I have been telling friends about these three simple diet rules for over a year now and since I got pretty positive responses, I thought I’d put the word out on the “intraweb” too. Note that these are my personal rules that have worked really well for me. They are not part of some official prescription.
So here we go:
RULE #1 – I EAT MY SUGARS WHOLE
Dr. Robert Lustig’s presentation “Sugar, the bitter truth” opened my eyes. I never looked at food the same again. It reveals the dangers of isolated sugars to our bodies, especially fructose. Isolated sugars are everywhere, it’s hard to escape them unless you eat your food whole. They are sometimes disguised, I remember once seeing isolated fructose labeled as “golden syrup”. Whole foods have a healthy balance of sugars, fibers and other nutrients that keep our bodies healthy.
So instead of drinking apple juice, I eat apples. Turns out that consuming lots of isolated sugars (this includes your favorite OJ) will leave your liver as damaged as if you were an alcoholic. (Alcohol is sugar) In fact, if it came down to it, if anyone offered me a glass of wine or a glass of any pop juice, I know which one I’d choose; or offer for that matter.I am very well aware what kinds of sugar-filled drinks kids these days massively consume with full consent and ignorance of their parents and what kinds of long term damages this will create… (some important points to go to directly: 1:09, 1:21 and conclusion at: 1:26)
Since things are labeled on our products, I created my own “rule of the thumb” (as I like to put it): I make sure that when I eat something packaged, the ratio of fiber to sugar is at least or around 1:2. For example, your regular milk chocolate’s fiber to sugar ratio is usually something like: 1:25. That’s why I don’t touch regular chocolate. Your 50% dark chocolate will be more like 1:10. 85% one is 1:2, and 90% is around 1:1. That’s why I stick to high cocoa percentage chocolate.
If there is much more sugar than fiber in something that I eat I would just make sure I have some veggies or fiber rich foods of any sort. If you really like your sugars you can take actual fiber with it, like metamucil (in my opinion, poorly marketed as just a laxative) or a healthier alternative: refrigerated grounded flax seeds or another psyllium husk supplement. Remember if you happen to have a big slice of your favorite cheesecake, consume some fiber asap. It will help you avoid having a big sugar rush/crash too. If you want more ideas on whole foods in general, watch Dr. Terry Wahls’s fantastic presentation about how she healed herself from MS by simply consuming a diet of hunter-gatherers.
RULE #2 – I EAT UNTIL I’M 80% FULL A tip i picked up from Dan Buettner, who talks about “blue zones”, and lifestyles and eating habits in these communities where people live to be over 100 years old. (By the way, he additionally endorses a glass of wine a day, having lots of friends and daily exercise) The tricky part about this one is that you need to stop eating BEFORE you are actually full. Easy tip to do this is to eat slowly. 🙂
Also if you follow rule #1, you will get full much faster if you eat whole, nutrients and fiber rich food. So you won’t eat excessively or get cravings either. When you get cravings after gorging on sweets (if you do) or have developed habits to munch, just down a glass of water and fiber and watch your craving disappear in a matter of minutes. You will simply feel full.
RULE #3 – I DON’T EAT 3 HOURS BEFORE BED
I heard about this in the past. Sleep is so much better with your stomach not full. Let the body digest while awake and active. Many cultures in the world make their first meal of the day the biggest meal. And also, a savory one too! Try eating olives, feta cheese and actual veggies for breakfast sometime instead your favorite 1:100 fiber-to-sugar-ratio cereal. 🙂 So there they are, my three diet rules. They don’t include that I personally also stay away from meat, milk, onions and not well-cooked cauliflower, which I don’t seem to digest very well, but these are personal variations… And note, I purposely put a photo of udon soup in this blog-post, as it is so basically impossible to finish it without getting totally stuffed. Let me know how they work for you if you try them and please do comment 🙂 p.s. an additional, great, fun and informative talk to watch 🙂
p.p.s. and another interesting read on the topic of food: