A revolutionary approach to conquer cravings, overcome food addiction, and lose weight without going hungry
Chef AJ with Glen Merzer
If you are a parent reading this, please understand that once you start feeding your kids unhealthy, disease-promoting foods like animal products, especially dairy, and processed food (particularly sugar and refined grains), you are planting the seeds for predisposing them to a refined food addiction by rewiring their delicate brain chemistry in an unfavorable way and adulterating their palate so that they are disinclined to enjoy the taste of healthy, whole, natural food. Processed foods like these are engineered to be addictive; they hijack our taste buds and our brain chemistry. Getting your family to eat healthy foods after they have been habitually eating these highly addictive foods will be an uphill battle, so please heal yourself from these addictions and stabilize your own brain chemistry first. The best strategy is not to feed your kids these poisons in the first place.
If you want to easily lose weight and keep it off, calorie density is so important to comprehend that I spend at least ninety minutes teaching it to every new client who comes to me for private coaching. I want to make sure that they truly understand it because it’s the foundation upon which The Ultimate Weight Loss Program is built. Calorie density simply means the number of calories in a given weight of food, expressed in calories per pound. And foods vary in their caloric density from about 100 calories per pound to about 4,000 calories per pound. Most people erroneously believe that to lose weight, you need to “eat less and exercise more,” but if that truly worked and was sustainable, then why do ninety-eight percent of people who lose weight on diets gain it all back within two years? Using calorie density as the basis for my own personal weight loss, I was actually able to easily and effortlessly lose fifty pounds, and keep it off, eating more and (initially) not exercising at all.
You see, feeling full is due to the weight and the volume of the food you eat, as opposed to merely the calories that the food contains. So, if you eat foods that are lower in caloric density, you can still feel full and take in fewer calories. In her research lab at Penn State University, where she studies human eating behavior, Dr. Rolls discovered that all people consistently eat pretty much the same weight of food every day. So, simply by changing the caloric density of the foods they ate, they could easily lose weight without the usual suffering associated with having to eat smaller portions of food.
Leptin is a hormone released by your fat cells to signal satiation when they sense that you have taken in enough food. When this happens, your hunger signals quiet down and you stop eating, as you are no longer hungry. (Fen-Phen worked by manipulating leptin levels.) When you eat less food by weight and volume, your body releases less leptin, so you are driven to overeat. Once you understand the principles of caloric density, you will find that you can actually eat even more food than you were eating before you started The Ultimate Weight Loss Program, without experiencing hunger or deprivation. And because you are taking in fewer calories, you will lose weight without the usual suffering associated with futile attempts at portion control or carbohydrate or calorie-restricted diets .Using this approach, you could easily lower your daily caloric intake by about 500 calories a day and lose at least a pound a week. And this type of slow weight loss is the most sustainable because you are eating large, satisfying portions of food, so your brain never sends out those signals that you are starving, causing you to eat more, and of all the wrong foods. I lost fifty pounds, gradually and effortlessly, without restricting myself at all. As a general rule, the more weight you have to lose, the faster the pounds will come off at first.
So, here’s how the program works: you fill up on the foods with the lowest caloric density first, minimizing or eliminating the foods with higher caloric density. And what exactly are these foods with the lowest calorie density? Well, as luck would have it, they are the healthiest foods on the planet: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
I once saw a very accurate post on Facebook that read, “No one ever got fat from eating too much kale.” With non-starchy vegetables (almost all vegetables except potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, and corn) having a caloric density of about 100 calories per pound when consumed raw and roughly 200 calories per pound when eaten cooked, it’s virtually impossible to overeat them. Non-starchy vegetables are the first category of food on my calorie density chart (see back cover) and the food lowest in calorie density. In my Ultimate Weight Loss Program, participants are asked to eat a minimum of two pounds of non-starchy vegetables daily, in addition to any raw salads or vegetables that are included in recipes, starting their day with at least one pound of non-starchy vegetables as part of their first meal of the day.
Invariably, the lower their daily intake of vegetables, the higher their weight.
You see, the less a food is processed, the better it is for weight loss. The more a food is processed, the more it contributes to weight gain.
Always eating your food whole, rather than processed, is another secret to Ultimate Weight Loss.
That means ALL OIL – yes, even some “health food” faves like olive oil and coconut oil, about which so many dubious health claims are made. Did you know that it takes almost sixteen ears of corn just to make one tablespoon of corn oil? Do you think anyone could honestly eat that much corn in one sitting? But it’s very easy to down a salad with forty calories from lettuce and at least 400 calories from an oily dressing. It takes about forty olives to make a tablespoon of olive oil. When you process the olives into oil, everything that was beneficial in the whole natural food like the water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants are destroyed in the processing.
I’ve been very fortunate to be able to practice this technique during the last seven years as a visiting guest chef and lecturer at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa.
When you come home from a stressful day at work, willpower alone may not prevent you from eating an entire sleeve of Double Stuf Oreos. It will be infinitely easier for you if this food is never in your home.
If you do decide to ever eat any noncompliant foods once the program is over, I recommend that you always eat them outside of your home and never have them in your home, because as every food addict knows, “If it’s in your house, it’s in your mouth.”
Now it’s time to go food shopping. Here’s what to buy:
- Fresh fruit
- Frozen fruit (with no sugar added)
- Fresh non-starchy vegetables
- Frozen vegetables (with no salt added)
- Whole grains (corn, oats, quinoa, rice, etc.)
- A good quality Vitamin B-12 supplement (1000 micrograms)
- Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, and split peas, etc.)
- Starchy vegetables (any kind of potato, sweet potato, or winter squash)
- Flax seeds, chia seeds, or hemp seeds (unless they are a trigger for you)
- Condiments (Herbs, Salt-Free Spices and Tomato Products, Vinegars)
They simply were either compliant or non-compliant. If they want to achieve their weight loss goals and overcome their food addictions, then it’s going to take a high degree of compliance.
Beginning with a single bite of a pecan praline on a trip to New Orleans, or an innocent “fun-size” Snickers bar at Halloween, some have gone so far deep back into the “pleasure trap” that they have gained all their weight back, and then some, and even had to go back on their medication or watch their health deteriorate drastically. It breaks my heart when I see this happen. Because it all happened with “just one bite” that they were erroneously told, and they believed, wouldn’t hurt them. I believe it is far easier to stay out of the “pleasure trap” and stay compliant than having to neuroadapt all over again and continually become compliant.
True North Health Center