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The Diet Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know This

By Marc Perry / July 16, 2018

There are tons of diets that promise fast fat loss and everlasting health, but most do not deliver on their promises.

Worst of all, most diets are unsustainable and some may pose serious health risks.

Diets – and especially extreme diets – are easy to sell, but they don’t work. If you go on a diet, you must come off the diet.

For thousands of years, human beings have thrived in different geographic regions with access to all different types of foods:

  1. The Kitavans from Papua New Guinea have a high carbohydrate diet consisting mostly of root vegetables, coconut, and fruit, yet are very lean with low blood pressure.1
  2. The Inuits from Alaska have very high fat diets feasting mostly on marine life, yet are free from cancer and heart disease.2
  3. The Maasai tribe from Africa mostly consumes milk, blood, and meat – high in lactose, saturated fat, and cholesterol – yet they are lean and disease free.34
  4. The Cretans who follow a high fat Mediterranean diet emphasizing olive oil and nuts experience low risk of heart disease.5
  5. The Japanese who have the lowest obesity rate in the developed world (just 3.5% vs. 35% U.S.) eat high carbohydrate grains like rice and noodles in addition to fish and vegetables.6

The list goes on, and on. I hope it’s clear by now, but there is no perfect diet. There is no perfect combination of foods to magically help you melt fat away and live past 100 years old.

So What’s The Best Diet For You?

If your goal is to lose body fat while still eating healthy foods, the best diet for you is the one that:

  1. Keeps you feeling full
  2. Keeps your calorie intake low
  3. Works with your digestive health
  4. Provides your body with the nutrients it needs
  5. You actually follow / enjoy

The best diet for you is some variation of a “whole foods diet”. Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined that contain few ingredients. How many ingredients does broccoli have? You guessed it- 1 ingredient.

This is simple, yet profound advice. It’s so simple it will never get the attention it deserves because it’s not gimmicky, or extreme.

A Whole Foods Diet is more of a nutrition philosophy than a diet. A whole foods diet keeps you feeling full and provides your body the nutrients it needs while you eat fewer calories without even trying.

If you want to lose body fat, then eating whole foods will make your goal much easier. If you simply want to maintain your current body fat level, eating whole foods will help your body run optimally.

What’s your opinion?

Show 6 References

  1. Lindeberg S, Berntorp E, Nilsson-ehle P, Terént A, Vessby B. Age relations of cardiovascular risk factors in a traditional Melanesian society: the Kitava Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66(4):845-52.
  2. Dyerberg J. Coronary heart disease in Greenland Inuit: a paradox. Implications for western diet patterns. Arctic Med Res. 1989;48(2):47-54.
  3. Wagh K, Bhatia A, Alexe G, et al. Lactase persistence and lipid pathway selection in the Maasai. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(9):e44751.
  4. J A Mbalilaki et. al. Daily energy expenditure and cardiovascular risk in Masai, rural and urban Bantu Tanzanians. Br J Sports Med 2010;44:121-126
  5. Vardavas CI, Linardakis MK, Hatzis CM, Saris WH, Kafatos AG. Cardiovascular disease risk factors and dietary habits of farmers from Crete 45 years after the first description of the Mediterranean diet. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2010;17(4):440-6.
  6. Available at: http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-obesity-isnt-one-them-1038090. Accessed July 23, 2014.

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29 Comments

  • Mary says:

    Great article. Just got your Healthy eating videos which I found helpful.

  • Miki says:

    What a great article! Thank you!! Ugh diets are so ridiculous, and yet everyone I know is always trying them. So silly.

  • Nick says:

    Great stuff I'm on it for the next 90days, I can't wait to shed some fat. Kudos Marc

  • kukiboe says:

    I am from the pacific region, and I grew up in village life. I saw lots of industrial diets are pouring in our village life and start to make us sick. Our life style foods which whole plant become superseded by what we called foreign foods. Lots of Omega 6 oil, wheat, sugar and high fructose drinks. I ate this foods without realizing that its kills us very early in life. I read your article emphasis on whole plant foods. This is what our grand fathers and mothers eat during there times. Nothing but just organic whole plant foods from their garden. There life span to 100 years, but today we stoped early as from 40 to 60 years. I blame this industrials foods. I am now trying to follow what my great grand father and mother diets. Eat whole plant foods.

