This is what most people go through when transitioning from nutrient poor to a plant, based, whole foods, Nutrient Rich diet. What you’ll notice is that until you actually go the next level in healthy eating, you will suffer from one diet trap after another!
1. We eat the standard American diet (SAD) – including limited amounts of 1st class nutrient rich foods.
Basically 80-90% 2nd and 3rd class foods which are nutrient poor, overly concentrated, and overly stimulating, leave us over fed, yet chronically undernourished, driving us to over consume.
2. We then eat less of the SAD otherwise known as “dieting” and this means less of the nutrient poor foods that are not serving us to begin with, or promoting our health as a whole, and this makes you feel like you’re starving, reinforces craving and overeating. You are merely riding the fence, trying to eat better, yet predominantly nutrient poor at the same time. This is a weight gain diet, posing as a weight loss diet.
3. We get so frustrated and go back to one, because we want the freedom of “just eating” what’s there and as much as we want. S0, we head back for pleasure. Problem is we’re headed back to nutrient poor foods as the basis of our diet which undermines our health, happiness and personal performance.
4. You may go through this process (1-3) a few times. This makes sense given the strategy up until this point, doesn’t work and really can’t work for anyone.
5. Eventually, we start to “get” that we need to being eating predominantly first class, nutrient rich foods with small amounts of second class foods if you eat them, and very small amounts of third class foods if you eat them at all; but instead of eventually going 90% of the way, or more, you sit on the fence, doing the same you’ve always done eating long shelf life animal based products, and economical, highly refined over stimulating foods because you are used to them and know them better. While eating a little bit healthier it’s not enough change to give the shift any momentum. This is the “wash your pastry down with some veggies”, “take your vitamins”, “eat healthy when I’m sick”, and the “token vegetable on the side” strategy. It always fails because while eating a little bit better is good, eating healthy is what works!
6. We may again go back to #1.
7. Then we get smarter and realize that we have to a) go beyond eating “plain vegetables” at a time when our taste buds are geared for sugar cereals, bagels and butter, pretzels, steak, pasta, cake… and b) let our taste buds adjust as we focusing on how to shop, organize, prepare and eating out the nutrient rich way; discovering the full breadth and depth of eating a great tasting nutrient rich diet style, and c) get into a more successful lifestyle – no wonder we get the wrong impression when it comes to eating healthy. (BTW, when it comes to eating Nutrient Rich, “boring” is a word that just does not apply).
8. The taste bud adjustment period is the only tough time you’ll have, not because the foods you’re now choosing to eat aren’t great tasting, but because you’ll experience some withdrawal symptoms from 2nd and particularly 3rd class foods which are low in nutrients or have all the nutrients stripped out and only the pleasure inducing chemicals left in. So, while perhaps less intensive, it’s a little like getting off drugs! We have to be careful not to associate the pain of withdrawal from the lower class foods, to the emerging pleasure of health promoting, Nutrient Rich foods, which frankly taste better.
You decide to go to the next level in healthy eating!
9. Then you realize “hey there are more great tasting foods to eat, that are Simple, Quick & Easy to eat than there are days in the year! You feel good while you’re eating and even better after, and you can avoid all the dieting “traps” behind. You can just live and be free and enjoy all the discovery of nutrient rich foods, from fast to gourmet made from predominantly, if not all, first class foods – vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, raw nuts and seeds, whole unrefined grains and natural seasonings, sauces and gravies that make already great tasting foods taste even better!!
10. You may again go back to testing the old foods, but this is only normal! Just do it, get the experience and press on towards eating first class Nutrient Rich foods anyway.
11. After a while your taste buds shift and you realize you are achieving weight loss in the process of getting incredibly healthy. And there is no reason to turn back to foods that make you overweight and sick, despite the fact that they are designed to stimulate your taste buds and they still will. But eventually you resolve to say that the secondary effects of these food stuffs, beyond the initial pleasure-inducing chemical “hits”, can not be tolerated by your body, so you go after more of a good thing! More great tasting health promoting nutrient rich foods that give you optimal health and the foundation for high performance.
12. You realize that weight loss is just one of the many benefits of something bigger and more important – health and high performance. During this phase you can lose a lot of weight as your body starts getting healthy food consistently for maybe the first time in your life. There are many dynamics going on during this phase but the biggest is that your body begins a major transition towards health and literally rebuilds itself using better quality foods.This is a very fun period!
13. High performance is now possible because your body IS nutrient rich always satiated and full. Combined with the other aspects of a PerformanceLifestyle – you start getting a real handle on your lifestyle and become very passionate.
14. You start setting goals that are not food based, but life based and you begin to realize that the better you eat, the better you are able to function and perform. You leave the obsession with dieting in the past and continue to learn and make new distinctions about how you are eating, thinking and living.
15. You start living your life at the next level, no longer mired in diet traps, and low level concepts that keep you stuck, you get it and get on with your life focused on bigger and better things.
Again, there are lots of little steps and dynamics that go on in this process, but these are the basic steps a person goes through when they are transitioning to a nutrient rich diet.
Read them again and again.