Here's one that I think applies to a whole lot of folks. They know, but practice is tough.
I stumbled across your web-site a few months back and must say that I find it thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking.
I am 43 yrd old married father of a nine month old-daughter who is frightened to death of dying prematurely of heart disease and yet I am still unwilling or unable to make lasting changes in my lifestyle to lessen the chance of this occurring. Being 5' 7.5" tall and weighing 242 is not healthy w/a cholesterol level of 302 with a BMI over 35 is a far cry from my days of being athletic while playing football.
The ironic twist to this sad tale is that I have been an avid reader of nutrition & Exercise related materials since I was 15 yrs old, I am very knowledgeable but even I am completely confused as to what to eat!! Who else reads the Paleolithic Prescription at 18 for fun and went to school to be a nutritionist!! Who's right? Is the AHA, Cleveland Clinic, Cholesterol Fascists, etc? Or is it the people such as Weston Price, Sally Fallon, Mary Enig, Udo Erasmus, and Ussi Rasnikov and their beliefs on what is the determining factor(s) in heart-disease?
I guess I am reaching out to you, do in part, because you come across as a sincere, intelligent, honest man trying to provide quality information whom I am seeking advice from. Any information that you may have in taking that 1st step in the right direction, what to focus on, where people are making the biggest mistakes and what further reading would you suggest would be extremely helpful.
There's a lot of ways I could tackle this, but I'm going to do so from the perspective of my own experience. But, first, the who's right question: nature and human evolution are right. Most simply: to accept that dietary saturated fat from animals higher than 10% of calories causes high cholesterol causes heart disease, stroke, death is to ignore and reject the whole logic of the evolution of species. It is arrogant and ignorant at the same time, with predictable results: people die early.
This is how arrogant these killers are, and I mean that: we are now several decades into them offering advice that is literally killing and debilitating people and I am never going to shy away from that. It is the very prescriptions they have offered to cut healthful, natural fats, preplacing them with fats created from what used to be industrial waste, all wrapped up in refined sugar and "healthywholegrains," that has created this obesity, diabetes, heart disease epidemic, now progressing even to children.
Paleo or modified Paleo is a principle. This should never be forgotten, downplayed, nor should an opportunity be missed to contrast it with all other diet prescriptions. The Paleo principle begins with an observation: animals, in the wild. What do you see? Provided their environment is suitable to their biological requirments, they thrive in pristine health. They are simply living in accordance with their natures. "Man is the only animal that can sink below his own nature" — Ayn Rand. And while modern civilization provides us many means and choice to produce and create for ourselves environments to sustain us when a natural one is lacking (bridges, dams, homes, skyscrapers, airplanes, gardens, etc., unlike wild animals), it also provides us the means and choice to ignore or reject our natures. Unfortunately, the choice we lack is whether or not we'll have to live the consequences.
So, for that part, I suspect you know plenty enough to have confidence in a natural, paleo, primal, evfit — or even a low-carb or WAPF lifestyle.
So what's stopping you? You are. Nobody but yourself. While the fear of early death is a powerful force, let's face it: most people don't actually die young, even those who abuse their bodies. So, it's not like overweight people in their 40s are dropping like flies all around you and you're just gonna ignore it.
It's probably more like my own experience. Life just catches up with you.
I began seeing the weight creep in the early 90s and I knew all about Atkins. I even knew it worked, and I have never in my life worried about eating animals or whatever fat happens to come with them. I grew up on good home cooking, by far and large real food. I tried Atkins at least a half-dozen times over the years, and probably six weeks and 15 pounds was the best I ever got out of it, and in months I'd have gained it all back, with interest.
What changed? I wish I new. I just finally got fed up one day, went to the gym, signed up with a trainer and started pushing weight around twice per week for 30 minutes each. That was May 2007, two years ago this month. I mildly watched what I ate, but I was of the mistaken belief that I could do it mostly by exercise with a little attention to diet, while it's the reverse that's true. But, I kept with the workouts, felt better, looked better, clothes fit better. I was losing a pound per month and getting stronger. It was about 4-5 months later that I really began to tighten up eating and my fat loss doubled. Then, a couple of months later I incorporated intermittent fasting. That was the single thing that made me connect all the dots and really understand human beings as animals.
You might have to do some fasting to see what I mean, so I'll just say that it's in our natures to be hungry fairly often, and the paleo way of eating ensures that this hunger is natural and invigorating rather than nauseous and debilitating when one exists off processed foods and refined sugars.
So, I suppose that my advice would be to pick one of the three aspects and get going: workouts, food, or fasting. When you see good results with the first, add another.
As to confusion over what to eat, here's a good rule of thumb: could you eat it raw if you had to? If the answer to that is yes, then you're a go. If the answer is no (grains, sugar cane, industrial waste chemically processed into "food?"), then keep away.
Does anyone else have any comments, advice, experience or inspiration to offer this reader?