“The answer to why almost all attempts to lose weight fail resides in your genes and the lies they’ve been feeding you.” ~Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution
If you were asked what causes most modern diseases (like heart disease and diabetes), you might say processed foods or stress or sedentary lifestyle. But the real cause is genes. Think of your body as a computer and your genes as its operating system. Your computer does what its operating system tells it to do; your body does what your genes tell it to do.
Here’s the problem. Our genes are set up to function much like they did 10,000 years ago. But we don’t live, work, eat, or sleep the way we did then. We’ve evolved. Our genes have not. And that’s why diets fail. We have to help our body change its feedback loop to our genes.
“As I tell my patients,” says Dr. Gundry, “I am the same obese person with the same genetic program who now occupies a thin, fit body. But really, I’m not the same person because almost every cell in my body has been replaced with revised, reinvigorated cells, using top-grade building materials. But even though my cells have changed, my genes have not. Rather, the information I feed them has changed. By this, I mean that the food I ate and my exercise program when I was obese fed my genes information that kept me at that weight and well on my way to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and arthritis. The food I ate to lose weight and continue to eat gives those same genes different information that allowed me to almost effortlessly trim down.”
If you want to get to your ideal weight and boost your energy, you have to trick your genes. The last thing you want to do is give them a signal that it’s time to store fat for winter. So here’s a list of foods to avoid if you want your diet to work, from Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution.
The Dirty Dozen
1. “No sugar added” jams, pies, and juices. The ultimate in deception, these are already drowning in sugar, making added sugar unnecessary.
2. Flavored waters or sports drinks. These are almost always full of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. If you see the words sucralose, Splenda, or aspartame, run the other way.
3. High-protein energy bars with the words “sports bar,” “energy bar,” or “diet bar.” These are a red alert. Not to be confused with high-protein, low-net carb bars, almost all of these are grain-based sugar bombs that hide under the guise of being “healthy” or high in protein.
4. Trail mix or granola. These usually come with the words “all natural,” but remember that sugar is all natural, as is cyanide. Both will kill you.
5. Canned vegetable or fruit juices. These provide a serving of fruits or vegetables – along with mucho servings of sugar.
6. Any food that contains sugar using one of its aliases – cane sugar, natural sugar, date sugar, organic sugar, or various syrups. There is no such thing as “safe” sugar.
7. Skim milk and soymilk lattes or Frappuccinos. These have more sugar than the “high-test” versions.
8. Foods such as cereals, breads, and crackers heralding “whole-grain goodness.” These might as well be sugar.
9. Foods labeled low-fat, fat-free, no sugar, or no cholesterol. These are all code words for “high sugar” or sweet taste.
10. Diet sodas. All studies show they raise your insulin levels and make you store fat.
11. Fruit-filled breakfast bars or flavored yogurts.
12. Too many nuts. Just how big is that “handful” of nuts you’re snacking on? Make sure it’s no more than ¼ cup.
Illustration Credit: Marie Guillard