My thoughts on diets

As someone who works in nutrition, I’d say the most common question I hear is “What’s your favorite diet?” My answer to that is none.

Why? There are millions of diets out there, from South Beach to Scarsdale, the one thing I think they all have in common is they don’t work.  In my book, a diet that works would keep weight off, not just get you to drop weight and gain it (and more) back slowly. Why is that? Because diets are temporary fixes, they don’t teach people good eating habits.

You’ll lose weight if you eat no carbohydrates, but carbs give us energy and make our brains work. Are you sure you want to do that?  There are good and bad carbs, white bread and white rice are bad news nutritionally, they convert almost immediately to sugar, which gives us a burst of energy followed by a pretty intense crash. Good carbs, like brown rice, oat groats and wheat berries take longer to digest and keep you feeling full longer.

No fat? Bad news. Your hair will lose its luster, your skin will thin out and look dry and forget about your nails. The New York Times ran an article in 2006 stating that a no low-fat diet has no correlation with reducing the risk for either cancer or heart disease.  Low fat hazards? Amongst other things, depression, nutrient malabsorption (some need fat to break down and be absorbed) which can lead to malnutrition and overeating. Fat is what keeps us full. Without it people tend to overeat, mostly sugary garbage, thus increasing your risk for other illnesses. There are loads of good fats out there, I love coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, avocados and organic, cultured butter. As for nuts? We keep loads of raw almonds and cashews in the house and eat them by the handful. These do great things for your body and keep you slim.

I am completely against pills, powders, potions and anything else that promises miraculous results in a short time. You’re not going to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, if you do, I can bet you’re going to gain it back pretty quick. Lots of those fad items are loaded up with “natural” or artificial stimulants, never a great idea. Should I mention some of those pills are totally addictive too? I’m also not a fan of surgery to lose weight, I know quite a few people who have had either Liposuction or those stomach bands, the majority had problems ranging from bad infections to permanent damage to the digestive tract. Surgery is looked upon these days as no big deal, even though it comes with a risk. Cutting into the body is traumatic and healing time is much longer than normally assumed. You’re also going to be in lots of pain, not sitting home and watching soaps from your bed.

When I’m talking diets I don’t mean lifestyle choices like vegetarianism, veganism or becoming a raw foodist, I mean articles in magazines, books, things online that make promises of a slimmer, trimmer you without any work. As we all know by now, if it sounds too good to be true it is and it may actually come back and bite you in the butt.

If you are overweight losing some could be a good idea. Know that it took time to gain the weight, so it’ll take time to take it off. Be kind to yourself and If you need help I’m here for you.

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