As many of you might know I have been working in the food and hospitality industry as a chef for about 25 years. Over these many years I have seen my share of fad diets come and go. I have made nutrition and the consequences of healthy eating my "life project," if you will. As part of this effort I am currently working on my Masters Program in Human Nutrition. As you can imagine, these studies involve a lot of reading, and many hours in the library researching the subject of nutrition. My name is Werner Absenger and people always seem to ask me about diets that work. In this review I shall tackle the dilemma you might face when trying to choose foods that contribute to a balanced, adequate diet. I will try to explain why diets that restrict foods and food intake too severely, generally do not work.
First, we need to clarify the definition of a balanced and adequate diet. Adequate diets, despite differences in the kinds of foods eaten, share several things. An adequate diet is made up of foods that provide sufficient essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are substances your body needs for normal growth and health but can not make itself to sustain sufficient levels. Essential nutrients must be consumed through food. You know the major; essential nutrients better as proteins, vitamins, minerals. In addition, an adequate diet provides sufficient calories to meet; caloric needs to cover the body's basic metabolic functions and energy requirements for daily activities. A balanced diet provides neither too much nor too little of nutrients and other food components. An example would be fat and fiber (Brown, 2008).
So far so good, but now you are asking what do you mean when you say "sufficient?" It is simple, if you consume more calories than you use in the course of daily activities you will gain weight. Of course, the reverse is true also. If there is a shortfall of energy intake compared to daily energy needs you will lose weight. It becomes apparent that your goal should be to consume only a sufficient amount of food to make up for the energy required, hence maintaining a healthy weight. Here is the problem with losing weight. You have to have a deficit of ca. 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of weight!; If you wanted to lose one pound per week, you have to consume 500 calories less per day than you are consuming now. I won't go into detail of all the possible things you can do to achieve this deficit. Just one hint, if you are 240 lbs, don't change anything but the following two things, you'll be well on your way of losing weight safely. Here is the skinny, pun intended.
- Walking for about one hour each day at 3.5 mph will burn about 414 cal during each hour of exercises, or about 2,900 calories a week [MayoClinic.com].
- If you are into soft drinks, a.k.a. "Liquid Candy" as referred to in a report by the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), replacing one 20.oz; ; bottle of non-diet drink with water a day will take away 230 empty calories. All of a sudden you are at a daily deficit of 644 calories by simply changing two things. Nothing else! That daily deficit translates into a weekly deficit of about 4,500 calories or well above the caloric threshold to lose one pound. And you are doing so very safely. Do that for a year and you just shed an incredible 52 pounds.
For nutrients we look to the government for a little help. Sufficient essential nutrient intake is met when it is in line with levels suggested by the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs). These recommended nutrients should be consumed from foods, also referred to as nutrient dense foods, in order to promote the uptake of naturally occurring substances in food that foster good health (Brown, 2008).
Macro-nutrients are energy yielding nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and of course fat. And of course we have established guidelines for AMDRs or Acceptable Macro-nutrient Distribution Ranges. These are expressed as a percentage of total calories consumed. For carbohydrates it is 45-65%, protein 10-35%, fat 20-35%. Previous guidelines included recommendations for unsaturated and saturated fats. They have been removed and have been replaced with the recommendation that a balanced diet be low in saturated fats and trans fat. Provided now is a guideline for a sufficient amount of linoleic acid (5-10%) and alpha-linolenic acid (0.6-1.2%). These fatty acids are unsaturated and yes, you guessed it, essential nutrients (Brown, 2008).
Why Weight Loss Programs Won't Work
We need to make one thing clear. The real challenge of a successful weight loss program or balanced diet program according to James Hill (Hill et. al., 2005), director of National Weight Control Registry is:; "…not helping people lose weight but is helping them keep it off." The same goes of course for a balanced, healthy diet. Watch out for diet programs requiring you to limit intake of many foods and not require other lifestyle changes. These drastic changes in food uptake might contribute to a very low success rate when it comes to ideal weight management. There is very good evidence that any weight loss product, diet program or weight loss clinic that does not alter food consumption and exercise regimen will usually limit long term loss of adipose tissue and proper weight management to only 5% to 10% of people who adhere to it (Goodrick, G., Foreyth, J., 1991). A very small rate indeed. Keep on reading for the result of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
People always ask me how come a chef like myself can manage to stay healthy and what seems to be in an ideal weight range despite being around great food all the time. I usually tell them about my philosophy on foods, which entails the following mantra:
- Keep it balanced, total daily calories should come from a wide variety of foods and be composed of about; 40% carbs, 30% or less protein, and 30% or less from fat.
- Keep it real, by that I mean that I usually do not limit any nutrient dense foods. I limit portion size however. More on that in point three.
- Keep it coming… I literally eat all day, professional hazard if you will. I have a little bite here and there. I hardly go one hour without eating something. And I definitely DO NOT have large sit down meals.
By now you are probably asking: Isn't there an easier way to adhere to a healthy, balanced diet? The answer is yes. I actually found a way, that for the most parts, incorporates all of the dietary things I just talked about, but goes one step further. I just had to share this with you right now in this lengthy review. Anytime I stop what I am doing and spew out 2809 words, believe me, it is news. Keep on reading, because you don't want to miss what I have discovered that might help you kiss literally all of your dietary woes good bye, in a safe, balanced, nutritious way.
First I need to give you a quick timeline of the evolution of diet. To simplify things I won't go back 10,000 years as in previous discussions (CAM News, March 2008). Today I'll start in
- the 1940's in Santa Monica, California home of the original muscle beach. That is the place were the pioneers of fitness gave birth to an industry. They ate healthier overall and also created their own muscle building concoctions.
- The 50's. A new kind of celebrity is born from Muscle Beach. The so called fitness expert! They use the TV to inform the public about watching their waistlines and watching what they eat.
- In the 60's, dieting became extremely scientific and a numbers crunching game. Not much has changed in this department, hasn't it?
- The 70's brought on the running craze and doctors discovered low carbohydrate diets. No worries about consumption of dietary fat in that decade.
- The 80's turned everything around. Fat is the most evil chemical compound on this planet and people jump on the fat-free band wagon. With abysmal results. Despite consuming mainly fat free foods, obesity hits an all time high.
- The mid 90's bring on retired sports celebrities hawking a two a day liquid diet. You all remember them. And there are several fitness celebrities making a fortune with aerobic videos. A former weight loss giant restructures after bankruptcy and begins freeze dried home meal delivery in the 90's. Dieters now can enjoy meals in the proper proportions, but must sacrifice taste due to the freezing process.
- In 2000 a small company launches their first meal delivery program. This company reinvents home meal delivery; by offering gourmet quality meals fresh every day. Meals are planned with a revolutionary portion system based on Nobel prize winning science. This company is one of the first to balance carbohydrates, proteins, and fats based on the above percentile ratio.
- In 2007 this company takes the ultimate step and it starts to offer a lineup of top chef created daily menus with meals you might find in some of the countries top restaurants. A full 120 days of gourmet variety surely will make you a believer. If you believe in something you are more likely to stay with it. This is exactly the reason why some diet programs succeed while others crash miserably. And that is why this company's program is so successful. Balanced nutrition, better menus, lasting results with a hot new concept: Home meal delivery!
Diet the way many people discuss it is; in the adjective form as in 1: reduced in calories,; 2: promoting weight loss (as by depressing appetite). The; company's product discussed here however, is used with a change in connotation in the word diet. The noun form of diet as in a: food and drink regularly provided or consumed and b: habitual nourishment applies (www.merriam-webster.com). Do you see where I am going with this?
Apparently I am not the only one talking about this incredible company. There is a long list of accolades from a pretty impressive roster of clients. Just to name a few;
Fergie, Pop Superstar
"The food is delicious and you're never hungry,"
Kevin Costner, Actor/Producer/Director
"I like my sweets, and when I tasted the freshly baked snacks I felt I was doing the best possible thing for myself…. so I usually had two!"
Ivanka Trump, Real Estate Development
"Working long hours makes it difficult to allocate the time and effort necessary to prepare nutritious meals. This company affords me the opportunity to maintain a healthy and balanced diet while on the go."
Lindsey Davenport, Professional Tennis Player 1996 Olympic Gold Medallist, 1998 U.S. Open Champion, 1999 Wimbledon Champion
" This company has become much more than a food program for me, it has become a lifestyle program. The companies products not only fits perfectly with my day-to-day life, but it has improved my stamina and energy on the court."
But we are getting off track here. I let Carol Forman Helerstein, Ph.D. explain my 1, 2, 3-Theory of nutrition in much better words and how this company might be the perfect solution to your nutritional dilemmas than I could.
Zoning In On Healthy Eating
With at least 20 diet programs available in the marketplace today, how does a person choose which one is best? What are the weight loss and health consequences of that choice? Not all programs are created equal. Because more than half of all adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, and with childhood obesity growing at a significant rate, choosing the right weight loss approach is of utmost importance. It's not just a matter of dropping the pounds to look better. Being overweight has been associated with increased risk of heart disease, overall morbidity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and some forms of cancer. So which diet when?
Balance is an old common sense issue in nutrition. Since all foods are composed of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, the only difference between one program and another is how these macro-nutrients are combined. High protein diets, such as the Atkins plan, have come under attack because research points to their danger to overall health. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reported that on March 21, 2005, lawyers for Atkins Nutritionals Inc. admitted in court that they are willing to “assume that the diet is dangerous.” This was the first public admission of any kind that dieters following the Atkins Diet may face real and severe health risks. Furthermore, Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, wrote an article in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicating that health professionals should educate their clients and patients to develop a diet that is high in “good” carbohydrates, “good” fats (Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in Z-Omega-3 capsules, a combination of pharmaceutical-grade fish oils that have been molecularly distilled to ensure their purity), and “good” protein. Well, this diet has been created!
This company offers a balanced , healthy program that recommends eating 40% good low glycemic carbohydrates, 30% lean protein and 30% healthy fats. It's sensible eating that makes sense! Because this company delivers freshly prepared meals and snacks following the 40/30/30 concept, all the guesswork is taken out of planning and preparation. Imagine, dieting and eating healthily at the same time. It couldn't be simpler!
The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005 published the results of a study comparing popular diets. One hundred sixty subjects were asked to choose different weight loss programs. At the end of one year, 65% of this companies dieters were still adhering to the program compared to barely 50% in some of the other diets. Increased adherence was associated with greater health benefits such as decreased heart disease markers, including lowered cholesterol.
“Losing weight is important,” says Dean Ornish, “but the history of medicine is replete with examples of weight-loss approaches that were harmful to health (e.g., amphetamines, fen-phen, ephedra). The goal is to lose weight in ways that enhance health rather than in ways that may harm it.” Balanced, healthy eating is the answer!
There we go, here it is again, my mantra. At least I thought it was my mantra: Research after research indicates that a balanced, healthy diet is the key to longevity. A balanced diet will probably help you avoid major chronic disease, preserve good health, and contribute to quality of life. I know you have more question that are begging to be answered. Not a problem. To get the rest of the skinny click the link below and it will directly bring you to this innovative company's website. I have a feeling that you will be quite pleasantly surprised. I know I was when I first learned about this company. Right now this company is offering their products two weeks for free. Yes, you heard right. I have one last question I want to throw at you: When was the last time somebody offered you healthy, nutritious food delivered right to your door totally risk free, without the hassle of grocery shopping, traffic back ups, crowds in supermarkets, for… GRATIS? Zilch, nada, nothing!
The best thing you can do right now is to check out this company and their innovative way of providing healthy, balanced and nutritious meals. You have absolutely nothing to lose but unwanted pounds and everything to gain such as a healthy lifestyle. I know you won't regret it.
Yes, I am ready to learn more about
Brown J. (2008). Nutrition now (5th ed.). Belmont, CA pp. 6.3-6.7
Hill, J., et al. (2005). Weight maintenance: what's missing? J Am Diet Assoc; 105:S63-S66
Brown J. (2008). Nutrition now (5th ed.). Belmont, CA pp. 6.3-6.7
Goodrick, G., Foreyth, J. (1991). Why treatments for obesity don't last. J Am Diet Assoc: 91:234-47
Absenger W. (2008). CAM News, March 2008. Retrieved from http://www.amacf.org/2008/04/cam-news-march.html#more on May 1, 2008