How I lost 50 pounds as a nutritarian
Imagine a world where nobody died of heart attacks, cancer, or a stroke.
Imagine a world where no one is obese and medications are largely unnecessary.
Imagine a world where people can enjoy their retirement without getting sick or being taken away from their family members long before they have to.
Does this sound crazy?
I would argue that its not. I believe a world like that is possible.
What is the truth about nutrition?
Does what we eat really matter that much?
How was a human being designed to eat in the first place?
Let me share with you what I’ve learned.
This post covers the basics of nutritarianism, how I lost 50 pounds doing it, and seven things you can do to live a long life without counting calories, dieting, or drugs. Lastly, why that world is possible.
Losing 50 pounds
I was always the chubby kid growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood, was lucky to have wonderful parents, and had every reason to do well. I am just talking about my experience with health here.
By the time I reached high school I was overweight and depressed about it. By the time I finished college I was fat, depressed, and had very little confidence when it came to dating or going out to get a job.
The worst part was, I tried so hard!
I exercised a lot: lifting weights, running (even completed two full marathons by my freshman year of college), and regularly did grueling jiu-jitsu practices 3-4 times per week….
The weird thing was, none of that ever helped me lose any weight. Every year, no matter how hard I tried, I seemed to get bigger and bigger and bigger.
Then one day, I got lucky. I accidentally found a book that was the beginning of my education in nutritional science. Basically, what to eat, when to eat, and why.
Within 3 months, I had lost over 50 pounds. Relatively easy, just a fee simple disciplines practiced every day did the trick.
At my heaviest, I weighed somewhere over 225 pounds after my senior year. Today, I weigh around 175.
It all revolved around food. The more weight I lost by changing what I ate, the more excited I got. I’ve been constatnly learning and seeking out the truth about optimal nutrition since then.
Today, health and nutrition is one of my biggest passions. I love learning about this shit and can’t get enough of it.
For me, the changes have been so drastic, I’ll never go back to the way I was before.
I remember one day, looking down at my big gut and chubby acne ridden face in the mirror, feeling like crap. I said to myself, “I don’t want to live like this anymore, and I’ll do anything to change.”
I did, and I can’t even begin to express how worth it the transformation has been.
Lastly, I’ll share with you the biggest reason why I’m doing this… when I was 28 my dad passed away from a diet-related disease and I was absolutely crushed.
His particular case was so sad. My dad was a great man, beloved by all, and worked hard for over four decades in the insurance industry. Two weeks after his retirement, (and with his now healthy son prodding him to take better care of his health) he went to the doctor to get a blood test, to check his present levels so after eating healthy he could measure his improvements. Well, that blood test revealed he had a blood disease, and 1 1/2 years later he was gone.
Not only does it suck for our family and all of his friends, but for him it was such a shame. He never got to enjoy his retirement, he never got to read his stack of books. He never got to travel anymore with my mom, or even spend any of that money he worked so hard to save. His life was cut short 20-30 years and he never got to meet his future grandkids.
I am so mad about it, I decided to create this website. I’m going to share everything I’ve learned and my dream is to save as many people as I can from the misery of growing up fat or having a loved one pass away from avoidable disease.
Let’s do it.
What is a nutritarian?
The term nutritarian represents people who recognize that the nutrient density (in other words, the quality) of their food is directly related to their long-term health and quality of life.
The nutritarian diet style is mostly plant based and emphasizes eating powerful superfoods that facilitate weight loss and increase resistance to diseases.
Nutritarianism is different than being vegan or vegetarian.. Notice that veganism isn’t focused on achieving good health, it is focused on animal cruelty (which i’m not saying is not important!). You can be on a vegan diet and be just as unhealthy as anyone else. Skittles, for example, are 100% vegan and COMPLETELY lack any beneficial nutrients. You can eat skittles all day and be a happy vegan, however the problem is you’d be destroying your health in the process. Your long-term results wouldn’t be pretty…
Philosophically, a nutritarian eats in pursuit of true health, disease resistance, and a long enjoyable life. To put it simply, nutritarianism is eating the way science and long-term studies suggest we should.
The term ‘nutritarian’ was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his book, Eat to Live. Today, I use this word to describe my own diet style because I believe in it so much.
The benefits of a nutritarian eating style include:
- Statistically increasing your chance to add 20-40 years to your lifespan (in great shape!)
- Effortless weight loss and the wonderful feeling of walking around at your normal weight
- Eating great tasting foods without ever having to feel hungry
- No calorie counting
- Potentially prevent heart-disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, osteoporosis, psoriasis, arthritis, and more from ever happening to you
- Get rid of your food cravings once and for all
- Age gracefully and stay independent during your golden years
The nutritarian diet has no tricks. Again, it’s completely based on unbiased science and is simply the best method for eating I know about today.
Consider these words from Dr. Fuhrman’s book, ‘The End of Dieting’.
“A nutritarian diet style is more than just a way to eat – it’s an attitude, a mind-set, a method that you can follow for a lifetime. When you focus on eating the healthiest foods possible, you eat to live better, without the fear of disease and death, which makes for a more peaceful and pleasurable life. The nutritarian diet style enables you to lose weight and keep it off permanently, without experiencing hunger or depriving yourself of food. It is the healthiest and most effective eating style in the world.
A low-calorie, high-nutrient diet slows down the aging process, helps repair cells, reduces inflammation, and helps rid the body of toxins. Once you begin to learn which foods make the grade by having a high proportion of nutrients of calories, you’re on your way to lifelong weight control and improved health” (Fuhrman 125).
How Our Current Nutrient Measuring System is Screwing Us
In our current system today, the nutrients in our foods are measured by weight.
Since the way nutrients in our food system today are measured by weight, it is easier for the food industry to get away with trickery and deceit.
For example, lets say we took a gallon of water and boiled it up. Then, we take a whole stick of butter (which gets 100% of it’s nutrients from bad fats) and drop it into the water. Shake it up real good so it blends together and pour it back into the container. Wa-la. Now, in our local supermarket, you can sell that jug of butter water to people and advertise that product as being 98% fat free. That’s because by mass, it is! But when it comes to nutrition, to evaluate foods based on this system is utterly ridiculous. It’s confusing the shit out of people.
This system would be perfect for someone who wants to exterminate our population, and surprise: today people are fatter and sicker than any point in human history. They have been cheated, lied to, and have no idea what it takes to achieve true health.
Nutrients in food being measured by weight makes zero sense. If we didn’t do it this way, and instead measured foods by their nutritional payload, it would be easy to see how poor the quality of most of our foods are.
Why don’t we measure food by the quality of it’s nutrients instead? It is how measuring food should have been done in the first place.
The food industry wouldn’t like that would they? It would make their food much harder to sell. Not surprising why they keep spending tens of millions of dollars to make sure our federal legislators keep it that way…
In summary, the only thing that matters is the nutritional quality of every calorie. We should only eat calories that are packed with the most nutrients possible, and eliminate (as best we can) calories that lack them.
Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients
In America today, “55% of the calories Americans consume come from processed foods, with contain hardly any micronutrients. 30% come from animal products, 11% from vegetables, fruit, nuts, and beans, 4% from whole grains ” (Fuhrman 125).
Are you starting to see the problem? No wonder we are so sick.
Let’s go over some of the basics.
When we eat food, there are two kinds of nutrients we take in: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients contain calories. There are three kinds of macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Every calorie you consume is some ratio or combination of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. As you will learn, none of that is what we should be focusing on. We hear about these virtually every day, but really they aren’t very important.
Micronutrients (or sometimes called phytochemicals or phytonutrients) do not contain calories. Most of them never show up on nutrition labels.
Here’s the important part.
There are three kinds of micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The amount of these you include in your diet, long-term, will make or break your health and determine whether you are overweight.
The concept of macronutrients versus micronutrients is very important. It turns out we don’t need to worry nearly as much about what balance of fats, carbohydrates or proteins are in the foods we eat. If you simply eat the right foods, you never have to worry about it. .
Most people who eat the standard american diet are severely deficient in micronutrients.
If you have noticed, almost every diet or weight loss program out there is another form of a fad diet style that proposes some ‘golden ratio’ of fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
In reality, they are all equally missing the fucking point.
