I have read the book and I do think it is a sensible plan. It espouses much the same as Sparkpeople does. Good nutrition, don't feel hungry, a way of life not a diet. It discusses the emotional side of eating in a frank way. I really like it. The 10 day reset is really about addressing the mental side of dieting and I think it's smart. For people who have been battling weight all of their life it provides a good methodology to either get back on track or stay on track.
The only problem I have with this is that I believe that obesity isn't a cause, but a symptom.
I think the cause is our food that we eat, and while he doesn't " demonize " any food, he cuts trans fats, limits refined carbs, and sweets. I am guessing the only difference between low carb and this one, is that he doesn't cut carbs quite as low at the start, and he doesn't eliminate the trigger foods.
I do have to applaud that he understands that we can't exercise enough, or use our willpower to lose weight, but I think that while some people are okay just reducing refined carbs, and have no trigger foods, many aren't, and do.
If I eat one of my trigger foods, I lose control and go on a binge, so saying no food should be eliminated makes no sense. Even on low carb, this list is not that big. People don't know that much about low carb, they just know about the lowest levels of it, where you sweep out a lot of carbs, so that you make sure to eliminate these trigger foods. Most of them get added back in. A lot of low carbers even eat potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, oatmeal etc., if they find out they can do so while maintaining control. Even cake or ice cream on a birthday.
The myth of " demonizing " foods has been created to say that one diet is better than another. We like to have no boundaries, but if one bite of a food causes you to go on a 5000 calorie binge, there is no reason to eat these few foods. Suggesting that you should is irresponsible. Every diet ( I mean it as how one eats, not temporary ) has boundaries, even this one. He uses " minimizing ", instead of " demonizing ", but it is the same.. don't eat as many refined carbs.
I think a lot of what he is saying makes sense, but he is trying to solve the problem, without incurring the wrath associated with low carb. So he went low carb - lite. The description of his plan sounds quite like South Beach ( moderate carb ), and the biggest differences I see are how he thinks, not diet.
That being said, I do believe that the lower levels of low carb would be unnecessary, if we didn't eat so poorly for the first few decades of life. If we stuck to 100-150 grams of carbs a day from childhood, with lean protein, and higher fat levels, we wouldn't need to eat the lower levels of low carb diets that are out there today.
Where we disagree is how we would get those 125 grams. I would make grains an optional food source, instead of the bulk of our diet, and make vegetables the bulk of where we get our carbohydrates, with some fruit, nuts etc., and then the rest could be made up by what you could eat while not experience ANY cravings. If that is corn, wheat, or ice cream.. congratulations. For most people that would be lower glycemic carbs though, like sweet potatoes, of maybe some brown rice. It would differ for everyone, and most people would still have a few trigger foods, just as they do today.
I can eat corn, and lima beans, and sweet potatoes even, but rice, pasta, grains, and sugar, make me binge. Does that suck? Yes, but denying that they are a problem, just so you can sell your books, without being " demonized ", isn't the solution. Incorporating it into your own diet, means that you will fail, if you don't address these problems.
I would say that some people might see benefits on this diet, and some on very low carb, but most people would find the sweet spot somewhere in between, maybe with higher carb levels, but still not eating their trigger foods.
As it says, if you are hungry, you will eat. Most likely these aren't hunger pangs, but cravings, but those are the same in the mind of most of us, who have never experienced true hunger. So getting rid of hunger, and regaining control is the key to losing weight.
Pretty simple, and while I disagree on how the majority of people can reach that goal, I have to be happy that someone other than low carb " gurus " has finally figured it out. We SHOULD be looking for the most liberal amounts of carbs that we can eat, and still maintain proper weight. For many though, they need to regain control BEFORE they make plans, and while eating trigger foods, you don't have any control.
I think the author knows this, and either started with low carb as not an option, or cut his diet short of going low carb, so that he could sell more books, and be " customer friendly ". For those who actually experience no cravings following this way of eating ( which is healthier than a normal diet ), it will be a big help, but I think that instead of being worried about whether we are " demonizing " a food, maybe we should actually worry about the " dieter ", and whether their body can handle it. We should also not make the mistake of doing the opposite, and say all food is good, or one food group is superior. The truth is, this varies for all of us, and you have to find out what works for yourself. If that means no grains, that isn't " demonizing " grains, but admitting they are a problem for you.
