With the staggering amount of people who are overweight (69% of adults over 20), no wonder the diet business is such the rage. But dieting isn’t anything new. We have history showing us that although most of our ancestors tried to eat more, dieting became  a “thing” as early as the 19th century. Weight Watchers drove the dieting concept into business stardom in the 1960’s, and we haven’t looked back since. Not only did our ideal of beauty change from the more heavy models like Marilyn Monroe to the stick figures of Twiggy, but we embarked on a historical turn that has lead us all into constant awareness of our waistline.

Now we have so many choices when it comes to diet and weight management. The typical diet of any first world country consists primarily of grains and sugar. Most of the food consumed is processed. The amount of vegetables included are exceptionally low. We know this, and yet we still struggle.

Some diets simply reduce calories. The huge problem with using this as your sole diet method is that food quality is absent in the choices. Where one focuses only on how many calories consumed, what they feed their body often doesn’t meet their nutritional needs. If your body is missing something, it will crave more. This is why most people on restricted calorie diets fail. They remain hungry and need to eat.

Some diets simply focus on specific elements. Take Atkins as an example. This is a well known no/low carb diet. However, like the calorie reduction diets, the quality of the food  is lacking, and the body will continue to crave what it is nutritionally missing.

Don’t misunderstand, sugar cravings are not what I’m referring to. Any purging of a processed food or sugar-filled diet will take some will-power to get over the body’s dependence/addiction to the easily converted sugars. What I’m referring to is hunger, or craving food that satiates your need to nourish your body. Some of these diets failure to address chemical nutritional components, like vitamins and minerals. Others stay with a type of requirement, like protein, without  explaining that the quality of the protein will affect how your body responds to it (as an example, inflammation from the consumption of soy protein, or the lack of quality within various types of whey.)

So what should you do? First, and foremost, start to choose foods in their most natural and healthy state. There are so many choices out their for more healthy eating, you will need to find one that works with your goals.

I’ve tried many different diets. I know, if you personally know me you’re probably shocked to hear that I “diet”. But not all dieting means you want or need to lose weight. Even once one loses the weight they’re targeting, their healthy living goals of abundant energy, anti-aging, and mental acuity will dictate what dieting they continue with.

I’ve tried Paleo, Atkins, simple restricted calorie, and Bulletproof. What I’ve been living with the last three years in a hybrid Bulletproof Paleo. What does this look like for me?

  • Bulletproof Coffee in the morning. At its base it’s a mold-free organic coffee, organic grass-fed butter, and MCT/Brain Octane oil. I always add cinnamon, always. This keeps me focused and full until lunch. If you don’t drink coffee you can make this with tea.
  • Lunch between 1230-2pm local time.
  • Dinner no later than 7pm local time.
  • No refined sugar, only using erythritol or stevia.
  • Limit other “natural” sugars. Those sugars include maple syrup and honey.
  • Eliminate dairy (aside from butter).
  • Eliminate wheat, corn and processed “non-gluten” products.
  • I eat more carbs than the Bulletproof diets typically allows. The carbs I choose still fall under the healthy part of the diet. My increase is in quantity and doesn’t impact quality.
  • I buy organic when we can… but do not make this the driving factor.

That last bullet may throw many people off. The thing is this, food is very expensive. I choose organic, farm raised as often as possible, but when I can’t it is not an option to just not eat, eat crap, or feel bad about what I did buy. An example is beef. If I can’t buy organic I’ll still buy well marbled beef. I won’t feel bad about it, I won’t avoid it, and I won’t buy some marinated beef brisket just because it’s on sale (the marinade likely contains chemicals and sugars, and is past its prime and why it’s on sale). Buy the best that you can afford and feel great about it.

Will power to move away from a first-world diet will be challenging, but it can be done. If you can be strong, each week will be easier than the last. Within six weeks you won’t need as much strength. If you “cheat”, don’t feel bad, don’t think the whole effort is wasted either. One cheat doesn’t mean you go on a muffin binge!

Dieting will bring you to a healthy weight, but will also give you more energy, reduce your inflammation, and help mitigate disease. You’ll bring your body into its best and most optimized state of being.