By Jordan Ruimy
“You’ve got to eat fat to lose fat.” Ever heard that one before? It isn’t as insane as it sounds. I’ve experimented with lots of diets over the years. None of them made me lose as much weight and made me feel as good, both mentally and physically, as a diet high in fats, low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
I lost 45 pounds over the course of 10 months, going from a fairly built but bulky 18% body fat to 10%. I was consuming up to 150g of fat on a daily basis and still losing weight. When I looked into what it was I was doing, my research led me to what people call the “paleolithic diet.”
The diet is so named because it follows the eating habits of those from paleolithic (read cavemen) times. The agricultural revolution changed how we eat with the introduction of grains and refined carbohydrates. Subsequently, carbohydrates took up the majority of our diets.
In my high fat diet I consumed a wide variety of healthy fats including eggs, peanut butter, almond butter, meat, fish, butter and avocado. They all allowed me to store sufficient energy, so I felt fantastic and didn’t feel the carb crash of the more common Western diets. I used most of my energy from the fats that I was consuming and ingested a lower amount of carbohydrates, avoiding some of the negative effects that come with high carb diets.
It is not so far off to suggest that our typical western diet (60% carbs, 25% fat and 15% protein) has been the main reason for sky rocketing obesity rates and depression. Have you ever seen a picture of a fat caveman? Research suggests there was no such thing as being “overweight” back then. Yet they ate things that some people are scared of eating today such as eggs, pork and red meat.
Carbohydrates tend to be addictive. I can eat an entire bowl of pasta and want another one immediately after. Whereas if I eat my usual 3-4 daily eggs for breakfast, I don’t really feel the need to have more. Why? Because your brain gets tricked when taking in carbohydrates such as pasta and bread. They increase the serotonin levels in your brain, which gives you a great high before a carb crash happens and you end up feeling lower than a fish at sea. That is until your next serotonin inducing, high carbohydrate meal.
Obese people are often depressed, and depressed people are at a risk of gaining a sufficient amount of weight. It’s a two way street and, in my opinion, has a lot to do with diets and carbohydrate consumption. It’s like what Fat Bastard once said in Austin Powers: “Am I unhappy because I eat or do I eat because I’m unhappy?”
Eat your proteins such as meats, eggs, poultry and nuts. As far as carbohydrates are concerned, they should not be completely eradicated from your diet. As much as I’ve ranted about them in this article, they do have beneficial uses. But you have to find the right ones.
A good start would be berries, which existed in paleolithic times and were practically the same as they are today, minus a few differences here and there. Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries can be eaten in unlimited amounts due to their high content of fiber, antioxidants and the fact that they are a great source of carbohydrates.
The same goes for green veggies such as broccoli, kale, spinach, cucumbers and green beans. These types of non-refined carbohydrates should be ingested in infinite amounts for good health and a good sense of well being. If you really want to add some extra carbs, don’t buy processed stuff such as cereal, cakes, bread etc. Instead, add the above fruits and veggies or have a cup of plant based quinoa, which has great protein and carbohydrates for a healthy diet.
A diet high in good fats and low in bad carbs has been shown to reduce diabetes and high blood pressure. But our society still has what i call “fat phobia.” Everywhere you go at the grocery store you see low fat yogurt, low fat milk and low fat meat in abundance. What people don’t realize is that fat can be good for you. It increases testosterone in men, prevents depression, cures or helps many diseases, prevents obesity and gives you just as much energy as any carbohydrate, without the subsequent carb crash. Just minimize your carbohydrates to fruits, veggies, plants and nuts.
So next time you have your cup of coffee (totally allowed on this diet) put some extra cream on there and cut back on the sugar. It’ll do a body good.