“Consumption of a meal containing [an] identical [quantity of calories] and nutrients can produce markedly different physiological responses…” – D.S. Ludwig, Harvard University
Picking up where we left off in the last post…when people see you dropping pounds of body fat while eating more, they will ask what diet you are on. If you have to give an answer, say you are on the Natural Balanced Diet. Natural because you are eating the food you evolved to eat—food that comes directly from the earth. Balanced because natural food automatically provides an even ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrate—about a third of each.
Protein, Carbohydrate, and Fat in Common “Diets”
Consistent with the principle of not dieting, you will not be counting calories or using rigid meal plans. You will eat non-starchy vegetables, seafood, lean meat, fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese, fat-free or low-fat plain Greek yogurt, eggs, berries, citrus fruits, milled flax seeds, and nuts—in basically that order—and make your plate look like this:
What a Natural Balanced Plate Looks Like
Rigid step-by-step plans do not work in the real world. Imagine trying to learn addition by memorizing every possible combination of numbers. Beyond being ridiculous, it’s useless in real life. You and I learned addition by understanding the general rules and thinking logically from there. Permanent reduction of body fat is no different. Let’s learn the general rules of eating more—smarter—and take it from there.
Here is the general idea for the types of food we should be eating relative to common diets:
Types of Food to Eat Relative to Common Diets
Here are the nutrients we will get relative to the typical U.S. diet:
A Natural Balanced Diet vs. the Typical U.S. Diet
Review the last row of the last table. I am not saying eat more for shock value. Researchers estimate that prior to the advent of starch and sweeteners, our ancestors ate about five pounds of food per day. Thanks to all the water, fiber, and protein, SANE foods are literally larger than inSANE foods. Our shopping carts, refrigerators, and plates will be much fuller when we replace inSANE foods with SANE foods.
A Typical Trip to Costco
No more tiny, sweet, starchy breakfasts. You can have luscious omelets overflowing with non-starchy vegetables and lean meat or generous protein-packed smoothies.
No more flaccid sandwiches for lunch and soggy starch for dinner. Enjoy a triple serving of delightful seafood or succulent lean meat accompanied by a mountain of non-starchy vegetables. Let’s add milled flax seeds to everything we can and enjoy nuts and fruits—focusing on berries and citrus fruits—as wonderful on-the-go snacks. Add some fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese or some fat-free or low-fat plain Greek yogurt as needed, and you will be satisfied and slim. (Why low-fat? Answers here & here.)
“Diets with increased protein have now been shown to improve adult health with benefits for treatment or prevention of obesity, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, heart disease.” – D.K. Layman, University of Illinois
That is all there is to it from the eating side of things. It is not complicated. It cannot be complicated. How could it be? Staying healthy and fit is the most basic ability anyone could ever have.
There’s all sorts of specific tips and tricks in The Smarter Science of Slim Support Group, the SSoS podcast, and coming on this blog to help you get back to normal eating in today’s abnormal world, but for now eat more—smarter—by eating:
Freed from the myths and marketing at the heart of the obesity epidemic, the solution is simple: Return to normal. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want, as long as the food is coming from SANE sources so that you get a natural, balanced amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat, while staying satisfied.
Enjoy the new Smarter Science of Slim podcast on iTunes
Trailer: Jonathan Bailor’s Smarter Science of Slim
1. Except for cheese. Low-carbohydrate diets generally encourage relatively high intakes of cheese.
2. Unnatural fats engineered by food product manufacturers to decrease costs and increase shelf-life. These are like the high-fructose corn syrup of fats, and should be avoided.
- Boyd, S., Melvin Konner, Marjorie Shostak, and M.D. Eaton. The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet and Exercise and a Design for Living. 1st ed ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1988. Print.
- Cordain, Loren. The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat. New Ed ed. New York, NY: Wiley, 2002. Print.
- Layman DK. Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12. PubMed PMID: 19284668; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2666737.
- Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd, Konner MJ. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: a twelve-year retrospective on its nature and implications. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;51(4):207-16. Review. PubMed PMID: 9104571.
- Eaton SB, Konner MJ, Cordain L. Diet-dependent acid load, Paleolithic nutrition, and evolutionary health promotion. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;91(2):295-7. Epub 2009 Dec 30. PubMed PMID: 20042522.
- Ludwig DS. The glycemic index: physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. JAMA. 2002 May 8;287(18):2414-23. Review. PubMed PMID: 11988062.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=769