Why, despite the advice of most nutrition experts are we fixated on the latest fad diets lining the bookstore shelves?
First there was the grapefruit diet, and then there was the cabbage soup diet. Soon after, Jared Fogle popularized the Subway sandwich diet. Eventually, someone saw the opportunity to use our junk food vice as a virtue by creating the ever so popular cookie diet.
What could possibly be more ridiculous then a cookie diet? Take a guess. Think about a food that is salty, greasy and the last stop bite after a long night of partying. Here’s another hint, if you live in New York City it is everywhere. It is cheap, filling and let’s be honest, it can be pretty delicious. “The Pizza Diet” was created by Matt McClellan, who aims to be the spokesperson for the pizza industry. He just so happens to own a pizza shop- how convenient!
Most fad dieters are looking for the quick-fix solution to their body woes, because it is easier than addressing the deeper work. Does eating cabbage soup or lemonade for every meal sound like a balanced eating plan to you? How about eliminating an entire food group? If you are able to stay on such a diet for more than a few weeks, you are more likely to develop nutritional deficiencies, since no one type of food has all the nutrients you need for good health.
It seems all of these fad diets have a few things in common:
- You are usually required to eat the same food for 30 days straight, with little variety. I suppose this probably works because while you know what you CAN eat, you are at the same time avoiding other foods that may normally set you back in your weight loss plans.
- You are expected to exercise at least one hour a day while on the diet. For most sedentary people, any exercise at all will help them lose weight!
- The food is portion controlled, even the pizza diet limits you to 8 slices a day, so whether you are thinking about it or not, you are only eating a certain amount of calories per day. Cutting out 500 calories a day can result in a 1-pound weight loss in a week.
When did common sense fly out the window?
Next time you hear about the latest diet, block your ears, turn your back, run the other way and follow these four tips.
Tasty Tips to Balanced Eating:
1) Eat real foods: This means the unprocessed stuff. Things that grow in soil, are nurtured by sunlight and water and will mould when left outside!
2) Eat at the table: No, you cannot eat in front of the TV or while standing up. Pay attention to what you are doing and if you are going to eat, take the time to actually enjoy it!
3) Savour your food: Eat slowly, noticing and savouring every bite, the colors, the smells, the ambiance- take it all in. Eat mindfully. Take your time. Put your fork down between bites. Focus on the delicious food without distractions like TV or magazines. This way you will be present and you won’t wonder, “where did all the food go? I don’t remember eating any of it!”
4) Wait before taking seconds: Because it takes 20 minutes for your body to feel full, decide how much food you are hungry for and put that amount on your plate. Once you have finished eating that portion, engage in another activity and step away from the food. Go for a walk, read a book, wait and see if you are still hungry. If so, take seconds and if not, move on with your day.