Save yourself a bunch of hassle, a small fortune, and years of poor health - JFDI
This post, in a nutshell:
- I was a fat yo-yo dieter for 20 years, in and out of obesity, trying fad diets and fad bouts of exercise
- I finally ‘figured it all out’ and lost 101 pounds of fat, or 7 stone 3, or 46 kilos
- Now I have spent 11 years obsessed with health and fitness and read 847 books and research papers on all-things-health related
- I have spent the last five years trying to teach the best of what I learned - no gimmicks, no fads, no selling snake-oil supplements, no bullshit, just the truth
- Most folks don’t want this truth, it’s too boring. It’s not very sexy, it doesn’t sell
- Ugly as it sounds, the reality is that ‘most’ doctors and ‘experts’ are disinclined to teach healthy diet and lifestyle modification as preventive medicine. Instead they wait for people to mess themselves up, then when they come for help, they prescribe drugs or surgery
- And most ordinary people are turned off by honest advice to eat healthily and exercise more, and instead they prefer to live the hedonistic life, wait til shit goes wrong, then take those prescription drugs in the hopes that can fix things
- This strategy falls apart when the NHS goes bust and everyone has type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer
- The solution? Follow my boring and sensible advice, follow the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet, and stop using food and alcohol as cheap thrills and anxiety drugs to make up for the fact that other areas of your life are less than fulfilling
The size of the problem
If you follow this blog then you know my back story and there is no real need for me to go through it again. For those who are new to this blog, here is the super-short version. I struggled with my weight from age 14 to age 35, yo-yo diets, exercise fads, in and out of obesity. I smoked for 20 years, drank pretty heavily for 26 years, had skin problems, nasal congestion problems, took prescription meds for 17 years, and fought low self-esteem my entire life. Mid-30s, I started to learn about nutrition and turned it all around. Lost 7 stone 3 (101 pounds, 46 kilos), got fit, ran a bunch of marathons, had some injuries and accidents (including every running injury in the book, knee surgery, fractured spine, busted some ribs, bust a few bones) and then studied and became a Personal Trainer. Long version here.
Along the way, I read hundreds of books, hundreds of research papers, attended dozens of training events, seminars, conferences and more. I learned a ton about health, nutrition, disease prevention, fitness, training, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, weight loss, mindset, personal development, farming, agriculture, the environment, history, anthropology and a whole lot more. Along the way I got really pissed off with all the confusing and conflicting research and advice.
- Meat is good for you : no, meat gives you cancer!
- Dairy is good for you, it’s a superfood : no, dairy is full of pus and gives you breast cancer!
- Running is good for you : no, running trashes your knees and hips!
- Low-fat is the secret to losing weight and avoiding heart disease - so just eat less fat and more carbs! : No! Fat is essential…it’s the carbs that cause heart disease and make you fat!
- Coconut oil is good : no, coconut oil is bad!
- Put butter and fat in your coffee : no, coffee is already bad for you, it’s worse with butter in it!
- Weight training is good for you : no, weights will make you bulky and you’ll end up damaging your joints and taking steroids!
- Calories are all that matter for weight loss : no, calories don’t matter at all!
And so it goes on and on and on. I read every book, paper and blog on every topic for 27 years and it all drove me nuts. Every expert disagrees with every other expert! And today, if anything, it’s only getting worse. It seems to me that as time goes on, this situation is not getting any better, the conflicts and arguments continue. I did a test the other day - I randomly grabbed 20+ books from my extensive book shelves, I purposefully picked good books, not trashy ‘diet books’ but good books written by doctors and PhDs, books with pages of scientific references at the back, books that seem reputable and popular. I then Google’d the authors one by one, and I found blogs and opinion pieces online for almost every author saying “Dr such-and-such is a quack / pharma industry shill / totally bonkers / has no grasp of science” and I then looked up the people writing those comments, and in many cases, found further articles in turn calling them all quacks and shills! FFS, who to believe, who to trust!! Medicine and nutrition industry in-fighting be damned!
It truly is a mess out there, and it’s no wonder so many members of the public throw their hands up in horror and despair at the whole thing. The more you read, the more confusing it all gets. I am not surprised people feel this way…
…and after sharing an image like that on social media, they laugh it all off and go back to the beer and pizza and ice cream. “Life’s too short…ha ha ha!”
