In his latest book, Wired to Eat, Robb Wolf shares a customized way of eating that may be the key to permanent weight loss and overall better health. He introduces a 30-Day Reset to help regulate and restore blood sugar levels, and a 7-Day Carb Test to help you determine the amounts and types of carbs your body can tolerate. From there you’ll know how to proceed on your weight loss journey in a way that works with your body, instead of against it. We asked Robb to explain his method to our audience and offer advice for those looking to change their approach to food.
Books for Better Living (BBL): To some, a 30-day reset program may seem intimidating. Please emphasize why thirty days to complete the phases and transformation of food, sleep, and exercise are incredibly important to the longevity of the Wired to Eat plan?
Wolf: Change takes a little time. It’s rare that folks establish habits overnight. We need to find a compromise between asking people to do something that may be challenging and offering a program that is more than feel-good ideas—something that actually produces results. Thirty days is short enough that most people are willing to give the program a shot, but it’s long enough that we can see profound changes in our health, appearance, and weight. These results are what will (hopefully) keep people engaged over the long haul.
BBL: Wired to Eat is not just any diet book with a one-size-fits-all approach. What advice can you offer someone who may have tried other diets before, and is picking up your book to embark on their own need-focused diet?
Wolf: This is a great question. It’s hard to answer this in a way that is not self-serving, but here goes: In the first section of the book, I make the case that if you find it hard to resist modern, super tasty food, you should not be surprised. It’s not a moral failing on your part. This tendency is part of our genetic wiring. The challenge, however, is the genetics that made us successful in the past are now working against us. We need a strategy for navigating in the modern world. This is where part two of the book comes in. I get folks going with a 30-day reset that includes factors such as sleep, movement, community and, of course, food. The whole program focuses on our neuroregulation of appetite and how we can make that work for or against us today.
BBL: How we eat isn’t the only thing that affects our digestive and physical health. You also discuss the importance of sleep and the adverse effects that sleep deficiency has on our bodies. What is the direct relationship between our eating habits and the quality of sleep we experience?
Wolf: This is a complex topic, but it’s clear that people who sleep poorly tend to have less impulse control and they tend to seek out salty, sweet, refined foods. It’s not entirely clear why this may be, but it likely has to do with the stress that goes along with poor sleep. In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to neglect sleep, but I could make the case that good sleep is perhaps more important than dietary change.
BBL: Some view the Paleo diet as one that’s hard to follow. However, you demonstrate how simple it is, and how many of us are already eating with a Paleo mindset without even realizing it. Why is it so important for us to set aside processed foods, and eat Paleo?
Wolf: The point here is less about “paleo” specifically and more about finding foods and ways of eating that work with our neuroregulation of appetite. If we lock people in a hospital ward and only feed them certain things, we could keep everyone as lean as they want to be, but we live in a complex world that offers many options, particularly with food. I can dance around this, but the reality is if we want to be in reasonable health, if we want to be at a weight that we are happy with—we need to eat, sleep and move in a way that supports this process. The specifics of this process may vary from person to person, but in general, we need some kind of unprocessed way of eating and participating in activities and social connections that we enjoy. Sometimes, there are no short-cuts, just an internal reason for why making a change is worth it for us.
BBL: Your personal story is inspirational and fascinating, considering the path you’d taken to mend your ailments—much to the surprise of your doctors. Science aside, why is diet so immensely important for those with diabetes, gastroenteritis, colitis, high cholesterol, blood pressure issues and beyond and what one piece of simple advice can you offer them?
Wolf: As incredible as modern medicine is, it has been pretty lack-luster in dealing with chronic degenerative diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and obesity-related health issues. These conditions are all interrelated, and none of them lend themselves to a “magic bullet” cure. Food, specifically, healthy food as is emphasized in Wired to Eat, is how we get a handle on these and many other chronic conditions.
ROBB WOLF is a former biochemist, former California State Powerlifting Champion, health expert and author of the New York Times bestselling The Paleo Solution. Visit http://robbwolf.com/ and follow Robb on Twitter: @robbwolf
Photo credit: Xsandra