The Purge – The First Step in Improving Your Diet – Episode #6

Welcome to the Good Living Doc show. My name is Dr. Mark Smith. I am the Good Living Doc. You can listen to all my podcasts on my website at I’m also on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts. And about a dozen other platforms. This is episode 6. I call it “The Purge.” 

If you want to lose weight, if you want to eat better, if you want to try to start nourishing your body better…this is the first step.

As with every episode, before we begin, I need to take 20 seconds to remind you that I’m not your medical doctor…so nothing that I say on this program should be taken as personal medical advice. Do not try to diagnose, treat, or cure any symptom or disease in yourself or anyone else based on the information you get here. And if you decide to change your lifestyle in some way because of the information that I’m putting out, please do so under the guidance of a licensed health professional. 

Today we’re going to take action with The Purge. 

I’m sure online you’ve seen before and after pictures of people who have made amazing transformations with their weight and their health by changing their diet. Some of these folks have lost significant amounts of weight…50, 75, 100 pounds. And in order to do that in a relatively short period of time…I’m talking about maybe three, four, five months…you have to have a tremendous amount of determination and self-control. And you have to overhaul your lifestyle practically overnight.

For some people who can muster up that kind of determination, it can work and it can work pretty fast. But a lot of times these changes are not sustainable because the change has happened so fast. They drop the weight so fast, and they’ve altered their lifestyle so significantly, and they’ve deprived themselves of so much that it’s just not sustainable. 

And you see a lot of these folks put more weight back on because they just can’t live like they were living for the past three or four months that made them lose all that weight. And so after six months or a year, many of these folks put the weight back on and then some. 

So years ago I developed this five-step program that I believe is a better approach and is more sustainable and is easier to stick with. Because what I want for people…rather than these drastic changes in lifestyle…I like to start out with the first five steps changing their lives in an almost imperceptible way. 

The changes that we’re going to make, especially with The Purge…with this step today…which is the first step…it’s going to be almost imperceptible. We’re going to change your lifestyle by like one percent. 

Now, if you change your lifestyle one percent a day, in a few months you will have completely transformed yourself. But these little changes are so much easier to make and stick to because they don’t really take away all that much from our regular lives. And so the change is so subtle that it makes it easy. 

So The Purge is really the first step and if you don’t do the purge…when you’re talking about my program…if you don’t do the purge then you can’t move on. You’ve got to do the purge first. And the purge is pretty simple. 

Evaluate All Foods in Wrappers, Bags, and Boxes

The purge entails you going through your kitchen…your refrigerator, your freezer, your cabinets, your pantry…and evaluating every food item in a wrapper, bag, or box. Foods in wrappers, bags, and boxes, are processed foods. They’re not foods that grow from the Earth or grow from a tree. They may have started out that way but they don’t finish up that way. 

Processed foods are items that have, at some point during their journey to the grocery store,  been altered in some way from the way they were grown. Wheat is a natural thing, but by the time they turn it into cereal or bread, it’s not natural anymore. It’s processed food then, and all these foods come in wrappers, bags, and boxes. 

You’re going to evaluate all your foods in wrappers, bags, and boxes, and you’re going to ask yourself one question…

If I had to go the rest of my life with never eating this again, would I care? And if the answer is no, you get rid of it. 

If there’s a five dollar frozen pizza in your freezer that you got on sale because you were hungry when you went to the store, so you picked it up…and it’s just sitting in there and there’s nothing nutritious about it…it doesn’t even really taste all that good…and when you’re finished with it, you’re going to feel guilty. You’re going to feel bad about yourself that you just ate this, but it’s not even going to give you very much pleasure. You’re not going to get any enjoyment really out of eating it. So you get rid of it

If you’re like, “Eh, I could go forever without ever having this frozen five dollar pizza,” then get rid of it. 

The reason that the purge is important is because that five dollar pizza sitting there…there is going to come a time when you’re gonna come home from work, and you’re going to be tired, but you’re going to be hungry. And you don’t want to cook and you don’t want to go anywhere, and there’s that thing in there, calling out to you. 

And you go, “Ohh, I’m tired. I’m just going to throw this in the oven and I’m just going to eat it so I can put something in my stomach.”

There’s nothing positive about this experience and you’re certainly not feeding your body anything that’s good for you. Or, your kids are going to be there or your grandkids and they’re going to have friends over or be watching movies and they’re gonna want this thing. Or it’s just the only thing to eat because you haven’t been to the grocery store. And you’re going to eat it…you get my point, right? 

These foods in wrappers, bags, and boxes that you don’t care about eating…eventually you’re going to eat it because it’s there and we’re trying to eliminate that. We’re going to purge those foods.

That off-brand box of mac and cheese, or the marshmallows that you bought for a bonfire that have been in there for a year…you know, stuff like that…that’s just sitting there that at a moment of boredom, you might eat it. And so you want to take away that temptation. 

Now, if you love Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups like I do, and you pick up that bag of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, and you say, “If I went the rest of my life without eating Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, would I care?” And the answer is yes, because that’s what it would be for me, then you don’t throw those out. You don’t get rid of those. You keep those for now. All right, we’re not at the step where we’re going to deal with those yet. 

We’re getting rid of all the foods you don’t care about that are just going to add calories and carbs and no nutrition to your day at some point. But don’t get rid of the things that you love yet. Don’t get rid of the chips or ice cream or whatever…all that stuff that you just enjoy, the things that you really do enjoy that are bad for you, we’re not getting rid of those yet.

But with the purge, we are going to be running a marathon. We’re not sprinting here. We’re running a marathon. 

So you really haven’t deprived yourself of anything at this point with the purge. You haven’t thrown out…you’re not depriving yourself of the things that you like. 

And that’s the worst part, really…of trying to change your diet or trying to lose weight…is depriving yourself of the things that you enjoy. So, we’re not doing that. We’re getting rid of the things you don’t enjoy. 

If you’re trying to be healthier, or eliminate some symptom, or reverse some disease, or just be healthier, or just lose weight…the goal is always the same. This is the beauty of living a wellness lifestyle. The goal is always…get healthy. If you want to lose weight, get healthy. Instead of concentrating on losing weight, concentrate on getting healthy and making healthy choices. 

If your goal is to get healthy, then your choices become healthier, and you’ll probably be making changes in your life that go beyond just diet if that is ultimately your goal…is to get healthy. If you’ve got the first stages of heart disease, or high cholesterol, or you’ve got high blood pressure…rather than focusing on eliminating those issues, focus instead on getting healthy. And so that makes the way forward, if you focus on getting healthy instead, it makes the way forward very simple.

The Wellness End Zone

Any choice that you make, you can ask yourself a simple question. Is this going to get me healthy? I like to have people picture a football field. And you’re at the 50 yard line and on one side of the football field is disease and on the other side is wellness, health. And so if you’re at the 50 yard line, every choice that you make…when it comes to what you’re going to do with your diet, what you’re going to eat that day, how you’re going to spend your time…it’s either going to move you in one direction or the other. 

Eating this food, is it going to take me toward the wellness end zone or the disease end zone? And see, we have to eliminate this game that we play with ourselves when we say things like, “Eating this is better than eating that. Ah, this muffin is better than this donut for breakfast. So I’m going to eat this muffin even though I know it’s not great for me, it’s better than a donut.” 

We have to stop playing that game. It’s either good for you or it’s not. There’s no degrees of bad. The food is either going to move you toward wellness or toward disease. So when you’re evaluating what you’re going to eat, if you’re focusing on getting to that wellness end zone…right, because that’s our goal, getting healthy, right? Getting to the wellness end zone… then we stop playing that game of trying to eat things that will take us less toward disease. It’s either good or it’s not good. 

So, when you’re doing the purge, keep that in mind too. But all those things that aren’t helping you, that are just getting in your way and causing you to stumble…they’re causing you to stumble uselessly because you’re not gaining anything from doing them. That frozen pizza doesn’t give you anything. So getting rid of it doesn’t take anything away from you, but what it does is it eliminates the temptation of eating it during a moment of weakness or a moment of boredom or a moment of just being tired and wanting to eat something.

So, what if you live in a house with other people and they’re not down for this. What if they’re going to be mad that you threw that bag of doritos away? Or whatever thing that you don’t care about. You don’t want a mutiny on your hands. So you have to just do the best you can. 

What if Your Family Is Not Down with the Purge?

This one lady that I have was doing this…she had a great way of solving this. She was the person who got the groceries in the family, and when she did her purge, she got rid of everything. And, you know, her kids were upset because they like to have these things around. They like to have ice cream and all that kind of stuff. 

These were teenagers, so they had the ability to drive. She ended up getting rid of this candy that her kids liked…that she didn’t care about…but the kids liked it…but she got rid of it and she wasn’t going to buy it anymore and the kids were upset. 

So she made a rule. These kids had the ability to drive. They could go to the store. So she would say, “Okay, if you want this candy, this is the rule. You put your shoes on, go out to your car, drive to the store and get what it is that you want to eat, but you can only buy enough for this one sitting, this one day, this one snack, that’s all you can buy. You can’t come home with a big giant family bag of it. You’re gonna get what you’re going to eat today. You’re going to eat it today. And then they’re just going to be gone again.”

I’ve had other people who have followed this design and it works wonderfully because if you don’t have that thing that you want, you’re going to have to go and buy it. From the moment that you decide to go buy it until the time that you get to the store, there are a hundred moments that you could change your mind. 

When you’re putting your shoes on and you’re about ready to go out to your car, sometimes you’ll be like…”Eh, I change my mind. I don’t really care that much.” Or maybe, “I’m too tired and too lazy to drive there right now.” Win!. That’s a win for you. So that’s how she handled living in a family full of people that weren’t down with the purge.

So, if you’re the grocery getter, maybe you can follow in her footsteps and help yourself even more…help everybody else in the family at that point, too. I mean, I know some lazy teenagers, man. They’re not going to drive to the store to buy oreos. They’ll just be like nah, I’ll just go without it. So that’s the purge.

That’s step one. If you want to change your diet for any reason, the purge is step one. And the purge is an easy, gentle way to start changing your life. So, I encourage you to do the purge and get rid of all those things that are going to take you toward the disease end zone instead of the wellness end zone. 

But don’t get rid of those things that you really love yet. We don’t want you to feel deprived. We don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out because that sabotages people, especially when they try and make really drastic changes really fast. They feel like they’ve eliminated everything in their lives that they enjoy. And in a moment of weakness or after a few weeks, or a couple of months, they cave and they end up setting themselves back. We’re trying to avoid that so we’re going to take little baby steps from the first step to the fifth step.

Other steps will be coming, but do the purge first. Get used to it. Let it be a part of your life and then we’ll move on to step two. 

Episode 6 Tip of the Day – Cronometer App

Let’s do the tip of the day. I’ve done a tip of the day for the last several episodes. This is episode 6 of the Good Living Doc show tip of the day. 

I want to tell you about an app that you should use if you’re trying to change your diet or track your diet, which I think everybody should do when they start to try and start making changes. But a lot of apps are designed for weight loss and they’re just for calorie counting. 

But there is an app called Cronometer. You can find it in the app store on Apple and Android. C-r-o-n-o-m-e-t-e-r –  Cronometer. This is the app that I use. I’m not being paid to say this. I’m just telling you that this is going to help you more than just a regular weight loss app or an app that’s going to track your carbs and fat and calories. 

Because Cronometer does that. It works just like every other nutrition app out there except it tracks over 60 other metrics. It tracks over 60 vitamins and minerals. The thing is that you’ve got to put everything in that app that you eat or drink and it’s going to tally your macros and your calories, but also your vitamins and minerals. So if you’re lacking in magnesium or you’re lacking in b6 or calcium or something, you’ll see it in the app. You’ll see that the foods that you’re eating are lacking in this nutrient. And so then you can make some changes, you can alter things to get those nutrients that you’re not eating.

For many people, the way they feel…if they lack energy or they get infections easy, or maybe if they can’t sleep, or if they have anxiety…a lot of times some simple changes to our diet can make a huge impact on those kinds of things. I mean if you’re not giving your body what it needs to work properly, you can cause all kinds of crazy things. 

So, the first thing you need to do is track your diet for several weeks and see what you’re lacking…if you’re lacking anything. And then we can try and alter some foods that we’re eating and fill those deficiencies. Cronometer. That’s the one I use…the one I recommend. 

Thank you everyone for listening. This is the Good Living Doc show. I’m Dr. Mark Smith, the Good Living Doc. You can find all of my podcasts on my website and transcripts of each episode on the website in case you would rather read these shows instead of listen to them. 

I appreciate you being here. I hope this helps you. I hope you’re a little bit excited about doing the purge and ridding your house of the things that you don’t want to eat. It’s a simple step. It’s a great step. It’s a step that works. So, do the purge, and we’ll move on to another step in the days to come. 

Thanks a lot for being here. I really appreciate you. I can’t do this without you. We’ll see you on the next episode. And until then, take care.

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