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Dieter’s Dilemma

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07/18/2013

Who doesn’t want to feel better, sleep better, and look leaner? We all do, and these are the promises of many diets.

The current popular diet is the Paleo diet. This diet recommends you eat the food cavemen ate, back when there was no means of processing food. The foods you can chow on are:

• Meats (unprocessed, containing no nitrates, sulfates, or MSG)
• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Olive oil, clarified butter
• Tree nuts

Dieter’s Dilemma photo 1

There are a few limitations in the fruit and vegetables categories such as white potatoes are a “no” but sweet potatoes are a “yes.” There are countless websites and blogs that discuss what to eat and what not to eat. Here are a few items you should not eat on this diet:

• Dairy
• Legumes
• Grains
• Gluten
• Soy
• Sugar

There are hundreds of other diets, out there and even more miracle pills to help lose weight. Pills scare me more than the diets. Anyone remember Fen Phen? It was touted as a wonder drug, then people died and the FDA pulled it from the market. And this happens all the time. There is no wonder pill or magic diet to drop weight. Using a very scientific approach, the problem is three fold:

1. Start tomorrow syndrome
2. Lost all the weight? Party time!
3. Quitting

People who say they are going to start on Monday, start tomorrow, etc. … never end up starting the diet or pig out until they start the diet. How many times have you been next to a friend with a doughnut (or insert any sweet treat) and said, “Tomorrow no more cookies.” Tomorrow never comes, and if it does come, they cut out sugary treats for weeks, maybe longer and one day they it turns to party time.

Food parties happen all the time.

Dieter’s Dilemma photo 2

You hit your weight goal, it’s your birthday, anniversary, Thursday… people regress. It’s normal to eat a treat. The trick is limiting how often and the size of that treat. Food addicts especially have trouble controlling their portion in the face of trigger foods; salty or sugary foods trigger your body to want to eat more.

And people quit on diets for numerous reasons, the number one reason being they did not lose enough weight in the first two weeks. That’s right, if people don’t look a cover model after two weeks, they want to quit. That’s why I say, DON’T DIET.

You heard me. Do not diet. Unless you have a doctor working with you for health reasons, dieting sucks. It usually does not work. Weight Watchers is great because it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Eat a cookie; just don’t eat the whole box. Weight Watchers tracks your food and tells you, “hey, you ate too much crap today, eat less tomorrow.” I am over simplifying, but the majority of us can lose weight and feel better with small changes:

• Pack trail mix, fruit and veggies with you
• Carry around a water bottle (and use it)
• Take the grapes off the vine and in bowl (my wife makes fun of me for this but it makes healthy snacking much easier)
• If you struggle with diet, hire a dietician
• See a doctor if you have gastrointestinal issues
• Start cooking or cook one more meal a week
• Buy more fruits and vegetables at the store

If you are struggling to lose weight, the easiest thing you can do is log your food. Spend two weeks writing down everything you eat. That usually leads to great self-discovery. Remember, one doughnut every now and then is ok, but just because you live near Do Right, Donut Vault, Dunkin Donuts, Firecakes…does not mean a new flavor a day. Eat smart.

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