We all know someone (maybe ourself) who has lost weight by counting calories or points. But how many people do you know who have maintained their weight loss, year after year?
How many can maintain their weight loss without being beholden to the calorie counting game?
Most of my clients come to me after a lifetime of diets. They’re smart women, successful women with just about everything in life under control.
Except their health.
And they’re downright surprised when I tell them what to eat.
Today I’m going to show you a shift that punches the multi-billion dollar diet industry in the face.
The goal is to create a calorie deficit.
So why doesn’t this work, long term? Why do my clients still need to lose weight after years of trying?
Comparing caloric-density to nutrient-density, most diets look like this:
With this setup, your body isn’t getting nourished. It’s missing things like naturally occurring, healthy fats. Some vitamins and minerals. And you’re likely not getting enough protein.
You’re definitely not enjoying your food like you used to.
You’re hungry because your body is literally hungry for missing nutrients.
That’s when you’ll have cravings that get translated into “I want ice cream!” That fat-free strawberry yogurt isn’t going to cut it, even if you have 4.
Did you know you need fat in order to absorb the calcium in milk? Or that your brain is 60% fat and constantly regenerating cells?
It’s possible to power through. Many people do.
You can find delight in Brussels sprouts and chicken breast dinners. I like those things too.
But when faced with ice cream? Or pizza?
You eventually cave.
And it tastes so, so good.
This part stinks because now you’ve “been bad” and you have to somehow repent and get on the treadmill for 2 hours and direct all this negative energy into more willpower or else your diet is screwed.
With typical diets, you are in a constant battle with yourself.
I tell my clients to forget calories for a sec and instead focus on nutrients. I want them fully nourished, enjoying meals of real, whole food.
Throw out the willpower business.
I propose eating food that satisfies cravings before they start.
Because with this approach, there is no battle.
Yes, we may need to cut calories.
But no one can do that – successfully, long term – if they’re hungry, dealing with cravings or feeling deprived.
The solution is to give the body what it needs.
Simple. Or maybe not so simple? Do we even know what our bodies need anymore? Or have we been fully brainwashed by food marketers?
Hint: Your body never needs aspartame-sweetened, fat-free yogurt.
Your body needs real food in the form that nature provides.
Minimal processing. Nutrient-dense, good stuff as promised, like butter and steak and vegetables. Nuts and fruit and chocolate.
It looks like this:
Cravings dissipate. Energy increases. You feel more calm. After a couple weeks you’ll have an Oreo and think…ick. That tastes like a mouth full of chemicals.
Your brain chemistry will literally change to allow you to successfully lose weight.
So you can lose weight eating butter and bacon?
For many of my clients, this shift towards nutrient-dense foods will automatically create weight loss over a period of several weeks or months.
They feel balanced. Satisfied. Happier. The weight starts to fall off.
Others will not lose weight…yet. And a few may gain weight at this stage, especially if they’re rejoicing in way too much butter and bacon. But that is ok.
Once food QUALITY is addressed, you can move on to QUANTITY.
The work of weight loss is not done, but it becomes…
— Update: 10-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Replace Meat With Potatoes and Beans for Weight Loss, New Study Finds from the website vegnews.com for the keyword meat and potatoes diet.
Because potatoes are high in carbs, they have developed a reputation for leading to weight gain and haven been associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. They are often found on lists of foods to avoid, especially for individuals with insulin resistance. However, a new study published in peer-reviewed medical publication Journal of Medicinal Food found that potatoes actually did not increase type 2 diabetes risk and are packed with key nutrients and health benefits.
The study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center examined how a diet that includes potatoes affects key health measures. “We demonstrated that contrary to common belief, potatoes do not negatively impact blood glucose levels. In fact, the individuals who participated in our study lost weight,” Candida Rebello, PhD, an assistant professor at Pennington Biomedical and co-investigator of the study, said in a statement.
The study involved 36 participants between the ages of 18 and 60 who were overweight, obese, or had insulin resistance. Insulin resistance refers to a health condition in which the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin and glucose does not enter into the cells to make energy. Insulin resistance is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
Participants were fed precisely-controlled diets of widely available common foods. Both diets were high in fruit and vegetables and substituted an estimated 40 percent of typical meat consumption with either beans and peas or potatoes.
