If you’re like me, you’ve probably struggled with your weight your whole life. And the funny thing about it really is that you never were “fat” growing up but just had a negative view of yourself. I’ve tried Weight Watchers which really worked but I just couldn’t afford to go to the meetings and eat their food. I’ve tried all sorts of diet pills and worked out extremely heavy….all of which I really don’t enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong, I know I have to put some effort into losing weight or maintaining my weight which means I have to exercise but I don’t enjoy tough workout regimens. I just don’t.
So I read Chapter three which states in the title, “How Can Eating More Lead to Weight Loss and Better Health”? Well….how can it!?! The whole idea behind the Forks Over Knives “diet” is that it’s really just changing the way you eat. It’s not a diet! It consists of eating whole, plant based foods: fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes. It suggests that you avoid or minimize meat, dairy products, and eggs as well as refined foods like bleached flour, sugar, and oils. That’s hard to do if you’ve always eaten a certain way.
One would think that if you only ate veggies and fruits you wouldn’t get enough protein, carbs, or other essential macro-nutrients. The point that they drive home right away is that you aren’t just eating green leafy vegetables. They center the diet around starch-based foods and fruits. Foods like potatoes, corn, and peas……foods that when you’re dieting you’re told to stay away from! Say what?? They go on to say that “whole foods contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat”…”The foods you eat on a whole-food, plant based diet will most easily get you to a healthy carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratio, which lies somewhere in the range of 80/10/10” (Forks Over Knives, 29). While you’re consuming these amazing macro-nutrients, you are also able to lose weight because whole, plant based foods are generally lower in calories per pound. The only vitamins/minerals that they say you’ll have a deficit in is Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D; both of which can be supplemented. Because of it’s lower calorie density, you are able to take in more until you feel full.
I won’t lie, they do suggest that exercise is still recommended. I can’t escape it! The book suggests that when you’re eating this way, you may have increased energy and stamina and actually want to exercise!
Chapter 4 teaches us how to change the way we eat breakfast in the morning. They suggest that you start the diet transition by changing your breakfast for a week, then lunch, and then dinner. By the end of the four weeks you’ll have a good idea of how to prepare foods for each meal and whether this diet will work for you.
Every diet talks about reading labels but this one teaches you a whole new way to look at it. This time you’re not looking at calories as much as you’re looking to make sure that it’s low in fat and that sugar isn’t one of the first three ingredients. For the most part, you won’t have any labels since you’re not cooking with processed foods but you still may with plant milks, grains, etc. The end of the chapter shows you what to look for when you’re cleaning out your pantry when getting ready for this diet and also what foods to buy when stocking your pantry.
My homework for this week will be to change my breakfast although I’ve already sort of begun. Lately I’ve become accustomed to making 1/2 cup oatmeal and then adding about 2tbsp of homemade trail mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, almonds, walnuts, and choc chips) to sweeten it. This helps me to not feel hungry about an hour later and it tastes good.
I’m looking forward to not having to count calories and starve myself anymore. I’m excited to learn a new way of eating and one that will hopefully change my risk for inheriting some awful diseases that my family members deal with. I hope this not only transforms the foods I eat but also the way I look at myself. I encourage you buy the book from Amazon or watch the documentary on Netflix or YouTube. Cheers!