If you’ve followed Everyday Nutrition for a while, you may have noticed we’re not big on weight loss diets. In fact, we loathe them. High fat low carb or ‘Ketogenic’ diets. Paleo diets. Very Low Calorie (VLCD) diets. We don’t use or endorse these regimens – and here are our reasons why:
1. As Accredited Practising Dietitians, we give individualised and personalised advice that considers each person’s medical, social and psychological background. We don’t put people in boxes and use ‘one size fits all’ dietary approaches. We know that the path you’ve travelled, and your relationship with food is more important than your dress size. And we know that real health is not defined by a number on the scale.
In a sea of personal trainers, internet qualified nutritionists and armchair experts who claim to have all the answers, dietitians are the only profession recognised by Medicare as qualified to provide personalised medical nutrition advice.
2. Quite simply, we don’t buy into the popular hype around carbs being instruments of the devil. Whole grains and legumes contain starch (carbohydrates) – which strikes them off the ‘allowed’ list for many low carb weight loss diets. But studies show us time and time again that these foods are good for us in so many ways. They support gut health, protect against bowel cancer, and debilitating chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. They supply different types of fibre and nutrients than we can’t find in non-starchy fruit and vegetables. And they give us pleasure and satisfaction when we consume them. Sure – portions and glycaemic load are important considerations for those who are watching their weight. And that’s exactly what an APD can help you learn all about.
3. When it comes to high protein diets and red meat – yes – you can have too much of a good thing. Red meat is a great source of iron, B12 and quality protein that fills you up, but many common weight loss diets are promoting overconsumption of meat. Too much red meat (particularly processed versions) is not good for gut health and has been shown to cause bowel cancer. It’s also not the best thing for our planet, in terms of farming and sustainability. In recent years the evidence has become strong enough for the WHO to define >500g per week of red meat as a class 1 carcinogen. Diets that recommend sausages, eggs and bacon every day for breakfast, but ban fruit and wholegrain cereals like oats are ENTIRELY missing the mark, if we’re eating for health and longevity.
4. All the nutrition experts agree – dietary variety is a good thing. Diets that restrict calories severely, or ban particular food groups, will automatically limit your body’s access to nutrients. When we look at populations around the world who live healthy and long lives, we see a variety of different dietary patterns emerging – we know there is no ‘one way’ to healthy eating. But what do these populations have in common? They eat less processed food, they connect socially over meals, they eat most food groups in moderation, and consume a wide variety of plant foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and cereals).
5. Last, and by no means least – restrictive diets are not good for mental health, and are one of the biggest predictors to disordered eating (binge eating, restricting, purging) and poor body image. What’s more, in the long term, science shows us that diets actually make us fatter and more unhappy.
As experienced dietitians, we know that food is so much more than its’ constituent nutrients, numbers and ‘macros’. It’s about pleasure, culture, comfort and social connection. And that’s why we implore people to look beyond the diets (and all their shiny, false promises), and instead, teach our clients how to trust their bodies and learn to love food again.
Sound good? If you want a realistic and nurturing experience that considers your medical, physical and emotional needs contact Joanna and Marnie to make an appointment.Share: