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Melisa Farill Talancon

Nutrition Consultant,

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What is the best diet for weight loss and keeping it off?

I'm trying to put EVERYTHING into the equation: animal rights, ethics, economy, lifestyle, culinary arts, healthcare priorities and above all, reality...what works best and stays that way?

Vegan, local, paleo, moderation? All of these?

Are dairy products really bad for us? Since when? Worse than fast food? Is sugar really worse than honey?


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  • Jun 5 2013: I've lost 40 pounds as of this year. And I've found that my weight was much easier to lose while on the paleo diet. I have to be very strict though. After a month of being on this diet, I still do occasionally crave those old junk foods, when I do eat them, they don't taste as good as I remember. This diet has not only helped me lose weight, but now I have a distaste for junk foods. And since I've been on this diet, I also feel overall more awake, and don't crave caffeine anymore. I have a smoothie I blend up (note, I said blended, not juiced, so I'm still getting the fibers) made up of kale, parsley, almond milk, (decaf) green tea, banana, strawberry, blueberry, plum, peach, hemp protein powder, stevia, coconut oil, lemon, and cocoa powder.
    This smoothie has all 3 types of calories the body needs, carbs (from fruit), fat (from almond milk and coconut), and a complete protein (hemp protein powder). So this smoothie is a complete meal all on its own.
    The strawberries and bananas in a smoothie will cover up any vegetable flavors, if you want them just for their health benefits, but don't like the taste.
    And green tea is good for increasing your metabolism, which aids in weight-loss. And you can actually get way more nutrients from tea if you simply rip open the teabag and eat it. I've mixed in green tea leaves from the teabag into things like spaghetti sauce, and I don't taste the tea one bit. But if you eat the tea, you want to get naturally decaffeinated. Because you're getting way more nutrients, you're also getting way more caffeine. I learned that the hard way, and overdosed on caffeine when I first tried eating it.
    But just know that dieting all by itself is not the solution to weight loss. Just as much as a 15 minute walk right before or after eating, twice a day, will boost your metabolism and help digest food and burn calories.
    Honey is just easier to digest because bees have already digested it.
    And what other animal has dairy throughout its adult diet?
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      Jun 5 2013: Austin, first of all, congratulations on losing 40 lbs. It's not easy and you must feel very proud of yourself.
      I still question the paleo diet, though. I'll tell you why. It might have all the macro and micronutrients you need, but how easy was it to follow? How has your social life changed while you've been on it? Do you find it easy to eat at a restaurant? At a friend's house?
      The nature of my question is exactly that, shouldn't a diet plan be easy to stick to?
      I am sure you feel so well that you wouln't trade that feeling for all the non-paleo food in the world, but do you think it's the only way you would have lost all that weight?
      And I know no other animal has dairy throughout its adult diet, but also, no other animal sautees other animals in vegetable oil and toasts with fermented grape juice, you know? So what?
      • Jun 5 2013: I have been losing weight before I started this diet, but the diet has sped up the process. People blame the fat in the meat of a burger for weight gain. But it's actually the combination of fat and wheat. Wheat raises your insulin like sugar, but it doesn't give you that sugar-rush energy to burn off those carbs. So wheat makes weight-loss more difficult. And the only animals meant to live on gains are birds.
        Yes, it has had an effect on my social life. I don't eat out, because most restaurants my friends want to go to have meals which include some of everything that I'm trying to avoid in them.
        I wouldn't say it's the "only" way to lose weight. I also went on the Dukan diet, for a couple of weeks and lost 10 pounds in that time. But I gained that weight back at the same rate I lost it when I went off the diet. The Dukan diet lets you eat as much food as you want with no portion restrictions, as long as all of your calorie intake is from protein (chicken, egg whites, etc.), no carbs or fat. I wouldn't suggest that diet though. I have heard of a diet, similar to paleo, but also includes eating everything raw and un-extracted. So nothing cooked, fermented (alcohol), or extracted (vegetable oil). Everything is fresh. So uncooked sushi would probably be your only meat. And people who live on this diet have a much longer lifespan. I heard of people living to be around 100 on this diet.
        The paleo diet is probably the easiest diet I've tried to stick to (been on it for 3 months now), if you eat a wide range of foods mixed together in your meals, it's easier to stick to the diet, because you're getting more variety, even in just one meal. That's why I mixed up that complicated smoothie. And I switch up what fruits I put in it sometimes, and cocoa gives you dopamine, which is a feel-good chemical in the brain. And putting cocoa powder in my smoothie makes me crave it more and makes it easier to stick to the diet. So having cocoa can make it easier to stick to from dopamine.

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