I was sitting in the waiting area of my hair dresser this weekend which is the time I get my dose of entertainment magazines. This particular one had a four-page spread on women who lost 100+ pounds using various methods. I applaud these women for their hard work. My goal is not to diminish their efforts but point out the potential pitfalls that each method has an why their weight loss may not be sustainable. The magazine had this as the front cover story – so it’s still hot news that women are still dieting and their struggles make for the best human interests stories for their readers – generally other women with similar issues. But it doesn’t serve the best interests of healthy weight loss. It continues to perpetuate food myths, bad food choices and prey on wishes for the quick fix.
The first woman went on the Jenny Craig diet. In her story, she admits to being an emotional eater, consuming food in secret to cover her emotions. Dealing with the emotional eating alone takes a considerable amount of work. That is an enormousness achievement on her part. She is excited about losing her weight (and who wouldn’t be) but she says she “struggles with portion sizes a little bit.” Right there should be a clue. If the portion of food she is eating isn’t enough to satisfy her hunger, she is probably not getting enough of the right food for her.
Eating prepared meals, like Jenny Craig, is still not eating a whole foods diet. Looking at the Jenny Craig nutrition information on the official site, there is still a lot of refined carbohydrates in the diet plan. These quickly lead to sugar spikes and when insulin brings this down, the tendency is to feel hungry again. On top of that, the sodium in these meals is on the high side. It is necessary since they are packaged meals and need to be preserved for shelf life. Eating only processed foods will not lead to lifelong healthy eating habits. It just isn’t a sustainable way to eat healthy. There is no major change in the nutritional advice to reduce refined carbohydrate, reduce total sugars, or a healthy outlook for what to eat when you don’t have a prepared meal at hand. Relying on prepared food is a bad idea. As I have said before and will say again, if it comes in a package or box, it’s not a whole food! The only way to sustainable weight loss it to eat whole foods, know what works best for your body and be able to make choices that are not restricted by what someone else makes for you.
The second woman, who lost weight by joining an online community, has a better chance at maintaining her weight loss with her attitude towards “tracking her ‘macros’ – proteins, carbs and fats” but there are other issues that factor in to her probable backtrack on weight loss or developing a health issue. She maintains that she still drinks diet soda. That alone can lead to health issues such as metabolic resistance and type 2 diabetes. To curb her cravings she should have developed better options than diet soda. Eating nuts and seeds, increasing other healthy fats would keep the cravings from coming back. The diet soda isn’t the answer.
The third woman has the best chance of maintaining a health y weight because she actively sought out food that was right for her body. She states that she is “gluten-, soy- and dairy-sensitive” so she understands her body and what it needs. She also states that “if it comes in a box or can, I try not to eat it.” Perfect! She gave up drinking coffee, soda, and wine. Her food choices make sense for her body. Plus, she added body-building as her form of exercise. So, not only did she learn what foods her body needs to work properly but she is moving her body regularly. She says she learned about nutrition but had taken dieting too far in the past so this time the combination of healthy eating and exercise made her a winner. I applaud her for taking the right path for her. Notice she did not take the “prepared meal” option. She learned that real food is the only answer.
The fourth and final woman profiled went to Weight Watchers after having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Just like the Jenny Craig option, portion control is the focus of this plan. She states that “it’s all about portion control.” If that were true, more people would be successful at weight loss. It’s not JUST about portion control. If you ate all the wrong things for your body but in portion-controlled amounts your likelihood of lifelong success would still not be great. Again, eating all prepared meals are not a sustainable model for long-term health. Excessive sodium, refined carbohydrates and plenty of added sugars – even in portion-controlled amounts are not the proven way to lose weight, maintain better health and reverse if not eliminate some health conditions for a lifetime. Calorie counting is not the way to judge if a food right to eat. The complete nutritional profile of the food is the measure. One hundred calories of chips will not provide the same energy as 100-calorie apple.
Simply put, to quote Sean Croxton, “Just Eat Real Food” – it’s as simple as that! Learn what your body likes and doesn’t like. It gives us clues each and every meal. If you eat something that makes you feel badly in some way, it’s not meant for you to eat – no matter how good it tastes! If you still need help in deciphering what your body needs and how to go about reversing any issues you are dealing with now, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I’m available for a complimentary consultation – no sales talk – just to discover your health goals and how to get you moving towards them. If you’re reading this and relating to any of the women who have struggled to lose weight but not using a sustainable model, schedule a time NOW to talk with me at http://yourhealthunbound.appointy.com. My goal is to help YOU find what works for you. And I will be there to help you every step of the way!