Where Did We Go Wrong?

If you look at statistics over the last thirty years or so it’s pretty astounding how different things are with our health as a nation.

Where Did We Go Wrong?
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

If you look at statistics over the last thirty years or so it’s pretty astounding how different things are with our health as a nation. We are in an obesity crisis like never before. Did you know that before 1995 there wasn’t a single state in the US that had an obesity rate above 20%? But guess where it is now - not a single state is BELOW 20% now! That is mind-blowing! Fully every state in this country has an obesity rate above 20% and it’s just getting worse.


According to all of my research that I’ve done over the last 4 years a lot of it has to do with the horrible advice we’ve been given that it’s all about calories in versus calories out. We’ve been told that we just need to eat less and exercise more. But that doesn’t work. There isn’t a single study that proves that it does and there is a whole lot of evidence that proves that it doesn’t.

I read a very interesting bit of info about the show The Biggest Loser and how their past contestants are doing. They did a study to find out how these contestants fared after the season ended and for the particular season they tracked, they discovered that six years after they were on the show, thirteen of the fourteen contestants had gained back all the weight they’d lost. One past contestant was quoted as saying it was the biggest mistake of her life and another said they never have reunion episodes for that show because they’re all fat again. How sad is that!

This is a classic example of how eat less and exercise more doesn’t work. It might work in the short term but your body alters the way it functions when you treat it like that. Your metabolism decreases because your body recognizes that not enough fuel is coming in. And by decreasing your metabolism, your chances of keeping weight off after you lose it become more difficult because as soon as you go back to “normal” eating, your metabolism is slower and your food intake is higher which makes your body store the extra as fat. Starving yourself and working out at the gym for hours on end isn’t going to get you healthy.

Another thing that got us here is the over processing of our food supply. We should be eating whole foods - foods that aren’t highly processed or made in a lab. When foods go through this processing, they’re stripped of their nutrients, fiber, fat, and it’s no longer whole food anymore. For example, white flour is made by stripping the wheat berry of all the fat and protein which leaves behind just a simple carbohydrate - something that’s unhealthy and just turns to glucose immediately upon entering the body.

Creating substitutes like margarine to use in place of butter or vegetable oils in place of olive oil or avocado oil because they’re “healthier” fats was one of the worst things we could have done. We now know that those are highly inflammatory, full of toxins, and very bad for us and the real fats and oils are natural, healthy, and very good for us. And they taste so much better too!

So what does this mean for us? We need to eliminate processed food. We need to eat healthy fats and protein and reduce carbs - particularly simple carbs and sugar. The carbs we eat need to be healthy vegetables that are full of fiber and a variety of vitamins and nutrients. We need to stop snacking all the time and raising our insulin levels and only eat when we’re truly hungry. Fasting is even a great way to get your body in a more healthy state. Most of us have plenty of fuel on our bodies and we don’t need to keep feeding ourselves more all the time. Make use of some of that extra and let your body work for you. (This is not to be confused with calorie reduction at meals - your body doesn’t treat these two methods the same way. Fasting works with your body but simply reducing calories at each meal and not getting the nutrients you need works against your body.)

We can’t keep treating our bodies the same way we always have and expect our health (and our waistline) to get any better. We have to make changes and that means a healthier diet with healthy fats, good proteins, and low carb that’s made up of healthy vegetables. We need to eat when we’re hungry and eat till we’re full. We need to eliminate processed foods and eat plenty of whole foods in our diet. Only then will you begin to see the changes you’re probably looking for in your life.