The World’s Best Diet Advice

Read time: 90 seconds

I was at Border’s Book yesterday browsing my afternoon away in my cotton scarf and sipping on a medium Americano with heavy whipping cream. No more than two sips into my coffee did I find myself standing in front of a grand section near the front of the bookstore devoted entirely to dozens of books on the topic of dieting for weight loss and fat loss. 

These books contain different dietary premises for weight loss. Within their hard and soft covers they bound anywhere between 200 pages to 400 pages. They’re written by people from all walks of life, from doctors to celebrities to nobodies with 6-pack abs. There were literally several dozen books, and apparently their authors all claim that their diets work.

And I’m sure many of the diets work. But I couldn’t help wonder how much revenue is generated by the publishing industry on this very topic alone, one that promotes thousands of books pushing just as many dieting methods to achieve just one  single thing: weight loss.

And then I thought, what if someone comes out with just a single, no-bullshit secret that can put this entire segment of the publishing industry out of business. I took a sip of my espresso drink. And I thought that the unequivocal answer is, quite simply, eat less.

But then I thought that eating less might be too vague. People in general need a method, judging by the methods featured in all of these books. I sipped my espresso drink again, loosening the scarf from around my neck.

Then it hit me. The one single advice, the method, that anyone and everyone can put into practice immediately is: Eat Slowly.

That’s it!

Eat Slowly.

If everyone eats slower than they’ve been, they’ll likely consume less food, for the stomach shall have a chance to signal to the brain satiety, and for people will begin to eat mindfully, taste their meals again… and derive joy from the food they eat, rather than from the act of eating their food. 

And for this they’ll eat less, which after all is debated and wringed dried about diets like Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Paleo, Pritikin, and dozens of others that line the bookshelves, the one irrefutable law of weight loss is still: Eat Less.

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9 Responses to The World’s Best Diet Advice

  1. You are very right about eating slowly and mindfully. By eating less and more slowly, plus with dietary changes, I’ve lost and kept off 35 pounds for almost 3 years now. Also by eating slowly and small bites, you protect your teeth.

  2. Geoff says:

    This was one of the first things I implemented when I first began my weight loss, and it helped so much. Whereas I would normally scarf down a big sandwich, a bag of chips, and a soda, I started cutting my sandwich in half and just eating the first half. Then, I waited 30 minutes. If I was still hungry, I would eat the second half. Usually I wasn’t hungry though, and this allowed me to reduce my caloric intake by quite a bit. And it’s easy to boot.

  3. Jonard says:

    You’ve said that you were a little fat before so I would like to ask if you have a problem removing those last few stubborn fat…I used to be obese (around 25% fat) then when I shift to paleo diet and regular exercise I trim down to maybe 10% body fat ( I lose 10 kg) and now lean…but my problem is the lower abs….I can see some definition in my upper abs but I don’t know what to do with my lower abs which has some fat….can you give me some advice….

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Jonard,

      There are probably several factors to what the lower abs (or skin appearance) look like when a person goes from 25% body fat to 10%.

      Stubborn body fat is only one, while genetics, collagen elasticity, the amount of time in which the fat was lost, and water content can all affect the appearance of certain areas on your body, blurring true fat loss.

      Stubborn fat is usually the little amount of fat we have left that makes us grab it with our hands and “hide” it while looking in the mirror and imagining how much happier we’d be if this amount would just go away. 🙂

      The reality is that, if this little amount we left were truly body fat, then it may require a little more of an extreme measure, like counting calories (which I hate), or at least further calorie deficit.

      I’ve found that intermittent fasting works the best for me. I used to have a 4 pack, with the last two at the bottom buried under a layer of fat/water/whatever. Ever since I started IF I’ve been able to maintain a constantly visible 6-pack and without any dietary discomfort.

      (I’ve gotten to this 6-pack condition before, but it was only through hard dieting, and the sharp 6-pack I attained at that point lasted for only about a month. Couldn’t hold that obsessive diet of 6 small meals.)

      Best,
      Johnny

  4. Siggi says:

    Hey man. I’m diggin’ your site. Good info. The only comment I have on your “eating slowly/ eating less” advice (about which I’m certain you are absolutely right) is that following this advice is extremely difficult to do if one is eating a lot of grain based/high GI foods. It is very hard to keep appetites under control if you are stuck on the old bloodsugar rollercoaster. However, once insulin sensitivity has been increased, not eating for a while becomes infinately easier. Just thought I’d add these 5 cents. Thanks!

  5. Dave says:

    Ah but what if it isn’t about eating less? What if it is about what and how you eat? Have you read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories? He does a great job of debunking much of the conventional wisdom about dieting, what foods are bad for you, etc.

    If it was just about eating less then more people would be successful with weight loss. Most of the overweight people I know eat a lot less than I do but they fail to lose weight. Their problem is they eat too much of the food the Government tells them they should eat. “Wholesome” whole grains and way too many carbs because they are trying to avoid the bogeyman of food, fat.

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Dave,

      I read Gary Taubes’ GCBC twice in the past year. You can search through my previous articles as I’ve often referenced and encourage whole, real foods to help restore healthy glucose metabolism and fat mobilization.

      Additionally, I like to point out that intermittent fasting may have the same metabolic and hormonal benefits as eating whole, real food — increased insulin sensitivity, fat metabolism, nutrient partitioning, etc. Remember insulin is not always the evil hormone as commonly interpreted by devoted readers of weight-loss books.

      I believe that it’s not necessarily the magnitude of insulin responses from diet, but the frequency. The average Western diet sees too much fast-digesting processed food too often. This may be the primary contributor to the prevalent metabolic disorder we see today.

      Best,
      Johnny

  6. Jordan says:

    Dave, a lot of people *are* successful with weight loss, they’re just not successful with keeping the weight off. The real issue is weight loss + weight maintenance. I think most of us can agree that the primary contributor to putting the weight back on is people going back to the original diet that made them fat in the first place!

    The overweight people you know probably eat a lot more food than you realize. They may even eat a lot of food secretly. When I was putting on so much weight (I got all the way up to 267,) I did plenty of things that are pretty damn embarrassing, like polishing off a tub of ice cream in two days. Or making weird concoctions of peanut butter, butter (sometimes even Crisco, lol!) brown sugar, chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, graham crackers, etc. Man, was I a pig! lol.

  7. It depends on the person. As long as you have a healthy diet and keep the right portions, you can eat almost anything. I’m not sure eating slow works for everyone. For me, if I eat fast, I eat a lot more than I should but if I eat slow, I eat even more. I went to one of those restaurants where the service is especially slow to serve up food in normal portions (not small ones) and I ate each course pretty slow and by the end of the meal (2.5 hrs) I was still hungry so I went to get more food. =P

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