Take the red pill – to lose weight, be healthy and live longer


Popularized by movies like The Matrix and Total Recall the term red pill represents embracing the painful truth of reality whereas taking the blue pill represents remaining in blissful ignorance. Becoming vegan feels very much like taking the red pill – your friends may not be ready to join you on the journey, but the deeper you dig the more it seems like everyone else is stuck in a false mental model.

Eat more weigh less

The standard American diet is packed full of foods which are calorie dense and low in nutritional value. These foods tap into our desire for fat and sugar but don’t provide the same amount of fiber and nutrients as the whole foods our ancestors would have eaten.

The high calorie density means that you are likely to consume too many calories in an effort to fill up. The low nutrient value and the stimulant effect of refined foods is likely to leave your body craving more food. As we have all experienced it’s way too easy to consume too many calories from these foods.

In contrast a healthy vegan diet centered around whole foods has a low calorie density, lots of fiber and high nutritional value. These foods fill you up, satisfy your need for nutrients and release sugars more slowly. You can eat more food, consume less calories and be free of food cravings.

Be unusually healthy

When you eat a standard American diet you become as disease prone as the standard American. Whilst that may be good for the $2.5 trillion American health care industry, it’s not good for you. The standard American diet leads to a whole host of preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, diverticulitis, dementia, macular degeneration etc.

These diseases are a result of too much of the bad stuff and not enough of the good stuff in your diet. In fact these diseases of affluence have been shown to be directly related to the increased availability of meat, dairy and processed foods in society.

I know – unbelievable right? How come no one mentioned this before now? Red pill remember!

Live longer

According to gerontologists the lifestyle factors affecting longevity are: a plant-based-diet rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals, frequent consumption of nuts and legumes, a low calorie intake, low to normal BMI and regular exercise. As you might expect smoking and excessive alcohol consumption shorten life expectancy.

Perhaps the most interesting thing though is that a healthy vegan diet in combination with regular exercise can stave of the degenerative diseases commonly associated with old age. There’s a good chance you can avoid the bone, muscle and mental acuity losses normally associated with aging. You can remain strong and fit and healthy until the day you die.

However you probably will die sometime before you reach 125, although medical science doesn’t quite understand why yet. But I’ll take another 60 years of good health over a painful and expensive decline.

Take the vegan red pill

So if you take the red pill and combine a healthy vegan diet with exercise you can be slim, healthy and remain strong to the end of a surprisingly long life. If you take the blue pill you can continue to eat the standard American diet but you may end up paying for it with your waistline, your health, your money and ultimately your life.

A couple of books that cover these topics in more depth are The China Study and Eat to Live.

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6 Responses to Take the red pill – to lose weight, be healthy and live longer

  1. Gretchen says:

    Hi Mark!

    Thanks for your comment on Crazy Sexy Life. I had never heard of “the red pill.” Love it!

    Congratulations on becoming vegan. I love this lifestyle!

    Gretchen

  2. Pingback: Earth Day – make a surprisingly large difference - Vegan Health and Fitness

  3. These days I’ve been searching for tips on how to stay healthier, you just forwarded me in the proper direction! I appreciate your blog, I have it bookmarked now.

  4. Hey I am constantly researching for ways to stay healthier, I like your article! This is actually really decent advice!

  5. The only exercise which is enjoyable and effective, i guess would be aerobics. Slot the disc and and just go at it. However you will not see the effect so soon. But if you keep at it, you will definitely lose weight and keep the fat off.

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