Are You "Hungry for Change"?
It started when filmmaker and nutritional consultant James Colquhoun's father fell ill. That illness inspired a documentary, "Hungry for Change," in which Colquhoun gathered together leading medical doctors, natural medicine practitioners, and nutritionists to explain the smartest ways to ditch weight-loss diets, conquer cravings, and promote lifelong health. Now, what Colquhoun has learned has been captured in a best-selling companion book written by Colquhoun and co-author Laurentine ten Bosch. Nissan Innovation for Endurance sat down with Colquhoun for an exclusive interview to learn how this movement came about, and what he's learned that could help you discover the path to lifelong health:
Myatt Murphy for Innovation for Endurance: Explain the impetus behind Hungry For Change.
Colquhoun: It began because my father suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and severe anxiety and depression, was 50 pounds overweight, and had spent five years bedridden with severe flu-like symptoms. At the time, Laurentine and I were studying nutrition and began to discover all of these ways we could help him that weren't being offered as solutions under mainstream traditional care. So in order to effectively communicate this message to him, we decided to use film as a way to bring together all of these experts from around the world to have him take these interviews into account — that was our first film.
MM: Did it work?
Colquhoun: Yes. After that, he radically transformed himself. After we brought this information to him, he lost 50 pounds, began running two to three times a week (something he loved to do, but wasn't able to do for such a long time), and we now share clothes, which we've never done in our entire lives. It was this transformation that became the catalyst for our most recent film and book, Hungry For Change.
MM: What issues are addressed in your book and film that you feel are most important for people to know?
Colquhoun: The first is how people should be steering away from restriction-based diets, since we know that for many people struggling with weight issues, they don't work. We have a situation where $60 billion a year is spent on diet and weight-loss products, yet two-thirds of people end up regaining their weight after going off a diet.
MM: So what is the better solution?
Colquhoun: What the experts in our film and in the book have shown is that there are so many things that need to be added back into our diets, such as green juices, salads, and fermented foods, that help to balance everything that the modern diet has put off-balance. The second part of what makes this book unique is that we really put the focus on the mental aspect and how visualization and really connecting with yourself — and building a relationship with yourself — helps to adjust how a person sees food, their body, and their health.
Jon Gabriel, pictured above, lost over 200 pounds without surgery using the principles in Hungry for Change.
To help readers get a taste of what has made this new book so successful (at press time it was at number 15 on Amazon), we asked Colquhoun for a few nutritional tips you can apply to your diet right now. Here are his 10 ways to ensure your body gets the proper nutrients it needs to function effectively on a daily basis:
1. Eat as Nature Intended: Nature didn't create you to eat ready-made frozen meals with artificial preservatives and chemicals. Our ancestors and forefathers have always lived in symbiosis with nature. It's simple: Eat more "living food" and eat less "dead food." This means plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and if you eat meat and animal products this would also include free-range eggs, wild fish, game, and naturally-reared animals.
2. Choose Organic: Organic fruits and vegetables contain more vitamins and minerals than their non-organic or conventional counterparts, particularly if they have been picked ripe and are locally grown. They are also safer to eat because they are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMO), all of which have been shown to have harmful effects on our reproductive health and hormones, and overload the liver.
3. Dust Off Your Blender or Juicer: Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a bar of chocolate, whip up a quick juice or smoothie, both of which are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It's an instant meal that delivers nutrients directly to the cells of your body.
4. Limit Gluten-Containing Grains: Gluten is a protein found in most grains, namely wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and kamut. An allergy to gluten—known as Coeliac Disease—and intolerance to gluten is becoming more prevalent. Even if you're not sensitive to gluten, you can do your body a world of good by cutting back on your gluten intake.
5. Stay Away from Processed Sugary Foods: Too much sugar or other refined carbohydrates can lead to blood sugar highs and lows, causing mood swings and food cravings, if not balanced by fats and proteins. Opt for foods that naturally have a lower glycemic load or glycemic index (GI). Choose vegetables and low-sugar fruits, like grapefruit, lemon, lime, pears, berries, and avocados, over starchy grains.
6. Eat Good Fats: Good fats and cholesterol are essential for the absorption of most nutrients and for hormone production. Enjoy the healthy saturated fats found in coconut oil, wild fish, organic dairy, and grass-fed meats, and monounsaturated fats like extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, macadamia nuts, and avocados. Avoid oxidized, free radical-producing fats like margarine spreads, commercially-baked cookies, potato chips, and vegetable oils.
7. Prepare Your Meals with Care: Ditch the microwave. Eat more raw foods that have been undamaged by heat. When cooking, sauté, steam, or grill foods over low or medium heat with stable fats, such as coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), or butter in an old-fashioned cast iron pot. These fats are less volatile and ideal for cooking, especially compared to most vegetables oils, which become toxic to the body when oxidized at high temperatures.
8. Know Where Your Food Comes From: Knowing the source of what you eat is an important step in improving your nutrition. Speaking with farmers at your local market and checking the origin of your foods in the produce section of your supermarket will let you know if the food is local or shipped in from far away.
9. Read Labels: Chemical food additives can wreak havoc on our hormones and lead to weight gain and possibly addiction. When in doubt, remember one simple tip: If you can't pronounce it, or if it includes numbers or codes, don't eat it!
10. Eat in a Relaxed State: Rushing through your meal or eating on the run will put your body in a state of fight or flight, which compromises or shuts down your digestive processes, cutting off the assimilation of nutrients into your system. What we don't digest often turns into bacterial fermentation, bloating, or fat. Make sure you sit down when you eat and take the time to enjoy your meal in a relaxed state and with good intention.
What do you think of the "Hungry for Change" model of nutrition and eating?
— Myatt Murphy, Fitness Reporter
Fitness expert Myatt Murphy, CSCS, is the author of the best-selling books Testosterone Transformation (Rodale, 2012), The Body You Want in the Time You Have (Rodale, 2005), The Men's Health Gym Bible (Rodale, 2006) and Men's Health's Ultimate Dumbbell Guide (Rodale, 2007). His work has appeared in innumerable magazines and online.
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