“But it’s Healthy!” – Food To Lose Weight By?

healthy food to lose weight?

Many times I have had people say to me about their extra snacking or overeating, “But it’s Healthy Food!”. To lose weight they simply think that healthy is the key.

My commonest reply has been to ask them if they have read any pamphlets about fruit and vegetables put out by various government agencies… and have they read them CAREFULLY.

Because if they have they will discover that these pamphlets do NOT say that eating fruits and vegetables will make you lose weight.

Instead they will say something awkward like this:

Eating plenty of fruit and vegies not only contributes to good health, but also protects against a number of diseases and helps maintain a healthy weight. – Go For 2 and 5 Campaign


People who eat more fruits in an overall healthy diet have lower risks of some chronic diseases. – US ChooseMyPlate Government Program

Did you read that?

Lots of feel good statements, but little more.

In fact if really pressed they will sound very convincing:

Eating more fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of overweight and obesity – Go For 2 and 5 Information bulletin

Until that is you dig a bit deeper. Why would they say ‘can’ reduce the ‘risk’? What about someone who is already overweight or obese and wanting to lose weight. Why wouldn’t they emphasize these results because surely that’s where the biggest impact will be?

Now, before you tell me I hate fruits and vegetables, no I don’t.

They are in fact worthwhile in so many other ways for your health and eating enjoyment.

I just hate simplistic advice that doesn’t deliver the results it pretends to claim, and this can apply to fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish, and anything that is promoted as being more than it actually is.

So why would they say such vague ‘motherhood’ statements?

Simply because they know that the evidence that eating fruits and vegetables, or in fact any so-called ‘healthy food’ to lose weight has no evidence to support it. It’s not what you eat as much as it is the way you eat it.

People have funny ideas about food. One of the things I’ve discovered is that sometimes when people think something’s healthy, they really haven’t worked out what they mean by that.

I first encountered this when a woman came to see me who had managed to lose by herself about 20 kilos. Unfortunately, she put it all back on. However, even when she lost 20 kilos, she had about another 20 kilos to lose. So I asked her what she’d done to lose those first 20 kilos. She was all serious when she looked me in the eye and said, “I ate nothing but salad and salad vegetables for 9 months.” And she said after about 3 months, she’d lost the original 20 kilos but then she stabilized and plateaued and no matter how much longer she kept going she was unable to lose anymore.

Now, the first thing I realized was that I didn’t believe that someone could actually just eat salad, vegetables and nothing else. Not choosing it, not anything else like that, for that amount of time. And it’s probably very unhealthy to do that. But knowing her, I actually took her seriously. What I asked her instead was, “How did you manage the fact that on that sort of diet you didn’t end up hungry? You didn’t end up with times where you didn’t feel like you had enough and you wanted more?”

She said something very interesting. She said, “Well, I was eating all these healthy food so what I decided to do was just allow myself to eat more of it.” I said, “Interesting. What did you eat?” She said, “Basically, I stuffed myself so full with carrots that I couldn’t eat anymore and so I stopped being hungry and craving other things”. So it turned out that on almost the calorie content of carrots alone, she had managed to maintain her weight about 20 kilos over what it should be for her height.

But she’s not alone. Just today, I had someone come to me, and in talking to them about what they were doing, they complained they were snacking. I said, “Well, that snacking is probably giving you enough calories to end up making your weight going”. And he looked at me, as the lady before her done, and said, “But it’s healthy.” And I said, “It’s probably very full of nutritious vitamins, minerals, fiber, all that good stuff but it also has calories.” And he said, “But it’s not like if I was eating biscuits or something. I’d know that was unhealthy.” I said, “Well, they both have calories and right now for your weight, it’s not about your health, it’s about the amount of energy putting in your body compared to what you’re using up”.

This idea that something is healthy doesn’t mean it gives you allowance to do whatever you like with it or to it. Respond to your body. If it wants “healthy stuff”, that’s fine. If it wants stuff that “not healthy”, that’s fine too. It allows your body to find a balance and responding what I think is an emotionally and physically healthy way to all types of food.

Do You Want Lasting Weight Loss? Adelaide’s Dr Martin Russell Recommends….

I recommend that you do NOT use diets for long-term weight loss. Not sure what else you could do? Well watch this video for some starting ideas…

Want more information about this approach?

If you are in Adelaide and you want to discover the 4 complete steps for weight loss that works without dieting or extra exercise, then you have found the right place. Simply put in your first name and best email address and then click Submit…

Adelaide South Rotary – May 2013

“A Different Approach To Psychiatry”
Adelaide South Rotary – 9 May 2013
– Updated Notes –

Adelaide South Rotary picture
Many thanks Adelaide South Rotarians!

Psychiatry is in decay – but it is not in decline – and there is an alternative.

