Diet Disaster #3: Counting Calories
According to Dr. Fuhrman, counting every calorie you eat results in a diet of low-nutrient, toxic foods that trigger intense food cravings and subsequent binge eating. A better way to avoid overeating is by selecting the nutrient-rich foods and eating only when you’re truly hungry. (More on both later.)
Diet Disaster #4: Eating 6 Small Meals a Day
While many nutritionists and trainers endorse this tactic, Dr. Fuhrman maintains that eating several small meals throughout the day is a diet disaster. His reasoning has to do with the phases your body goes through during and after a meal. When you eat, your body enters a digestive phase. Afterward, you cycle into a catabolic phase where your body breaks down tissue, detoxifies and heals itself. When you’re having 6 meals a day, you never reach this repair phase, because when you stop eating, you experience withdrawal symptoms that you mistake as hunger. You end up eating continuously rather than cyclically, which leads to more calories consumed and results in weight gain.
Diet Disaster #5: Toxic Hunger
Headaches, stomach cramps, lightheadedness, growling stomach, irritability – these aren’t signs you’re hungry. According to Dr. Fuhrman, these are symptoms of the withdrawal that you experience from putting bad foods into your body. This state is the result of a diet comprised of low-nutrient, artificial foods. When you eat because of these signs of withdrawal rather than true hunger, it’s “toxic hunger” – Dr. Fuhrman’s top diet disaster.
Toxic hunger is especially dangerous because it creates a vicious cycle. After you eat, you begin to feel the symptoms of withdrawal, which is actually your body trying to repair the damage that’s been done by your inadequate diet. When you’re not eating foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants, your cells can’t effectively detoxify or remove wastes that build-up. As your body goes into its repair phase, it will attempt to mobilize these substances to remove them, which triggers discomfort. To alleviate the withdrawal symptoms, you eat again. Not only does consuming more food remedy the physical discomfort, but eating gives the brain a rush of dopamine, which perpetuates food addiction. With toxic hunger, you consume more calories than your body needs.