From 27 years of learning, and endless frustration at all this conflicting information, I learned to analyse the science to find the research which wasn’t biased, and I tried everything and tested everything on myself, and I finally came out of it all with Mother Nature’s Diet and the 12 Core Principles, my solution to what worked for me. These 12 simple one-liners helped me ditch over 100 pounds of fat, and keep it off permanently (well, a decade so far!) and all without ever calorie counting, tracking my macros, starving myself, eating ice cubes or developing any kind of eating disorder.
It’s just simple, common sense advice. It’s not rocket science, you don’t need a PhD to understand it, you don’t need to spend £300 per month on supplements and superfoods, and you don’t need to keep a detailed food diary every day and count every calorie, track your macros and enter every mouthful into an app. The premise behind Mother Nature’s Diet is simple - “Do these 12 things, consistently, for life, and you will enjoy the best health possible, maintain a healthy body weight, do your best to protect yourself from chronic disease and you can get on with a normal life without feeling like you are living under some strict, detailed regimen.”
Unlike the fad diets, the gimmicks, and the crash weight loss plans, Mother Nature’s Diet is a permanent, sustainable, easy-to-stick-to healthy lifestyle.
Sex sells, common sense is boring, and cancer ruins lives
Since I came out with the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet, I have spent the last five or six years trying to promote this healthy lifestyle advice to members of the public who want to lose weight, look and feel their best and avoid ill health. Honestly, it’s a bloody hard sell! As you can see from this blog and the main Mother Nature’s Diet site, I give away the basic information for free (why wouldn’t I? It’s no “sexy special secrets” it’s just common sense and scientifically-backed sound health advice…nothing patented and original, just good ideas Mother Nature came up with on her own about a million years ago) plus all the extra detail you can find on this blog site and on my YouTube channel.
Additionally, I sell a fun and thoroughly motivational one-day seminar and I sell membership to our Community, for those who want to join my ‘inner circle’ and learn more detail about nutrition, disease prevention, health and fitness, and for networking with like minded folks in our friendly and motivational ‘tribe’.
No supplements in sight, no gimmicks or superfoods, no snake oil, just honest down-to-earth common sense advice, straight talk from a guy who’s done it.
Yet it’s an insanely hard sell. I’ve spent the last five years slowly going broke trying to share this simple message with people, and it feels like I am banging my head against a brick wall. Folks want the gimmicks, they want to be entertained by the photoshopped stars of Instagram, they want the superfoods and the bullshit promises…then they go on social media and moan and complain how “another diet that doesn’t work” and “I lost that weight but it’s all gone on again, I feel like a failure…”
I’m sorry if you find it boring, I’m sorry if you don’t think the whole ‘eat some proper food and get some exercise’ is a bit boring. You know what, the secret to lifetime financial security is pretty boring too - ‘work hard, learn to be a good saver’. See, I didn’t even say “the secret to getting rich” - that’s the bullshit pipedream most people buy in to, they want the “get rich quick” scheme. But in my life experience so far, there are few ways to get rich, and even fewer ways to do it quickly. You might get rich if you have a really good business idea, you might get rich quick if you are lucky and win the lottery, you might get rich slowly if you get some good qualifications and work your butt off for a large corporation for 30 or 40 years.
But not many people genuinely get rich quick. It’s a bullshit dream used on the Internet to get you to buy in to whatever course, training event or marketing seminar they are selling. I know, I’ve bought a fair few of them over the years, and none of them made me rich. But I did have a really good business idea some years back, and then I worked hard at it for 15 years, and that made me a bunch of money. No gimmicks, just honest hard work.
Sex sells, it always has, but boring just doesn’t cut it. The get rich quick schemes are marketed with images of hot girls draped over luxury sports cars. The rapid weight loss schemes are marketed using ‘Instagram bodies’ with their muscles, their 6-pack abs and their scantily clad fit bodies.
Sex sells and it always has and likely always will.
