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“Hungry For Change” Filmmakers: The Truth About Dieting

by jenny sansouci on December 28, 2012

Are the foods you’re eating keeping you stuck in a never-ending cycle of dieting? There’s information out there that the food industry doesn’t want you to know. I just watched an interview on GaiamTV with filmmakers James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch (Hungry for Change). They shared the research they found when creating their documentary, and they offered some real, lasting strategies to optimize your health.

With 60 billion dollars a year spent on weight loss, but 2/3 of people failing at their weight loss attempts, there’s obviously something wrong with this picture. James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosche wanted to uncover what’s really going on, so they started doing research. Their documentary, Hungry For Change, features nutrition experts like David Wolfe, Kris Carr, Alejandro Junger, Daniel Vitalis, Joe Cross and more.

One of the main things that’s wrong with diets, they said, is that it puts us into a stressful diet mentality — a mental neurosis. Stress can change your whole body’s biochemistry and lead to the body holding onto fat.

“People think a diet is going to save them, but it’s more about shifting away from the diet mentality — and towards nourishing the body,” said James.

They found a huge disconnect between real nutrition research and what we’re seeing in mainstream media. There’s a vast difference between what’s really healthy and what people think is healthy based on advertising, nutrition claims on food labels, and commercials. So how can we be sure our money is being invested wisely in health, instead of wasted on false advertising claims?

The main issue is refined sugar. Most processed foods are full of sugar, and the amount of sugar we’re consuming is coming from so many different sources. Sugar is highly addictive, a drug-like substance. What sugar does to your hormones, insulin levels and weight gain is one of the key aspects we need to understand in our diets, said Laurentine. We continuously fuel this addiction by putting sugar in our body. “It’s not the fat that makes you fat, it’s the sugar that makes you fat,” she said.

We’ve gone on a war against fat in the modern world, said James, but fat is really important for our metabolism. Sugar is really the main culprit. Our relationship with sugar is toxic. We’re consuming more than we ever have – especially teenage kids – which is resulting in diabetes and obesity.

Another big issue is artificial sweeteners, which are filled with chemicals. People are shopping “sugar free” – but these manufactured products can be very toxic for the body and cause hormonal chaos and weight gain. Aspartame is a sweet chemical, but the problem is that it has zero nutrients. Your body tastes the sweet flavor and thinks its getting nutrients, so you start craving more and more food. 

According to Christiane Northrup, one of the featured experts on the documentary, “nothing else does it in your brain quite like a diet cola.” The mixture of caffeine and artificial sweeteners contains very unique blend of exitotoxins that kills off brain cells, but before they die, they get a buzz of excitement. So it makes you want more and more…and more. Like a drug. People who consume artificial sweeteners become more and more addicted to them over time.

“It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie,” said James.

The third ingredient they touched upon was MSG (monosodium glutamate). They said that 80% of processed foods contain MSG, which is an addictive additive, a “flavor enhancer.” It’s known under 50 different names, including “natural flavors,” “yeast extract,” “modified food starch,” and others. The food industry knows that people will become addicted to MSG so they will buy more. MSG is strongly related to obesity — in fact, in many lab tests, they feed mice MSG to make them fat in order to do weight loss research on them.

So, what should we eat?

Here are the recommendations from James and Laurentine:

First off, steer clear of diet products, fat free products, and processed, chemicalized products.

Add more foods that are natural and whole and in a form our bodies are familiar with. It’s not about taking anything out. The focus should always be focused on adding, said James, which clears the mental neurosis we have with food. “Start adding a green juice a day, or a big salad. The introduction to the green, chlorophyll-rich foods will help alkalize the body and the body chemistry will change.”

Cleanse the body. According to Daniel Vitalis, another nutrition expert featured in their film, a few examples of foods that detoxify our bodies are green vegetables, organic vegetables, chia seeds, aloe vera, parsley, cilantro and seaweeds. Gelatinous foods (like chia seeds) can bind to toxins and help us to get rid of them. Cilantro binds with heavy metals in your body to remove them. Our bodies need high quality green plant food, gelatinous fibers, good water, good air and sunlight.

“Our body wants to cleanse itself, it knows how to. Input gentle foods and be out in nature,” said Daniel.

Adding in juices is a great way to start. The green juice that James and Laurentine love to make daily is kale, celery, cucumber and apples. If you don’t have a juicer or a juice bar nearby, use your blender and make a smoothie. The goal is just to get the nutrients, although juicing gets the nutrients into your blood system more quickly.

Technically, “your body is a juicer”, according to James. The body takes in food, crunches it up and takes the nutrients out of it and eliminates the rest. So juicing is taking one of those steps out and the nutrients go straight to the bloodstream. If you have a green juice once a day and don’t change anything else, you’ll see dramatic results, he said. From there – build. Ease your way into it.

“Can you imagine if you removed refined sugars, refined fats, junky type foods, all the wheat, bread and man-made food — and replaced it with high-water content, organic, mineral rich, vitamin rich fuel going into every cell of your body in the most easy to digest and absorb form with everything the body requires? The body will say “NOW I’m on board. Now you’re good to me – let me shine for you.”  – Jason Vale, featured nutrition expert.

They also recommended cultured or fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, kombucha and saurkraut help to recolonize the digestive system, so the effectiveness of assimilating nutrients increases dramatically.
And with any food you choose, they said — become a “qualitarian” – make sure the quality is the highest possible for whatever you choose – as organic as possible.

Learn more – watch the full interview with James and Laurentine on Gaiam TV!

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Kathy Mercure January 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I just watched this documentary the other day and it has changed my life. I already knew that diets don’t work, but I suddenly ‘got’ that I could change my life and take charge of my body and my health again.

I must say though, as a foodie, I’m not sure where my blog (aptly titled Eating the Rainbow) will head. Perhaps it will head back on the course I set when I started. Whatever happens, I know this is the year of great change.

Thanks for posting.

Hannah January 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I just so happened to watch this yesterday. Then I promptly watched it again and made my friends join me. Today, of course, I can’t stop pestering everyone I know to watch as well! Another great eye opener from the Foodmatters mavericks.

mark mcmillan March 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

hi there l always wondered about sugar
another thought l had and this may be way off
is that sugar has an effect on your joints-adverse effect

Alana November 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Jenny I am so excited about discovering your blog… You have posted on many topics I have often long pondered. Please tell me you have read “the Pleasure trap”

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