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Busted: Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules

The article disagrees with the rules.

Skinny Rules - Fact and Fiction infographic - Bob Harper the biggest loser

Most of the rules seem pretty reasonable to me ;)

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Makes sense but too many rules!

How about just: "More water, more vegetables, and no processed foods"?

I think it's good to keep it simple, with an easy daily (or hourly) slogan, but good to refresh now and then with more helpful hints.   It helps for me to be reminded, even though I have seen them before.

That makes sense. Don't try to memorize a lot of rules, but regularly look at fresh takes on the theme.

I'm glad you're stashing what you find. I do learn by reading these.

Michael Pollan says everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words:

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Probably the first two words are most important. "Eat food" means to eat real food -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and, yes, fish and meat -- and to avoid what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances."

Here's how:

  1. Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4. Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"
  6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.
  7. Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

LOL "Tie off the sack before it's full."   Kind of makes sense though ;)

It does. It's a good line. Have you read Michael Pollan?

No, I haven't.

His books are excellent but let's start with an animation:

How cooking can change your life:

Never thought about that point: that it expends energy to create processed food, so by eating only unprocessed food, you're helping the environment too.  On the downside, you're putting people out of work that work in the processed food industry, but this is no excuse to keep a bad system, people need to evolve.

I couldn't get away with eating whatever I want, as long as I cook it myself, because I can bake up a storm!

I like these little films, any more?

You make some good points. Yes, we must find new work for those people!

I know no more animations from him but he has several interesting lectures on youtube...

...and his books are excellent, too.

Trivia fact: His sister is married to Michael J Fox.

Tracy Pollan!  Wow, nice to see diversity of success in a family :)  I checked him out on Amazon, and recognized many of the titles, haven't read any, but have got the gist of his books when he's been out on book tours ;)  Seems like he might have been one of the founding people, of this whole new look at food.

Yes Tracy Pollan! Amazing to see that connection.

His books did help found the movement.

Here's another of his RSA talks on food rules for a healthier planet:

I once went on a high-fiber diet and I think everyone should try it once for science.

Not only did I not actually feel "full" except right after meals -- the rest of the time it was more like feeling cleaned out with a loofah -- but I was literally eating or pooping like 80% of the day. I'm a slow eater with a fast gut, and those books did NOT balance if you catch my drift.

Furthermore, it turns out to be almost impossible to get anywhere near 50 grams of fiber without processed foods... and not a big variety of processed foods either. For example, my lunch every day was a soy burger on a slice of extra-high fiber bread -- extra fiber = wood pulp, if you didn't know -- with a bowl of lentil soup and an apple. That adds up to "only" 18 grams of fiber, basically all carbs, and all processed except for the apple which is one of the highest pesticide foods around. Is that a healthy lunch? Very debatable.

Oh, and despite the strictness of my low-fat high-fiber diet I did not lose any weight to speak of and I did not have any health problems that required that amount of fiber. Like I say, it was a great experience to try for a few weeks as a science project... but my result was zero health benefit, very low pleasure, and high unpleasantness.

Maybe I'll pass on that diet... lol

The FDA recommends between 20 and 30 grams of fiber per day, but most Americans aren't eating half of that:

Have you tried adding chia seeds to your food?  You can add them to practically everything and you don't have to grind them first.

Chia as in chia pets?!

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.

The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel.

Can Chia Really Help You Lose Weight?

In theory, chia seeds are supposed to expand in your belly, helping you to feel full, eat less, and ultimately shed pounds. But one study indicates otherwise.

"Over a 12-week period, we did not see a change in appetite or weight loss" in study participants who consumed chia seeds, says researcher David Nieman, DrPH, a professor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. "Our study showed no reduction in body weight, body fat and no improvement in traditional cardiovascular markers from 50 grams of chia per day.”

A study reviewing the body of scientific evidence on chia found similar results.

"The evidence is limited on chia, and only two clinical trials examined heart health and body weight," says explains researcher Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD. "One showed some beneficial heart effect, but neither showed any effect on weight loss."

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