These days we are all familiar with the shape of the pyramid: fats and oils on top (to be eaten sparingly) and carbohydrates on the bottom (to be eaten mostly) – the widest part of the pyramid. In my view, it is a failure.
I’m sure you are aware of the statistics – 60% of adults in the western countries are overweight or obese. Children are following not far behind. One in 3 young Australians will develop type 2 diabetes… It goes on and on. The health authorities are drumming up the bad news every day. Even Jamie Oliver has jumped on the bandwagon and is calling on everyone to do something and trying to motivate people to learn to cook for themselves and not rely on fast food.
He has to be commended since it is a very ambitious task. It is easier for a lot of people to grab some food on the way (talking from experience) than buy ingredients, prepare, cook and then wash up. And let’s not forget about dealing fussy kids. As a parent myself, I can see the attraction of taking the kids to McDonalds as opposed to pleading, coercing, begging and threatening them to eat the broccoli.
What Jamie is doing is a great start, however, it needs to be taken a bit further since you can cook yourself and still put on weight. You also need to know the reasons (yes, there’s more than one) for putting on weight. If you stay with me and this blog, you’ll develop the “in shape” attitude and will have much less trouble staying trim and fit. You will be able to discover your own personal reasons for putting on weight. There are some universal ones, but everyone is different.
Let’s go back the the food pyramid. It actually goes back to early 1970s and was developed in Sweden as a way to simply show people how they should eat so that they cover all the food groups for maximum nutrition. So for 40 years people have followed the advice of the health administration, regulatory bodies and scientific establishments. However, what has happened to most of the people that followed this advice? They ended up looking like that pyramid – fat on the bottom (pun intended). If you are overweight, please do not take offense at these words – it is not my intention to offend anyone (except maybe the ones that profit from the obesity epidemic).
But what can you do when you followed this way of thinking and it got you nowhere? Albert Einstein said “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”.
Is it time to ditch the pyramid? To be honest, I want to look like a pyramid turned upside-down – wide in the shoulders and slim in the bottom. So I literally turned it upside-down and eat a lot of fat (no trans fats of course) and little processed carbohydrates (there’s nothing wrong with unprocessed ones like fruit and vegetables).
This particular diet – I call it “the upside-down pyramid diet” – together with some resistance and interval training seems to work best for me.