My guest today asks: “Surely if there was some safe, simple, side effect free solution to the obesity epidemic we’d know about it right?”
I’m so excited to share this conversation with you. Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM, is an internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of the AMAZING evidence based nutrition resource Nutritionfacts.org. After writing his mega-bestselling How Not to Die, and revealing how “The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle” Dr. Greger has turned his attention to the latest research on the leading causes—and remedies—of obesity.
Everything we will discuss today is about evidence based nutrition. While I’ll admit I may be led by my heart and by the ethics, the Dr is loyal to the science. In prepping for today I learnt even sticking to the peer reviewed medical literature is not enough. To get to the truth you need to dig into the primary literature and there are over 1/2 a million scientific papers just on obesity with 100 new scientific papers published every day. That’s insane.
Enter nutritionfacts.org founded by Dr Greger to sift through ALL the evidence with his team of researchers. A vital consideration, every penny from Dr Greger’s book sales go to charity. That means in both, How Not To Die and in the primary focus of our chat today, How Not To Diet Dr Greger stays loyal to the science AND avoids corrupting commercial interests.
Today we’ll explore: What does the science show is the best way to lose weight? Importantly we’ll cover the optimal criteria to enable weight loss while considering how these foods actually affect our health and longevity. Because as Dr Greger so hilariously shares: “The point of weight loss is NOT to fit into a skinnier casket”
In this interview we cover:
- Dr Greger’s personal journey to a plant based lifestyle and to helping others take control of their health as influenced by his Grandmother who was cured of her end stage heart disease with a whole foods plant based diet.
- How to live a healthy and obesity free life without dieting.
- 17 Ingredients for the Ideal Weight Loss Diet.Including: Anti-inflammatory. High in fibre rich foods. Low in meat.
- 21 Weight Loss Boosters. What we eat matters most however how and when can also make a difference. Tools to further boost weight loss including: Negative calorie preloading. Wall off your calories.
- 21 Tweaks to optimise The Daily Dozen checklist (“Green light” foods from How Not To Die) for weight loss.
- Some of the stand out studies / findings that most surprised Dr Greger. Including: Body fat loss slows down when you switch to a Keto diet. Those on a SAD lose about 5% of their calories in their waste daily. On a high fibre diet that doubles to 10%. Animal protein spikes insulin almost the same as pure sugar. Plant protein as the opposite impact.
- Push back to The Game Changers.
- We discuss the Palaeolithic diet and how our bodies work best on the diet we were designed to eat. Palaeolithic period only goes back about 2 million years. For the first 90% of our hominid existence our bodies evolved on mostly plants.
- Given there’s so much research on a safe, side effect free solution to obesity why is institutional change so painfully slow?
WOW, what a powerhouse right?
Although we covered a lot, this chat was just a taste as How Not To Diet really is a huge (beautiful!) beast of a book. I devoured it via audio.
Multiple times I was surprised to learnt that “a weight loss myth” I’d discounted years ago actually does provide results. Stuff like the ideal time to consume calories. Definitely front load your day. Although if you can get your cardio in before breakfast you’re going to see superior fat burning to if you eat the exact same breakfast before exercise.
Equally, some of my more recent beliefs have been challenged. For example the fat burning benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training). It gets the job done in less time and that’s about it… so maybe that’s reason enough to not force myself back into hideous incline treadmill intervals again! Gleefully I’m excited to share far and wide that Keto is not only bad for the animals, the environment and your health – it’s also bad for fat burning. Great for losing metabolically active lean muscle mass and water though!
A couple of implementations I’ve made since reading How Not To Diet:
One: Negative Calorie Preloading with both a couple of glasses of water and a 100 calorie veg or fruit starter before my main meal. An apple is ideal. A veggie soup, or dressing free salad also rocks.
Two: Consuming the most structurally intact plant foods to wall off calories. So for example although they both rate as high value plant foods, a pure nut butter is less valuable in fat burning than the same amount of food / calories in whole nut form. To get even more granular roasted nuts break down into smaller pieces when chewed than raw nuts meaning you lose more through waste with raw however not enough to make me trade in my gorgeous roasted nuts just yet!
By far my most valuable take away though, is the absolute 100% certainty that a whole food plant based diet is not only the healthiest approach to eating, also the healthiest and most effective approach to weight loss. The research is confusing. The information online is overwhelmingly prolific, conflicting and agenda’ed. I thought maybe it was a toss up between 95-99% whole plant based and 100% whole food plant based.
Dr Greger and his team of 100+ researches have laid that doubt to rest for me and I hope you grab both How Not To Diet and How Not To Die and put to rest any doubts you might have too. Of course there’s also the free and amazing resource nutritionfacts.org.
I think “health” needs to factor more in the weight loss conversation. It’s ridiculous it doesn’t already. I don’t just mean your personal health either. It’s time for our definition of health to evolve from pure self focused to what is healthy for ourselves, our families, our communities, the planet AND all those other species we share the planet with.
Before I go into one of my animals rights activist rants I will say, it’s incredibly valuable to have a plant based doctor that unwaveringly stays loyal to the science.
No distractions. No ulterior motives. Just the facts and a passionate desire to let everyone know those facts. If the science suddenly declared: lean red meat was healthy Dr Greger would share that.
Thankfully the evidence is clear and resounding and it just happens to advocate for a whole foods plant based diet.
That’s it for this week in Healthification. Huge thanks to YOU for sharing this week with me. If you’ve enjoyed this show and gotten value out of it I’d super appreciate it if you pop over to iTunes or wherever you listen to the show and leave me a review.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan. It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, non genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated vegan chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked “Dr Michael Greger and How Not To Diet, The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide” you’ll also like The Ultimate Vegan Food Pyramid For Getting and Staying Lean.
If you liked “Dr Michael Greger and How Not To Diet, The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide” you’ll also like E643: Why Joe Rogan Will Become Vegan (Busting The Meathead Myths)
If you liked “Dr Michael Greger and How Not To Diet, The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide” you’ll also like E627: What I Eat In A Day To Stay Plant Strong and Lean. (2019 Vegan Food Upgrades)