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.