Friday, March 13, 2009

A bit of a Rant

This has been bugging me for awhile, but I hesitated to blog about it because I don't want to offend anyone.....but tell me, how can a weight loss plan give lasting success when it feeds you things like cheescake, pizza, cheese curls, chocolate cake and all the 'fattening' things we love?

Everytime the ad for this program comes on the radio, I cringe. The spokesperson says how she lost X number of pounds eating all the things she loves. And for only a small fee (plus the cost of food) you too can lose all the weight you want!

The food must be chemically modified to contain less fat and calories, yet still taste good enough to keep you buying it, but how does this teach a person to eat so that they can maintain their goal weight? Are you supposed to eat their food for the rest of your life?

OK, you most likely learn some portion control, but how healthy is it to continue eating food that looks like, tastes similar to, and is called the same as all the fat and calorie laden foods that got you to an overweight place in the first place? Shouldn't we be learning BEHAVIOR modification instead of practicing food modification?

The weight loss center that got me started losing weight and actually changing the way I ate offers a sustainable plan - but they, too, offer modified cookies, chips, crackers. I always refused them because I figured I needed to learn to NOT eat sweets on a regular basis. Just because it is 'allowed' on the plan doesn't mean it is a good thing!

At least, that is what I think.

Another VERY popular system offers all kinds of desserts that are 'legal'.....I've bought some of them myself- back when I first started this journey. How does that teach me to control my cravings for sweets? How does that teach me to live? Am I going to take my 'diet' cake with me to a birthday party? Doesn't that just make me feel like I stand out even more than I already feel I do?

Isn't it better to learn to either just say no thanks or take a small piece and enjoy it because it is not chemically modified to have fewer calories?

Wouldn't it be better to learn to make the foods we love ourselves, but modify the recipies with real food instead of chemicals?

I made a cake for my son last night.....I used whole wheat flour instead of white and used no fat sour cream instead of buttermilk. I still used sugar, but I could have used less....and I have made it with brown sugar instead of white for a healthier choice. I also could have used egg beaters but I didn't have any. The cake is still full of calories and is not a good choice for me to snack on, but it is healthier than the original and certainly healthier than a prepackaged and processed cake that is 'allowed' on your diet plan.

I had a small piece last night......and Danny only took ONE piece in his lunch - even though his lunch also has to be his supper tonight because he is not coming home - so there is this whole 8X8 cake sitting on the counter. I know my limitations......I covered it with a cookie sheet, set it aside on the 'storage countertop' where I do no food preparation, then set a group of bottles and containers I am saving on top. Out of sight, out of mind (so far). Also, if I want a piece, I will have to take everything off and move it over to the cupboard - meaning that it will have to be a premeditated action, rather than mindlessly taking a bite here and there until half the cake is gone.

OK, that was a bit of a rabbit trail.

The point of my rant bugs me that these large companies (the one with the ad on the radio in particular) promise something that seems to be unattainable for any length of time.

Unless you happen to have enough money to keep buying their food.

Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but I just wanted to get this off my chest.


Herbalife Las Vegas said...

I agree with you to an extent. We shouldn't keep eating all of the junk food and we should get back to eating more natural foods out of the ground. But for some people that is too much of a stretch. I suggest slowly changing your diet to more healthy foods. The other thing is with many of those altered foods I wonder if you get enough nutrition in your diet. Good thoughts.

~TMcGee~ said...

Bravo! Great post, you hit on a lot of very good points. :-) Behavior modification should be at the top of the list. My guess as to why these companies sell chemically altered and dare I say unhealthy food replacements is.....they want us to keep coming back for more....more money for them...addiction still a problem for us.

Lyn said...

Back about 12 years ago, I did Jenny Craig. What a waste of money. The food was disgusting. And you see where it got me. I also tried Nutrisystem food. How can a cheese lasagna, ready-to-eat, sit in a BOX on your pantry shelf for months and still be okay to eat?? Scary.

I find that if I eat mostly natural foods, and use processed stuff only sparingly, I do a lot better. And the sweets are a real pitfall for me, too. Still working on that.

MizFit said...

AMEN and love the rant.
I have a few friends on this program currently and have NOT SAID A WORD---loved that you said it here for me.

now, so I send em all your way? :)

Natalia said...

It's all a gimmick! Whatever we're willing to spend our hard earned money on. They don't care if we lose, actually they hope we don't so that we keep giving them our hard earned money! That's why no matter what diet/eating plan you want to follow comes with the disclaimer next to the successful person that says "results not typical". Even Weight Watchers has that disclaimer!

Sandy said...

Money, money, money. Desperate people shell it out faster than anyone else. I'm glad that I am limited because I probably would have been tempted to try one of these programs. These companies don't care what we lose just that we buy.

But another problem is everyone what the easy way. The miracle foods and pills "offer" this path but it is short term and in most cases unhealthy.

Love the post

new*me said...

I guess the point is.........

For some (and I USED to be one of them), it's just about losing the weight.....the journey doesn't matter as long as you get to the goal! And yes, the get there and haven't learned anything so you gain it all back and then some!

I think the whole food, clean eating, natural approach is the best way to go in that you are learning how to eat healthy and it can be maintained for a lifetime. There is always room for an occasional not-so-clean birthday cake ;)...but the point is, if you live like this 95 percent of the have got it and you have set yourself up for a WIN!

Health should be the goal.....weight loss is the reward along the way :)

Heather said...

Im with you a 100%. I think too that those types of plans arent permanent as no one could eat liek that or pay for the meals forever. So once they go off, the weight comes back on. they are just not realistic. I used to do WW and while I did learn a lot about portion control, you could still basically eat whatever you wanted and therefore I learned nothing. it wasnt until I started eating whole and natural that I really realized that to lose weight and be healthy, you cant be eating things like that.

MB said...

Excellent rant! I've been successful with some of those big diet programs (J. Craig and Low-Carb/Atkins/S. Beach) but the results never last long.

Life isn't worth living if I have to eat tiny freeze-dried portions out of a box or never have another piece of bread. It's just not possible, I'm Italian.