  • russella says:

    This is a very refreshing, accurate, and most timely article. These days, obesity research and articles are everywhere, often with contradictory findings and messages. There is such a plethora of information that it is like wading through a sea of mud trying to find a blade of grass to arrive at the truth. Books like "Grain Brain" and "Wheat Belly" demonize carbs, yet they are essential for athletic performance; adherents of the Paleo lifestyle abound everywhere; vegetarian doctors like Joel Fuhrman promote non-Paleo nutrition with whole foods and less meat because it promotes IGF which promotes cancer, ad infinitum.

    But they all agree that one size does NOT fit all; "dieting" in the conventional sense is unhealthy; and certain carbs like refined sugars are bad, while healthy fats and vegetables are good. Marc always seems to know how to distill the truth from each of the schools of thought and present it in an easy-to-follow format that gives me hope. Thank you, Marc, for cutting through the muddle to help us all achieve our best health.

  • Dan says:

    You would consider bread (whole grain, wheat, sourdough, etc) a processed food, right?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Dan - That's a great question. Yes, bread is undoubtedly processed, but some are much less processed than others. For example, Ezikiel bread is minimally processed and the best option if you do want to eat bread. I personally eat bread (I went for a couple years without it), but I keep it to a minimum and avoid it in general. Most breads are empty calories at best.

      • Dan says:

        Thanks, Marc! Love your site and what you do. It's crazy how it is so engrained in our culture that people (including most folks in the health & fitness industry) love to defend that wheat bread is part of a "healthy" diet.

  • Rich says:

    Marc I absolutely love the information you provide. As a fellow RD myself I am always wary of fads and empty promises. Your information is spot on and I use the information in my own practice and constantly refer my weight loss clients to your articles, with hope that they may purchase your products.

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Thanks, Rich. I really appreciate it!

  • Kim K says:

    Hi Marc - I really appreicate the no-nonsense article!!

    As a fellow industry pro, it drives me nuts that so many companies are allowed to get away with promoting so many rubbish faddy diets, supplements, and pills that all claim to help you lose weight....and so many in our industry do the same, also believing the hype.
    My new clients are always amazed when I put them on a nutrition plan that tells them they can eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks per day, as long as they adhere to the foods on the 'permitted' list - yep, whole foods. NO processed muck at all!
    They are astounded that they don't want to eat all the time, constantly telling me they're full up - and then they lose weight! It's like a revelation to them! Processed food is the worst invention since I have no idea what.....
    Real foods, every day, all day, and an active lifestlyle...it doesn't get any simpler than that!!

    Thanks as always Marc.

    Kim

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Thanks for sharing. I think you are absolutely right, just doing a warm up every day would help millions of sedentary people feel much better and likely improve their healthy substantially.

  • Steeve Cantave says:

    I think the word diet is misused too much. As one of my friend told me, people should look at it as a lifestyle change. I can understand a healthy person looking to drop 5-10 pounds by changing how they eat. However, if someone is looking to become healthy, that person has to settle on finding food that are healthy and that he or she enjoys. Then it no longer becomes a chore but rather a daily routine that is easy to maintain.

  • Kevin says:

    Great website.

    One question - why is everyone against processed foods? I know that is trendy and its sounds healthier to eat non-processed, but there is scarcely any solid science showing processed foods are bad. Food science in general is pretty hard to get particularly concerning diet. But I really don't see how we know that eating crackers from a box is worse than making crackers at home from your own wheat and oil and blah blah. Why is bread from a factory worse than bread from home (besides the obvious taste)?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Hey Kevin - Breads and crackers are technically processed even if you make them at home. Eating whole foods is NOT trendy, not many people do it. What's trendy is doing juice cleanses and various tough to follow diets. The idea is the closer the foods are to nature we eat, the better. I showed several research studies showing healthy populations eating whole foods in this article. When "western processed foods" are introduced to healthy populations eating whole foods, the incidence of disease invariably goes up. This has been shown over and over and over again. Obviously, you can do what you choose, and certainly avoiding processed foods completely is very difficult. I think eating whole foods is an ideal worth striving for.

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