In the booklet I’ve been working on called Love Your Life, there are going to be a few pages on food and dieting. It seemed appropriate to read the latest literature on that subject, but it turned out to be a trip down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole. Weird science, pseudo-science, real researchers with vast real-world experience mixed with obviously self-serving money grubbers seeking a fast buck. The money involved in the diet industry is enormous. It’s claimed that Americans spend more than 60 billion dollars annually on various forms of dieting to control weight. Even with all that money being spent, it is obvious that the public is gaining weight and at present two out of three here in the US are overweight. Worldwide there are pockets of famine, but overall one out of three humans is overweight. If there were an easy diet plan that was well known, then it seems obvious that everyone would soon know about that diet and do it. Reading a few current diet books makes the problem perfectly obvious. There is a flood of confusion creating an ocean of chaos.
It appears that every book has a theory of everything about proper diet, but each book will have another book directly opposed to it. There was one point of agreement and it seemed to be that sugar was a key promoter of obesity and early death. Of course, that is instantly proven wrong by almost every food producer. Of course, they make lots of money inserting sugar into their products and people buy those products. Obviously, beverages and candy have lots of sugar, but so do supposedly healthy breakfast cereal and the “vegetable” tomato catsup.
I have never been obese but a year ago my BMI was 27, which is above the cutoff for overweight at BMI 25. I was eating close to the Standard American Diet (SAD) minus meat, soda pop and sugared breakfast cereal, so Debbie and I after some reading decided to try the intermittent fasting diet. We have a long history of playing a game of following a new diet for the first ten days per month followed by a gradual tapering off for the rest of the month. The glycemic index diet seemed to work okay but I like white bread too much for it to be a lifelong lifestyle.
The way we have done our intermittent fasting is to eat three times per day but to narrow the time that we eat. We began that method by not eating anything after 8 PM nor before 8 AM. That was easy, but it got us into the habit of observing the clock before we ate. After a month we moved the times to 7 PM and 10 AM, and after another month to 6 PM to Noon. That left us with a six-hour window for eating and an eighteen hour fast.
As it turned out our stomachs realized that they were eating to the full every day and so they never signaled us that they were hungry. We usually go for a fifteen-minute walk before we “breakfast” at noon and we never feel hungry during that pleasant walking time together. I usually feel full all afternoon and am never hungry in the evening or in the morning.
The theory of human diet may be in chaos but after about ten months of more serious dieting, we are both down nineteen pounds and I am near my ideal BMI of 23.4.