hungry, when you have eaten enough, what to do with surplus food, where to get any shortfall of energy from, everything. They feed on healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and are actually proteins (another time for that one) but my point is that without hormones working optimally any long term diet plan is doomed to failure. You can fight it out for a while but eventually your body will win and the fat loss will stall and you will give in and fail. Keep the hormonal system happy and well fed and your chances of success multiply by the hundreds.
to my peers, yes I know the hormonal system gets screwed when dieting anyway all I am trying to do is minimise that damage and it’s subsequent impact.
We are NOT what we eat, regardless of what the popular saying states, we are actually what we DIGEST. Theres a big difference. Simply eating food and removing it at the other end is not nourishing our bodies or feeding our hormonal system. It is simply energy and sustenance. When we eat food it has to be broken down in order for all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc to be available for our body to use. It has to be broken down to the cellular level.
This occurs within the body via the process of digestion and relies primarily on enzymes. Enzymes are the reason that food goes off and spoils (different to food bacteria). It’s why apples eventually deteriorate, veg goes soft and limp etc. All food has enzymes in it and the minute a food is killed (picked, chopped, cultivated, slaughtered etc) it starts decomposing. Well believe it or not that is what we WANT to happen.
Without the enzymes that our food contains we would not be able to break down our food so the body can use it. When we consume that food the enzymes it contains work with the enzymes that we store in our body to successfully break the food down and subsequently allow everything to be absorbed. This leads to a healthy hormonal system, which in turn leads to a healthy fat loss result.
The problem of course is we have a planet of people to feed. Consider Broccoli: picked in Kenya, processed, shipped to the UK, distributed, displayed in a supermarket with a 7 day shelf life and then eaten by you.
If left to it’s own devices the Broccoli would have been unfit for consumption shortly after leaving Kenya and certainly LONG before it got to your supermarket.
So to combat that and to make food manufacturing and processing both profitable but successful (and to ensure the population gets fed) it undergoes a certain amount of adulteration. Namely, the enzymes are killed in order to prevent the food deteriorating, meaning it still looks great on the supermarket shelf.
Now here is the problem, you eat the broccoli (hooray, fresh veg, 5 a day, go me etc) but your body can now not digest it properly so the actual reason we are told to eat this fresh broccoli (vitamins, mineral all the good things) we can’t actually get at any more. So it becomes a mute exercise.
If we can’t get to all the ‘good’ bits of it then we can’t feed the necessary systems that our body NEEDS feeding in order to regulate fat loss or indeed to make it happen at all in some cases, namely the hormonal system.
Yes I know that you can lose weight eating a fast food diet if the calories are right, but the calories HAVE to be right because when the hormonal system is compromised (by eating crappy food and dieting) it cannot regulate your metabolic rate upwards and downwards and so it ALL becomes about the calories. If you eat good quality food, rich in nutrients that your body can actually absorb, and subsequently keep the hormonal system happy, you are able to accommodate the cheat days, the ‘less than perfect’ calorie counting, the hunger pangs etc. Weight loss is quicker, more efficient and you remain optimally healthy.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, because everything is working properly you can actually eat MORE food than you could if purely counting calories from ‘processed’ food. YES I know calories count, of course they do, but if you are eating food that can be actually used properly by the body it will regulate itself more efficiently and you can eat more of the right stuff, even calorifically speaking, and still lose weight.
This isn’t magic, it’s not some made up idea, it’s just what happens. Most of the members on The Switch Plan would faint if they actually knew how many calories they were eating and still losing weight (they don’t know because I don’t tell them) but the plan works so incredibly well because they are eating 80% of their diet from fresh food that the body can use.
I buy my meat from a local butcher. The chicken breasts I get were running around a field 2 days earlier. When I get them home I freeze them immediately because if I don’t they are normally deteriorating and unfit for consumption with a ‘dodgy’ odour within 2 days of fridge storage. So from slaughter to unfit in around 5 days MAX.
Now look at your supermarket chicken breasts. Slaughtered in Norway, processed, shipped, local distribution centre, into supermarkets and then STILL with a 7 day shelf life. In total lets say slaughter to unfit in 12-14 days.
How is this possible? Simple. The chicken has been ‘processed’ to kill the enzymes that would otherwise prevent these particular breasts making it to your fridge in a fit state, the very same enzymes we need to ensure that our bodies can actually digest the meat properly.
You see the problem….
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Buy your meat from a butcher where possible
Buy your fruit and veg from a grocers where possible or farm shops
Avoid anything that comes in a packet or has a label.
Create your meals from foods that only have one ingredient
If you can manage at least 2 or 3 of the above then you will go a long way to ensuring that your body ‘helps’ you lose fat instead of fight against you (not to mention the myriad of health benefits)
There is a saying “Real food doesn’t have calories”. Obviously it does, duh, but I’m sure you understand what the point is behind it. Also, I am a realist. In todays world it just isn’t possible to eat a totally unprocessed diet, I get that, but ANYTHING you do to move closer to that goal will help you.
There is no point in being paranoid about food processing, it’s all around you and here to stay. Simply try to buy fresh, unpackaged food wherever possible and the little small changes you make will all add up to a better result for your dieting efforts and your health (and of course local business)
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James Jackson is an Advanced Level Personal Trainer, former International Head Chef and Qualified Nutritional Advisor. He runs The Switch Plan Online Diet helping members from all over the world achieve their body transformation goals with incredible success and unbelievable results.