“Each participant’s meal was tailored to their personalized caloric needs, yet by replacing some meat content with potato, participants found themselves fuller, quicker, and often did not even finish their meal. In effect, you can lose weight with little effort,” Rebello pointed out.
Replacing meat with potatoes and beans
Previous studies have shown that eating beans and peas improves blood glucose levels in individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. To increase the dietary fiber component of the potatoes, they were boiled with the skin intact and then refrigerated between 12 and 24 hours.
Potatoes were incorporated into the main lunch and dinner entrées such as shepherd’s pie, and served together with sides such as mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potato wedges, potato salad, and scalloped potatoes with lunch and dinner entrées.
“We prepared the potatoes in a way that would maximize their fiber content. When we compared a diet with potatoes to a diet with beans and peas, we found them to be equal in terms of health benefits,” Rebello said. “People typically do not stick with a diet they don’t like or isn’t varied enough. The meal plans provided a variety of dishes, and we showed that a healthy eating plan can have varied options for individuals striving to eat healthy. In addition, potatoes are a fairly inexpensive vegetable to incorporate into a diet.”
The study helped to identify the impact of potatoes on our metabolism and adds to a growing body of research on obesity and type 2 diabetes. John Kirwan, PhD, principal investigator on the study and Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center, explains that this research is just one step toward better understanding obesity.
“Obesity is an incredibly complex disease that Pennington Biomedical is tackling on three different fronts: research that looks at how and why our bodies react the way they do, research that looks at individual responses to diet and physical activity, and policy-level discussions and community programs that bring our research into strategies our local and global communities can use to live healthier lives,” Kirwan said in a statement. “These new data on the impact of potatoes on our metabolism is an exciting addition to the arsenal of evidence we have to do just that.”
Read more 15 Surprisingly Healthy Foods for Picky Eaters
Potato protein helps build muscle
Potatoes have additional health benefits beyond improving metabolism and glucose levels. A study published earlier this year in the scientific journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that potato protein can be as effective as animal-derived milk in building muscle.
The study hypothesized that because potato protein and animal milk protein share a very similar amino acid composition that both might have a similar effect on muscle protein synthesis, or the body’s way of making amino acids into skeletal muscle protein.
In a double-blind study that consisted of 24 healthy males, the researchers found both protein sources to be comparable. “Ingestion of 30 grams of potato protein concentrate increases muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and during recovery from exercise in healthy, young males,” the study concluded. “Muscle protein synthesis rates following the ingestion of 30 grams of potato protein do not differ from rates observed after ingesting an equivalent amount of milk protein.”
— Update: 11-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Fatty Meat, Potatoes, Dairy And Paleo 2.0 from the website paleoleap.com for the keyword meat and potatoes diet.
There are misconceptions and unproven facts about what’s healthy or not that circulate in Paleo community and that lead people to mistakes, confusion or frustration when it comes to eating the healthiest diet possible.
The quasi-omnipresence of some of those myths and misconceptions has become so strong that some bloggers now feel bad about being associated with Paleo community and prefer being on the side of organizations such as the Weston A. Price foundation, which gets things right at places where some early paleo authors are wrong.
Other authors, like Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet from the Perfect Health Diet, have taken the best science and facts about healthy eating and created their own spin of a diet adapted to our species, good health and longevity.
As a movement gets bigger and starts getting popular in the mainstream, mistakes and misconceptions are bound to be spread and the phenomenon is unavoidable. When that happens, the community should unite in teaching the right information and poking open some unfounded facts that prevent the movement from being fully credible.
Some have decided to talk openly about common misconceptions in order to expose the truth and change the way people think about a healthy Paleo diet. One such author, Dr. Kurt Harriss from the popular PaNu (later renamed to Archevore) blog, proposed the term Paleo 2.0 to differentiate old and unproven Paleo diet sticking points from the real science and anthropology about food and its relation to our health.
This website is fully on board with the ideas brought forward by the Paleo 2.0 concept. In other words, we could say that this website is Paleo 2.0 compliant.
