Book Review: Always Hungry? By David Ludwig

I just finished the book Always Hungry? by David Ludwig and wanted to share some information about what you can find in this book and also share some of my favorite parts.

Book Review: Always Hungry? By David Ludwig

I just finished the book Always Hungry? by David Ludwig and wanted to share some information about what you can find in this book and also share some of my favorite parts. I have quite a bit of info I'd like to share so rather than make one extremely long post, I'll break it up into smaller posts to make it easier to glance over it all and not be overwhelmed with a lot of info at once. ;)

The book is laid out as a program that you can follow in three phases. It has a lot of low-carb options and helps you eliminate the higher carb, inflammatory foods. It's not a keto diet book so if you're following a strict keto diet, this one strays from that a little bit.  But if you want a different option or maybe you're not trying to be as strict as keto, this might be a great option for you.

To start, here are some quotes from the book that I highlighted as being important ideas/facts to remember and discuss.

Then, as now, medical schools focused almost exclusively on drugs and surgery, even though lifestyle causes most cases of heart disease and other chronic disabling conditions.

Doctors are trained to fix problems with medicine and surgery - not food and nutrition. Doctors are not educated in diet and nutrition when they go to medical school so unless they've done some studying of their own, their go to answer will almost always be a prescription to try. They're not going to teach you how to get healthier with food and proper nutrition. If they do give nutrition advice, it may not be a result of reading the actual studies that show what food does for/against our bodies.  Some are just following the mantra that's been doled out for the last 40-50 years without having any evidence to back up what they're saying. So don't be afraid to research things yourself and not just take your doctor's word for it when they tell you something you should or shouldn't eat.

Are we really to believe that, for someone on a diet, a cup of cola with 100 calories would make a better snack than a 1-ounce serving of nuts containing almost 200 calories?

This is a great example to show that counting calories is NOT the answer when you're trying to lose weight and get healthy. The number of calories is not what's important - what's important is the QUALITY of calories you're consuming. Obviously cola is not going to be better for you than almonds even though it has fewer calories than the almonds. Cola has no nutritional value at all and almonds are extremely healthy for you.

So the type of calories we eat can affect the number of calories we burn.

This is pretty fascinating to learn. A study was done to show that when you're reducing the carbs in your diet versus reducing the fat in your diet, your body will burn more calories a day for the same amount of energy expended. So you get to eat tastier food (because we all know that fat tastes good! ;) ) AND you get to burn more calories. Winning!

Overeating doesn’t make us fat. The process of becoming fat makes us overeat. In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem. Though this proposition sounds radical, consider what happens in pregnancy. The fetus doesn’t grow because the mother eats more; she eats more because the fetus is growing. With pregnancy, this is normal and healthy. With obesity, it’s not.

This is so different from what we've been taught that it's hard to believe and understand. But it makes total sense when you really understand the biology of how our bodies work and how it uses food.

The central concept of Always Hungry? is that while cutting calories will decrease weight for a short while, the body resists by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism. Sooner or later we succumb, and weight tends to pop back up, like an air-filled balloon being pushed into a bucket of water. In contrast, improving the quality of what we eat will reprogram fat cells to store fewer calories, in effect reducing the “body weight set point.” As a result, weight lowers naturally, as the balloon would if some water were drained from the bucket in which it floats.

This is a vital concept to understand. Many people will argue that counting calories works because they do so and lose weight. But how many of those people ever keep that weight off permanently? Very, very few. I've read things that say that statistically, about 98% or more will gain back all that they lost PLUS gain even more when they lose weight with a calorie restricted diet. The quality of the food is what matters. When you're eating high quality food, you will feel full faster, you'll stay full longer, you won't have cravings like you do when you're eating junk, and your body will operate better and get rid of the excess fat that it no longer needs because you're feeding it properly.

Think about this...

For that matter, if counting calories were key to weight control, how did humans manage to avoid massive swings in body weight before the very concept of the calorie was invented?

This is another thing to consider...

Fifty years ago, 13 percent of adults in the United States had a BMI in the obese range. Today, that figure is 35 percent. An additional 34 percent are overweight, leaving fewer than one in three adults in the normal weight range.

What changed? Why did the obesity rate suddenly go up so much when it was never high before? What changed was the quality of the food and we were told to cut fat out of our diet and add carbs in. Horrible, horrible advice. And millions have suffered and/or died because of that bad advice. It's appalling.

Astoundingly, almost one in two American adults now have diabetes or prediabetes and one in three have fatty liver, providing evidence for just how rapidly the epidemic has progressed so far. By middle age, many people take a cocktail of powerful drugs to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, attempting to stave off heart attack and stroke.

Considering how simple (maybe not easy but definitely simple) it can be to reverse these diseases, it's heartbreaking to see this happening. We need to take back control of our bodies and our diet and find out what works for us and what will make us healthy. I can guarantee you it's not the cocktail of drugs being prescribed  - it's proper diet and nutrition.

Much of this is information I've talked about here before but I think it's always important to continue to share and offer new perspectives and ideas from different doctors and authors. There is so much great information out there to show how messed up our diets have become over the last 50 years or so and what we can do to correct it. I'll share even more from this book so that you can decide if it's a plan that might be easy for you to check out and follow. :)