Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Should Industry Give Dietary Advice?

Today a press release from Unilever claims that ice cream can be part of a healthy diet by using the discretionary calories allowed in the new Food Guidance Pyramid along with "portion control" to allow one to eat the decadent dessert they crave.

"...there's still confusion as to where "fun foods," those special treats everyone craves, can fit into a "better-for-you" diet" the press release stated before it continued with the advice that ice cream can be included in a healthy diet.

Amy Fischl, MS, RD, CDE, stated, "I encourage them to go ahead and have that scoop of ice cream they've been craving. Just make sure that it is a regular-sized serving -- a half-cup, which is about the size of a tennis ball."

Since when are cravings a good measure of what one should eat?

For decades we've been repeatedly told the contradictory message that if you gain weight it's your own fault but also that you have to include the foods you crave if you want to successfully lose weight.

It's a trap that many fall prey to each day as they commit to losing weight and taking control of their health.

Let me be clear - we do not need to eat sugar or foods loaded with added sugar to be satisfied. It's an illusion that's been created by an industry that is profitable only if you buy the very foods you should avoid if you're trying to lose weight and then limit when you are maintaining your weight.

Initially avoiding sugar and foods with added sugars may seem like it would require sheer willpower, however, the evidence clearly shows that after just a few days of avoiding sugary foods, the body adjusts and cravings are significantly diminished and can even disappear.

When you need to lose weight it is critical that you abandon the eating habits that caused the weight gain and take the time to learn new habits as you lose weight.

Think about this - if you include the very foods that made you gain weight while you're trying to lose weight how will you ever learn a new, healthier, eating pattern?

When you include the foods, even in small portions, that made you gain weight, you're setting yourself up to return to your old eating habits from day one...setting yourself up to regain the weight if you do lose the weight.

The only proven way to keep the weight off is a long-term permanent change in your eating habits and activity level.

To make that permanent change, you have to stop the cycle that caused the weight gain - stop eating junk food and start eating real, whole foods as your dietary base. It requires only one commitment - a commitment to yourself and your health in the long-term.

You need only seven basics to get yourself started:
  • Eat, as the largest volume of food each day, lots of non-starchy vegetables
  • Choose carefully from legumes, starches, nuts, seeds and whole grains and consider limiting these initially as you start your weight-loss program
  • Eat adequate protein from high-quality selections - lean beef, fish, poultry and game
  • Include only quality fats and oils: extra virgin olive oil, fish oils, nut oils and even small amounts of butter
  • Eliminate processed, refined, packaged foods as much as you can
  • Eliminate added sugars and trans-fats
  • Get to know the importance of not only calories, but the critical importance of nutrients in your diet

You control what you eat and what you don't eat. Make wise choices and in the long-term your body will thank you with better health!

1 comment:

  1. It is a great feeling to hear such great helpful words for the people who really believe they can not only set the big targets for them but also work for the fulfillment of those goals - Brad.dewlpgdu