Don't Fall Prey to Fad Diets
Don’t Fall Prey to Fad Diets*
*Wikipedia definitions a Fad Diet as: a diet that makes promises of weight loss or other health advantages such as longer life without backing by solid science, and in many cases are characterised by highly restrictive or unusual food choices. Celebrity endorsements are frequently associated with fad diets, and the individuals who develop and promote these programs often profit handsomely. Most people (as high as 98% in some descriptions) of people who diet using these diets in order to lose weight gain it back within 5 years; fad diets fail because many of them are not sustainable, and people revert to former eating habits when the diet fails.
With a flip of the calendar we may have instantly becomes obsessed with the way we look… how much we weigh… what we’re eating and what other people think about us. Coming into a new year is like a new beginning, a place to start again. And this is a wonderful concept as long as it approached with patience and compassion. Not desire for instant gratification and hatred towards ourselves.
Fad diets are created to feed off that desperation to fit in… to look like the magazines… make you feel that only when you’re skinny will you be loved. I’m telling you… it’s marketing bullshit! Let me fill you in on a little secret… not all skinny people are happy. Just like not all rich people are happy. Happiness comes from within not from what something looks like on the outside. So lets start there…
Ask yourself WHY you feel the need to lose weight. Health concerns… GREAT. Sugar and or cholesterol levels are too high… GREAT. To fit into a new style of tight fitting jeans… not so great. Because you have a party to go to and you want to fit into a dress you bought 1 size too small in hopes of fitting into it… again not so great. We need to begin this journey from within. What your mind, body and soul need. Not what the outside world dictates you need.
Fad diets do not set healthy behavioural change. A healthy behaviour change is sustainable and long term. Fad diets promote a short term forced behaviour that isn’t part of what a person truly believes and feels is right. Fad diets usually encourage unhealthy change, like removing a whole food group or eating only one type of food. Ask yourself, could you live the rest of your life on just cabbage soup or grapefruit for instance? Did you know that some fad diets have you cutting calories to the extent that your body doesn’t release weight but instead hangs onto it because it thinks it’s in a time of starvation. Remember our bodies are still programmed from tens of thousands of years ago when bouts of no food was a regular thing and we had to actually harvest or catch our food. Life in most first world countries today is excessive. Where someone need only pop down to the corner shop for just about any type of food they want, healthy or not.
To truly be healthy we need to change our mental and physical habits like reaching for fast food, candy bars and caffeinated drinks to get ourselves through the day. Instead we need to fill our bodies with nutrient dense foods that fuel us for the day without mid day crashes. This means lots of vegetables, some fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats and lots of filtered water. Your body will thank you with less anxiety, less digestion issues, glowing skin and bounds of energy.
A great place to start setting those healthy behaviour changes is to not think about what you CAN’T eat but what you CAN. Start by adding a new vegetable a day. Eventually trying to fill your day with 10 servings. I know it sounds like a lot but it honestly isn’t as hard as it sounds especially when you see portion sizes. Your lunch might easily consist of 4-5 servings on it’s own. Here’s an example of servings sizes:
The NHS suggests a serving is equal to 80g of vegetable for an adults…
½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
1 medium tomato
Don’t focus on just the vegetable that you are eating but also what you’re putting on top of it.
Try experimenting with fresh herbs and spices to add flavour, variety and nutrition.
Fruits should be a little bit more limited but still enjoyed!
Fruit servings examples…
1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
1 cup diced fruit
Don’t count calories since not all calories are created equal. Instead…
Count your servings of vegetables (10 per day) and how many new vegetables you can find to bring into your meals.
Count your servings of fruit. I love fruit like most people but I try not eat more than 2 servings a day. And that means the whole fruit, fibre and all. Not just the juice.
Count the grams of protein you eat a day. Amount is based off weight and how much exercise you do. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is for a sedentary life. It increases the more active you become (see next bullet point on exercise). I believe you can go up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight if you start really exercising quite heavily. (I am available by appointment to discuss this in further with you)
Exercise not to lose weight but to feel better. Joints become less achy. Lungs expand so you can breathe bigger. You sleep better. Plus many more reasons. NHS suggests 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking 5 times a week Plus some strength training exercises two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
Watch your sugar intake. NHS suggests no more than 30g per day for an adult.
Avoid trans fats. Trans fats can be found in many foods including fried foods like doughnuts, baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads. You can determine the amount of trans fats are in a particular packaged food by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel.
Learn how to read the Nutrition Facts on the labels of food packaging… better yet, buy things that don’t have labels. That means it isn’t processed in any way.
Foods of the season I suggest…
Brussel sprouts - Did you know brussel sprouts are an excellent source of Vitamin C? As most of you know vitamin C is great for boosting the immune system. It’s not just the orange that can help you through this “cold season”. Brussel sprouts are also an excellent source of Vitamin K, which is essential for strong bones.
Beetroot - Their blood red colour is a good reminder why beetroot is so beneficial. Beetroots are rich in folate and B Vitamins that are very important for your heart health. Be warned, consuming beets can cause Beeturia… a reddening of the urine. It is usually harmless. Interestingly enough though it only happened to 10-15% of us. Are you one of them?
Cauliflower - Cauliflower contains important sulphur-containing phytonutrients which is necessary for the body to detox all the toxins you breathe and ingest daily… no matter how careful we are. These white beauties also aid in our antioxidant system and anti-inflammatory system. All necessary to stay healthy and happy.
Jerusalem Artichokes - Jerusalem artichokes contain plenty of inulin… which long story short, helps us to have a belly filled with good bacteria. Doesn’t sound good to you? Well it is very good! These good bacteria fight harmful or bad bacteria in the intestines which prevent constipation, and give the immune system an extra boost.
Kale - An excellent source of Vitamin K, C, A and manganese. Vitamin A is critical for good vision plus an important part of your bone health.
Apples - “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is so true since these beauties are high in fibre, antioxidants and Vitamin C. That’s some all around goodness!
Clementines - Not only are clementines rich in Vitamin C, a known immune booster and healthy skin provider, but they are also rich in potassium. Great for the heart. Because of their high fibre content clementines are fantastic for your gut as well.
Turbot - Like other oily fish Turbot is high in Omega 3’s which are beneficial in so many ways. They lessen inflammation in the joints and muscles, improve memory, enhance cognition, awareness and mood, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of brain disorders just to name a few.
Duck - Duck meat is not only high in protein but high in minerals like selenium and zinc. Zinc boosts your immune system, while selenium helps your thyroid function properly. No goitres here!
3…4…5…6 times a day you get to decide how you’re going to nourish, nurture and honour your body. So don’t hate it. Don’t starve it of the nutrients it needs. Support it and love it. And put the fads aside and begin your journey from within.
Micki’s recipe of the month:
(Courtesy of Allrecipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/237177/sauteed-kale-with-apples/)
SAUTÉED KALE WITH APPLES
1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
1 white onion, sliced
2 red apples, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups chopped kale leaves
- Heat ghee/olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion until tender, about 4 minutes.
- Add apples, vinegar, salt, and pepper; cover skillet and cook until apples are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add kale; cover and cook until kale is tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Micki Ramondt, Dip CNM
Micki Ramondt is a Nutrition Therapist with a background in yoga, graphic design, found sculpture, haiku poetry, healthy cooking, smiling, hugging and loving. She is trying to spread the word of good health and happiness that doesn’t have to come at the cost of obsession. Be real and be happy. Micki posts lots of yummy food photos, information and hot topics, you should stalk her Insta feed.
‘Let me help you help yourself.’