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Fad Diets

September 4, 2007

Atkins, South Beach, low glycemic, idiot-proof, macrobiotic, cabbage soup…sound familiar? These are the names of just a few diets that gained attention in our media to date. In our quick fix society, a diet that promotes weight loss quickly is much more appealing to a lifestyle change.

Who wants to actually lose weight slowly, in a more effective manner that will keep it off the longest? That is unheard of! Instead, we look to diets that will strip the weight off in the fastest way possible, thus promoting weight gain as soon as the diet is discontinued.

I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian. However, I am passionate about what I put into my body and I love the share the information that I’ve learned over the years with others (sometimes I am extreme, I know…but for good reason!). I have done some pretty silly things in the past, I admit it.

Being a collegiate athlete, I went to the extreme in trying to keep my body weight at a set point. As a teenager, I ate a very low fat/semi-vegetarian diet, then in college I flirted with a vegan diet for a few years, and then tried the Macrobiotic diet for some time. The worse mistake of my life. Don’t get me wrong-I feel that one has every right to choose the lifestyle and diet that suits him or her best; however, these diets did not promote good health for me, and it took my hitting rock bottom to finally wake up and see the light.

The light, for me, was a well rounded diet consisting of what mother nature intended for us to eat. Whether or not you agree, it does make a lot of sense. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, nuts, whole grains. Foods found in nature, not in boxes or packages. This is primarily what my diet consists of and I find that if one sticks to this type of eating, weight would never be an issue.

It is when we are faced with so many choices, so many BOXES, so many desserts, toppings, drinks, sauces, etc., we lose grasp of what we are meant to be eating and, in turn, pack on the pounds.

Yet in our society, a society that promotes indulgence and over eating, it is hard to break free. We are so accustomed to over-eating and over-indulging that it is second nature. Just take a look around you…billboards, ads, packaging…it is no secret (that the media is lying to us!). Just the other day I saw an ad promoting a new high fiber chocolate bar. The ad compared the chocolate bar to an apple, stating that the bar had more fiber than the apple.

In essence, this ad was telling me that the bar *may* be a better choice than the apple because of the fiber content and low sugar content. Great! No, not great. These ads are everywhere, and they are destroying the health of our nation because the majority of people don’t know better and believe what is being fed to them by these food companies.

On MSN health, I read an article that stated by the 2040, 100% of our nation will be overweight. I’m not sure if I completely agree with that, but evidence shows that we are becoming fatter and fatter every year as a nation. With so many health/diet products on the market today, why is this happening?

I think it’s because we’ve lost the basic knowledge of what and HOW MUCH we should be eating. And I think, ultimately, this is what it comes down to. We eat way too much for the amount we move. We just don’t move enough anymore. We are not active. Too many people are locked into their chairs for the majority of the day, and then head home to a large meal. And we wonder why the pounds creep on year after year.

The answer is eating as naturally as possible (yes, it IS possible to get in 10 serves of fruits and vegetables a day), PORTION CONTROL, and exercise. No “diet” is necessary. Really.

Much love!

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