Something to always keep in mind is that trying to imitate our past is futile and impossible so we should always consider things through multiple lenses. Science, anthropology and common sense are three such lenses. The idea of eating like caveman shouldn’t be viewed negatively because it’s what instantly made sense for many people. Other recent and fad diets like the standard American diet aren’t rooted in any history, ancient tradition, or thorough science, and haven’t endured the test of time.
Some of the wrong things that are taken as fact by many people about Paleo have already been discussed in previous articles. For example, the place of dairy on a Paleo diet and the many virtues of butter try to dismantle some of the myths around dairy. Other articles, like my article on the health benefits of saturated fat try to break the myth about our ancestors eating only lean meat.
I think that it’s in good order though to discuss those sticking points all at once in order to explain why some early Paleo authors are wrong in their assumptions and why some of the diet recommendations on this website differ from the earlier writings about the subject.
The most important concept and one thing that should be kept in mind through any endeavor into Paleo is this one:
The three main ideas that need to be tackled are the idea that healthy meat is lean meat, the idea that all dairy is bad and the idea that potatoes and other starchy vegetables are bad or suboptimal.
Paleo and lean meat
There are a lot of people in the Paleo community who think that healthy meat is lean meat. Most of those people base their assumption around the fact that grain-fed muscle meat tends to contain much more fat than grass-fed muscle meat. Those who can’t afford or can’t find a reliable source of grass-fed meat often also think that the fat of grain-fed meat shouldn’t be consumed and that only lean grain-fed meat should be bought. Some earlier Paleo authors have pushed the notion that healthy meat is lean meat so much that a large part of the community now associates Paleo with eating lean meat.
This assumption is completely false and shows that the lipid-hypothesis is still alive and kicking even in the Paleo community and that trying to imitate our ancestors can lead to fundamental mistakes.
It should be noted though that lean meat is not unhealthy per se, only that excess protein from eating only lean meat is.
The thing is, the body isn’t able to metabolize more than about 30% of our calories as proteins and the absolute need for proteins is much lower. Proteins are a bad source of energy. Carbohydrates and fats are the real fuels for our cells. Instead, proteins are used for growth, repair and many enzymatic functions, not direct energy production.
To metabolize proteins, the body creates toxic by-products like ammonia and urea. In excess, this can be detrimental. Protein poisoning, also called rabbit starvation, is possible in the most extreme cases of protein overconsumption.
Saturated and monounsaturated fat, for their part, are an excellent and reliable source of energy, so good that our own bodies store extra energy as those kinds of fats in roughly equal parts. In addition to being a great source of energy, saturated and monounsaturated fats have many important functions in the body. Contrary to metabolizing proteins and carbohydrates, no toxic by-products are created with those fats and they stay neutral in high amount instead of becoming toxic and detrimental.
The fallacy of cavemen eating mostly lean meat
First of all, our ancestors probably didn’t eat much lean meat. The muscle tissues of wild ruminants might be lean for many species for a good part of the year, but most studies that look at the fatty tissue composition of wild animals tend to overlook the fat outside muscle tissues like subcutaneous fat, marrow fat, brain fat and fat around organs like the kidneys.
Traditional cultures were well aware of the importance of fat as a great source of energy and went out of their way to seek out the fattest animals and utilize every bit of fat found in them. They knew which animals to hunt and in which season they were at their fattest state. For example, Eskimos are good at spotting fat caribous in herds just by looking at the horns.
Read more 2 Week Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Recipes
In addition to that, some wild ruminants are especially fatty and those were often the most hunted and prized animals. Many hunters will tell you that wild game is often far from being lean.
So, if today we eat steaks with much more marbling than the steaks of animals living in the wild, it only compensates for the fact that we don’t eat the other sources of fat that were available in those animals.
Fatty grain-fed meat
Another subset of people accepts the fact that saturated and monounsaturated fat are healthy in high amount, but still tend to think that the fat of grain-fed animals is highly problematic and too high in polyunsaturated fat.
While it’s true that sourcing grass-fed meat is beneficial and desirable because it’s more nutritious, it’s not a reason to shun and believe false facts about grain-fed meat. The elitist attitude that only grass-fed meat should be eaten scares away a lot of people who first become interested in a Paleo diet.
