|WHY DIETS DON'T PRODUCE LONG-TERM
RESULTS, AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD
Millions of Americans are caught on a weight loss, weight gain roller coaster. They are unable to sustain
a stable healthy weight. The reason is found in the food they eat. Even the most aware Americans eat a
diet that is deficient in many nutrients. Most have been eating a nutritionally insufficient diet all their
When a persons diet is nutritionally insufficient, the body reacts by sending strong signals (felt as
cravings) causing the person to eat, often causing a craving for a specific type of food. The best known
of these cravings results from low blood sugar and causes people who skip breakfast or lunch to crave
something sweet with their morning or afternoon coffee break.
People who are severely nutritionally deficient from really bad diets can simply experience signals that
cause them to eat and eat and eat, but even becoming obese does not stop their cravings.
The diet industry does not help them. Those packaged meals are better than most of what the severely
obese eat, BUT they are still nutritionally deficient. Many of the foods that you buy in the grocery store
are also nutritionally deficient. The food industry is happy to present you with nutritionally deficient
products. If you eat too much, they profit.
Speaking as a woman who has had a weight struggle since youth, I can attest that it is possible to
control your weight. At age 67, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, my weight fluctuates between 122 and 127 pounds. I
keep control of my weight by satisfying all of my nutritional needs through my daily diet.
The normal American diet is severely inadequate in B vitamins, because Americans primarily eat refined
(white) flour. They prefer doughnuts to whole grain cereals and mashed potatoes and white (refined)
rice to brown rice. The B vitamins, found in the foods they don't eat, are essential, for the details,
web-search B vitamin complex. More to the point, a chronic shortage of B vitamins can trigger
While chronic B vitamin deficiency is probably the most common, people who don't eat raw fruits and
raw or lightly cooked vegetables can have Vitamin C or Vitamin A deficiencies. Those who don't eat
whole grains or raw nuts can be deficient in Vitamin E. Those who avoid milk products can be deficient
in calcium also.
The solution to long term weight control is not depriving your body of calories, rather first remedy your
chronic nutritional deficiencies. In other words, stop dieting for a while and start eating food that is
good for you.
The food industry has made this very difficult. Generally, everything in supermarket bakeries is made
with white "enriched" flour. This flour has some B Vitamins returned to it. It won't give you beriberi (non-
enriched white flour would), but it will contribute to your inability to control your weight. The same is
true for white "enriched" rice, but here even the "enrichment" may be lost if the rice is rinsed before
cooking or if the cooking water is drained.
So do you have nutritional deficiencies? If you are overweight despite diets, the answer is yes. What do
you buy to solve your chronic nutritional deficiencies?
Start at the bread aisle. Buy 100% whole grain bread. Read the fine print on the ingredients and make
sure some name like "Health Nut Bread" isn't on a bread made with "enriched" flour. Names are
frequently deceptive. Remember, you need a bread made with 100% whole grain flour. Stone ground
flours contain more vitamins, because they are ground slowly. The heat of high speed metal blade
grinding destroys some nutrients.
In the health food store you can find better bread at twice the price. If you can afford it, sprouted whole
grain bread is a true nutritional wonder. Triscuit crackers are made from 100% whole grains, few others
are. Whole grain corn has too little protein and too many calories to be a good whole grain choice,
however oats, barley, millet, quinoa and amaranth are excellent whole grain choices.
Brown rice is easy to find and relatively cheap. If you can afford organic, it will provide you with trace
minerals. Whole grain cereals are also easy to find, muesli or granola are excellent foods. Fruits and
vegetables are easy to find too, the farmer's markets and flea markets will have the freshest produce.
Raw nuts can be found year around, if not in your grocery store, check the Super Wal-Mart produce
section. Peanuts are a bean rather than a nut, and speaking of beans, they are an excellent food.
