Good thing I haven’t attempted to put out a cookbook. It’s probably never a good idea to use the word “bland” as part of a title.
…but bland cooking might be exactly what people need to get lean.
Before I wow you with my sucky cooking skills, I need to explain why bland works well when weight loss is the goal.
“His recipes just don’t do it for me anymore.”
Are you familiar with obesity researcher Stephan Guyenet? He believes food reward/palatability is the #1 reason why people get fat.
If you want to get deep into the science behind this, here are links to his excellent article series “Food Reward: A Dominant Factor in Obesity”.
One main takeaway of this series is that when researchers increased reward/palatability of a diet it caused fat gain in animals and humans.
When they decreased reward/palatability of a diet, it caused fat loss.
The diet industry focuses on macronutrients like low carb diets, high carb & low fat diets, etc.
The research shows people can get and stay lean with many different combination of macronutrients, just as long as they don’t eat in a caloric surplus.
While the low-carb dieters battle the low-fat dieters…I remain neutral like Switzerland.
I have seen ridiculously fit and healthy followers of the Paleo diet (low-carb) and I’ve also seen ripped and healthy vegans (low-fat).
I can’t imagine a life without bread or rice…and I can’t imagine a life without cheese. I choose both!
The problem is that my choices lead to meals that are too tasty.
- Nachos are MUCH tastier than a Kale Salad.
- Regular Pizza is MUCH tastier than Paleo Pizza.
I can easily eat 2,000+ calories of nachos in one sitting, but would have a tough time eating 300 calories of a kale salad (plus I’d be sad).
I have no problem crushing down 8-10 pieces or regular pizza, but eating cauliflower crust paleo pizza would just make me angry.
Katy eats regular pizza. She knows what’s up!
“You just gotta ignite…the light…and let…it shine. Just own the night like the 4th of July.” – Katy Perry
…but even Katy wouldn’t try to be a teenage dream in her skin-tight jeans, if she ate too much of this tasty food (tonight).
A strategy a lot of people use to stay lean is to eat bland foods much of the time, while occasionally indulging in meals with more flavor.
To paraphrase Stephan Guyenet:
“The evidence is simply overwhelming that extremely palatable and rewarding food, rather than any specific nutrient, is the major nutrition-related cause of fat gain.”
…and calories in/calories out matter more than any other dieting strategy.
If you get that part wrong?
Nothing else matters!
“Trust I seek and I find in you. Every day for us something new. Open mind for a different view. And nothing else matters.” – Metallica
The more I think about it, the more I believe that the U.S. obesity epidemic can be traced to too much variety of palatable foods.
Think about it…many countries stick mainly to their own cuisine.
When your selection of food is limited, you naturally stop eating when you are full.
I love Thai food, but I bet if it was all I ate I’d eventually eat less over time.
In the U.S. I can have Thai food for lunch, Greek food for dinner, and a New York style pizza at 2 in the morning.
(The scary part is that I could have all of this delivered to my house in less than 30 minutes, by using an app on my phone.)
To lose weight quickly I recommend concentrating on less variety in your diet and less rewarding food.
In part 2, part 3, and part 4 of this blog post I’m going to share with you my go-to bland recipes.
I’ve used these three boring-ass meals to help past clients lose weight for photo shoots and fashion shows.
Average on the taste buds…but awesome for your body.