From the 1950’s until present day, we were told to eliminate fat from our diet, as it was the root of all dietary evils from weight gain to heart disease. This view has lightened up in recent years upon the discovery that there are fats that provide tremendous health benefits; but the pervasive view still remains that fat is bad and must be avoided.
In the 1980’s and 90’s we were introduced to the idea that it wasn’t fat that was causing obesity and heart disease, but in fact it was carbohydrates. If we eliminate carbohydrates we will surely solve all obesity and obesity related illnesses, right?
Fast forward to modern times and protein is taking the blame for all of society’s ills (namely animal protein). Now we’re being told that it’s protein that is causing us to be overweight and leading to increasing rates in heart disease, cancers, and other degenerative illnesses.
Bear with me while I propose something incredibly controversial….
What if, and hear me out on this, what if the problem all along has been the enormous amount of calories in the Standard American Diet, and not the individual macronutrients? Estimates vary, but they generally tend to agree that Americans eat close to 3,600 calories per day (2013 data) compared to the early 1960’s when Americans ate approximately 2700 calories per day. For more reading on this topic check out this article by Business Insider.
According to the CDC the average American eats 46-48% of their daily calories from carbohydrates, 15-16% from protein, and 34-35% from fat. A couple interesting points to note in this assessment is that the majority of the carbs come from processed/refined carbs, most of the fat comes from vegetable oils, and much of the protein comes from plant based protein sources like peanuts, beans, legumes etc. Kind of puts a damper in the meat free for health narrative doesn’t it?
Here’s the thing: one gram of fat has 9 calories in it, one gram of carbs has 4 calories in it, and one gram of protein has 4 calories in it. Carbs, fats, and proteins contain calories. If you eliminate either carbs, fats, or proteins you are eliminating a significant source of daily calories and will most likely lose a considerable amount of weight SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU RESTRICTED CALORIES!
This concept shouldn’t be controversial, but in 2022 we are living in a world of diet books, online gurus, and let’s face it, diet cults. People develop a cult like devotion to a particular diet and won’t break away from it no matter what. Some people argue that if the diet works to help people lose weight, than what is the harm? The harm is the disordered eating patterns it develops. We have been in practice for well over a decade and we owned a gym at one point. Anecdotally, we have seen dozens of people who jump onto a diet, see some positive results and go full bore into the diet to the point where it impacts their social life, relationships, and there mental health do to the anxiety of eating something that isn’t “paleo” or “keto” or “vegan.”
Join us for our next BWCLP Nutrition Workshop and learn the Three Nutritional Pillars we teach.
1) Sustainability and adherence for a lifetime (not a few months before beach season)
2) Slight caloric deficit for a lifetime
3) Food choices matter, but don’t be weird.
A couple simple points we follow at home:
1) If it is in a box or a bag it should stay there. Not eating processed foods is a simple way to eliminate a lot of calories and poor nutritional fats and processed carbs.
2) We eat whatever we want, but we make it ourselves. Largely from scratch.