Reason#1: Too Comfortable Living the S.A.D Life
Whether they’re supporters of Paleo, Vegetarian, Ornish, or South Beach, most dieting experts would agree that the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) is more of a public health threat than a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). According to the CDC (1), heart disease and cancer combined, the top two leading causes of death in the US, kill more than 1 million people per year.
These leading causes of death, for the most part, are associated with diet-related risk factors like, hypertension, obesity, high (bad) cholesterol, etc. Although I’m a military veteran and would love to take credit for that startling but true WMD comparison, I have to give the credit to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutrition expert, plant-based diet proponent, and author of the very popular book, . Despite his romance with veganism, it’s almost impossible to disagree with his chilling observation.
It just goes to show that most people are way too comfortable waking up in the morning for their fix. That is, sugary cereal, with a side of pancakes drowning in sweet syrup, washed down with their sugary fruit juice… A balanced breakfast, right? Yea, if you want Type II diabetes.
But this whole “balanced breakfast” thing is what many of our friends still believe. The sad thing (no pun intended) is that even if we kindly nudge our friends about their toxic food choices, they’re just way too comfortable eating this hazardous processed food porn.
Sadly, for some of us it usually takes a serious life-changing experience to make drastic changes to our comfortable, hot dogs and hamburgers American lifestyle. Yup, some of us need the good ol’ “wake-up call”, to change our outlook on health. Unfortunately, as the stats demonstrate, most people don’t get it until they’re in the back of an ambulance. S.A.D, isn’t it?
Reason #2: Afraid of Failing (again)
They’re just a bunch of haters and they probably want me to fail and eat the way they do. It may seem that way but it’s probably not so. According to world-renowned obesity expert, Dr. Jeff Friedman (2) of Rockefeller University, approximately 70-95% of diets fail within two years.
Yes, even many of the contestants on that hit show, The Biggest Loser , gain their weight back. Simply stated, after losing massive amounts of weight, the body struggles with coping with this new, seemingly unnatural, lighter weight. After a short period, the body reverts back to normal, that is, it gets back to its state of ”equilibrium”, as Dr. Friedman eloquently explains.
So, where do your friends fall into this? Well, you probably know since you probably fell into this category in the past. Many are afraid to attempt new things because of their past failures-in this case, diets. They’ve tried numerous diets, pills, advice, “special” foods, and…Boom! Nothing…Big fail! You know what they probably haven’t tried though? Yup, you guessed it: The “Eating-Real-Foods” diet.
“So, Paleo? Psshhh…Yeah, right! Have fun with that. I love my fast-food and my love handles.” Okay, your friends probably aren’t saying that, but you get the point. Whatever they’re saying, or not saying for that matter, it doesn’t have to remain that way. I’m sure with a little social support (cough, cough…this is where you come in) and the right preparation, a Paleo lifestyle will probably be the last “diet” they ever go on.
Do what you have to do to get them onboard. Believe me, it’s mutually beneficial (and kind of cool) to have friends on the same page when it comes to eating. They can thank you later with one of those NorCal Margaritas made famous by Robb Wolf.
Reason #3: They’re Just Not Smart Enough
Yes….I went there. But, keep reading, I’ll show you why. Last year, the Journal on Evolution & Health published an article (3) that described the typical Paleo Diet “follower”. In brief, a 10-day web survey was conducted and it revealed that, surprisingly, just 4% of them had completed high school.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘ Wow! 96% are uneducated? No wonder it’s called the Caveman diet’. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. Although 4% of the respondents reported having completed high school, the survey also revealed that (drum roll, please) 14% had some college, 40% had 4-year degrees, and 22% had Master’s degrees. I won’t even go into the annual household incomes. However, I must admit, I wouldn’t mind asking some of these respondents to, ‘Hook a brother up’.
Although this wasn’t a conclusive study, it definitely sheds some light on the types of individuals who decide to go Primal. And, please, don’t get me wrong; I’m not implying that you need a college degree to be smart. However, it takes a smart person to recognize that eating real foods is probably the only way to make one’s body function and look the way nature intended it to.
So, if you’re friends are tired of having their wallets and their waistlines violated by processed foods, educate them. If that doesn’t work, scare them with public health stats. Be assertive and show them you care. If your genuine attempts don’t seem to work, you’ll just have to sit back and (with your best caveperson impersonation) say to yourself:
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Deaths and Mortality [Data file, final 2010 data]. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
(2) Leptin and the Biologic Basis of Obesity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pBj0wy35A8
(3) David B. Schwartz, D. & Stapell, H. (2013). Modern cavemen? Stereotypes and reality of the Ancestral Health Movement. Journal of Evolution and Health, 1(1), Article 3.