So, we are well into August 2020 now, and what a year so far!
Who would have thought we would see an ‘eat out to help out’ scheme in the middle of the UK summer??
I wonder if you have taken advantage of it yet?
We actually did on Wednesday and wow – it was busy!!
It got me thinking about the confusing messages that are circulating out there right now…
‘Eat out to help out’…. the new ‘Obesity Strategy’… ‘How to lose a stone in 21 days’…..
So many conflicting messages in just the short space of a week!
No wonder people are confused about what to eat, how to eat, their bodies…their emotions…
All this lack of clarity leads to self-criticism, self-blame, and ultimately, unhealthy relationships with food not to mention self!
But let me go back to the ‘How to lose a stone in 21 days’ programme – did you watch it on Wednesday night?
It was fronted by Dr Michael Mosely – I will refrain from sharing my thoughts on him right now because this will end up being a very LONG email if I do.
The programme basically endorses a Keto diet to lose weight. BUT the Keto diet was not explained at all….
Coincidentally, I have written about the popular diet so I won’t go on about it too much here – you can read my article if you click this link.
One thing I will point out, though, is that for every gram of carbohydrate you eat, you store 3g of water. This is sometimes why you see sudden increases in weight ‘overnight’ – you probably ate more carbs than usual the day before.
This also has the opposite effect, of course. If you reduce your carb intake, you lose mostly water weight.
I want to make it very clear that losing water weight IS NOT THE SAME as losing fat!
Losing water won’t improve your body composition – losing fat will and this takes a little longer to occur.
In fact, for those of you who like to get technical, 1lb of fat loss requires a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories.
That means that you have to eat 3,500 calories LESS than your body needs to function.
So, to lose a stone of fat over 21 days, you would need to eat a whopping 49,000 fewer calories than you need to just maintain your weight.
He failed to mention that bit, right?
OK, the participants may lose a stone in the short time frame but most of it will be water which they will regain as fast as they lost it once they introduce normal food again, which they will!
This brings me nicely on to my next issue with the programme, it is not taking the participants mental well being into account.
One lady said ‘I don’t know how I will cope if this gets harder physically’ – what on earth???
No diet should make you feel that miserable because:
a. life is too short…
b. you will very quicky yo yo back to your old habits!
ALSO, the programme showed one father not being able to enjoy dinner with his children.
This is not normal behaviour and Dr Mosely himself has tweeted about how ‘eating should be sociable, something we do with loved ones.’
Still trust the guy???
Moving on to my next issue….
I lost count of the times I heard the words ‘cheat’, ‘treat’, ‘good’, ‘bad’…
Using such negative language to describe food is just wrong!
It gives food emotional power and leads to a negative cycle of self-criticism every time you allow a ‘bad’ food!
And for most of my clients, this just ends up with them feeling deprived and falling into a binge and restrict cycle.
What harm as an innocent piece of chocolate or bag of crisps ever done to anyone?
But give it power and you will end up doing yourself harm by not achieving a healthy balance.
One final point I am going to make today is about food environment.
In the programme, participants were asked to rid their homes of all ‘bad’ food and were even filmed stamping on it!
Again – giving it power, demonising it…
But that is not my issue here, my issue is that this approach insinuates that we are incapable of having control over our food choices. That it all comes down to willpower!
OK, sometimes people do have to consider their environments initially but one of the things I give clients back is their power.
I build their autonomy to live without diet rules because without this, you will have a constant battle.
You will end up feeling guilty because opportunities to eat the food you LOVE will inevitably arise and you won’t know how to deal with them.
And what is a life without food you enjoy?
It isn’t a happy, fulfilling one.
Nor is being permanently hungry…who can think straight when they are hangry??
But that is for another day.
I will just leave you with this thought – if you are constantly thinking about food, and it stirs up anxiety or guilt, it’s not a healthy diet.
I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this, you can do so by just replying to this email.
As you can guess, I do have lots more to say on the mater so you will be hearing from me again hehe!