So Confused About Nutrition!
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Well, I'm super confused about nutrition, so i've done mroe researching, and that made me even more confused. How much should I eat? Should I focus on Calories, or the type of food, or both? Do I omit certain things or eat a lower carb diet? if I do track my calories, do I listen to the spark people range, or the range the gym lady or my doctor said was "good" to stay in? I'm so lost! I know that some things are good for some people maybe not good for others. But I'm so lost. Is it best to use Olive or Coconut to cook in, and why do some places say never use Canola, while others even say use lard because eating fat doesn't make you fat? Maybe I've reasearched too much? I just want to eat healthy and feel energy and enjoy exercising - whether at the gym, tennis court, or learning to run. I didn't know it would be so complicated. And then there is Spark telling me that I need to adjust my goals again because I'm exercing more than I originally thought. I haven't seen that message yet when I don't exercise enough though. .
So what i've taken away so far is:
Throw out all the prepackaged processed foods - things like whole grain hamberger helpeer, mac & cheese, etc. That was easy. Also gave away all my canned soups and anything in a can that wasn't salt free. Kept salt free diced tomatoes. Kept tuna in water. Kept 100% whole grain pasta
So then I go out and buy all sorts of healthy veggies & apples & bananas. Then one place says to avoid fruits because of the sugar, or eat small amounts not regularly. Ok, I love my apples & bananas, so skip that site... lol.. I look at my salad dressing and it's not too bad on calories, but there are ingredients in it I don't understand, so I am going to make my own salad dressing, which I love olive oil & vinegar with greek spicing. Ok, so far that seems safe. . .
Then I found beyonddiet - where they say five foods to never eat are:
Orange juice contains very high sugar content which will disrupt your bodys blood sugar and insulin levels.
Artificial sweeteners cause weight gain as they are perceived as a toxin to the body.
Whole wheat bread wheat products have been shown to quickly turn into sugar in the body.
Fake butters are made from unhealthy, unnatural ingredients perceived as toxins in the body.
Soy products have been shown to disrupt hormone levels and negatively affect the thyroid.
Ok, I'm so confused now. . I just want to lose weight and feel great! I don't want to do weight watchers again, I don't want something like Jenny Craig. I want to know what I'm feeding myself and my family is good for all of us, and I want all of us to no longer be Obese!
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Getting rid of processed foods is a really great start. I suspect you'll lose weight and feel better with just that alone. I agree with the OJ, and with juice in general. Eat a whole orange instead. I don't eat as much bread as I used to because it does seem to prevent me from losing weight.
There is a lot of conflicting info, for sure. I'd say give a few things a try and see how you feel. Your body will let you know if it likes what you're doing!
1578 days ago
You sound like you're on the right track! The key to all of this are the results you get: How do you feel while eating these foods? What does the scale say? Other measures...inches, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc...? Do any of those foods make you want to eat more than you should? Apples & bananas can be fine if you don't find yourself overdoing them. I would agree with the caution about OJ and whole wheat bread...ANY bread product for me is risky business...but that's ME, not YOU!
Keep at it and you'll find what works best for YOU!
I love Michael Pollan: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.
1578 days ago
Comment edited on: 6/25/2012 2:39:26 PM
I am glad you said it because it is true. The experts don't even agree. Exercise, don't exercise. Eat wheat, don't eat wheat. It is fricken nuts! I try to stick to the spark plan as best as I can, but I hear you on all of your points. The confusion is completely out there.
1596 days ago
You might enjoy The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan. He suggest: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Getting rid of the processed junk and sugar is a great step. So long as you're eating real food, try not to stress too much about the rest. Your habits and preferences will evolve as you go along. Diet is not one size fits all.
1598 days ago
Forget the Gym lady - more often than not they have very little training in nutrition other than just weight-loss. What range did your Dr say, and what range does SP say? Remember, SP doesn't take into account your medical or personal history!
Olive Oil is GREAT for dressings etc. or LOW temperature cooking - but it doesn't have a high smoking point. My preference is Rice Bran Oil. It has a very high smoking point, and is also excellent in dressings. It is very heart-healthy, too!
I can understand your being confused about calories/nutrition balance. It is possible to balance them. It sounds like perhaps your nutrition needs tweaking. Use the Pie Chart on the "See Today's Full Report" page (tab near the bottom right of the main Nutrition Page) and look at the carbs/fats/protein that is recommended, then look at what you consumed. You can tweak your diet from this. Eating the calories is one thing, but if they are empty calories (i.e. processed foods like cakes, ice-cream, biscuits (cookies) etc., then you aren't eating wisely. DO allow yourself the occasional treat. I usually suggest one day per every two weeks to eat whatever you want because that will help prevent you from getting bored or feeling deprived!
With that beyonddiet, chuck it in the bin ........... like REALLY forget it! You are better off to either go to the Healthy Lifestyle articles on Nutrition, written by well qualified people including Dietitians, OR asking your Dr for a referral to a Dietitian. Take some print-outs from your Printable Nutrition Report (the page with the pie charts) for the Dietitian to see, and from that you will get the best advice.
1598 days ago
Thank you all! That's kinda where I am at mentally - buying my food from the whole food market, eating as much fresh fruit & veggies, creating my own meals from scratch, etc. We did this last year but not quite as drastic. Last year I still allowed the hamburger helper that was 100% whole grain. To transition I did buy a few of the frozen healthy choice whole grain lunch portions for work, only two more left and those are gone for good too. I'm also no longer buying skinny cow ice creams, flavored water packets, and chips and all that. Although I do still love wheat thins, i haven't found a substitute for those, but I only allow them 1-2 times per week. I know my taste buds are already changing. I tried one Lays Cheddar & Sour Cream chip on Sunday and it was gross! :) those were my favorite. My poor body is so overweight, I feel so bad for what I've done for it, and I'm trying to really make it up.
1598 days ago
Stick to a few simple rules:
#1 Eat mostly plants.
#2 Track your calories and stick to your Spark ranges.
#3 Less processed food, more whole food.
Veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meats, dairy - that's what I try to stick with.
1598 days ago
It does become frustrating. The best advice that I could give you is focus on a whole foods based diet. If you are choosing fresh, preferably organic, and preparing most of your meals from scratch, you should do fine.
Re: fruit -- fruit is incredibly healthy - just don't substitute it for fresh vegetables. And if you happen to be diabetic, then you should worry about the sugar level in fruit.
Re: calories -- I've been using the SparkPeople calorie & exercise recommendations and it is working for me. 9.2 pounds in my first four weeks.
1598 days ago
Tell me about it. I saw Forks Over Knives, bought the book, and then bought How To Prevent Heart Disease by the same doctors in the movie. Basically, a whole foods, vegan diet, no oils. Then I found out about Wheat Belly, a book from another doctor that says not to eat gluten, meat is good for you, sugar is bad for you...you get the picture. I was so dang confused, I have no idea what I am doing. What I personally took away from both is: stop eating processed foods. Make your stuff from scratch, don't eat it if you can't pronounce the ingredients, etc. I don't know which is better, but as a massage therapist, I burn a lot of energy, so going low carb no carb is next to impossible for me. I eat butter instead of margarine, homemade buckwheat pancakes, natural peanut butter and maple syrup...I went back to my old ways the other day, and the stuff tasted like garbage. I'm starting with going from processed crap to real food and adding as much of the healthy as I can.
1598 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.