Monday, August 8, 2011
Diet Rules To Break #5 and #6
Mountain Village Condos from the Gondola
Telluride, Colorado - May, 2011
Greeting from Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Actually, I'm writing this on Saturday morning so I'm not there yet - I just wish I was. Had some extra time and decided to go ahead and finish out the Diet Rules to Break series by combining #5 and #6 into a single post. Once we arrive in Beech Mountain, I'm going to be eager to share our adventures there although the minute we hit those 70 degree daytime highs, my energy level will soar and those hiking boots will call. Can't wait!!
To be honest, I had another reason for combining the last two rules. You are more than welcome to heartily disagree, but of all six rules, I felt that number 5 really did not belong. But I'm getting ahead of my self - here it is copied directly the Family Circle Magazine (2/11)
Old Rule: Switch to diet soda. You'll consume fewer calories and lose weight.
Break It: Some research shows that people who drink a lot of artificially sweetened beverages actually have higher BMIs than those who don't—possibly because people think they can splurge while drinking a diet drink (like having a Diet Coke with a double cheeseburger). The super-sweet flavor of artificial sweeteners also might trigger cravings for sugary treats and lead to overeating.
Revised Plan: Swapping high-cal drinks for diet versions isn't a bad thing, but don't use that swap to justify your supersize combo. A diet soda doesn't "cancel out" calories in your meal! If you have trouble keeping sugar cravings under control, you might be better off skipping sweet drinks entirely—even the calorie-free ones—and staying hydrated with water or seltzer instead.
Sharon's Take On This One: Not sure if it was rule itself, the advice or something else, but I just felt this didn't belong. For a "newbie" not yet educated in calorie content, nutritional values, healthy choices as a way of life, etc., this whole concept could be totally confusing because the rule itself, the reason for breaking it and the revised plan all seemed a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to me. Only in the very last few words are you presented with the best advice and even then, it says you MIGHT be better off skipping sweet drinks altogether. You may disagree, but I'm pretty firmly convinced that there is NO place for calorie laden beverages in the plan of someone trying to lose pounds and/or get healthy. Diet drinks aren't the best option either, but they are certainly a better choice than the other. IMHO, this rule just didn't fit.
Now Rule number 6 was a totally different story. It most definitely fit and directly addresses one of my favorite healthy eating arguments:
Old Rule: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where the healthiest foods—such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products—are stocked.
Break It: This rule is impractical. Sure, there are tons of tempting treats (like high-fat chips, candy, and packaged cookies) at the store's center. But there are also some of the best foods for weight loss. Whole grains, all-natural cereals, and whole wheat pastas are loaded with feel-full fiber that helps you eat less. Also residing in the center: nuts, dried and canned beans, and tuna and salmon in pouches, which are among the top choices when it comes to protein.
Revised Plan: "Be discerning whatever aisle you're in," says Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, a dietitian based in Chicago. Choose grains like cereals and pastas that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (5 grams is even better) and have "whole" listed in their first ingredient. Avoid foods with sugar at the top of the ingredient list, as well as anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils (meaning there are some trans fats).
Sharon's Take On This One: I've been listening to this RULE since the first time I set foot in a Weight Watcher's meeting over 30 years ago and I've always disagreed with it. Oh, I fully understand the premise of fresh fruit, veggies, meat, dairy, etc. being around the perimeter, but one only needs to read the revision for a list of the many things found elsewhere in the store. This really is a very OLD mindset that may have been more applicable decades ago when access to farmer's markets and locally grown food was more difficult. We also did not know things we now know about what actually happens in processing plants or between the grower/processing plant/shelves in the grocery store. Currently, I spend LESS time shopping the perimeter of the store because if at all possible, I purchase produce, meat & dairy elsewhere. I do strongly agree that reading ingredient lists of everything you buy is very, very important. There are vast differences in nutritional value among products which LOOK the same on the shelf!
Final thoughts on the 6 Diet Rules To Break: I really enjoyed this article and appreciate the feedback you've provided on each rule. It has further served to remind me that each one of us has to carve our own path in finding what works. I loved the comments where you indicated a rule that hit home with you and realizing that I'd had a completely different response to it. I suspect it will be the same with my reaction to the rule on diet drinks. This is not an issue for me and really never has been, so I reacted more strongly to having that included as a rule. For lots of you, sodas (diet or otherwise) are very much a problem and I'll be anxious to see your response as to whether or not you switched. All in all, the posts served their purpose. We thought and we reacted and hopefully, we considered changes where needed.
Do you shop ONLY the perimeter of your grocery store? Do you buy all food at a regular grocery store? What is your philosophy regarding diet drinks?