The fat composition of grain-fed animals isn’t higher in omega-6 fat, rather it’s lower in omega-3 fat. That simply means that those who regularly eat grain-fed meat might need to make sure that they regularly eat fatty fish like salmon or sardines to bring their omega-3 fat intake in balance with their omega-6 intake.
A lot of people are also scared by the amount of some hormones found in the fat or grain-fed animals. While it’s true that the fat of grain-fed animals usually contains more hormones like testosterone, it’s nothing compared to the amount of those hormones found in ruminant bulls, which our ancestors used to eat much more.
To summarize, grass-fed meat is always the gold standard, but you shouldn’t shy away from fatty cuts of meat even if you’re budget or geographic situation only allows for grain-fed options.
Paleo and dairy
Even though this point has been discussed before on this website, many people are dead stuck in believing that any dairy from any source is inherently bad and that it should be avoided at all cost.
The main undesirable element in milk is the sugar lactose, but many dairy sources contain very little to no lactose at all. Aged cheeses, properly fermented yogurt, butter, clarified butter and heavy cream are good examples. In addition to that, although lactose is not properly digested by most people, raw milk still contains the lactase enzymes that help break it down and should be well tolerated.
The second undesirable element in dairy is the protein casein. Some people seem to have issues with that protein present in milk. Here again, butter and heavy cream are two choices that contain extremely low amounts of the protein casein. Also, many people who can’t tolerate cow’s milk end up doing just fine with dairy from other sources like sheep or goats, mainly because their milk contains a different form of the casein protein. Finally, some react to casein as a cross-reaction linked to wheat consumption. This means that they no longer have a problem with casein once their body is healed from the damages of wheat and other gluten-containing grains.
Not many traditional cultures have been noted for consuming milk, but many have been noted for consuming high amounts of dairy fat or fermented dairy of some kind. Those cultures were most often really healthy and thriving.
Additionally, by shunning all dairy for ideological reasons about imitating our past, we miss out on a great source of healthy fat, butter fat. Of course, dairy is not necessary at all on a healthy diet and its products should still be avoided by people with digestive issues or an autoimmune disease.
Paleo, starchy vegetables and potatoes
Another misconception running around in the Paleo community is that starchy vegetables are unhealthy and that regular white potatoes are especially bad. The bias against starchy vegetables probably comes from the low-carb ideas about a healthy Paleo diet.
It’s important to understand that our ancestors probably enjoyed calorie-dense starchy vegetables as much as they could once they knew how to cook them properly, which dates back a very long time ago. The amount of amylase, an enzyme that digests starch, in our saliva is much higher than in most other mammals, showing that we became adapted to eating and digesting starchy vegetables.
We now know than an optimal diet is not a long-term zero or very low carb diet and that some amount of carbohydrates is healthy and desirable. In fact, in a discussion about the perfect macronutrient ratio, it has been established that 20% of our calories as carbs is probably optimal. Obtaining that amount of carbohydrates by eating only non-starchy vegetables is very difficult if not impossible and is not necessary at all. Many people understand the need for at least some carbohydrates, but choose fruits instead of starchy vegetables to fulfill that need. This is fine as long as fruits are eaten in very moderate amount, but the fructose content of most fruits makes them problematic in too high amount.
Contrary to the simple sugars like glucose and fructose found in fruits, starchy vegetables are often mostly starch, a polymer of glucose molecules. Starch is broken to simple glucose molecules in our digestive systems and our bodies end up only dealing with glucose, which is a sugar that can be used by all our cells for energy, contrary to the toxic fructose.
Therefore, as a source of carbohydrate, starchy vegetables, provided that they don’t contain toxic proteins, are often healthier than most fruits. They are also often very nutritive and contain high amounts of some key minerals and vitamins.
Of course, the story is almost never all black or white and two main subgroups of people might want to take it slow on the starchy vegetables:
- Metabolically deranged people: Those with a broken metabolism that isn’t insulin sensitive anymore might find it hard not to overeat starchy vegetables and might struggle to lose weight if they eat just a little too much of them. Those people often do better if they go on a lower carbohydrate diet for a while in order to heal and help their body learn to use fat as a source of energy. Some people might never be able to go on a higher carb diet, but most people end up being able to include healthy amounts of carbohydrates without problems after a while.
