by Stephan J. Guyenet, Ph.D.
A similar conclusion to SALT, SUGAR, FAT by Michael Moss as to why American obesity rates are skyrocketing: the food just TASTES TOO DAMN GOOD.
To find a time when things were different, we don’t have to go back to hunter-gatherer times – although Guyenet does; we spend a hypothetical day with a few hypothetical members of a non-hypothetical tribe of East Africa, who eat a certain fibrous tuber as a mainstay of their diet. You chew the flesh and then spit out the pithy stuff. It’s not very good. Nobody’s very excited about it. Likewise until 20th century convenience foods and ubiquitous restaurant cooking, you had to eat your own household’s cooking. I’m betting that often wasn’t very good either.
It wasn’t Oreos. It wasn’t Big Macs. Now it is. Mmmmmmm.
This particular book is about the brain science behind metabolism, hunger cues, etc. Along the lines of the main thesis I’ve described above, his biggest weight loss tip is to eat food that isn’t very good. Of course you’ll eat less of it, for starters; but it may also have some effect on the brain, and on the levels of something called leptin, to expose yourself less often to the utter deliciousness that is the American supermarket diet.
(He doesn’t phrase it as “eat food that isn’t very good.” He calls it “simple food.”)
But nooooooooooooo I refuse to give up deliciousness. That said, point taken, and it’s always good advice to eat simple food close to the source.
One surprising thing I bookmarked was his allegation that we tend to put on most of our yearly weight gain as a result of the extended holiday season. I always thought that what you did the majority of the year would far outweigh some indulgence at the end; but maybe I’m not really admitting to how lengthy the holiday season is in proportion to the year as a whole. Anyway, to avoid upward creep of poundage, he says to focus on strategies to minimize holiday overeating.
I thought those were a couple of unique tips.