There are 11 Monday’s before Christmas day. Christmas parties invitations will soon be coming in thick and fast, the little black dresses will be scattered around the department stores.
Most people see Monday’s as a new start, new me and the chance to start a new diet.
For me, I find it interesting how people perceive diets. From experience, I feel as soon as someone thinks they’re on a diet he or she immediately assume they can’t have certain types of foods or they disregard certain food groups. They will follow guidance from their chosen diet, this could be; weight watchers, slimming world, Juice plus and the list goes on.
This blog is written by someone who doesn’t diet, some may say I’m lucky I can eat what I want, I don’t have to count calories or follow a restricted sheet of what I should or shouldn’t be eating, however, I disagree with this statement. I’m extremely conscious of what I put in my body; regularly I will read articles on what is good or what isn’t good for our bodies. I exercise regularly and I take care of what I put into my body and I plan and prepare my meals carefully. For me this isn’t a diet, it’s experimenting with what works well with my body and includes a healthy lifestyle, which I like to promote. The body is sensitive if you don’t fuel it correctly with the correct nutrients you can’t expect the body to function correctly.
This leads me back to the ‘diets’ people experiment with. My parent’s fit into this category I would describe them both as yo-yo dieters. They follow weight watchers for a few months, where they will count points, religiously turn up to the meetings, in which they get weighed in, and then they sit down to listen to the group’s experiences; discussing foods they have tried for the week and go through the success and unsuccessful stories. This sounds great, as there seems a support network, but my biggest problem with this type of diet is that there is no education around following this diet. There is a choice; you can eat what you like as long as you eat a certain amount of points a day, which is in relation to your target weight goal and current weight.
I don’t want to come across as bashing weight watchers or the other group classes, but it really concerns me with the lack of understanding or education these groups promote. I will often question my parents on their food choices, to which they will respond by saying I’m having this for dinner as it correlates with my points. At this point, I’m close to smashing my head against a brick wall.
I feel that even when people follow these diets will still be fueling their bodies with processed foods, low fat products, and calorie dense products.
If you look on the Slimmers world website, their diet page suggests you will never go hungry again, there are free food lists and you can eat as much as you want when you want, no food is banned. If you read over this statement again, how daft does this sound?
Slimming world also allows people to have syns the syns are based on the eat well plate, which includes a small selection ‘high fats and sugary products’.
Using the eat well plate is also very dated, 3 or 4 years ago I was one of those people that encouraged clients to use the eat well plate as a guidance of what they should be putting into their body. The majority of the nutrition courses I undertook encouraged trainers or nutritionist to promote the eat well plate, however, time change with new studies and reports I wouldn’t encourage anyone to use the eat well plate it’s dated and I don’t believe it demonstrates in the correct way in which we should be fueling our bodies.
Free food includes fruit and vegetables. Fruit still has sugar, yes natural sugar, but if you’re eating 6 or 7 pieces of fruit a day, this will be sending your insulin spike into over-drive.
Muller light yoghurts are also classed as free food with no syn value. If you look at the ingredients on the back of a muller light yoghurt you will be amazed how one small pot can have so many ingredients. It baffles me how this product can be seen as ‘healthy’ and ‘syn’ free when it’s just packed with sweeteners and added junk!
If I scan through Instagram posts I often see photos of the very popular diet coke chicken, I really struggle to see how this is healthy. Diet products are loaded with sweeteners. I question whether this diet is promoting health and wellbeing, weight loss success will occur on a controlled diet, but the question is, is these type of ‘free’ ‘synless’ foods having other health implications.
To conclude, I think that giving people choice is great as not everyone has the same taste buds and some people have food allergies, however, from experience majority of people who are overweight really struggle with portion control, and the understanding of what they should/shouldn’t be putting into their bodies. I feel this is where the diet groups should be making the difference, trying to educate people on the importance of fueling the body with nutrients that will have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, hormones, and general body health.
Weight watchers and Slimming world are two profitable companies, and they gain some fantastic weight loss results, but my concern is how many people will have a better understanding of nutrition after they conquer their weight loss goals.