Weight loss fads have been around for a lot longer than we think.
- There were corsets to cinch those waists
- The “vinegar diet” in the 1800’s
- In 1925 there was a cigarette diet (In 1925, Lucky Strikes cigarettes encouraged dieters to “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.”–wow!)
- Low carb
- Low fat
- The Cookie Diet (come on!)
- The Grapefruit Diet
- The shake weight
- The weight loss belt
The list of ridiculousness goes on and on. Fast forward to more modern times and you have South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Slow Carb, PhenPhen, and Paleo. Hundreds of years of wacky diets and fads and the truth still remains: there is no quick or easy fix, there is no magic pill.
In addition to all these fads, there’s also the hype around food itself. Nutritional facts seem to change almost daily. One day eggs are bad for you, the next they are a superfood. Don’t eat chocolate! Wait, chocolate has benefits, eat it! Sugar is bad for you, don’t eat it! On second thought, fake sugar can cause cancer! Eat the real stuff!
Is your mind spinning? I know mine is. It’s so confusing when you’re trying to navigate through fads, hype, scare tactics and bullshit. Add to that the very scary realities that are slowly coming to light about GMO foods, and truly scary stuff we’re finding out about food. I don’t care how anyone tries to spin that Monsanto is a good company, it’s not. They are engineering food that is going to kill us all. I’ve read many books about the scary food that’s out there; for example: The End of Food. It detailed how modified just about everything is. From our tomatoes to our chickens to the seeds we use to grow corn. I also expressed my desire to go off the grid and grow my own food to avoid the GMOs.
This post isn’t a rant about Monsanto, though, it’s about my confusion as to who to trust. Can you trust your doctors? Can you trust newspaper articles? Will you get good advice from a Nutritionist? (I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me their nutritionist told them to eat less than 1200 calories a day! What?!) What about advice from bloggers who are showing some classic signs of disordered eating? What about Doctor Oz?
My answer is this: do what works for you.
I do what feels good. My body lets me know when I’m not doing the right things. One thing I noticed doing the gluten and dairy-free diet was how much MORE processed foods I was eating. I didn’t like that and my body didn’t like it either. I was trying to find substitutions for foods I was craving but couldn’t eat (i.e. chocolate chip cookies that have both gluten and dairy!). The fake cookies weren’t satisfying. While I was doing the diet I also looked for recipes that would fall under both gluten and dairy-free. What I found more often than not was an ingredient list with things I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone find in a grocery store. I’m sorry, but I think I’d rather skip the treat than eat something with weird chemicals in it.
What are my basic needs?
This is a good question for everyone to ask. What do you REALLY need? Doritos definitely don’t fall under that category! The apple I eat for a snack almost every day is something that fulfills my basic needs: it curbs my hunger until lunch, it’s not fake, it’s sweet but not candy, it has fiber and other nutrients I NEED.
Going gluten-free seems to be the newest fad. Michael remarked the other day that he’s now “THAT GUY”– the Portland-Guy-Riding-A-Bike-Gluten-Free-Guy. They are all over Portland! But it’s true! That seems to be the new thing. I feel badly for anyone who truly has a sensitivity to gluten because I know people that are and it wreaks havoc on their bodies. But what about the people that are doing it just to lose weight? Is it a healthy diet for them or just a fad?
(Check out this awesome post I found: 10 People You Can’t Trust For Diet Advice)
A few things to keep in mind when researching your own nutrition. Consider the source. Is this person reputable? I don’t watch Dr. Oz but apparently he’s a cardiologist–so why is he giving food advice? If you’re seeing a doctor/nutritionist, do they have a license or degree? Are you surfing the internet? Then beware of what you find!
The best way to figure out which nutritional information is right for you is to experiment on your own. For me it was going gluten and dairy free for February. In doing so, I did my own experiment and concluded that there was no drastic change that told me I needed to completely eliminate these things from my life. Michael, on the other hand, noticed a huge change eliminating gluten from his diet! It reduced the swelling in his esophagus and reduced his snoring! That’s an awesome change that will positively effect his life and healthy. It worked for him.
So, be careful who you take advice from. Each body is different. Do what works for you and makes your body feel good.
QUESTION: Where do you get your nutritional info and advice from?