I did a radio segment yesterday, (KGO in the Bay Area) and I was asked a very interesting question in the interview. We were discussing the latest (jaw dropping) obesity stats, and the host, Gil Gross, presented a theory that I thought was very interesting and worth some further discussion.
His theory was something that people think, but never say. Which is that a lot of people in the US have made the conscious decision that they would rather eat hamburgers and ice cream than live long. He thinks that people have looked old age "squarely in the eye" and made the decision that they don't want to live into their 80's or longer.
In his view, most people are expecting a period of their life where there is going to be pain and suffering, and they are going to be a burden to others.
My response to this (and you can listen to the segment here) was basically, yes, for people who have not figured out the food formula, they really have given up, and decided on "the path of least resistance."
But for people who have figured out the food formula, they understand that you can live into your 90's AND be healthy and strong. Jack LaLanne came up in the conversation, and Gil responded by saying something to the effect of "but who wants to work out an hour a day?"
While it is true that Jack LaLanne was very physically fit and did work out, he was also a very early adopter of the nutrient dense diet. In fact he was an early fan and advocate of the work of Dr. Fuhrman. So yes, if your only perspective is the "conventional diet" one, you probably have a pretty grim view of your later years.
But when you make the shift to a higher nutrient way of eating, your life literally changes. In fact, we talked about this exact thing yesterday.
Gil's observation builds on this. Not only will your immediate life change, but your perception of how you will age and what the quality of your life will be as you age changes. For the better.
The big question we see at PEERtrainer is "ok, HOW do I do this?" Many people see something like the Cheat System or Eat To Live and can dive right in. Others need a ton of help, which is why we have developed our programs to help put these ideas into practice.
Conclusion: Please tell us what you think about Gil's comment. Do you see this in yourself or people around you? Has your perception of how you will age changed, if you are one of those people who has made "the shift?" Leave a comment here on this blog post, reply to the email that you were sent with this blog post or leave a comment on our facebook wall.
It's not an exaggeration when I say the day I stumbled upon Peertrainer was a day that changed my life. I've always struggled with my weight, always thought I was eating healthy (a thought that was encouraged by nutritionists I saw who encouraged the idea that pasta, chicken and dairy are "health" foods...), and could never understand why I kept gaining weight despite being relatively disciplined.
The daily tips fixed some major holes in my nutritional strategy - for example, the first tip I received from you is to focus on the one thing that trips me up. I knew that I was generally good at portion control (or so I thought), but whenever I cook a fresh pot of something, about twice a week, I keep nibbling on it for a while after I finish my meal. I decided to focus on that, and discovered that when I don't nibble, the pot suddenly produces around 8 meals instead of the usual 6 - I was actually "nibbling" two extra meals twice a week!
Next, the Cheat System provided me with a simple and easy strategy to lose weight. I didn't really have to give up anything, just limit whatever is on the right column to a 1000 calories per day, and more importantly increase the amount of vegetables and legumes in my diet. I cooked sweet potatoes and chickpeas, and bought a bunch of bags of peeled mini-carrots, and I was good to go. I lost 14 lbs in a little over 3 months. Not only that, but I felt healthier and more energized than I ever felt even when I was 18 (I'm 34 now). Even my eyesight, that was starting to deteriorate, all of the sudden became perfect again. Probably saved me a lot of money on getting prescription glasses..."
2 Reasons This Email Is Important
The email keeps going but we want to keep this post short and simply point out that this is a GREAT email because it outlines very clearly the power of getting out of "conventional diet food" mindset. We hammer away at this idea because it is so embedded in people's minds that they eat "diet foods." We have a controversial suggestion- if you are eating anything that is labeled low calorie or 100 calorie snack pack stuff- that is a strong indicator that you are going to struggle.
For whatever reason, people are resistant to making this shift, but when they do things change.
It also shows how the (free) PEERtrainer Cheat System helps to provide a simple way to eat a plant strong, nutrient dense diet.
We are also posting this to show people that if they follow the Cheat System, good things can happen.
Additionally, it is a great example of the power of the free resources at PEERtrainer. Good advice and help is the best support you can get!
I was asked a question about a recent post I did on the new Weight Watchers Momentum Program and sort of challenged on my notion that in the past it has been an unhealthy diet for some. I also asserted that it seemed they were heading in a new direction.
So I pulled up a thread to show what I had seen in the past. Again, this is just what I observed, but many on Weight Watchers seemed to be really focusing on ways of following the diet but really sticking to their old habits. I also observed that it seems that Weight Watchers has been attempting to address this issue
Here were some of the comments that caught my attention:
"For all you people that use WW like I do I just wanted to tell you about the blueberry muffins, they are so good and would never realize they were WW. THey are only 3 pts and def worth it. Also the carrot cakes are only one point, I am going to see what else is out there for the WW brand when it comes to junk food."
"Thanks for the tip. Also, I love the WW cheesecakes, I think they are only 3 pts and worth it!"
"Ok just had the WW cheesecake and oh my god! They could be dangerous! So far I am amazed at how easy the program is and the pounds are just dropping even though I am eating sweets again. The WW ice cream sandwichs @ 2 points are great as well as the gaint fudge bars @ 1 point"
"Well, if you think about it, it makes total sense--the kind of sweets you used to eat probably had ten times the fat and calories as the WW sweets do. That's why I love WW; you can still eat the kinds of foods you want but they are replacing much more fattening choices, so you do lose. Works for me!"
"I just started WW and found it to be the easiest to follow. I like their fudge bars, they don't taste like low fat at all."
And then the discussion turned:
"this is why I don't like weight watchers... it's not like that food is exactly "healthy." The OP is looking for "healthy" junk food... why not just decide to find healthy food that is yummy?? The idea should be to find ways to eat healthy and enjoy it- not find lower calorie versions of bad food."
"I agree with the most recent poster. I did WW and got tired of hearing about their products - we are paying for a meeting after all, not to hear a commercial. I don't think they are really teaching or emphasizing nutrition, and I think the points recommended for me was too drastically small, I felt starved. I'm glad you all like it so much and if it works for you that's great, but I have a lot of problems with WW."
It is a pretty interesting discussion but that captures the essence of what I was getting at.
Context Is Everything!!
Update: June 14th, 2011: One thing that we would add to this post is the notion that "context is everything." Yes, Weight Watchers is deeply committed to a line of processed foods that any health expert could critique endlessly.
Yet, if you are just starting out in the weight loss process, Weight Watchers will teach you portion control, and truly help those people who are looking to put the fundamentals of change into place. The portion control side of things can be incredibly difficult, even for people who are fairly far along in their weight loss journey.
We would also observe that no weight loss approach is healthy when done by itself. You need to have as open a mind as possible, and treat the path to better health as a journey that will likely take several years. When you break things down this way you give yourself a lot of runway.