Last weekend, I had the great honor of listening to Robb Wolf speak at the annual conference of the Nutritional Therapy Association. You may or may not know that Robb's new book "Wired to Eat" is about to be released in the United States. Many folks in Britain and Canada already have their copies. (No fair, right?)
Robb started his talk by sharing a couple of myths, that we, as 21st century humans buy into all too willingly.
"Eat less, move more."
"Everything in moderation."
If these statements were true, we'd have a lot more lean and healthy people among us. The idea that simply moving more while eating less helps you lose weight and then maintain it is just as wrong as the notion that eating everything in moderation is the solution.
First of all, the body doesn't care about how little you eat while you bust your butt at the gym. I'm a kickboxing instructor. I work out 4 to 5 days a week. But it is only when I dial in my diet to consist of real, whole, unprocessed foods and healthy fats, that I start seeing results.
And everything in moderation is designed to make you fail. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, think of that bag of chips or that donut. Both have added sugars and other crap that make you WANT to have more. You don't want to quit after just 5 chips, because that happens to be a serving size. If you have that donut in front of you, you'll eat that whole thing, not just a serving size. As Robb Wolf put it in his keynote speech, every single study confirms that a lifestyle (paleo, keto, even vegetarian) actually works, while moderation of a crappy diet does not. And if you take the 108 million people trying a diet each year and consider that 4 out of 5 fail, the answer is clear. We have a myth on our hands.
Of course, as a person who actually wants to eat healthy, you are in a bit of a pickle. Boredom of certain foods is actually rooted in our ancestry. We call this palate fatigue. Simply put, you can experience palate fatigue during wine tasting. Too many different wines tried in a short period of time can make your taste buds tired, or as some researchers suggest, your brain grows tired of the similar sensory information. The same can be true for eating the same food every day. Is it any surprise then, that our grocery store shelves are stocked with 50,000 items and 11,000 new items are introduced every single year! All it takes are a few well placed commercials and ads to make you want to try that brand new food, and trust me when I say that you will not want to eat it just in moderation. It won't work.
Secondly, a person eating a healthy diet (say paleo) is still looked at like somewhat of an alien. Walk into a fast food restaurant and buy a burger, fries and large coke, and you're considered normal. Order a bun without a burger, a side salad and a bottle of water and people are quick to call you orthorexic. Think about this! A person trying to eat meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruit is considered somehow abnormal. Don't let that happen to you! You are not abnormal!
That said, boredom of these healthy foods can hit anyone. It takes a committed person to get past it, experiment with new recipes and ingredients, and maybe just find joy in a relatively simple diet. And when all else fails, then... well.... bacon!