So many people come to me and say ‘Amanda, I’m eating healthily, I’m exercising and I’m not losing weight. What am I doing wrong?’
What often happens is when I dig a bit deeper, I find that they ‘think’ they are eating healthily when in actual fact they could be just a few years away from obesity and diabetes. Why? How did things get so messed up? Well I’m going to tell you. I’m taking on the UK Government Nutritional Guidelines (it’s probably similar in whatever country you live in) and walking you through why eating the way the Government recommends will do your health and your waistline no favours whatsoever.
You see that plate above? It’s what most people use, whether they consciously do it or not to decide on what is healthy and what isn’t. I’m not going to get into the politics of why the Government would be recommending foods that aren’t actually healthy. That’s a discussion for another day. I’m just going to present you with the truth. Here goes!
Problem No 1 – Carbs
I think it’s fair to say from that plate, that the Government say our plate should have around 35% of carbohydrates on it. Here’s the issue. This includes wheat based and gluten based products like white bread, bagels and pasta. YIKES! The thing is when we eat those type of simple carbohydrates as opposed to complex carbohydrates which take longer to break down in our body, our blood sugar levels spike and insulin is released to bring it back to balance hence the feeling of a carb coma. If you are trying to lose weight and don’t use those carbs for energy, then it ends up being stored around your belly as fat. Also, have you ever heard of insulin resistance? Too much of this yo-yoing up and down with the blood sugar and eventually your body becomes resistant to insulin – not a good sign!
“Insulin resistance is the single most important phenomenon that leads to rapid, premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer – Mark Hyman”
So is the solution to eat no carbs?! NO! But steer clear of the ones that raise your blood sugar levels such as white rice, any wheat based products such as pasta or bread and whole-wheat products (no, wholewheat is not better!) Stick to sweet potatoes, normal potatoes, yams, cassava, plantain, brown rice products or quinoa (if soaked first and then cooked with kombu) and oats. This will ensure a slow, steady release of energy without all the spikes.
Unless you are an Olympian and are going to be running for 25 miles a day or training for 6 hours daily in the gym you don’t need to be eating anywhere near that amount of carbohydrates! Why? Because you are not using them up for energy as quickly as you are eating them, which means unused carbs turns into sugar in your body and gets stored as fat in all the places you don’t want it to.
That’s it for today – next week I tackle another myth of the eat well plate.
Until then if you want to learn more about foods that keep us as a society overweight and sick, check out my free video series below.
In health and wellness