I will say that as a low carber, I find a lot more variety among this " strict " diet that " demonizes " foods. Look at the message posts. All the low fat ones are about 10-20 foods.. They have " de facto " restrictions. They don't tell you that a food is bad, they just say a macronutrient has to be limited, and let you decide what foods you eat to get there. This hasn't worked so well. Maybe the reason low carb works so well, is that not only have they told us to restrict one macronutrient, but they have given us direction in what foods to avoid.
For low carb to mimic low fat, we would have to set an upper limit to carbohydrates, and tell low carb dieters, just don't eat more than 25-30 % carbs, but that doesn't work. Some lower carb foods can be triggers, and some higher carb foods aren't a problem for some people, so what you need to do, is warn people of what is likely to cause problems, eliminate them so they regain control of their caloric intake, and then add back in these foods, after testing them to see if they are a trigger food.
If low fat would do the same, maybe they would have better results. Other than trans fats/saturated fats, they give little guidance. Individual food choices DO matter.
Very interesting article, and I am sure I will read the book for more detail if my library gets it. Hopefully, it helps some people.
3/22/14 10:26 A
I read the article. It's a review of (oh dear God please help me here, yet another!) diet book. Although it sounds like (because I haven't read the actual book) a lot of the same sort of science-based information you can get right here on Spark, for free. Anything in moderation, avoid processed foods, it needs to be a sustainable plan (ie, lifestyle change) and not a restrictive list of foods to eat/ not eat. You can't out-exercise a bad diet. Cook from scratch more.
What put me off a bit, was the seeming focus on a 10 day "reset". Sort of smacks of the recent trend toward detox or cleanse or something. Although the list that follows, of the 10 things to do, includes the same sort of things Spark suggests. And isn't a recommendation to consume nothing but lemon water and supplements for 10 days.
On a side note-- I'd agree that advertising is deceptive. But I reckon that's at least somewhat true across the board, and not limited to just food. I find ads on tv for pharmaceutical stuff particularly annoying as well. Used to be, we relied on our doctors to recommend a medication, based on his/her knowledge of our medical history and what was available to treat it. Now I suppose the drug makers want us to go in there with a list of stuff we've seen on tv. The whole thing just reinforces to me that whether it is food or drugs or anything else.... it is incumbent on us as consumers (and parents, to teach our children) to view advertising with an especially skeptical eye.
3/22/14 9:52 A
@ EABHA70 if that's the gist of it, I tend to agree.
Especially the first point, on the foods marketed to kids. It's insane. The commercials are also misleading on portion sizes, too.
A commercial for Totinos pizza rolls has 2 teenage boys coming home and making a plate of pizza rolls as a snack - the plate is filled and has about 20 rolls on it. A serving size is 6 rolls - so they double the size, and basically portray a serving as the whole plate full for 2 boys.
So, when a teenage boy tries is, chances are they are not going to read the label to see what a serving size is....he is gonna just make a whole plate - cause that is what he saw.
Edited by: EELPIE at: 3/22/2014 (09:53)
Fitness Minutes: (40,967)
3/22/14 9:45 A
I have not read The Diet Fix either, but I saw the author interviewed on TV recently and was interested enough to visit his website, www.weightymatters.ca/ . There are some good things there.
He makes two arguments that I find compelling. First, our "food environment" is dangerous. Too much processed food being marketed with great vigor, and this marketing is often aimed at kids. He writes quite a bit about how the government (he's from Canada, as am I) is often on the wrong side of things when it comes to our health and the promotion of certain foods. And he also writes about something called "health-washing", a form of marketing where something is made to look healthy when it is not.
The second argument is that diets fail because they are restrictive and make us miserable. He says we need a plan that we can maintain for life, and in that way his approach is not much different from SparkPeople's. You can use whatever system you want (Paleo, low-fat, etc.) as long as it is reasonable, involves real food, and allows you to eat moderate portions of the foods you enjoy.
I'm not likely to buy his book, but I think some people will find it useful.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
3/22/14 9:08 A
Admittedly I have not read it, so I am merely passing this along, in the hopes you find it helpful. If nothing else you will get some fresh insight from the article and discussion that follows - www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-diet-fix/
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