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Diet books

June 19, 2008

It seems everywhere I look, I see a new diet book that is topping the best seller list. Skinny Bitch, The Zone, South Beach, Atkins, CR diet…there are so many books on the market, it’s no wonder America is confused about what to eat. One books says one thing and the other completely refutes it.

A client recently told me about the CR diet book (calorie restriction)-the authors practice extreme caloric restriction to lengthen their lifespans. Studies that have proven that calorie restriction leads to a longer lifespan have been performed on rats, and although I do think that most Americans do need to eat much less, it’s just another fad, another way to make money off of something that should come very natural to us, but unfortunately doesn’t. Eat only when hungry, and then, only eat as much as you need.

Another book with heinous claims is “Skinny Bitch”, written by two extreme vegan females, one a holistic nutritionist, the other a former agent for Ford models (great credentials, #2). The authors make ridiculous claims about meat “rotting” inside of one’s body.

This claim is so silly and not backed by any form of research or science whatsoever. I don’t know how the authors can get away with these claims. This book is completely biased and written without tact. They obviously have never trained someone or have worked with someone with an emotional attachment to food (and if they have, they definitely have no feelings), nor do they care about how the reader who may be overweight will react to such distasteful language.

They need to do more research on cultures who have survived on a heavy meat based diet (without having the meat “rot” inside of them), and on what truly happens to meat when humans eat it. Some people can tolerate it, some cannot. It does not rot inside the body. This claim is so foolish, I can’t even delve into it any further. What makes me sad is this book was the #1 New York Times bestseller. Ugh.

You see, I used to be almost as extreme as these ladies for many, many years. But then…I woke up! And thank heavens for it. As I researched other long-lived cultures and what their diets mainly consist of, there seemed to be one similarity among them. All of these cultures ate minimally processed food and understand the concept of portion control. And they walk.

They do not practice the 40/40/30 rule. They do not eat 800 calories a day. They do not fear carbohydrates. They do not stuff themselves with fat and protein in hopes of a leaner physique. They do not eat as if this will be their last day on earth. They simply eat fresh, non-processed food, in moderate amounts. They know when to stop eating. Something that Americans have not learned how to do just yet, apparently.

Instead, we look for the next diet book, looking for magic. It is not in those books, not one of them. However, I understand the need for them-we are simply not educated on health matters, so we are looking because we do want to be helped.

There are many good books out there, such as “The Okinawa Way”, the timeless “Fit or Fat” by Covert Baily (I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but this is a good one for starters), or “Eat, Move, and be Healthy” by Paul Chek (pretty extreme, but in a positive way). But these books rarely top the best seller charts because they don’t contain crass language and they don’t make claims that you will lose 20lbs just by reading it. They are filled with useful, relevant information, however. Which means, no New York Best Seller List.

I guess what I am trying to get at here is that moderation is everything. Extremes are no longer for me at this point in my life. Balance is everything, and so is staying away from these money hungry marketing masters.

Until next time, let me know if you have any questions or if you disagree with any of these comments/statements made.


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