Cheeses (except creme cheese) and 1% plain yogurt and 1% cottage cheese are good sources of
calcium and can often be eaten by even lactose intolerant people. (Note that some fat is needed for
your body to use the calcium, so choose 1% fat content yogurt and cottage cheese.) Canned fish with
bones, like sardines or salmon, are also good sources of calcium, providing that you eat the bones.
When you start eating super nutritious food, stop eating junk food, white flour products, and sugar filled
products. Eat three meals and a snack every day. If you skip meals your blood sugar will drop and you
will crave sweets to make you feel better. Don't tempt yourself!!
I have a few recommendations for the content of those meals. Eat a tablespoon of raw nuts or seeds
with every meal. Eat a source of 100% whole grain at every meal, for example, a slice of whole grain
bread, a few whole grain crackers, a whole grain cereal or a serving of brown rice. Eat either raw fruit or
raw or lightly cooked vegetables at every meal, for example a peach, apple, banana or orange, or a
salad, a potato, steamed broccoli, etc. Eat a source of calcium at every meal, for example a glass of 1%
milk, an ounce of cheese (about a one inch cube), a small container of 1% yogurt or a serving of 1%
If you want to make this nutritional program into a diet, do it by the food choices you make. Eat nuts that
have fewer calories, for example almonds. Seeds are also a low calorie choice. All fruits and vegetables
are low calorie, except sweet potatoes. Add 1% plain yogurt or 1% cottage cheese to your fruits and melt
your cheese on your vegetables or grate it to flavor your salads. Skip the salad dressings. If you eat
meat, choose the low calorie, low fat cuts, like chicken breasts.
Make a checklist, be sure you get your nuts or seeds and your whole grain source and your calcium
source and your fruits or vegetables at every meal. Even when you are dieting keep feeding your body
what it needs. To diet, simply stop eating when you start to feel full and don't eat when you don't have
symptoms of hunger. Here are some sample meals:
1. Mash a banana, stir in six ounces of plain 1% yogurt. Top with a tablespoon of nuts or seeds and
serve with granola or muesli.
2. Cook unsweetened oatmeal in 1% milk with a scoop of raisins and a little cinnamon. Top each serving
with a tablespoon of sunflower seeds. Eat with sliced fruit.
3. Scramble eggs with cheese, or make a cheese omelet. Eat with unbuttered whole wheat toast, and
sliced fresh fruit topped with slivered almonds.
4. Drain a small can of sardines, slice a small onion, open a jar of bread and butter pickles. Make a
sardine, pickle and onion sandwich on whole wheat bread. Skip the condiments. Have sunflower seeds
5. Make a grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread. Eat with an orange and banana and shredded
coconut salad topped with slivered almonds.
6. Spread ground peanuts (with no additives) thin on whole wheat toast. Eat with 1% cottage cheese and
sliced fruit topped with your favorite nuts.
7.Snack on whole wheat crackers and cheese, raisins and nuts or seeds.
8. Snack on a ground peanut and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of milk and a few
9. Emergency snack: small low-cal yogurt and trail mix granola bar.
10. Heat a can of vegetarian chili or hearty soup and top with cheese. Serve with whole wheat bread, a
sliced tomato, and sunflower seeds.
11. Add a small can of salmon (including the bones) to a salad. Top with slivered almonds and serve with
whole wheat toast.
12. Simmer 1/3 cup lentils, one cup brown rice, a small can of tomato paste and a clove of garlic in four
cups of water for 45 minutes, or until rice is soft. Add two or three cups of chopped vegetables, a
heaping teaspoon of a seasoning blend like Italian herbs or Mrs. Dash, and a little salt. Stir in
vegetables and add water to barely cover. Cook until vegetables are tender. Top each serving with
cheese and slivered almonds.
If you want to lose weight, you must exercise daily. Fortunately, whole grains are super energy foods, so
after a few days you should start to feel energetic. (If you don't, see a doctor or check out No. 104,
"Kitchen Medicine.") Work up to a three mile walk everyday. May God bless your diet.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden