My Nutrition, Marketing and Diet Rant.
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) started in 1994. It is where people that have lost 30 lbs and kept it off for over one year can share how they did it and how they maintain keeping the weight off. It is the largest prospective investigation of weight loss success and maintenance. It might not surprise you that:
The research shows that of people that have kept the weight off, and are now at 5.5 years of keeping it off:
I often say that talking about nutrition is like talking about religion or politics. Everybody is in a different place with what they believe. My other favorite read was the 2005 Consumer Reports article that rated 9 diets in 8,000 dieters and found that the best diet is ones’ own diet and exercise regimen, and this NWCR data confirms that. Diets work when you figure out that choosing to eat mostly fruits and veggies and little or no processed foods, and exercise most days of the week are key. Diets can work, yet I am writing this to point out the obvious for all practical purposes.
I would like to share my free opinion of all diets, dilute the hype around them, and point out what they all have in common. My approach will not cost you a thing outside your grocery store trip, and as a matter of fact; it will save you money and help you realize you can do this on your own. It will help you lose weight, think clearly and have a bounce in your step. Are you ready for the free opinion that is actually fact?
Gluten Free: 1% of our population has a true Gluten pathologic response. It is not an allergy. We will all agree that celiac disease is not good. For others that do not have celiac disease, you may have a gluten sensitivity. As I had lunch with my friend two weeks ago at the Galaxy Cafe, he orders the salmon and a salad and I find that his concern is that the salad dressing may have gluten in it. He gets it anyway. I ordered the same thing with olive oil on the side for my salad dressing because, I do not eat processed salad dressings ever, http://www.healthinspires.com/recipes/heart-healthy-salad-dressings , I usually eat a salad at lunch and I have salmon at least 3 times per week as far back as I can remember. As he shares his gluten approach and that gluten MAKES YOUR BRAIN SWELL! (Thanks Dr Perlmutter- Grain Brain), and I listen. Here’s the deal on gluten….by Kathryn- It is in barley, wheat, rye, bread, cakes, beer, pasta, crackers, salad dressings, canned soups, cereal and anything that is made alongside gluten. Thanks to the Wheat Belly book, we have a new line of products like almond flower and many other things you can buy. Not a bad idea or sales gimmick…I am just pointing out the fact that gluten is not in fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, and it is in processed foods! The gluten free diet eliminates processed foods and encourages fruits, veggies! OHHHHHHH!
Paleo- No grains, no beans. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. No processed foods! OHHHHHHH!
Sugar Busters- No breads, grains or starchy foods that have a high glycemic load. No alcohol except wine in moderation. Fruits and veggies in abundance, yet favors to those that have the lowest glycemic load (so your body does not have a blood glucose surge and have your pancreas spit out insulin and store fat). This diet promotes fruits, veggies, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, and limited alcohol. No processed foods! OHHHHHHH!
Atkins- Fruits, veggies, cheese and cream (too much animal fat!), and proteins. No processed foods! OHHHHHHH!
Phytochemicals- Fruits, veggies, whole grains, No processed foods! OHHHHHHH!
High Fiber Diet- Fruits and vegetables, whole grains. No processed foods! OHHHHHHH!
Ideal Protein- You can buy this processed food that contains palm kernal oil (that is not a good choice). That part is weird. Yet, it is all about lean proteins, fruits and vegetables!! OHHHHHHHH!
Nutrisystem- It all smells the same. What is in that stuff? That is processed. Oh yes, and supports fruits and veggies! OHHHHHHH!
Pick a diet, any diet, if that is your means to better health. The theme is no processed foods, fruits and veggies, unless it is the bluebell diet, of course. MyFit foods will sell you, Snap Kitchen will sell you, and so many others will sell you. You can certainly choose these options. I am all for losing weight if you need to, and if you need help with convenient healthy foods, then you can buy those healthier choices. They are not cheap. You could also grill a bunch of chicken at the beginning of the week, http://www.healthinspires.com/recipes/basic-chicken-marinade , a pot of beans, http://www.healthinspires.com/recipes/chickpeas-and-diced-tomatoes , buy fresh veggies such as baby carrots, and those big containers of spinach and have your own meal prepared in less than 5 minutes each night for example. Losing weight, if you need to, is the best thing you can do for your health right after tobacco cessation. Diets work, cleanses work, they all work if you stick to them. They eliminate food groups and that is not always good. Who wants to live like that? I love bread, yet I don’t eat it all of the time. I choose whole grains and I eat some, not bowls and bowls.
Here is the very free advice and the no diet approach to your health: Eat more fruits and vegetables, eat less processed to no processed foods, make your own salad dressings (it is easy!), enjoy your favorite foods sometimes. If you love sandwiches…then have a sandwich. Balance that with not adding any other bread to your day, make it whole grain, use avocado as a spread instead of less healthy options, ditch the cheese, throw on some spinach. Rethink your sandwich or just make it smaller than what you normally would eat. Eliminate the practice of having bread at your dinner table. Your new normal will evolve. Small change equals lasting change. We tend to eat what is available, so have fresh fruits and veggies cut up and available to eat when you are hungry as a healthy fast food solution. Ditch your protein bar (glorified candy bar and processed food) for a handful of almonds and a small piece of fruit, and never, never, never, leave home without a piece of fruit and water, at the very least. Take your hand out of the cracker box.
