The lovely Oprah Winfrey, one of the wealthiest women in the world with a private chef and whole team of doctors and nutritionists at her beck and call, struggles with her weight. If she has a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, what chance do the rest of us have?
The answer to that depends on the advice we’re getting. Unfortunately for her, Oprah and her advisers are working from the standard models of nutrition—the idea that the USDA Food Pyramid and “everything in moderation” will get results. If you’ve struggled with your weight, even while you’ve done your best to follow the rules, you may already suspect that there’s something very wrong with a lot of the advice we’re getting about food. So let’s clear up the confusion.
When I was in medical school, I learned that the only way to loose weight was to consume fewer calories than you burned. The theory was based on a simple energy balance principle, which basically describes the human metabolism like a coal-fired furnace. In practice, however, I found that the formula frequently failed. My patients would cut back on portion sizes, exercise, and still fail to loose weight. At first, I assumed people were embarrassed to tell me about secret snacks and midnight refrigerator raids. But after applying the molecular biology and biochemistry I learned in graduate school to the physiology I learned in medical school, I discover that the energy balance formula fails because it ignores the complex effects of food on the human metabolism.
Food As A Language
One of the most important things to understand before you can loose weight is that food is far more than calories; it’s actually complicated chemical information. What your body does with that information determines how your body grows. Certain foods tell your body to build fat. Trans fat, found in margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and products made with processed vegetable oil is one. If you are eating foods containing these chemicals on a regular basis, then you are constantly telling your body to pack on pounds. It’s not your metabolism, it’s your diet. And you control your diet.
Deep Nutrition helps you understand hidden sources of trans fat, and fats that are worse for you than trans, as well as how to cut your sugar and why butter, steak, and salt can help you loose weight.