The ratio of and amount micronutrients that we consume are the only thing that really matter. Here’s why:
Consider the following. There are only 13 kinds of vitamins (Vitamin A, K, C, D, etc.) and about 16 minerals that our body can’t generate on our own and need to get from our diet.
Guess how many phytochemicals there are that our bodies need to function properly? Well over 10,000 (a conservative number, I’ve seen sources that say up to 25,000) and new ones are being consistently discovered in our foods. As Dr. Fuhrman says, you can’t put into a daily vitamin or spray onto Cheerios a nutrient that hasn’t been discovered yet.
The vast majority of micronutrients are ONLY found in natural plant-foods. A tomato, for example, has over 1,000 different kinds of phytochemicals that are essential for proper immune function and our body’s ability to resist disease. Coca-Cola, corn chips, and white bread have close to a total of zero.
We need to eat more natural food that are rich in nutrients, low in calories, and packaged as nature intended them to be.
For example, eating a whole orange is not the same as drinking orange juice!
When juice is squeezed, processed, heated, and then stored in a refrigerator for weeks or months on end, it loses most of the beneficial nutrients that are originally present in the orange. They lose almost all of their micronutrients after processing. Oh ya, and then when you spray it with some vitamin D that was created in a lab, it’s nowhere near as effective or safe as when you get it from a natural food, like green veggies or shiitake mushrooms.
Getting generous amounts of micronutrients per calorie with unprocessed, natural food is athe goal of the nutritarian diet style. It is the biological goal of every human’s body, but most people don’t know it
Check out this short video about the relationship between macro and micro nutrients. At a fundamental level, understanding the difference between these two is what enabled me to lose 50 pounds and is a primary factor in my decision making m process when it comes to how I eat today.
The ANDI Food Scoring System
The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) is also an idea developed by Joel Fuhrman. The man is a nutritional genius. Once again, simple and easy.
We already talked about how our food should be measured based on the amount of nutrients per calorie, NOT the amount of nutrients per weight. This index does exactly that.
It was based on…
To clearly see what food are good for you and what foods are not, check out the ANDI Food Index.
Again, The goal of a nutritarian diet style is to only eat foods that give you the most nutrients per every calorie that you eat, and this system does exactly that. No wonder Whole Foods has adopted it as their criteria for evaluating food they buy. The rest of us should do the same…
Shortly after implementation of the ANDI Food Index, their sales of green vegetables increased 1000%.
H = N/C
This describes everything you just read in one easy formula.
It reads, Health = Nutrients divided by Calories.
In other words, your health, in terms of how long you live and the quality in which you live, can accurately be predicted by the nutrient density of every calorie that you consume.
This idea is revolutionary. What he is basically arguing is that some of the calories we consume are highly nutritious, where as other, empty calories, contain no beneficial nutrients whatsoever. He calls this ratio the nutrient density of your diet. We want to eat calories that contain a lot of nutrients the way nature intended them to us, and want to eliminate junk (or empty) calories that do nothing beneficial for your body.
I won’t go into this much here, but believe that the more empty calories you consume, the more weight you will gain and the risk of getting a myriad of nasty diseases go through the roof! Learn more about that from the experts listed at the end of this post.
Simply by eating the right foods that contain a lot of nutrients, you can live a much longer, enjoyable life.
When you understand this concept, you will never have to count calories or check nutrition facts again. If our government and major corporations would support this way of thinking, people would be a lot less confused and not nearly as sick and disease-ridden as we are today.
Our healthcare system would not be causing our country to go bankrupt, and people wouldn’t have to experience their loved ones succumbing to terrible diseases if people understood this principle, H = N/C
Make Healthy Food Taste Great
The idea that you will be losing something by giving up animal products or processed foods is a myth.
You can easily learn recipes and ways to make healthy foods taste great. Your taste buds will change, get used to, and even crave natural plant foods in time.
Not wanting to eat healthy foods because they don’t ‘taste good’ is just an excuse. Honestly, is how food tastes your only requirement or decision making step when it comes to what you eat every day? If so, you’re fucking screwed. Base your decisions on how food effects your body, how human beings were supposed to eat, and you will earn good health into your golden years.
people eat the same 10-15 things over and over, all you have to do is change your 10-15 to healthier options.
