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  • Writer's picturedrwendyross

2020 - Learning How not to Diet!

Welcome to The Saltwater Doctor's How Not to Diet club!

Yes! This is the name of the fabulous Dr Michael Greger's latest book - and, no, I am not making any money from this club.

Dr Michael Greger is an amazing man who has a not-for-profit organisation called His team of researchers read and assess every nutrition article published each year - and his catch cry is "So you don't have to"! The researchers summarise the key points from good scientific studies and assess which studies have bias due to being paid for by interest groups such as Dairy, Cattle farming, cheese boards and more. NutritionFacts.Org is an incredible resource for lay people and physicians alike. As a busy practicing MD with a passion for spreading the news about the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle, it is invaluable to me, knowing that when I read a short article by Dr Greger, I can totally trust the information is accurate and scientifically proven.

The moment I started reading his How Not to Diet book I got excited about sharing the information with friends, co-workers and patients. I initially started a small private group for co-workers and within a day I realised that many more people would want to join so I have started the Facebook page called The Saltwater Doctors "How not to Diet" club. The book is a really weighty tome (which I enjoy, but many don't) so I will be summarising it in small bite-sized pieces. As I wade through the book I will share tips from it at random intervals - no promises of a regular weekly blog as I am trying to be a role model for some of the changes I am advocating.

The first of these is to practice extreme self care! This means not over-committing my time and energy. I am working at being OK with doing less, delivering less and "achieving" less! I want my new life to be founded in love, calm and strong relationships.

So - back to How Not To Diet! Let's free ourselves from the tyranny of the scale, the mean heartedness of counting calories, and the notion of being "good" or "bad" depending on what we have eaten that day. How Not to Diet advocates a lifestyle change, and there are 21 tips to help you "hack" the weight loss thing! The premise is to stop doing severe calorie restriction, excessive exercise etc to rapidly get to a weight loss goal from which we usually rebound fairly quickly. In this forum I encourage only positivity. The tips I will be reviewing are scientifically proven to get weight off healthily and safely and also to keep weight off in the long term.

Please do not use the Facebook page as a forum to discuss any rapid weight loss methods or diets such as keto - there are other places for this, but not on The Saltwater Doctor page, Thank you.

The first premise is that the only long term diet with overwhelming evidence for improved longevity, reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other western diseases, is the whole food plant based diet. Note, I deliberately did not say Vegan - you can be vegan and eat very poorly eating oreo cookies, chips, fries and many other highly processed vegan snacks which are becoming increasingly available in "health food stores" as well as mainstream supermarkets.

The Facebook page is a place to encourage each other, share ideas for when we are struggling with our goals, and celebrate successes. While I am happy for people to share when they lose weight, please do not post your actual weight, just the amount of pounds lost. I want to develop a new mentality where our worth is not measured by numbers on the scale, the size of our jeans or how successfully we can starve our bodies into submission in the short term!

Let's make 2020 a year about love. Love of ourselves, love of our friends and even strangers.Let's focus on all the things we would love to be doing - and start doing them. Imagine what we could do with all the time we used to spend obsessively counting calories, planning exercise routines and more..

Remember - always be yourself, unless you can be a mermaid, or a unicorn - then be that!

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