First, we believe and know that health is a choice. You may have been raised to think that the status of your health is a matter of luck, germs, or genes. The study of epigenetics has taught us different. For those who are not familiar with this concept, it simply means that our behavior and habits have more to do with our health status than our gene pool does. The protein coating around our DNA (genes) is called the epigenome. It controls whether or not a gene is available to be copied and expressed. The science of epigenetics has shown that how we think, eat, and move affects the epigenome, which ultimately determines our health. It is no coincidence that most diseases in this country are due to the poor choices we make. Let’s face it: when it comes to eating, we make a lot of bad choices. We are committing suicide daily with a fork and knife. More than 300,000 deaths per year in America can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices. That’s the equivalent of two 767 jumbo jets full of passengers crashing EVERY DAY. The bottom line? FOOD IS FUEL! The fuel you put into your body will result in your health, good or poor. And just as with cars, performance is directly related to fuel. Would you put diesel fuel in your car if it required unleaded gasoline? Or dirty engine oil at the next oil change? Would you wash your car with coffee or diet soda? Of course not. Somewhere along the way, we started to take better care of our cars than our bodies.
This does not mean you shouldn’t enjoy what you eat, but eating simply for pleasure or entertainment is dangerous. Over the next 8 weeks, you’ll acquire an awareness of the reason you are eating – or overeating – helping you take a stance and buck the status quo. While going to a movie might be entertaining, the trans fat laden popcorn, Twizzlers®, and extra large diet soda that used to go along with it could be murder. Our bodies are in constant state of breakdown and renewal, always seeking balance, called homeostasis. That means the body you have right now will be completely and chemically different than the body you have next year, 98% of the cells completely replaced within that year. Where does the body get the raw materials it needs to regenerate itself? You guessed it… the food we eat and liquids we drink. You are what you eat, quite literally! So we implore you to begin thinking differently about your dietary program. Before taking a bite, ask yourself: will this nourish my body and provide energy, or will it tax my body and weaken it? When we think of it like this, we can’t help but realize God-made, natural, whole foods are better than man-made processed foods. To make it more memorable we suggest you learn the phrase from author Michael Pollan, "If if comes from a plant, eat it - if it's made in a plant, don’t.” Usually our patients’ hearts are in the right place, but they simply don’t know how to eat correctly. And who could blame them? We are bombarded daily with mixed messages through multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. Just look at the ads directed towards children. Research shows that young children can identify Ronald McDonald more readily than the President of United States. With all the mixed messages in advertising, who knows where to begin? Even the so-called nutritional experts don’t all agree. Fat-free foods, low-salt foods, low-carb foods, high-protein foods, heart-healthy foods, and on, and on, and on. So how do we choose? What do we choose? Why do we choose it?
DEBUNKING THE NUTRITION MYTHS . . .
Myth #1: In order to lose weight, I must eat a low-calorie diet. Wrong! We can think of no better way to sabotage the body than by going on an extremely low calorie diet. Your body has been programmed over many thousands of years to conserve body fat when food is not available. Think of the hibernating bear. When you cut calories, your metabolic rate drops, and you can’t burn wood without a fire! Resuming your normal calorie consumption after a low-calorie diet may cause even more weight gain, which many of you may have already experienced.
Myth #2: Fat is bad. No! There are GOOD fats which everyone needs in order to burn body fat. Each cell in our body requires fat. Your entire hormonal system is dependent on fat to function well. You will learn in 8WW® the difference between high-quality fats and poor-quality fats and how to incorporate high-quality fats into your diet.
Myth #3: In order to lose weight, I must suffer, consuming foods I don’t like. How untrue this is! Good, healthy foods are delicious. Your taste buds may have become accustomed to poor quality foods, foods filled with sugars, bad fats and low quality salt. As you begin to eat a healthy diet, you’ll be surprised at how satisfied you will feel. We call this “reclaiming your taste buds”.