7 Things You Can Do
We should all recognize by now that ‘diets’ never work for the simple reason that as soon as one goes back off their diet, they usually revert to their normal eating habits. Their normal habits are probably what got them in trouble in the first place or else they wouldn’t be on a diet! True health isn’t about weight loss or figuring out percentages of calories.
Develop a new attitude towards diet style and you will drastically improve your health. These are a few of my recommendations:
Rock a nutrient diet style by doing the following:
1) Focus on what you can eat in unlimited quantities, not what you can’t eat
Life is much easier this way. Instead of thinking about foods that should be off limits to you, try to spend your time thinking and fantasizing about healthy foods you can eat
2) “The salad is the main dish”
Our goal should be to eat 1 lb. of raw, and 1 lb. of cooked vegetables every day. If you can do that most days, the rest will fall into place.
Romaine, iceberg, kale, spinach, onions,
Dr. Fuhrman suggests putting a sign up on your refrigerator saying “The salad is the main dish”
One last thing, check out recipes and ways to make your own salad dressings. The problem with most commercial dressings is they have way too much oil to be considered a health food.
Consider a standard blue cheese wedge salad people order at restaurants.
3) Try to eat G-Bombs every day
Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. Eat them as often as you can. All have incredibly powerful benefits, here I will only cover a few:
Greens: Pound for pound, and calorie for calorie, the most powerful foods on Earth. Win the race by 4 miles.
My fast and favorite way to eat cleanly.
5) Eat less, and not as often
6)Carefully consider supplements
7) don’t eat low nutrient foods
Cookies, candy, pasta, bread, donuts, olive oil, pizza, cheese, steak, chicken, etc. Yes, basically everything that ‘tastes good’ compared to natural plant foods, but you know what?
This article is in no way comprehensive.There are many more interesting ideas, statistics, and explanations in Dr. Fuhrman’s work that I didn’t include here.
For example, in most of his books, he breaks down the science of why low-nutrient foods like processed wheat, oils, animal products are so incredibly dangerous. He explains in the reasons that natural, colorful produce and other plant foods are so incredibly good for us.
In my opinion, Joel Fuhrman is the leading medical researcher and expert on the planet today when it comes to what we know about nutrition today. I don’t blindly follow him, and I am always open to other people’s ideas and criticisms of his work, because this industry is constantly changing and we learn more from the science every year.
If you like what you learned here and want to learn more about nutrition, also check out Dr. Michael Gregor, Ray Cronise, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. David Katz, Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Calwell Esselysten. They all pretty much say the same thing. (But Fuhrman says it better, in my opinion…)
in mind that this whole article only talks about food and nutrition. When it comes to your health… what you eat is not the only thing by any means.
For example, if you are super stressed out and hate your job, or in a toxic relationship that you know you need to get out of, you can eat all of the broccoli that you want and still be on your way to serious health problems! Just as important it is to pay attention and learn how to take care of your health, we should all do the same in our work, relationships, and sense of purpose for something greater than ourselves, and a connection to a higher power.
Health is a comprehensive subject with many determining factors.
For more information about nutritarianism, here are some links below. For more information about other health topics including some of my other favorite experts, check out my Health & Nutrition resource section.
Let me know what you think! I would love to hear about objections, things I could do to improve this article, and would love to hear comments if you found it useful. Thank you!
The Nutritarian Diet as explained by Fuhrman himself.Nutritarianism
The Science of Nutritarianism – YouTube
The Worlds Best Diet – YouTube
In our culture, people seem to think you walk down the street, turn the wrong corner and get attacked by a random act of cancer. Not true. Poor health, disease, and obesity are all something you have to earn through years of poor eating choices and nutritional ignorance.
Your body is a self healing machine. Human beings were never designed to get diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. All this crap is caused by the foods we eat. Wake up people!! Take this shit seriously. You only get one shot a t life.
If you really care about yourself and for your family, you need to take care of your health as best you can. I hope I’ve helped.
As a side note, I will not usually get very deep into the science because that is not my area of expertise and other people (Fuhrman, Rhonda Patrick, Dr. Gregor) can say it 100x better. If you are interested in learning more science, I suggest that you do your own homework. Fuhrman’s books are still my very favorite.