Hate Diets? Eat Like This Instead

Forget complete restriction. Research suggests cutting back on three foods can lead to success, regardless of your dietary preferences.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Stat of the week

  • The anti-diet diet plan

  • Pump hits

  • Is this the easiest way to improve longevity?

Arnold’s Podcast

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Stat of the Week: 5.5 Pounds

Research suggests that replacing just one meal with a meal replacement can help you lose an average of 5.5 more pounds compared to a calorie-restricted diet. Pick your shake of choice, but make sure it’s third-party certified. Here’s our go-to drink.

The Anti-Diet Diet Plan

Are you tired of fad diets that offer short-term benefits in exchange for long-term frustration? Here’s a new way to approach nutrition without completely eliminating any particular food. 

Research suggests that reducing three types of food (without fully restricting them) can lead to more weight loss and better health outcomes, such as lower blood sugar and blood pressure. 

The three foods to limit are added sugars, ultra-processed foods, and refined grains. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you need to avoid these foods completely. As we shared in You Can’t Screw This Up, when people cut out foods completely, they tend to end up gaining back weight in the long run.  

As we suggested earlier this week when we discussed “the best diet for fat loss,” the type of diet didn’t matter. Some people ate high-carb, and others followed low-carb. The key ingredient to success was the food quality, not the eating style.

Instead of saying you can never eat particular foods, it’s better to know what to limit leads to overeating for you. After all, every diet that works does so by the same method: caloric restriction. 

So your job is to figure out your triggers — rather than buying into the belief of a magic bullet — and then build a plan that lessens the things that cause you to overeat. Here are a few prompts that can help:

  • Do you eat too much at night? Set a time when you “close the kitchen.”

  • Are snack foods your weakness? Keep fewer in the home. 

  • Are lunches at work causing you trouble? Pack something from home, or swap it with a protein shake (see the “stat of the week” above).

Don’t buy into the idea that one food—whether gluten, dairy, carbs, fat, or protein—or that one style of eating (carnivore, vegan, fasting) is the ultimate solution. It’s about identifying and reducing foods that make it easier to overeat (added sugar, ultra-processed foods, refined gains) and then finding behaviors and foods that make it easier to eat more and feel fueled without always feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. 

Pump Hits

Here’s a short list of what caught our attention. 

Reading: A hidden link in infertility?

Here’s a question we didn’t expect to answer: does semen have its own microbiome? The answer is apparently yes, and unraveling the science could help unlock breakthroughs in fertility. 

Watching: Training for Longevity

What happens when Dr. Peter Attia and performance expert Dr. Andy Galpin come together to explore our understanding of improving longevity? You get a masterclass on ways to improve healthspan and lifespan. 

Following: Dan Churchill

Some know him as Chris Hemsworth’s and Lindsey Vonn’s chef. We just know him as the guy who finds affordable ways to make healthy food delicious. 

Laugh For Longevity

There’s no shortage of ways to live longer, but many of them require discomfort. If you wish some options were a little more enjoyable, here’s research that will make you smile. 

Research suggests that people who laugh more often can live up to 8 years longer than those who don’t. 

Studies indicate that as we get older, we enjoy life less, leading to decreased laughter. A phenomenon known as the “humor cliff” suggests that we begin to laugh less in our 20s, and compared to childhood, we laugh a fraction of the time. 

Stanford researchers found that the average 4-year-old laughs 300 times per day, while the average 40-year-old laughs 300 times every ten weeks. 

It’s hard to pinpoint one reason why laughter works, but many studies show it lowers stress, anxiety, and blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and improves mental well-being, immunity, and recovery. 

The study analyzed more than 50,000 people over 15 years, and the scientists found that frequent laughter was associated with a 48 percent decrease in death from all causes, a 73 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and an 83 percent lower risk of infection.

This weekend, we challenge you to get out and laugh more. Watch a comedy you love, catch up with a good friend, or do anything that puts a smile on your face.

That’s it for this week. Thank you all for being a part of the positive corner of the internet. We hope you have a fantastic weekend!

-Arnold, Adam, Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell