I love reading and researching diet, fitness etc and I have a few of my favourite websites/blogs – its good to try and cut through the nonsense and mis-information that populate the net so I would recommend Gnolls.Org; it has some good articles and definitely promotes discussions!
There is so much advice pushed out by the media every day telling us what we should eat, whats bad for us and why our food choices will make us thin or fat! So what is the truth?
If you take every diet plan, piece of government advice or lobby group and try to find a consensus you will be sadly disappointed – everything you read contradicts everything else from government advice telling you that your diet should be based around starchy carbs to the paleo lobby asserting that all grains are bad. To be honest, whatever you WANT to believe you will find someone prepared to promote it as the next best weight loss plan and lets face it will all know an equal number of people who say that Atkins / Dukan / Weight Watchers / Lighter Life is the best thing ever and the worst invention known to man!
I’ve been thinking more and more lately about healthy eating, diets and weight loss, the information overload we are all exposed to and the continual exploitation by the media of people’s worries, fears and insecurities.
Watching a late night repeat of a Biggest Loser winner who had put most of his weight back on and has now lost it again reminded me of all the things I dislike so intensely about that programme and others in a similar vein (the USA version of Obese a Year to Save my Life being another), namely that anyone can lose weight in a severely restricted, controlled environment – in fact it would be hard NOT to lose weight when you have to completely suspend your real life and your decisions about food and exercise are completely taken away from you. The hard part is always losing weight or maintaining the loss whilst living a normal life, making everyday family decisions over food and dealing with normal life stress.
My complaint has always been that programmes like this and magazines publishing some z-list celebrity weight loss story only ever tell half a story and an airbrushed, edited, highly selective story at that. They simply don’t provide people with the real knowledge to make healthy choices and healthy decisions. So, what happens? People expect to lose weight overnight and are disappointed and demoralised when they don’t and those that do, often lose the weight on a restrictive diet and are surprised that it all goes back on again when they resort to their old eating habits.
There is so much information available to us all these days; we are bombarded by newspapers and magazines extolling the virtue of the latest diet or fitness plan endorsed by some super skinny celeb, there are TV programmes on almost every day with tales of obese / morbidly obese people who went on drastic diets / had gastric bypass etc and you only have to type in ‘diet book’ into Amazon to get 47,285 results! And all of that is before we search the net (Google search for diet reveals 589, 000 000) or speak to family and friends!
In short, everyone has an opinion on diets, weight loss, exercise etc and no one is backwards at coming forwards – we all cant wait to tell our friends when we manage to lose some weight and how we did it and we are all equally as quick to say that something didn’t work and it was a waste of time!
But what is a healthy way to lose weight, what is a healthy diet and what is healthy for me, is that right for you?