I am, at the present time, completing a three-week stay at TrueNorth Health Education Center in Santa Rosa, California (www.truenorthhealth.com).

Allow me to share with you what I have learned here.

Being overweight is a problem that preoccupies many of us. Numerous articles and books have been written about how being overweight causes people to get diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks that can shorten a person’s life, or make the last years of life quite miserable.

The overweight problem became an opportunity for a multi-billion dollar industry to flourish: the weight-reduction industry. Many best-sellers have been published on the subject, and billions of dollars are spent on various programs, endless supplements, and ready-made meals delivered to your home to control calories. The pharmaceutical industry, too, has benefited enormously from addressing this problem. It has made huge profits providing drugs that combat diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or that suppress appetite.

What I have learned at this magnificent center is that the solutions these industries offer are based on the wrong diagnosis of the problem, and thus they provide the wrong remedies.

What is wrong with the diagnosis?
What is wrong with the remedies?

Being overweight is not the cause of heart attacks. Diabetes, strokes, heart disease, and being overweight are all manifestations of a different problem.

Let me repeat: Being overweight is not the cause of high blood pressure or a heart attack; both being overweight and having high blood pressure are manifestations of the same cause.

By attacking the weight problem, per se, we are attacking the manifestation, not the cause of these diseases. The probability of having a heart attack is still there. It is like telling a person who is overweight to cut off one of his feet. Now the numbers on the scale show that he has perfect weight, but the poor guy is still overweight in spite of what the scale shows.

What is the cause of being overweight, having heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes?

Simply stated: We eat the wrong food.

It is not the quantity that is the problem. It is the quality.

What is wrong with the food we eat?

We eat food that is high in concentrated calories, like sugar and processed carbs. And we eat animal flesh that has a high concentration of protein per pound, plus fat.

Why this preference for concentrated calories and animal protein?

We naturally prefer food that gives us maximum calories and protein for minimum effort, because for millions of years we lived in scarcity, not in abundance of food.

And why do we eat more than we need? We could get the calories we need by consuming food with concentrated calories, but in extremely small quantities.

First, we are designed by nature to eat as much as our stomachs can hold.  Since we eat concentrated calories and protein, a full stomach means we eat more calories and protein than we need.  The food industry does not help us either. They naturally want to maximize sales. To do so, they make the food such that it increases our appetite as much as possible, rather than suppressing it: They add fat, sugar, and salt. How often have you eaten a full meal and still not felt satisfied unless you had sugary dessert? If you did eat that sugar-loaded apple pie a la mode, you felt satisfied but became hungry very shortly thereafter?

The result of overeating food with highly concentrated calories is that we consume too many calories, and the result of consuming too many calories is that we store them as fat, which is manifested in being overweight.

But note this: The result of overeating fat and proteins from animal flesh is that we also clog our arteries. Furthermore, because of the amounts of salt added to the food for taste, we have more blood pressure than needed.

The result of eating the wrong food is that we get high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, and we become overweight.  All of them are manifestations of eating the wrong food.

Now imagine someone deciding to lose weight by liposuction. It is the same as cutting off his foot. One of the manifestations is taken care of, but if the person continues eating protein from animal flesh that narrows his blood vessels and deposits calcification on his heart, he might still die sooner than necessary in spite of looking good and skinny.

Or imagine those who go though the painful surgery of shortening their intestine. They process their food faster. They eat less. They lose weight. They look good. But what was attacked and treated is the manifestation of bad health, not the cause.

Unless they change what they eat, not only how much they eat, they will still die younger than necessary.  If we want to reduce the chances of having diabetes, heart attacks, or strokes we should focus on the cause of dying prematurely, not on the manifestations of that cause. We should focus on what makes us healthy and not necessarily on what makes us skinny. We need to treat the cause, not the manifestation.

If the cause of the problem is primarily what we eat-and less how much we eat or when we eat it, another fad in the weight-control industry-then that is where our focus should be. Our ultimate goal is to live to our full genetic potential, and not to shorten our lives or make our last years miserable by disease. That means being healthy.  If you eat healthy food you will be healthy. It is that simple. You will not be overweight and you will not die prematurely.

Why do we focus on weight loss rather than on healthy eating?

This question reminds me of a story:

A man walks down the street on a very dark night and finds his friend looking for something.
“What are you looking for?” he asks his friend.
“For my keys.”
“Where have you lost them?”
“At the end of the road.  Over there.”
“So, why are you looking here?”
“Because the light is here.”

It is easier to focus on what we can measure, or on taking pills, than on drastically changing our eating habits.

You probably know of someone who exercised, took drugs to control blood pressure and cholesterol, and was at perfect weight, but still got a heart attack and died. You can exercise and stay skinny by watching calorie intake, yet still be dangerously sick in your heart.

The ultimate cause of our trouble is our diet. It developed over millions of years to combat scarcity in order to survive. Now, in the developed world, in order to survive we need a diet that handles abundance, not scarcity. During scarcity, the more calories and protein we consumed, and the more calories we stored for later when no food was available, the better. During abundance, the fewer calories and less protein from animal flesh we consume the better.

Less food is not enough for better and longer life.
Better food is what we need for better and longer life.

To know what better food is, what the right food is, which food will get you off the high blood pressure or cholesterol or diabetes medications and make you lose weight as a byproduct, not as the purpose, of eating right, you need to come here to TrueNorth, or at least read their book “The Pleasure Trap.”

For those of you who know Adizes theory, what they do fits perfectly with the formulas of success.

I am happy to inform you that, in one week, my blood pressure went down from 140/100 to 100/80, and my cholesterol went from 170 to 117. And in those six days I already lost six pounds of weight. I was not hungry. I did not take more or different drugs. If I continue eating the right food I expect to be off all my medications.  And I won’t be the first one to do so. In the twenty years this center has been in existence, thousands of people here have reduced their blood pressure, cleared their arteries, and stopped taking medications.

I wish you the best of health,
Ichak