Debunking the Top 3 Diet Myths

Research around dieting and nutritional impact on the body is constantly being carried out and much or it over the last few years is compelling and for some people shocking. It has essentially debunked some of the most common dietary “rules” that have been bandied about for years and years and is causing some controversy, and resistance. The “old” and in my view totally outdated recommendations were: 1. Eat low fat 2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day 3. Have three low fat meals a day plus snacks to boost your metabolism. The low-fat element is addressed in more detail in my Colour Code System but suffice to say that this is not great advice. Of all nutrient’s fats are probably the most misunderstood when it comes to weight loss. If all we had to do was eat low fat to lose weight, there would be much fewer obese people on the planet. This is purely down to the fact that gram for gram full fat contains more than double the calories of carbohydrates and protein. Although calories are relevant when wanting to lose weight, there is much more to long term weight loss than calories in versus calories out. We should definitely avoid processed fats in all their forms, but the fats in quality fish, meat, nuts and seeds, avocados (my personal favourite!) olives, eggs and even full fat dairy, need NOT be avoided. In fact, they should be included in your everyday diet. Breakfast has long been given the accolade of “the most important meal of the day” yet new research is showing that actually skipping breakfast can have huge health benefits. Not having breakfast as soon as you wake up is actually a good habit to get into. Ideally you want to have been moving around for a couple of hours at least before you eat, and even then, only if your body is telling you to eat. So, if you are one of those who get up, eat breakfast within 30 minutes before starting your day because you think you should, even if you are not being told by your body to eat, then stop that now. For the first few days you may experience the Pavlov’s dog effect of “fake hunger” because time of day was a fake stimulus rather than an authentic hunger signal. It’s more about conditioning than hunger when you eat as soon as you get up. Often, we interpret thirst as a hunger signal. If you have a drink and ten minutes later are still hungry then it is more likely to be hunger, but very often having a drink will stop the signal altogether. Do not wait until you are thirsty, drink constantly throughout the day. Fasting and having longer periods without food has been around for as long as we have. For our paleo ancestors it wasn’t voluntary it was enforced, they genuinely had times when weather and the environment affected the availability of food. Tribes moved from place to place to find new pastures where hunting was more profitable. It was a normal part of life. Their bodies used the periods of fasting to do some vital internal housekeeping. Historically all our ancestors went through periods of ketosis when food availability was poor, but in the “modern” world we don’t experience enforced fasting, food is always available, so most people never experience a natural state of ketosis. Look at it this way, if you over exert yourself and overstress muscles and joints, then they need rest to repair themselves. After a workout you need to cool down properly and stretch so your body can recover. In the same way, if you have over stressed your digestive or immune system by eating too much and too often to the point they are underperforming, reducing their workload allows them to heal and be restored. The human body, when treated right, is very forgiving of minor misdemeanours against it. A good analogy would be at the end of a day when all the workers leave the office to go home, the cleaners can come in and do their work. They can’t do it when the workers are in as they just get in the way. When you rest your digestive system and give it a break from not eating, your immune system also gets a rest as it has less toxins etc. to process. This simple process allows your body to carry out vital repairs that it can’t do if it has to constantly use energy to digest food. So, this is where the third recommendation of eating snacks between meals is debunked, doing this means that your digestive system is having to work constantly! Give it a break, get used to the hunger and experience the benefits of weight loss and improved health. If you are used to eating breakfast as soon as you wake up or having a set regime of 3 meals a day and snacks in between, then you will find the hunger pangs a challenge but only for a short time. The feeling of hunger will disappear within a week or two and you will recognise if you are genuinely hungry, or not. By following my Colour Fast Re-Set for 14 days you will be completely re-setting your appetite and how you respond to “fake hunger” signals. If you continue with the principles of the Colour Code System after that you will have changed the way you eat and process food, for good, naturally. Hunger becomes a genuine signal to be responded to in the right way, no more dieting. Ever!

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