But “Eat this and do that and you might improve your chances of not having a heart attack!” just does not have the same appeal to the sub-conscious mind as “Buy this plan and you might get laid more.” Folks who have been obese for 20 years buy “6-pack abs” plans every day, yet they shy away from common sense advice about slowly losing some weight and keeping it off for ever.
In my live seminars, some times I ask a room full of people “By show of hands, who does not want cancer?” and, as well as some puzzling looks, I get every single hand in the room shoot up. I say thanks, and then I ask “OK, and again by show of hands, who has ever gone to a search engine and looked up ‘How not to get cancer’?” and I guarantee, every time, not one hand is raised.
In my experience so far, the only people who ever search online for information about cancer prevention, are people who have just come back from their doctor after being told “We’ve found a lump, we need to send you for a scan” - then they are all over Google like a rash searching everything they can find on what it is, what causes it and how to stop it. But as yet, after six years of public seminars and coaching hundreds of private clients and Community Members, I have not yet met any regular members of the general public in good health who spend their time learning how to prevent cancer or heart disease.
Preventive medicine, and that’s what Mother Nature’s Diet is, doesn’t have the same sex appeal as “get a 6-pack”. It’s a hard sell. Yet, ask anyone who has just had a heart attack, or ask anyone who has just been diagnosed with cancer, if they could go back a decade and learn this stuff from the start…they’ll pay anything to have that time over again.
Ditch the fad diet madness forever
Mother Nature’s Diet, borne out of my own life experience, really boils down to a handful of simple good ideas.
- Cut back on eating so much starchy carbohydrate - maybe 50 or 60 years ago, when we didn’t have two or three cars to every family, and labour-saving devices for everything, maybe then we needed all that extra carbohydrate for energy. But these days, folks don’t move as much as they used to, and they don’t use their muscles as much, jobs are less manual and more office-based, and in my experience most folks just don’t need all those carbs every day. Additionally, the carbs these days are far more refined, it’s all white bread, white pasta and spaghetti, rice, bagels and so on. Too much sugar, eaten too often, leading to weight gain and contributing to insulin resistance. Cut right back on the starchy carbs, especially the processed grains - anything made from wheat.
- Refined sugar - as a society, we eat far too much sweet food. It offers very little nutritional value, cut that stuff right out for weight loss and better health.
- Keep processed foods to an absolute minimum. They offer low nutritional value and usually have added sugar.
- Don’t smoke. Drink less. Keep your lifetime exposure to man-made chemicals to a minimum (think cosmetics, household chemicals, chemicals at work, pollution and more).
- Get some fresh air - get outside and use your lungs every day.
- Drink plenty of fresh clean water, most people mistake thirst for hunger.
- Eat fresh whole foods - plants and animals. 95% of your diet should come from vegetables, fish, eggs, meat, fruits, nuts and seeds.
- Buy organic. What you save on buying less alcohol and confectionery and cosmetics, you can spend on that top-quality grass-fed meat. Try growing a few of your own veggies at home, it’s easy once you get started.
- Exercise, aim for something every day, even if it’s just a walk. Consistency is king. Go for variety - sometimes puffing and panting, sometimes engaging your muscles, sometimes gentle stretching. Variety and consistency rule. Try a yoga class.
- Reduce stress in your life. Sleep more, it’s the best antidote to chronic stress. Ensure your bedroom is dark, calm, quiet and cool. Take a day offline from time to time. Watch less TV. Take time to nourish your soul. Stop being so hard on yourself. Share time with those you love. Have more sex. Learn to meditate. Laugh more often. Study, use your brain, be a lifetime learner.
- Get outside in nature as often as you can. It’s good for you in so many ways you don’t realise. Get some sunshine - little and often is the best way to go.
- Get it all right 90% of the time. Chill out over the last 10%. No drama.
That’s it. 12 simple steps to living a healthy life, to being the best version of you that you can be. 12 simple ways to maintain a healthy bodyweight, look and feel your best for life, have more energy and do your best to avoid ill health and chronic disease.
Healthy living really boils down to a handful of rather ordinary, common-sense good ideas. Do yourself a favour; avoid the fad diets, stay away from the supplements, superfoods and snake oil solutions, and come join the Mother Nature’s Diet lifestyle. No bullshit, just simple, sustainable, effective healthy living.