Less than a century ago, knowing what to eat was simple.
Okay, access to food wasn’t necessarily as abundant as today, but options were much more limited. The ability to cram thousands of calories into your mouth in a single TV dinner wasn’t there. People ate simple meals with simple ingredients like meat, vegetables, and fruits.
It’s only in more recent times that we’ve created a “food industry.” What’s the purpose of the food industry? To sell food.
Who buys the food? Hungry people.
Who doesn’t buy food? People who aren’t hungry!
Is it a coincidence that so much of the food in our supermarkets is calorie-dense but nutrient-dead and ultimately not filling?
Knowing what to eat should be one of the easiest things for humans to decide. But if you struggle with it, don’t beat yourself up. It’s not entirely your fault.
Look around: we are bombarded with adverts for food and supplements from every angle. We see brightly colored commercials for a never-ending variety of foods, from sugary cereals to sodas to corn chips to burgers and countless others.
Then you open social media and see more commercials for meal replacement drinks or Instagram influencers pushing their supplement to “melt fat.” We’re witnessing open attacks on meat and animal products and are increasingly being pushed vegan alternatives that are just as processed as the ready meals we’re told to avoid.
Research from 2021 found that 95% of the Dietary Guidelines of Americans (DSG) advisory committee have conflicts of interest, including industry giants like Kellogg’s and Dannon. Those conflicts of interest include funding and board positions in those companies. Yet we’re led to believe that the DSG provides unbiased scientific recommendations.
The Global Wellness Institute says the “Healthy Eating, Nutrition, & Weight Loss” sector was worth $946 billion in 2020. Almost a trillion dollars!
Let’s be clear: that sector primarily exists to help people lose weight, which is a problem created by all the above factors.
That’s a massive amount of money going to something that we’re all told is really simple. As I used to say to my patients (and myself): eat less, move more, and choose low-fat food.
Unfortunately, we live in an age of mass confusion. Thanks to the vested interests all around us, it’s hard to know what to eat, when to eat, and how much.
People spend years flip-flopping from one diet to the next, looking for the one that finally works.
When the weight comes off, it quickly returns because the diet wasn’t sustainable.
That’s the heart of the problem: this approach isn’t sustainable.
Most people who have struggled with weight know they can lose some of it. The problem is keeping it off.
That’s why I don’t recommend diets. Instead, I recommend lifestyle shifts that are easy to implement – permanently.
By making these lifestyle shifts, you’ll become metabolically healthy. You’ll reduce your risk of disease. You’ll become more energetic and achieve the level of health that most people dream of. Your blood panels will show superior numbers, and you’ll fit into your favorite clothes again.
Another benefit to lifestyle shifts is that once you’re accustomed to them, you can maintain them for the rest of your life, unlike diets, where you’re always counting down to the last day or fighting your body’s urges.
By Dr. Philip Ovadia