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To get annoyed by assumption that low calorie = healthy

(8 Posts)
lastqueenofscotland Wed 04-Jan-17 21:36:56

It's office diet time and there are two people who sit near me who are doing diets for January and they have been going on and on about their healthy meals...
Which today was a mug shot soup thing which was 50 of calories and the other had a low fat yoghurt at about 80 calories.
AIBU to think this isn't healthy?! And find the lack of nutritional knowledge really frustrating?!!

Littlepleasures Thu 05-Jan-17 00:56:48

When I was in my twenties these people could have been me. Thirty years on, millions of low cal diets later I am now hugely overweight.

I have been doing lots of reading round the subject of dieting and why 99% of diets fail in the long term with dieters regaining the weight eventually and a little more besides. Doctors like John Briffa and Jason Yung, Diabetes UK recommendations, Journalists like Michael Mosley and Gary Taubes etc.
The enemy is sugar and processed foods, their effect on insulin levels and cravings to eat more and not calories per se and definitely not fat.

I am now putting what I have read in to practice as a last attempt before admitting defeat. Calorie counting does not figure at all.

The main points of what I think might work are:

No processed foods. Cook from scratch using natural ingredients.

Restrict sugar intake to the sugars found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains to a limit of 120g a day. I don't monitor green veg, but only have 2 pieces of fruit a day and treat starchy veg and fruit as I would whole grains. So in my head I'm estimating each piece of fruit, slice of whole meal bread, spoon of brown rice or small portion of starchy veg or potatoes as around 15 g.

Fat and protein I eat freely according to hunger.

Protein with each meal.

No snacks.

I eat only two meals a day between midday and eight pm only.

Drink plenty of water.

Do minimum of 10000 steps a day with some weight training and aqua aerobics or swimming 2-3 weekly. ( Exercise does not help with weight loss in me but is vital to keep me healthy.)

Today I have eaten

Meal 1
2 egg sandwiches with salad. Grapefruit. (15 carbs) The two eggs were mashed up with butter and salt and the two whole meal slices of bread (30 carbs) were spread with butter.

Meal 2

2 chicken thighs with skin on. Salad with squirt of full fat garlic mayo. Small baked potato (30 g carbs )with butter.
An apple (15 carbs)

That's about 90 g of carb/sugars so 30 g left to cover salad/ green veg eaten.

Some people find it scary to eat fat freely but I find it stops me eating huge meals as it's so filling. Protein with every meal, along with fat means I don't get hunger pangs the way I used to with low cal diets so 6 hours between meals feels fine.

I tried Atkins in the past but although the weight fell off me I found restricting carbs so severely made it boring and unsustainable in the long term. Everyone's body is different and I find 120g of carbs a happy and effective medium. I'm never hungry and the weight comes off at a steady 2lbs a week. What I'm looking for with this diet is that it controls my insulin levels to a degree where I don't get those awful urges to eat crap when I'm not hungry just for the sake of it.

I've changed my mindset. I don't think about calories at all. I think about what effect the food is having on my body and if that effect is not good then I have two choices. Don't eat it or eat it taking responsibility for the consequences.

Many low cal foods are full of chemicals and sugar to replace the taste that is removed when taking the fat out. Just eat the fat and eat less in the long run cause you're not starving or craving sugar.

My husband told me the native Americans used to take the fat off the bison they killed and leave most of the muscle meat as the fat would sustain them longer. This low fat obsession is bullocks.

AllOfTheCoffee Thu 05-Jan-17 01:09:20


I've just been on another thread where they are convinced calories deprivation is all that works for weightloss and that all calories are the same.

I want to bash them all around the head with peer reviewed nutritional studies.

The poor op is starving herself in an effort to be more healthy. It's so bloody unneccessary.

toffee1000 Thu 05-Jan-17 01:19:19

The main issue is doing a diet, reaching your goal weight and then assuming you can go back to the way you ate pre-diet. Nope!! Why would you do that? The way you ate before is why you were fat in the first place. It's happened to me in the past. I lost a stone last summer in about six-ish weeks, went back to university and old habits (not as bad as before but not great) -- whoops, gained weight.

cherrytree63 Thu 05-Jan-17 02:10:03

You're definitely not BU. I struggled with my weight for years, convinced that fat was bad, sugar was ok because you burnt it off easier, all calories were equal... then found myself at 12 stone, size 16, and starting to get a lot of illnesses. Then someone told me that calories are definitely not equal, and one simple fact is that your body will burn more calories digesting one calorie of fat than it would one calorie of sugar. That was my turning point. I gave up all processed food and any sugar, other than what occurs in fruit and veg.
I read Paul McKenna I Can Make You Thin, and took two things from it. Eat only when you're hungry, stop when you're full.
I've lost three stone, and kept it off for 18 months.
I really regret not doing it when I was younger and my skin was more elastic! grin

TheStoic Thu 05-Jan-17 03:26:55

YANBU to think it's not healthy.

YABU to be so frustrated about it. What your colleagues eat (or how they describe what they eat) should not affect you emotionally.

HuckleberryGin Thu 05-Jan-17 03:31:30

YANBU. I've just finished reading "sweet poison" by David Gillespie. I gave up sugar 2 days ago. Well specifically fructose.

I've spent years doing slimming world, eating tonnes of bloody mullerlight yoghurts.

NewPapaGuinea Thu 05-Jan-17 05:34:55

Diets for January? What happens in February, March and beyond? Problem with "diets" is they are unsustainable and bad for you. They'll fall off the wagon, binge eat and be back at square one feeling guilty. This creates a poor relationship with food and a horrible diet/binge cycle that makes people fatter than they were before.

Focus on food quality - lean proteins, vegegables, fats such as nuts, olive/coconut oil, avocados and you'll be able to eat more and lose fat (remember you wang fat loss not weight loss. Losing weight could be losing all muscle and you'd look worse than ever, but be "lighter"). Better quality food gives you more energy. It will truly change your life. You'll be able to indulge occasionally which is a healthy relationship with food to have.

The difficulty is putting it into action. Breaking lifetime habits is hard, but as this should be a lifestyle change there's no need to rush. Try changing just one meal a day to a healthier option for a couple of weeks. Once you've got that nailed, change a second and a third etc. If you get hungry in between meals introduce healthier snacks such as nuts.

People need to break this obssession with calories and focus on food quality.

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