Eat this, not that, except when…

Lord knows there’s no shortage of dieting advice out there.   I mean we are talking about a $40 billion industry here.  All that information is bound to get confusing at times, which is why we turn to so-called health experts to sift through the clutter and tell us what to do, right?  But what happens when the people we rely on are bewildered themselves?

Let’s get back to those health magazines.  If you subscribe to any of them for a prolonged period of time you notice it’s just the same content recycled over and over again.  Not only that, a lot of what they’re telling you to do seems to contradict what they told you to do in a previous issue.  I draw your attention to exhibit A:

I was on a popular website when this headline caught my eye: “Diet Rules That Don’t Suck”.  Catchy,  no?  So naturally, I clicked through and found a list of “rules” that women should follow if they don’t want to miserable as they lose weight.  One suggestion is to eat less meat.  The thinking behind that one is that you’re cranky because you’re spending so much money on “healthy” foods, but not shedding pounds.  Ok, fine.  Not the strongest argument for going meat-less, but we can debate the pros/cons of cutting down on animal protein at a later time.

Now, two tips later, the article suggests another way to make your diet less sucky is to make sure you’re losing fat, not muscle.  The way to do this, we’re told, is to lift weights and eat a lot of protein.  Um, what?  Didn’t you just tell me to limit the amount of protein I should be eating?  Now you’re telling me I should be eating 2-3 ounces of lean meat every day?  What gives?

No wonder people are confused and can’t stick to a healthy eating program!  They’re told to do one thing and then told to do something else that completely contradicts the first.  And sadly, I’m not sure this is a problem that’s easily solved.  With all the money to be made, constantly bombarding  consumers with the latest “advice” which keeps them always looking for the next great weight loss “thing” is probably good for business.  I’m just not sure it’s so good for us.

But are the dieting industry and media really to blame?  You can’t deny the genius of those who tap into our insecurities about our weight to sell us a magic little pill or diet program that’ll melt away all our pounds easily.  But it’s not their fault that we’re so gullible and so overweight.  Let’s face it people, we didn’t get fat overnight and we sure as heck aren’t going to get thin that way.  We’re overweight cause we eat too  much and move to little.  I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s simple math…eat less, burn more.  Diets aren’t quick fixes.  They’re actually the first step you can take towards an overall lifestyle change.  But, boy, is that first step a doozy!

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