The "No Snack Diet", your key to a great body, enduring performance and fantastic health!
When I woke this morning, I was not hungry, so I got stuck straight into work. By 11 am I was hungry, so I had a good feed. So much for breakfast being the most important meal of the day!
While in my 20's and running marathon consistently faster than 2 hours and 40 minutes, my weight was 60-61 Kg. I was like a salty pretzel.
By 50 years of age, my weight had climbed to about 64-65 kg and I was not healthy. I began measuring my body fatness. I also began questioning what I had learned about nutrition while at university, including the need to snack. What I was doing and what I was telling my clients to do was clearly not working for me!
From 60 years of age, my body fat had declined from 17% down to about 8% and I now weigh from 61-63 kg. I carry more muscle now than during my 20's and this is despite not having stepped inside a gym in the last 15 years!
This goes completely against everything we are told about what happens to our bodies as we age: we lose lean tissue and we gain fat!
I'll tell you what I did with my diet to reverse this process of decline (of course, I did a whole lot more including diet, but the way we eat is hugely important).
Please make Dr. Penny your heroine. She looks great and it is not from Botox and image airbrushing. One reason why she looks so good is the way she eats.
Please visit her website, read her articles and purchase her book:
General Rules for fantastic health, athletic endurance and a great body:
No snacks between meals. You may take your vitamins and have a cup of tea. No calories between meals, please.
Have at least five hours between meals. That equates to three hours digesting, then at least two hours of burning fat stores.
Eat well. Eat foods that are nutritious. Favour foods that YOU have prepared yourself from their raw ingredients. Give preference for meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit and so on. Avoid foods that do not look like what they originally came from.
Avoid toxins. Avoid foods that come with a long list of flavourings, colouring and stabilisers, and preservatives, especially nitrates. Avoid chlorinated and fluoridated water. Chlorine and fluorine are halides that interfere with iodine in the body, thus suppressing the thyroid which then causes chronic fatigue and weight gain. Our home has a rainwater collection system that is passed through a filter. The water is delicious and healthy!
Take your time with meals. Eat Mediterranean-style which means eating with family and friends, resting between courses. Do not gobble and scoff your food. No rushing.
If you are not hungry then do not eat. Wait until you are hungry, then eat. Eat only when hungry, even if that means skipping a meal like breakfast.
Fast one day a week. Do not eat anything from between dawn and dusk. This was a common practice in just about all ancient societies and religions. I wonder why? Pick a busy day for your fast. It is easier to get through the day without eating when busy. Have your vitamins and fluids, but no calories please.
With time, this will become very easy to do. Your body will progressively become more and more efficient at running off your body fat stores.
Just two or three meals a day is the key!
Spacing eating so that there is a maximum of two to three meals a day, and having one day a week of no eating is the way humanity used to eat over many thousands of years. This is the way it was before the days of the fridge, the electric stove, the supermarket and the muesli bar came along and messed it all up.
Our physiology is designed for this way of eating. That is why we store fat. It is for a "rainy" day when gathering food and cooking may not have been possible. The problem with Modern Man and Woman is their fat-burning systems have become weak and wasted, similar to that of muscles that have not been exercised on a daily basis. It is time to give your fat-burning systems a daily workout.
I recommend that people have "Brunch" with the first meal being around 10 or 11 am then having an early evening meal, not much later than 6 pm. This is easy to do once the routine is in place.
If you are doing heavy, daily exercise, or in a physically demanding job, then three meals a day with no snacking may be better, but not always. Most people can chug energetically through the day on two meals. So long as those two meals are substantial and packed with healthy nutrients. No junk food please!
We were all lean and mean back in the "Good old Days"
The photo below, of Putaruru High School's Athletics Team of 1970, tells it all. Every person in this photo is lean and muscular. It includes my sister, Lorraine, who went on to international athletic stardom, including four Olympic Games and an Olympic medal. The amazing thing is there are several others in this photo who were every bit as talented as Lorraine.
Can you spot me? I am the really good-looking one, that sadly lacked any athletic talent. Notice that there is not a single case of acne, the modern epidemic that afflicts many young people today.
As an aside, we were raised on award-winning spring water which has since been flogged off to the international water bottling companies and the town switched to inferior bore water which is fluoridated and chlorinated.
The point about this photo is these were the days before the supermarket and the muesli bar. Despite our active lifestyles, there was little snacking between meals. We ate what Mum put on the table. We did not have rules about must having to eat within half an hour of finishing exercise. There were no special protein drinks. All we had had nutritious meals that were prepared by Mum from fresh, raw ingredients.