These diets, generally speaking in terms of the fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts and seeds, represent are how we should be eating anyway. No wonder they make us feel good and lose weight. I did a cleanse two years ago with my husband just to see what all the rage was about. My conclusion? I was crystal clear in my thinking. I was hungry most of the time. I felt amazing alongside all of that. I also had no alcohol at all, no caffeine at all, and had no bread at all. Did I say I was hungry? Would I continue, no bread, no alcohol, no caffeine forever? These diets actually make you think you would for a while, because you feel so good. Then back to reality that these are some of the simple pleasures of life…at least for me they are. During the time I did this cleanse was also when I was training for the MS 150 at that time. I lost 8 pounds in 21 days, and I am not sure that I had that to lose to begin with. I am sure my heart did not like me. It is a muscle you know. I gained the 8 libs back in one year. Oh well. I do not have a weight problem, yet it still feels good to feel slim.
This is my first nutrition rant. It will not be my norm, yet I wanted to make a point and it is factual and practical. I don’t know if your brain is swelling on bread alone. I do know that we are not healthy as a population, so lets take that into account please. We have an obesity epidemic in our country and heart disease is our leading killer in both men and women. Type 2 diabetes is taking lives and consuming our children. The clincher?.....
These diseases that kill are modifiable by diet and exercise, and yet, we, as in the general population, we choose fake food either because, we don’t know it is full of chemicals or we think it is ok to eat these products, or we are duped by marketing, or we do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, or simply because we choose and value convenience, or we are hooked on it and (choose not to) won’t stop. Sounds silly doesn’t it?
It makes no logical sense that we choose a box of “fake” food over real food. The problem is not bread alone. It is not soda alone. It is all processed foods, it is marketing and our excuse is that we are busy.
As soon as we realize it is all about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, exercise, limited alcohol, no tobacco, and for God’s sake, if you like milk, then have some and make it skim, all in moderation and all with the right portions. Even real food can help you gain weight if you are eating too much. The best predictor of disease risk outside of tobacco is your weight. “Too much of anything is not a good thing” seems to be a factual mantra. Moderation in all things, and then every now and then, it is OK to indulge a little for the joy of life. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and buy frozen fruits and vegetables for convenience and make sure the only ingredient is the fruit or veggie. Only eat when your are hungry. If you are stressed, go for a walk and not go for the pantry. Small change equals lasting change. What can you do today that you are willing to do and can stick with? I know you can do it.
Live Healthy. Dream Big. Be Bold.
Know your health plan. Call your carrier today if you already have a plan. If you are still looking at the marketplace, use a “navigator” and ask all your questions. You may not be getting what you think you are buying. ASK QUESTIONS. Make sure you know the answers before you are faced with an emergency situation.
You want to have a plan of action and know the type of care you will receive and what your out of pocket costs will be.
1) Know what your deductible is and what that means when you go for a doctor visit
2) Know which doctors and hospitals are “in network” (costs you less) and which are “out of network” (costs you more), and which systems/facilities are “affiliated” (maybe a reduced fee from out of network or closer in cost to “in network”). Know what prescriptions will cost more and which ones cost less (generic? copay?)
3) Know what your monthly premium is
4) Know when you should go to primary care, urgent care or the emergency room
5) Know how much will you pay for the initial healthcare visit and then the percent covered when you go to each of those care providers listed in #4
6) Know all about free preventative screenings and which ones you should get and when (schedule those now! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure)
7) Know that “preventative” screenings are free UNLESS, they find something that is diagnosable and then you will be billed (and become aware of your health (bonus)-THE GAME CHANGER)
8) If you find yourself in a hospital or awaiting specialty healthcare in some regard, make sure the person registering you does a “pre-authorization” to make sure your insurance will cover its share
9) It is completely your responsibility to know what is covered on your plan. Call your carrier to walk you through you the answers to the questions above. Better than that, know the answers to your questions before you buy
10) Have a family plan of action of where you are going for healthcare for primary care, urgent care and emergency situations
Also, know what your employer provided healthplan offers in terms of incentives for taking steps to being healthy and making healthy choices. Sometimes there are premium reductions for doing your part to take care of yourself. There are resources such as your EAP (Employee assistance Program) for stressful life situations, discounted gym memberships, tobacco cessation classes and more. Know what those are.
What I understand is that sometimes people purchase medical insurance through their employer or the “exchanges”/“marketplace”/what most of us know as “Obamacare”; and are not clear on what they are buying. It is the “surprise” of what is not covered when we need healthcare and find that the doctor we have established a relationship with over 15 years is not covered on the plan. Sometime the surprise comes when you have a costly emergency visit because you went to one not covered by your plan.
Have a strategy and know where your doctors are, which plans (SPECIFICALLY) they are on, and check and double check. Your MD may take BlueCross BlueShield or UnitedHealthcare, yet it might not be the specific plan you have. It is our responsibly to ask the questions and know your plan for the best care first and the most economical care as well.
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Most of our disease states and health risks are preventable by lifestyle choices. This is where the cost savings come in and that is probably not a large enough motivator for most. Don't wait until you are sick to have an awakening.
The fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle are the same, yet the prescription, goals and motivators for each of us will be different; because each of us is unique. I can help you learn what yours are, and help you get to your best self. You are complete already, yet life is more fun when you are on track, purposeful, happy and inspired!
Live Healthy. Dream Big. Be Bold.
My passion and purpose is helping people reach their full potential and master their wellbeing.
Disclosure: Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise program and ask whether you are healthy enough to engage in a diet and exercise program. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider concerning your overall health and wellness, including your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. It is your choice to follow the suggestions, opinions and advice given by a Health Inspires wellness coach.