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Food Faddism


What is food faddism? According to Wikipedia, “The phrases food faddism and fad diet originally referred to idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns that promote short-term weight loss, usually with no concern for long-term weight maintenance, and enjoy temporary popularity.”

“Fad diet” is a term of popular media, not science. Some so-called fad diets may make pseudo-scientific claims. According to one definition, fad diets claim to be scientific but do not follow the scientific method in establishing their validity. Among the scientific shortcomings of the claims made in support of fad diets:

  • not being open to revisions, whereas real science is
  • observations that prompt explanations are used as evidence of the validity of the explanation

The term “fad diet” has been pulled into the debate in the scientific community over the physiology of weight gain and loss. It has been used by proponents of established views to refute claims of non-traditional methods of weight loss such as low-carbohydrate diets. Researchers hold to the established belief that weight loss is strictly a function of a reduction in caloric intake, and that no other strategy can help dieters achieve long term weight loss.” Referenced: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_faddism Please read their listings of popular “fad diets to include; Nutrisystem, The Zone, Slim-Fast, and Hydroxycut…to name only a few.

The truth of it is there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to loosing weight. No quick diet, no pill, nothing like that. Friends, it took a long time to put the weight on and it will probably take longer to get rid of it.

Just as a car needs the proper gasoline to make it run, a body needs a healthy diet to develop properly. That means the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat — as well as a host of other nutrients. I know that the idea of carbs and fat to some is so taboo, but your body does need these. The are all key in the functioning of the body. You cannot get these from diets that deprive you such as low carb diets, liquid diets, non-fat diets, etc. When you go on a fad diet and exclude necessary nutrients, you’re putting yourself at risk for becoming ill. Getting too little of  any nutrient may not cause an immediate problem. But if it’s lacking for a long time, you may find you have health problems. Not to mention that these diets are not sustainable. You should be looking for a diet that is a lifestyle change, something that you can sustain for your LIFETIME.

So, why do we need these to survive? According to McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Carbohydrates are the macronutrient that we need in the largest amounts. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 45% – 65% of calories should come from carbohydrate. We need this amount of carbohydrate because:

  • Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel.
  • Carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy.
  • All of the tissues and cells in our body can use glucose for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.
  • Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and liver and later used for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are important in intestinal health and waste elimination.
  • Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.

Additionally, fiber refers to certain types of carbohydrates that our body cannot digest. These carbohydrates pass through the intestinal tract intact and help to move waste out of the body. Diets that are low in fiber have been shown to cause problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids and to increase the risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer. Diets high in fiber; however, have been shown to decrease risks for heart disease, obesity, and they help lower cholesterol. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products. It is important to note here that you cannot get the required fiber from these fruits and veggies unless they are WHOLE, you lose fiber in the juicing process.

According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 10% – 35% of calories should come from protein. Most Americans get plenty of protein, and easily meet this need by consuming a balanced diet. We need protein for:

  • Growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women)
  • Tissue repair
  • Immune function
  • Making essential hormones and enzymes
  • Energy when carbohydrate is not available
  • Preserving lean muscle mass

Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in starchy foods and vegetables.

When we eat these types of foods, our body breaks down the protein that they contain into amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Some amino acids are essential which means that we need to get them from our diet, and others are nonessential which means that our body can make them. Protein that comes from animal sources contains all of the essential amino acids that we need. Plant sources of protein, on the other hand, do not contain all of the essential amino acids.

Although fats have received a bad reputation for causing weight gain, some fat is essential for survival. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 20% – 35% of calories should come from fat. We need this amount of fat for:

  • Normal growth and development
  • Energy (fat is the most concentrated source of energy)
  • Absorbing certain vitamins ( like vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotenoids)
  • Providing cushioning for the organs
  • Maintaining cell membranes
  • Providing taste, consistency, and stability to foods

Fat is found in meat, poultry, nuts, milk products, butters and margarines, oils, lard, fish, grain products and salad dressings. There are three main types of fat, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Saturated fat (found in foods like meat, butter, lard, and cream) and trans fat (found in baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, and margarines) have been shown to increase your risk for heart disease. Replacing saturated and trans fat in your diet with unsaturated fat (found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and canola oil) has been shown decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

Referenced: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/macronutrients.htm

According to WebMD, “America’s obesity epidemic may not come solely from the type of foods people eat but also from the portion sizes. Food servings have grown larger and larger over the years. And fast food restaurants aren’t the only places you’ll find super-sized meals. Researchers have noted that from 1970 through the 1990s, portion sizes of foods such as hamburgers, burritos, tacos, French fries, sodas, ice cream, pie, cookies, and salty snacks increased — whether the foods were eaten at home or at restaurants.

Just what does a healthy serving size look like? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • A cup of fruit should be no larger than your fist.
  • One ounce of meat or cheese is about the same as the size of your thumb from base to tip.
  • Three ounces of meat, fish, or poultry (a normal serving) is about the size of your palm.”

More importantly friends, you really need to consider why you want to change your diet. If you just want to lose weight really quick then gain it all back, then maybe a fad diet is for you. However, if you want LASTING weight loss, you MUST change your MINDSET first and foremost, then change your lifestyle. You have to make yourself understand that there is NO quick fix and it is a long, hard journey. It is eating right and exercising. And you don’t just exercise to lose weight either. Here are 25 other reasons to exercise:

  1. Strengthens heart muscle.
  2. Decreases the incidence of heart attack.
  3. Reduces risks for heart disease, e.g., reduces bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol.
  4. Improves circulation and oxygen/nutrient transport throughout the body.
  5. Helps lose weight and keep it off.
  6. Improves breathing efficiency.
  7. Strengthens & tones muscles and improves appearance.
  8. Helps prevent back problems and back pain.
  9. Improves posture.
  10. Strengthens bones and helps reduce risk of osteoporosis.
  11. Strengthens the tissues around the joints and reduces joint discomfort and arthritis if appropriate exercise is selected and properly performed.
  12. Decreases risk for several types of cancer.
  13. Improves immune function which decreases risk for infectious diseases.
  14. Maintains physical and mental functions throughout the second half of life.
  15. Increases self-confidence and self-esteem.
  16. Boosts energy and increases productivity.
  17. Improves sleep.
  18. Helps create a positive attitude about life.
  19. Reduces anxiety and depression.
  20. Increases resistance to fatigue.
  21. May lengthen lifespan.
  22. Reduces blood pressure.
  23. Decreases the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.
  24. Reduces stress.
  25. Improves cognitive function.

This post is written with all the love and passion I have. If you feel that you need help, please contact me and I would love to coach you and stand beside you on your journey to better health, a more active lifestyle, and happiness. Please click on the contact tab and find the most convenient way to contact me.

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One Response so far.

  1. […] All necessary for the cells of our bodies to function properly. Read my detailed post about that here: http://stepontomymat.com/food-faddism/ […]

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