Little town Putaruru was awash with great athletes and we were so healthy. All of New Zealand was, come to think of it! New Zealand once was in the top few countries for just about every measure of health. This is no longer the case: we are progressively dropping down the ranks.
New Zealand is now the 3rd most obese country in the world. This is shameful.
So, what has caused so much to do with health and physiques to be so unhealthy nowadays? I think much of our national decline in health has to do with nutrition research and nutrition educations and practices having been hijacked by the food industry.
We have been fed a load of nutritional cobblers by experts who should know better. We have been misled with messages such as breakfast being the most important meal of the day. We have been told that we should snack every couple of hours to keep blood sugar even. Athletes are told they must eat some protein and carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes of finishing a workout. This is all unhealthy rubbish.
These messages increase the financial bottom lines of the food companies while also increasing the "bottoms" of the people who follow this advice.
It is time for us to go back to traditional foods, and traditional eating practices, such as those which our ancestors, and which were honed to near perfection over many thousands of years.
Photo: I'm enjoying delicious Petone spring water that is free of chemicals. Note that there is not a single anti-fluoridation "nutter" in sight, just health-conscious people who want the best for their families and themselves.
Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day
We, including most nutritionists, have been sucked in by the food industry which wants you to eat more breakfast cereals and low fat milk.
I used to milk cows. That involved getting up at 4 am to bring the herd into the milking shed, then it was hard labour through to about 8 am. There was absolutely no snacking - not even a cup of tea - before indulging the hearty farmer's breakfast about 9 am. We were all lean and muscular.
The most heavily-boned and naturally muscled race is the Pacific Islands Polynesian - Samoans and Tongans - to be more specific. Look at their traditional way of eating: The day would start at dawn with walking a long distance to the interior to work the gardens and collect food like taro and breadfruit. Others would be fishing or foraging on the reef. Others would be preparing the fire for the traditional cooking with hot stones. By the time fish were gutted, taro prepared and cooked, it was nearer midday than morning.
Lunch was the first and main meal of the day followed by a sleep during the heat of the day. More activity was had during the cool of the evening, including another meal. So, it was two meals a day - not three meals a day and most definitely not a snack every 1-2 hours which the food industry and nutritionist would have us do. That kind of advice is a guarantee for ill health and obesity!
In Papua New Guinea, it was one meal a day before the tuck shop came into the village.
Please go here for more information about traditional foods and traditional eating:
The way you eat is essential for a long and healthy life
Like muscles, your digestive organs, including your stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas and kidneys need regular rest periods for healing and restoration.
If you are following modern nutrition advice, you are snacking every few waking hours and this is mostly processed foods, including things like protein bars. When does your digestion ever get break? Maybe it gets a break for a few hours during sleep, but that is only if your last meal was three or more hours before going to sleep.
The modern digestive system is over-worked and most unhealthy. Give it a break please! This includes getting a break from the increasing myriad of food additives, as well as chlorinated and fluoridated water.
Infections such as candida and bacterial ulcerations thrive on snacking. If there is food then they have a feeding and reproduction frenzy - at your expense. Your gut becomes a bacterial or yeast factory and you will suffer bloating, burping and farting. Think of a ginger beer culture in your gut. Gross! Toxic products include alcohol which helps explain why people with candida and similar infections feel as if they are constantly hung over and suffer "brain fog".
Healthy eating controls harmful bugs in the body
When you eat no more than every five hours and fast for a day here and there, harmful yeast, fungi, bacteria, worms and protozoa are pushed into dormancy which means your body get's a break from all the toxins these bugs produce when active. While they are dormant, you immune system has the chance to get the upper hand, as will any treatments I may give you for such infections. It is crazy, come to think of it, to be feeding the enemy while trying to kill it!
A good general knows that the best time to attack
is while the enemy are asleep in their tents!
What makes for an effective weight-loss programme?
The most effective weight-loss programmes are the ones that bring about the slowest weight losses that are measured in months and not weeks.
Crash diets do not work. The ones that work are those that involve lasting lifestyle changes, including the foods you eat, the timing of eating and getting regular, enjoyable exercise. These happen over the long term and are a stark contrast to the starvation crash diet, which serves only to depress and already struggling metabolism. We want to boost your metabolic fires - not cool them.
Exercise, in a form that you enjoy, is important because the workouts burn energy and then much more energy is burned over the next several hours as tired muscles are replenished and toned. There is the added bonus that healthy muscles require more energy to be maintained, even while at rest. This is all good stuff for developing a lean and mean physique and keeping it that way over the long term.
Enlist the help of family, friends, and workmates. Get them involved. Solidarity works!
Set yourself health and lifestyle goals other than merely wieght loss. Read Liz and Ken's story for inspiration and set your own challenges: