It’s been 1 week since I started my weight loss challenge and I’ve completely changed the way I eat. The eating plan I have been following is a low fat, high carb diet like the one found in The Starch Solution by Dr. John Mcdougall. I’ve been eating plant-based and have minimized animal products.
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Paleo Diet Fail
A while back I tried the Paleo diet which is low in carbohydrates and high in fats and animal products. Eating that way didn’t work out for me. I tried it for a couple of months and at first, I lost a bit of weight. Yet, I felt tired all the time and had bad breath and constipation. When the weight started creeping back up I decided to stop the diet. As a result, I returned to my former way of eating.
For some of you reading this, the mantra “carbs make you fat” may be ringing in your ears and that used to be true for me as well. Growing up surrounded by both American and Cuban cultures, meat was the center of every meal. Meat is the quintessential symbol of affluence. And that symbol perpetuates the meat culture among Hispanics.
Reading the Starch Solution
One of the books that helped change my perspective on food is The Starch Solution by Dr. John A. McDougall. In his book, Dr. McDougall promotes a vegan diet based around starches like potatoes, rice, and beans. He explains how humans are starchivores and thrive best when consuming starches. He also emphasizes that the “fat we eat is the fat we wear” so advises against using any oils in cooking or preparing foods.
At first, the benefits on heart health drew me to Dr. Mcdougall’s approach. As I continued to learn, I was intrigued by his research on other diseases as well. His plan excludes foods that contain cholesterol and minimizes saturated fats which studies have linked to heart diseases.
I also learned how eating this way can help insulin resistance and diabetes. As I mentioned in my previous post, my mother has diabetes. Others in my family suffer from it as well. It’s no wonder
why I found his explanation on the disease so fascinating. I’m hoping one of these days I’ll convince my mother to change her diet, too.
The book also offers testimonials about people who have cured autoimmune diseases, arthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and many other diseases.
What I’ve Been Eating
For each meal, I’ve been pairing a starch with fruits and/or vegetables. My wife has been cooking without any added oils and we haven’t noticed a difference. We don’t miss them at all. But I have yet to remove all animal products. I had one meal that included shrimp and another small meal with chicken at a family gathering. I’m not sure if or when I will remove animal products altogether.
The first couple of days I felt tired and experienced headaches but after that, it was smooth sailing. My energy levels have improved, I’m sleeping better, and my bowel movements are better and more frequent. I actually did not exercise this week and I still lost weight. That’s something I’ve never been able to do —to lose weight with diet alone, without starving myself.
While I realize this is a controversial topic, it merits exploring. Dr. McDougall and other plant-based experts make a good case against animal foods. Health and happiness are worth pursuing.
If your new on this path, I recommend you pick up a copy of The Starch Solution. The information in the book gives a solid base for anyone wanting to lose weight in a healthy way.
The book is available on Amazon, in various formats. We checked with our public library and they do carry the book so you might be able to find it in your public library as well.
I wish you all the best of your own journeys. Thank’s for reading.
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