In the summer of 2008, I made the firm decision to follow the nutritarian diet-style. At that time I was 47-years-old and suffered from severe food addiction, obesity, prediabetes, heart disease, shortness of breath, hypertension, chronic fatigue, bloating, brain fog, low back pain, cracked heels, boils, and general malaise all over my body. I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without needing to stop a lot to catch my breath, and the extra weight caused me to become increasingly immobile with each passing birthday. In the spring of 2008 my blood pressure was 154/97, and I knew that I was sitting on a ticking bomb; not a matter of “if” I’d have a heart attack or stroke, but “when”. And that was my wake-up call to change five years ago.
Within a year’s time I lost 100 lbs. and eradicated all the aforementioned diseases from my life. However, most importantly, the overwhelming cravings for high-fat, salty, processed junk foods and sweets, that consumed my every waking moment for over twenty years, gradually subsided, and then completely went away for the first time in my adult life.
My success with getting health back, which obviously included weight loss, was a direct result of understanding the science and logic behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations. My perspective changed from deprivation dieting (starving myself to obesity) to eating for the best health that’s possible. [To view my complete story, including changing images, click on my author name under the title at the top of this post.]
Then four years ago I began interviewing successful Nutritarians for Disease Proof, and I’ve gleaned valuable nuggets of information from many individuals who are real-life success stories. Additionally, I’ve also interacted with those who’ve struggled with the nutritarian diet-style, and those insights have also contributed to my understanding of the keys to great health and long term success. It is from all of these combined experiences and observations that I’ve compiled a brief summary below of success tips of those who’ve lost weight, and have kept it off, by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach.
- IT TAKES COMMITMENT
Success is a direct result of thoroughly studying, understanding, and assimilating the science behind Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations; and then making the firm decision to tenaciously act upon, and hold fast to earning health back, no matter what. It is having both feet in at all times; not “trying” to eat high-nutrient foods during the week and indulging on the weekends, or eating for health only when it’s convenient, or when one feels like it.
- THE WAGON MENTALITY HAS BEEN PITCHED
The wagon mentality and deprivation dieting go hand-in-hand. “I fell off the wagon,” basically translates into, “I blew it so I might as well eat anything I want now.” It invites cheating and bingeing. The nutritarian eating-style is not a diet to go on and off on a whim. Instead, it's an ongoing endeavor of flooding the body's cells with a comprehensive array of nutrients to fight disease and feel great for the rest of one's life. A well-nourished body will no longer crave toxic junk foods or be driven to overeat uncontrollably. Although a slip up may happen from time to time, the key to success is getting back up as quickly as possible and not dwelling on the mistake.
- MODERATION IS A MYTH
There is no such thing as eating in moderation when it comes to toxic foods’ addictive power. Taking just one bite of an addictive food can be just as deceptive and dangerous as taking just one smoke for a former nicotine addict. It’s much easier to keep addictive cravings extinguished than to be continually fighting obsessive compulsions, because it only takes a tiny spark to ignite them to full power again.
- THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS
Everyone has to cross over the threshold of withdrawal from toxic foods, and for most, it is no fun. Detoxification (or toxic hunger) can be unpleasant. Some of the symptoms can include: headaches, nauseousness, weakness, fatigue, shakiness, irritability, and generally feeling blahh; just to name a few. It can be very uncomfortable for some and last up to several days, but once the symptoms have resolved, and if toxic foods are no longer consumed, the symptoms don’t return.
- BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES
Unlike junk food dieting, there will be no highly-processed, frozen diet entrees and desserts waiting for you in the frozen department of the supermarket. You are surrounded and bombarded by a food addicted culture that pushes disease-causing indulgences 24/7. There is no escaping the insanity. Therefore, you must plan ahead and always have food prepared in advance. Make sure to keep your refrigerator well stocked at all times with freshly cleaned vegetables, fruits, and cooked beans and soups for quick meals. Always cook in big batches so that you can save portions for later. Never wait until the refrigerator is empty to plan and prepare more food. Once a routine of food preparation is established, it will become second-nature, but in the beginning this habit has to be a top priority to develop. Establishing this habit makes the nutriatrian diet-style simple and cost effective to incorporate into one’s busy life.
- NEVER GIVE UP
Hard times happen. When life is turned upside-down, it will take everything within to muster up the strength to keep going in the direction of health. But even if some days are like wading through quick sand, and it’s a challenge to continue on, stay committed to making wise food choices as best as one can possibly manage. It may be only baby steps, but keep moving forward. There is never a valid excuse to throw in the towel and quit, especially during a season of crisis or great loss when one’s body needs optimal nutrition the most to survive the extra demands put on it. The sun will shine again and happiness will return as one continues to stay the course. As Dr. Fuhrman states, “It will take strength. It will take effort. But the pleasures and rewards that you’ll get from a healthy life will be priceless.”
- IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO GET HEALTH BACK
Those who succeed long term view the opportunity to earn health back as a privilege, and they do whatever it takes to live in the best health that’s possible. This perspective enables a person to get past toxic cravings to thoroughly enjoy great tasting foods in their natural state. Additionally, this gives a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction with the nutritarian eating-style which produces the ongoing and long term success!
Earning health back is a lifetime endeavor - blessings of excellent and ongoing health to all!
image credit by Esther Boller