Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diets and the multitude of opinions on them

I recently had a conversation with a client about someone they knew on a diet. The person in question was seeing good results, but excluding a certain fructose laden food group (fruit if you didn't catch on). This is a situation that as a trainer I have come across several times. Someone knows someone else who is seeing great results on one fad diet or another, and sometimes (not so in this case) they want to know if I think they should go on this diet. As a trainer, my feelings on this are mixed. On the one hand obesity is a gateway to all kinds of terminal and horrible diseases (cancer, diabetes, etc.), so getting people to lose weight, no matter how they come about it can increase their health (being devils advocate here, I don't believe this!). On the other hand, using dangerous techniques to lose weight at all costs can cause other problems, and hinder people from losing weight which was the goal in the first place. I am inclined to believe in the latter statement. Weight that comes off due to a complete lifestyle and dietary change has a greater chance of staying off. Why is this though? Why do weight loss systems or fad diets still flood our commercials? It's because they are easy. They take no effort on our part. All you need to do is what the product tells you to and you will lose weight. Honestly, you probably will lose weight if you follow their system. Here's the kicker though, it's not a sustainable practice. Lets take a so called "system of nutrients" (you know what I'm talking about). You have meals delivered to your door, and you eat them (along with some fresh fruits and veggies as I understand it) and you lose weight. Awesome! Now what happens when you run out of prepackaged health food? What happens when you can't afford to use the system any long? What happens when the company stops making that product? Odds are you're going to gain the weight back. Why? Because you never learned to cook nutritious food for yourself. You never learned to be disciplined and measure out food portions. You never learned what a proper portion of food really is. Now I know some will say, "Its a great jump start or starting point." To them I say why not do it right, right from the start? You'll feel healthier and benefit sooner and will win the war long term. Fad diets come and go, some work, some work at the expense of your health, but a healthy, well-rounded diet will work and will only improve your health.

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