- People with digestive issues such as bacterial overgrowth: Some people with digestive issues and IBS-like symptoms, especially those suffering from bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, have a hard time breaking down starch and should limit their overall starch consumption.
Regular white potatoes are a vegetable that has received its load of hatred from Paleo community in general, often without reason. It’s already established that, like eggplants, tomatoes and bell peppers, potatoes are in the nightshade family of vegetables and can create problems for those already sensitive to other nightshades. Unlike other nightshades though, most of the toxins are found in the skin of potatoes and not in their flesh. We now have access to simple tools to detoxify vegetables such as potatoes: potato peelers.
Potatoes, especially green potatoes and those with green spots (try not to pick those), also contain saponins, mainly solanine and chaconine, which are also toxic in high dose. Once again, the major part of those compounds is found in the skin and is easily removable. Many studies have failed to demonstrate that the amount of those compounds found in commercially available potatoes could be detrimental to our health.
It’s very important to keep in mind that virtually all vegetables contain some amounts of toxins. Potatoes are no exception and are often not any worse than other commonly eaten vegetables. This is why it’s a good idea to eat a diet that’s diverse when it comes to plants.
Read more How long does it take to start losing weight on keto?
I myself have been dealing with digestive issues and many otherwise healthy food choices are still off limits for me. In spite of that, I tolerate potatoes pretty well and include them as a source of healthy carbohydrates in my diet. Many people are in similar situations where they struggle to properly digest many sources of carbohydrates, while peeled and cooked potatoes are just fine.
I’ve abstained from including recipes with regular potatoes in the past in order not to confuse people, but I can not stay on the safe side anymore and have to speak the truth in what’s really healthy and what’s not. I’ve already done so in showing that most nuts and seeds are often suboptimal, even if many people swear by them. The association against potatoes is strong and will take a long time for some people to break.
Some people with digestive issues might still want to abstain from potatoes, like they should already do for other nightshade vegetables like tomatoes or peppers, but most healthy people can eat potatoes, without the skin, and benefit from them. Starting now, some of the recipes on this site will feature potatoes. If you’re still not sure about eating potatoes because of everything you’ve heard around Paleo circles, now is the time to practice your skeptic muscle, try them for yourself and see how it goes.
— Update: 12-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article This ‘Undiet’ Allows Meat, Cheese, and Potatoes — And Still Helps You Shed Pounds from the website www.womansworld.com for the keyword meat and potatoes diet.
Think you can’t get skinny eating bread, cheese, meat, and potatoes? “Think again!” says Arne Astrup, MD, an obesity expert at the University of Copenhagen. He and his team burst onto the international weight-loss scene with an “undiet” that’s been clinically proven to melt three times more fat than traditional plans, but can it really be a diet for longevity? The Nordic diet (which was inspired by the Nordic region of the world, where even swimsuit models enjoy hearty fare and remain effortlessly slim) promises no calorie counting, no fuss over portions, and no bland, low-fat food — ever. Simply follow a few healthy guidelines, and you’ll eat dramatically less without even trying. On this Scandinavian diet, “You feel great, your waist shrinks, and life is good,” Dr. Astrup promises.
While many have tried vegetable and meat diets to lose weight, women are often surprised to find that you can lose weight eating potatoes. Proof the University of Copenhagen undiet really works: When we asked Woman’s World readers to test it for us, they shed up to 14 pounds in a week. “It’s amazing,” marvels Ohio mom Tracey Ellis, 46, who lost 13.5 pounds in just seven days. “I can’t believe how much weight I lost.” Georgia mom Christina Vincelli, 40, was also wowed by the experience. “All I could think about was how good the food tastes — and the next thing I knew, I’d shrunk by five inches.”
