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I received the following comment on last post, & decided, after I started responding, to just turn it into another post.
Ha! You caught my attention with John McDougall because I attended his 10-day live-in program last August. Every time I eat oil, I think of what he said…”the fat you eat, is the fat you wear!” I don’t have heart disease or diabetes, I am very overweight and desperate for anything that will help me lose the weight and not want to eat my shoes at the same time…enter in Weight Watchers, Nutri-System, Jenny Craig, blah, blah, blah. I applaud those that it works for, it doesn’t for me. I was also looking for a solution to my chronic IBS, which Dr. McDougall attributed to the oil and in the 10 days I was there, I had not one IBS episode. I wish I wasn’t an “all or nothing” kind of girl, I get sucked into these things and give up if I can’t do them 100% perfect. Exactly why I’ve avoided Dave Ramsey, although I do read Mary Hunt (cheapskate monthly).
That’s awesome that you attended Dr. McDougall’s 10 day program. As I said in the post, Dr. McDougall has done a great deal of good in helping people change their lives for the better, & for that, he has my admiration. I have enjoyed many of Mary McDougall’s recipes, & would recommend anyone starting out on a plant-based or vegan diet to read any of his books if you’re so inclined (in fact, you can find many of them in my Amazon shop).
However, this doesn’t mean I agree with 100% his approach or his recommendations. Or rather, I don’t think his recommendation are right for everybody, 100% of the time. And I don’t think you have to agree 100% either, in order to implement some good habits into your life.
A few things that warrant further discussion, & hopefully will be helpful to you in some way.
1) I am not a registered dietitian nutritionist, or other health professional. I give my opinion as merely that.
Your health, your relationship with food & diet, are complex & nuanced. I think it’s important to include several competent advisers (a registered dietitian, M.D., & other qualified health professionals) in the discussion about your personal health & well being. I think it’s never a good idea to put stock in only one individual’s recommendations or advice (myself included).
Never hurts to get a second opinion!
2) Just like Dave Ramsey, McDougall advocates strict adherence to his recommendations in order to have success.
Part of his teachings include using fear as a tool (ie. fear of fat, fear of moderation) to get his clients/readers/followers to adhere to his recommendations. Dave Ramsey uses similar means to achieve that end. I don’t agree with this approach, but it seems to work with a good many people (at least for a while).
3) You mentioned you didn’t have one IBS episode during the time you did the 10-day live in program.
Surely, that provides a good amount of credible evidence that you were doing something right. With that in mind, I think it may be worth pursuing the following question:
Did you have a positive experience because
a) the food you ate did not contain any oil
b) the foods you ate were wholesome, nourishing, plant foods
c) you were not eating any of the irritating culprits that may have been partly at fault for exacerbating your issues (ie. cheese or other dairy products, processed foods, sugars, refined flours, etc.)
d) b & c
e) or all of the above
If the answer is only b & c, then it stands to reason that it would have been possible to still have had a positive experience with the addition of a reasonable amount of plant-based fats (like avocados, nut butters, seeds, olive oil) to an already very clean, vegan diet.
4) About “the fat you eat is the fat you wear.”
It’s a nice catchphrase, but I think being overweight or obese is more complex than just: you eat fat, you get fat, & I think most R.D.’s & others would agree with that.
5) In regards to weight loss.
Weight loss, like debt elimination, takes a great deal of self-control, focus, & determination. Believe me, I know the effort it takes to lose weight.
There are many ways to achieve that end goal of a healthy weight. Some approaches are not balanced, realistic, or healthy, while still others are downright snake oil (think most diet pills).
You mention that you have a significant amount of weight to lose. Dr. McDougall’s program for weight loss (MWL) does work (after all, it’s about the calorie deficit, which is easy to do when you’re eating mostly low calorie foods) & it’s fairly painless (although does require a good amount of time in eating/preparing food).
The large volume of food does ease some of the discomfort of high calorie restriction, but it is not the only healthy way to lose weight.
Personally, I’ve found the principle of volume eating to be helpful in satiety & weight maintenance, but I’ve found this doesn’t mean I necessarily have to be austere with my intake of plant-based fats.
Barbara Rolls, PhD, has done extensive research on volume eating & weight loss/maintenance & written several books on it. Volumetrics is the one that I’ve read, found helpful, & that I’d recommend.
6) If you find something that works, do it!
If you find something that you can realistically implement in the long-term, that is overall, a positive, balanced, & healthy way to have a greater sense of physical/emotional/spiritual well being & is not in conflict with your moral or religious values, do it.
I think strict adherence to Dr. McDougall’s approach can be a godsend for many, but I also think it’s important to realize it’s not the absolute, only way to achieve your unique & individual health goals.
Thank you for taking the time to comment, & best of luck!
Do you have anything to add or share with Elizabeth?