Sense or Fad?

I’ve been listening to a TV programme on diets this morning, or should I say ‘exclusion diets’.
Newspapers will run with ‘Butter is good for you’ one week, and ‘Butter is bad for you’ the next. The latest diet craze will be hot news one month, yet two or three down the line it’s a myth, false, fad, lie or proven to be dangerous to your health.

It was summed up along the lines of  ‘A snappy headline for faddy quick fix weight loss’.
The male presenter’s wife is a celiac and therefore has to avoid gluten, and the female presenter had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and advised to cut out all carbohydrates.

What follows is MY OPINION: should you wish to participate in any dietary or weight loss programme, you should seek medical advice beforehand.

Regular readers know I am currently a member of Slimming World, though things have stalled a bit (read for about six months) with the scales now going in the wrong direction.
I was interested in this programme mainly because of the scepticism of the male presenter about ‘exclusion diets’ being healthy options for weight loss and body fat reduction.

I also have type 2 diabetes, totally controlled by diet, and all my numbers were good at my annual check up this month. SW has helped me understand food better than I did, and although I had the right idea about eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, I got my ratios wrong.
I cannot see me opting for an exclusion diet (unless for medical reasons of course) as I believe food choices, balance and variety are the key to successful weight loss/ weight control.
Everyone is different, and what works for one will not necessarily work for another, but watching programmes like this expands my curiosity outside the food box.

A couple each went on an exclusion diet, she Gluten free, and he Non-dairy.
She found it difficult in cafes and coffee shops as most did not cater for gluten free diets, and if they did, portions were half the size and twice the price of those of her friends. When shopping, she found choice limited and expensive, but at least supermarkets and stores are beginning to expand their ranges for specific dietary needs now.
He on the other hand found it relatively easy to replace his usual cream cake with a piece of fruit, though was surprised at just how much dairy produce he had in his normal diet.
Over the course of their month trial, he lost four pounds in weight, though I didn’t catch if she’d lost anything.
Both however had felt the benefits in reduced bloating, less tiredness through better sleeping habits, more energy, and where her skin definitely looked improved, his body shape was more defined (or it was a better cut of clothes).

There were interviews and opinions of professional doctors, nutritionists and food experts, and all had supportive and contradictory comments to make on exclusion diets.
The one thing that they all agreed on though was keeping a food diary. When I started mine, it was not only an eye opener, but a guide as to where I was going wrong, and more importantly, why.
We all need nutrients, minerals, protein, oils, fats, sugars and carbs in our diet. It’s just the quantity and form it takes to keep us healthy individuals that varies.
One thing that did make me smile (apart from noticing the cost of a small loaf was £3.47) was that there is more fat in gluten-free bread than a normal loaf. I didn’t know that.
It made me think of Low Fat products and something my aerobics class leader from the ’90s told me:
‘If it’s labelled low fat, watch the carbs.’
With practically all our foods being labelled one way or another, if fat has been reduced or removed altogether, a different preservative has to be used, and in most cases that’s either sugar or salt.
Just a thought.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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6 Responses to Sense or Fad?

  1. I lost around 50# when I first went on a gluten free diet. Health wise it necessary not a fad. My body rejects the gluten and fights it. Gluten free special foods are higher but you can find gf foods on the regular market. Learn to read the labels. BTW, gf foods are cheaper than doctor bills. I can kiss 3-5 # daily by fluid intake.

    • Exactly Bettylouise. I remember us exchanging comments on gluten free products some time ago, the cost of them and gluten free baking ingredients. I am extremely lucky wiith my diabetes and sympathise with anyone who has allergies or medical reasons for not having particular foods. Some of the diets I tried in the past included the Mars Bar diet (a must for chocoholics), several liquid diets, fruit diet, traffic light diet, all faddy things that worked short term but I put it all back on with a few extra. Everyone is different, as are their circumstances and medical history, but sadly some of these weight loss articles in magazines and the like don’t take that into account.
      I’m glad you’re doing OK though. Take care. 🙂

  2. A food diary is good. I had to do one to find my IBS triggers. You totally forget that pretzel or chip you grabbed when you think back about what you ate. Logging everything worked for me. For a different medical reason I had to track liquid intake. That was interesting too. I’m not much of a drinker (of any liquids, not just booze!) but I did consume roughly 64 ounces of some sort of liquid everyday. Although my reasons wasn’t weight control, knowing what you eat helps with a lot of stuff.

  3. People have to find what works with their personal body chemistry, and their life/lifestyle. What is really weird is some things I used to eat without problems, now I can’t and some foods that used to really upset my system/make me ill/give me headaches are OK now…just when you think you have it figured out HAHA
    For me it’s mainly keeping a balance, things in moderation approach and not eating when stressed or overly tired…all this excessive heat and being stuck inside isn’t helping – having to get back on the treadmill with lack of outdoors available. (Molly Malamute needs to do that too!)
    Cheers for all your progress ( and being sensible )

    • Thanks for commenting. It is an individual thing as we are all different. If we find something that works for us and are eating a wide variety of foods, then I see that as a good thing. I’m no expert and can only go on personal experience. I’m the first to admit that I was foolish in my younger days with the faddy stuff, and screwed up my system for years.

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