The Nordic Diet
Impressed by studies on Mediterranean-style diets, Astrup and his team set out to prove that a Nordic-style strategy — based on habits from obesity-resistant nations like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway — can be equally powerful. From the get-go, scientists knew that Mediterranean and Nordic approaches have plenty in common: Both emphasize naturally slimming foods like seafood, fresh veggies, fruit, and good fat, and both limit calorie-bomb restaurant meals and hunger-inducing processed fare.
Perhaps the key difference? “Because of our cooler climate, there is considerably more stick-to-your ribs fare,” notes Astrup. (Think crusty bread, full-fat cheese, roast beef, and herbed potatoes.) With more than 800 test subjects, the Nordic undiet has demonstrated that it can produce “greater weight loss and fat loss” than a traditional diet. “We never tell people to eat less,” Astrup adds. “We simply encourage them to eat more of the best things. Weight loss comes naturally.”
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Meat and Potatoes Diet Plan
So, how can you follow the meat and potatoes diet? Read on for the rules you need to know.
Rule 1: Eat more produce — even potatoes. “You can freely eat all fruit, beans, peas, beets, corn, and potatoes,” Astrup insists. Potatoes in particular get a bad rap, but this, the doc notes, is largely due to frying. Baked or boiled, potatoes are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients.
Rule 2: Eat more whole grain — especially hearty rye bread. Whole-grain foods contain more protein, antioxidants, and especially dietary fiber, which “increase feelings of satiety, thus causing you to eat less,” Astrup says.
Rule 3: Get more protein — including from beef. “Protein is proven to keep you fuller longer, and it raises your metabolism because it requires more energy to digest than fat or carbohydrates,” Astrup notes. Seafood, a Nordic staple, contains belly-fat-busting omega-3 fatty acids. That said, Astrup adds that “fish protein is not necessarily superior to meat for weight control.” Lean beef, lamb, and venison actually provide a decent dose of omega-3s thanks to their grassy diets. Plus, they generally offer more fatigue-busting B vitamins and iron than fish.
Rule 4: Eat foods close to nature. The more unprocessed, additive-free, locally produced options you choose, the better off your health and waistline will be, Astrup says.
Nordic Diet Meal Plan
Drink all the healthy, natural beverages you like — including water, tea, and coffee. Freely add seasonings like herbs, spices, vinegar, and lemon juice to flavor meals. As always, get a doctor’s OK to try any new plan.
Option 1: Dark rye toast, Neufchâtel cheese, smoked salmon, fresh dill to taste with one piece of fruit
Option 2: One bowl of low-fat regular or Greek yogurt sprinkled with whole-grain cereal and drizzled with honey, paired with one serving of berries
Option 1: Baby spinach, chilled diced beets, chilled barley or brown rice, crumbled goat cheese, olive oil, herbs, and balsamic vinegar to taste, with one hard-boiled egg
Option 2: Nitrate-free deli meat, cheese, baby arugula, a little mayo, and a squirt of lemon on thin dark rye bread together with fresh coleslaw mix and slaw dressing (add dill to taste)
Option 3: Cooked shrimp, cocktail sauce, and creamy potato salad: 1 boiled, cubed medium red potato with skin, 1/2 cup each peas, diced celery and plain low-fat yogurt, 1 tsp. mayo and fresh chives, dill, and salt to taste
Option 1: Grilled fish over steamed spinach or kale, lemon and pepper to taste, with sliced red bell pepper or Brussels sprouts sautéed in olive oil and crusty whole-grain bread
Option 2: Grilled kebabs: Cubed chicken breast, grass-fed lamb or shrimp, mushrooms, bell pepper and tomatoes threaded onto skewers and grilled with hummus as dip and a piece of corn
Option 3: Grass-fed beef or wild salmon (add seasoning to taste) with steamed vegetables, baked potato, plain yogurt, and chives
Option 1: 1/4 cup trail mix made with dried cranberries, pistachios, raisins, and/or cashews
Option 2: 1 cup berries with 10 roasted almonds
Option 3: 1 cup vegetables with 1 oz. cheese
Nordic Diet Menu Plan
Fill your plate with unlimited produce. Add a serving of protein like fish or grass-fed beef and a side of whole grains such as rye bread or brown rice. For best results, aim for unprocessed, local ingredients.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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