Professor Iain McGregor, Professor of Psychopharmacology, School of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, in promoting his recent book “Meds for Heads” with a tour of speaking engagements to psychiatrists he had this in his introductory blurb…

“Australia’s use of prescription psychotropic drugs has escalated recently with a more than doubling of antidepressant and atypical antipsychotic drugs over the past 10 years. Many commonly used prescription psychotropics are old drugs with questionable efficacy and troubling side effects. Very few novel compounds are coming down the pharmaceutical pipeline.”

Going back to the 1980’s my two take-away learnings about Psychiatry during my medical training were:

  1. Diagnosis is subjective – there are almost no blood tests, scans or even physical examination findings.
  2. First step is to rule out a non-psychiatric condition – eg blood test – syphilis, HIV, even scanning for a brain tumour

NOTE: the commonest ‘medical conditions’ I currently find in patient’s referred to me are…

  • insomnia / sleeping problems (including sleep apnoea)
  • low testosterone (related to testicular damage, eg from alcohol, or ‘male menopause’)

So when I finished in medical school, I decided that I wouldn’t be a psychiatrist, I’d be a GP.

I can still prescribe medication, make the DSM-IV diagnoses, order tests, access Medicare, and, it turned out that unlike a psychiatrist, I can do this and see patients directly – ie no referral needed.

Psychiatry is in decay.

1990’s had an initiative by the US Government, the “Decade of the Brain”, but all the research did not change the take-away lessons.

In the 2000’s It still did not change, but in fact got worse.

Dr Irving Kirsch (Ph.D), Professor of Psychology, University of Hull, UK was publishing studies that he subsequently turned into a book in 2010 “The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepessant Myth”

The book outlined 3 key points

  1. When ALL controlled studies are analyzed, anti-depressants are not much better than a placebo (a sugar pill.)
  2. Anti-depressants have side-effects that mean that patients and doctors in the studies work out over time if they are getting placebo or not.
  3. When you give an ‘active placebo’ (a sugar pill with an added ingredient that produces side effects) so they can’t tell the difference, the benefits of anti-depressants disappear.

However, to quote Irving Kirsch page 152:


And I agree – see your doctor to get a proper plan for reducing or removing these medications!

Psychiatry is not in decline

These are massively profitable and best-selling drugs. The momentum and vested interests of drug companies is clear.

There is also the need of the psychiatric fraternity to put psychiatry on a legitimate ie medical/biological footing.

Neither of these will change.

Also as a society the government is paying the bills, and we are currently in the phase of ongoing expansion of government influence and expenditure, so this will not change soon either. The population is more and more looking to external sources to fix problems – whether it is pills, practitioners, or government programs.

These two influences will at some stage stop and reverse, but for the short and medium-term future they are still on the rise.

Disease-mongering  from Wikipedia:

Disease mongering is a pejorative term for the practice of widening the diagnostic boundaries of illnesses, and promoting public awareness of such, in order to expand the markets for those who sell and deliver treatments.

There is an alternative

Health-mongering – from me

Seeing healthy and normal responses, where others see disease and illness.

There are two aspects of the alternative which are

  • Character (Vs Personality / Personality ‘disorder’)
  • Life Skills

For example, Rotary is an organization based on someone’s ‘character’. So in reverse to psychiatry, Rotary is in decline but not in decay.

As another example of character, my first venture into teaching others Marketing back in 2003 was “Word of Mouth Magic”, which dealt with word of mouth reputation, referrals, recommendations etc ie character. For specific psychiatric situations and conditions, “Life Skills” may mean digging beneath the ‘diagnostic label’ eg Depression, for the actual symptoms and issues. For example any of these issues can cause someone to end up on the ‘merry-go-round’ of practitioners, medicines, therapists etc etc, but can be usefully addressed with Life Skills. The way ‘healthy / normal’ people would resolve these issues, can be taught to others as well.

  • sleeping problems – the Early Morning Waking of Depression for example.
  • “overwhelm” / “stress” / “too much to do, too little time”
  • hopelessness / lack of meaning and purpose in life
  • pain issues – especially back pain, tension headaches, neck, hips, knees joints
  • weight loss / eating – WITHOUT dieting.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact me (Martin) at DrMartinRussell.com

Common Sense Questions in Health – One ‘Doctor’s’ Answers…

Our health is important to us, but common sense questions still arise. So here is one “Doctor” who will make some sense of it for you. Laugh – and learn!

NOTE: the answers are best read with an Asian accent. It improves the wisdom, or something like that…

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it… Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speed up heart not make live longer; that like say you can extend life of car by driving faster. Want live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. What are these? Vegetables. So, steak nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give 100% recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine. That means they take water out of fruity bit; get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: If you have body and you have fat, ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, ratio is two to one, etc.

[Side note: Are you getting the common sense of these questions yet? Keep some of these answers in mind for when health, diet and exercise come up in polite conversation.]

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Cannot think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No Pain…Good!

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU NOT LISTENING!!! …. Foods fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only do sit-ups if want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: You crazy? HELLO… Cocoa beans! Vegetable!!! Cocoa beans best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming good for figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had on those common sense questions about diet and exercise.