You might want to grab a cup of tea for this one – I’m in one of those moods today 😉
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Food & Diet Advice (or not?)
I am becoming increasingly addicted to watching programs and reading studies about the health benefits of one diet v’s another or one food group being healthy while others being berated for their harm.
Some people are passionately filming how they lost weight and got mega healthy while others are saying the same diets make them fat.
In my quest to lose another 8lbs which would shift me from the overweight category into the healthy one advice is abundant.
Carbs once a week, or not at all (what’s with these cheat days!). Eat fat to lose weight but eat it at the right time of day and either exercise loads or perhaps not at all. Not to mention the Government’s official stance.
And through all this advice I’m losing all sense of reality.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that common sense really prevails. If you’re healthy, which I am why the hell do I worry so much about the need to lose 8lbs? My main stay for losing the previous two stone was blatantly obvious but losing 36lbs appeared to be much easier in those days.
But it doesn’t work now. Either because I’ve shot myself in the foot having been paleo for over a year or perhaps I’m still eating the ‘wrong’ kinds of food?
I was hoping that if I reduced meat and dairy that I would see a drop in lbs but this hasn’t been the case (so far). I’ve plateaued.
Why am I trying so hard?
My good eating habits are well established. No fast food, no processed meals, no crap. I suffer from binges of chocolate which I don’t excuse, but I am only human. And I still find explaining to people that I don’t want meat a tiresome battle so do end up eating meat out of sheer convenience now.
My good exercise habits are also well established (Adopting a Jack Russell soon gets the habit built!). I do some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes most days. In fact you’ll see me climbing the walls if I don’t get outside and do something vigorous.
I still eat sugar because I like it and a debate reigns online as to whether table sugar is actually as bad for you as we were told.
Of course it hasn’t got any nutritional value but neither has alcohol and advice I’m consistently hearing on that is to drink moderately, preferably red wine.
Well you keep the alcohol and I’ll keep my sugar. It has drug inducing qualities, along side alcohol, coffee and dark chocolate but it’s a plant and a wholefood so I’m still keeping it, although even now I’m cutting it down.
I think basically I wouldn’t be even having this conversation if I lived 60yrs ago. Because in 1955 fast food hadn’t been heard of, supermarkets hadn’t been invented and while processed food was available it was used sparingly. There was no battle of what you should or shouldn’t eat. As for exercise, well you had no choice because only the rich could afford cars so people had to walk more before they even started manual/field work.
With progress has also come a hefty battle to remember what food is – something to keep us alive. And where does most food come from – on the land or within the soil. Not out of tins, packets or jars.
Why did carbs form the basis of the food pyramid? Because they were easiest to grow and produce in large abundance at small selling prices. They didn’t put meat there because it was too expensive to farm and buy. As it is now. From a low carb view I can see why there could be an argument to change the base but for two issues – ethically why would you want so many animals killed to eat and the pyramid has been in existence for decades meaning better studies can show what high carbs can do.
Low carb diets have no long term research studies associated to them yet. Some research suggests low carb can only be a temporary diet, as it puts you into a state of ketosis which is great for short term fat loss but not a state you want your body in forever.
Good food, proper food that we should be eating is expensive. Even artisan bread can be expensive. But the thing is, we should be paying high prices for food – just not giving any profits to the supermarkets. If fresh food is cheap, or on offer or available for bulk buy it should be raising alarm bells to us as consumers.
Everyone should be promoting wholefoods, not packaged goods.
To me the most simple answer, regardless of whether you’re a high carb or high fat fan is to eat more vegetables, especially leafy ones.
Neither area is promoting enough of what is so obviously good for you, and something you’re able to grow easily yourself (thus controlling not only your health but where your food comes from).
Rather than worry about how tasty fat is (or not), or how bread can add to your hips, shouldn’t we be putting emphasis on those plants that add real value to our health?
It just doesn’t have the same marketing qualities to it. Bread can look rustic, pasta can be mixed with just about anything it’s so versatile (and economical on the purse), bananas can make smoothies look hip, and steak is about as manly as you can get.
Kale on the other hand – what do you do with that? Boil it? Eat it raw? It’s usually pretty bitter and just a small amount seems to take up the whole plate. So why on earth would you eat a green vegetable like that?
I think I must be a bit weird or something because I’m about as passionate for eating a bowl of veggies as you can get. I like nothing more than a bowl of steamed kale. I’ll eat broccoli raw. Hell, I’ll even eat spinach for every meal. I remember as a kid sat eating a packet of raw vegetables and it was nothing to me. And yet somewhere between the 1980’s and now I’ve lost my way.
I understand people don’t like vegetables, or if they do not many. But enough of the excuses people. Advertising and carefully (and I mean very carefully) constructed and implemented marketing plans are making us fatter, unhealthy, unable to make decent food choices and stealing our hard earned cash at the same time.
Yes we work and yes that pizza is so easy to pick up and chuck in the oven because we haven’t got time to eat well and live – sorry did I actually say that in the same sentence? See how dumb we’ve become?
Are you actually going to stop by at McDonalds because you’re too tired or because you didn’t plan your meals?
Enough of my rant…what’s yours?
Cover photo courtesy of Pawel Pacholec