General Diet Plans and Questions - What happened to just eating healthy??




tiffany0809
12-09-2009, 08:22 PM
Sometimes I can't believe all the diet plans that are out there. I think I hear about something new every day. And I know that they help a lot of people lose weight. I'm not trying to say anything bad about any particular plan, but what happened to just eating healthy? I guess I would call myself a calorie counter but for the most part I just make sure I get all my food groups in every day and eat sweets sparingly and only as a treat. I don't follow any particular plan but just try to "eat healthy." I guess this has a different meaning for everyone, and research goes into every diet plan that comes out to support why it works. I just find it so amazing how many different ways of eating there are.


JulieJ08
12-09-2009, 08:27 PM
A lot of it is about money. By rehashing the same old material and proclaiming it new, they manage to sell stuff.

But also, different people at different times find that structure really helps. And what is a good fit for one only spells trouble for another.

I think lately the differences have finally started to be more helpful - addressing differences in how people do with more or less carbs or protein or fat.

But you're quite right that the basics, are, well, basic! They're the key.

mort20
12-09-2009, 10:43 PM
There is no 1 simple diet plan for everyone, because of our unique lifestyle, metabolism, etc. But I agree that sometimes we just need to stick to the basics to accomplish our goal – balanced diet and exercise. No matter how cliché that sounds, it works most of the time.


dangerousfish
12-09-2009, 11:31 PM
No one person is alike so one plan that someone raves about would just not fit another with different hormones and brain chemicals and activity levels. Not that people spend waaay too much money on plans when they are really looking for an easy fix.

When you said "get all my food groups in..." I immediately thought about how much I hate the food pyramid, although the last redesign is much better than it used to be. I think letting the group in charge of agriculture tell people what to eat is so wrong. It should be designed by people in charge of human health. So you'll never see me using the food pyramid plan I've seen people enjoy on this board.

And "healthy" is really a relative term. I only limit sat fats and try to completely avoid trans fats or anything with hydrogenated oils. But I eat a TON of poly and mono fats. Someone following a totally low-fat diet might faint at the sight (especially if they were following a medically-prescribed ultra-low fat cholesterol lowering diet). The same way I feel when someone on Atkins is busy trying to find veggies with the least net carbs. _I_ could never eat like that because I feel it isn't healthy but it works for a lot of people and their body is not my body so rock on.

I like to eat mainly a vegetarian diet but I gradually got there by trial and error and reading A HECK OF A LOT I MEAN WHOA I AM A HEALTH GENIUS (not really, of course). Which seems to be the weird side effect of being fat: You're still fat but you know waaaaay more about nutrition than your average thin person (assuming they aren't also a health nut). But health and nutrition is just like learning anything else, you learn, your file, you adjust your own reality based on the ebb and flow of research-based knowledge and personal experiences and those sad times you're watching infomercials at 3AM in a bad mindset and spending a hundred on a workout system seems totally okay (THINK ABOUT HOW MANY KETTLEBELLS I COULD HAVE!)

kaplods
12-10-2009, 12:52 AM
Not only is healthy eating a subjective, almost intangible concept so is "food group."

Whatever happened to eating healthy?

It never existed - not in the sense of there being complete consensus on what that meant.

Nutella - that chocolate hazel spread that is essentially spoonable candybar was created as a health-food (it was originally in a sliceable form, that was put between bread as a sandwhich). It solved "the problem" at the time, of feeding children sufficient calories affordably during war-time (at the time - too few calories was a more common problem than too many).

Even what constitutes a "food group," varies according to who, where (and sometimes when) you're talking to. There have been (and some are still in use) several ways to classify food groups. Some systems have or have had 4 - 5 - 6 - 12 - 16 food groups.

I never gave low-carb dieting or low-grain dieting much thought - because it seemed unhealthy to me. Only fairly recently have I discovered that I feel best and lose weight best on such an "unhealthy diet."

That it seems to help alleviate medical conditions that I have, I guess the diet isn't so unhealthy (at least for me, and others like me).

I'm still researching and experimenting to find the right diet for me. I've read tons of books on healthy diets, not just for weight loss, but general nutrition books, nutrition in relation to specific health issues that I have... and even when weight control and disease are taking out of the equation, there are a lot of different opinions on the subject of healthy nutrition. There really are a lot of theories (some with more empirical support than others).

I suspect that one of the reasons there are so many different theories, is that there could be more variance in nutritional needs than we yet understand. Rather than a universal "healthy diet," dietary needs may be quite different from person to person, based on specific genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.

JulieJ08
12-10-2009, 12:59 AM
Nutella - that chocolate hazel spread that is essentially spoonable candybar was created as a health-food (it was originally in a sliceable form, that was put between bread as a sandwhich). It solved "the problem" at the time, of feeding children sufficient calories affordably during war-time (at the time - too few calories was a more common problem than too many).


I was clearly born way too late for my own good.

Marjolein
12-29-2009, 02:44 PM
For me eating 'healthy' or 'normal' (whatever you want to call it) is eating three main meals a day and have three 'snacks' a day.
At every meal I try to choose 'healthier' options. I try to eat my veggies, my fruits, bread, fish oils and whatever is 'normal'.
I watch what I drink. I can't stomach all the water so I drink low calorie lemonades and tea. I do treat myself with a 'bad' snack once in a while, I'm only human, and that keeps me going.
For me it works since I don't have to constantly try and figure put if I'm 'allowed' something or not. I do tend to check new products on calories, fat and sugar. I'm not hungry and I feel good.

thundahthighs
12-29-2009, 03:51 PM
The variety of "healthy" boggles the mind - my grandparents eat nothing but red meat, salt and starchy foods and are slim and far more active than I into their 80s. They have no major health problems to report.

I avoid red meat in general, but do enjoy it still moo-ing on my plate once or twice a month. For me, "healthy" means variety - all kinds of variety. A variety of protein, some lean, some not, a variety of grains - whole in general, very occasionally not, a huge variety of vegetables, sometimes raw, sometimes not, a variety of fats but sparingly, and alcohol, regularly but in extreme moderation. (ONE?! Whaddya mean ONE drink?)

My plan clearly wouldn't work for everyone. The trick is making it work for me.
I think, in general, that for me, "healthy" eating means happy eating. Let's face it - I wasn't happy eating huge amounts of unhealthy food. Now I'm constantly striving for real happiness - and who knew I'd find it in sage pose, after a morning of portion-controlled whole wheat waffle and peanut butter? ;)

Trazey34
12-29-2009, 10:17 PM
same here, my grandparents eat bacon and eggs regularly (gran even spoons bacon fat over the egg to cook the top!! wtf??!!) and they enjoy a slice of homemade cake with their tea a few times a week. What I notice about them, however, is that they eat virtually NO junk, NO processed foods, very little sugar and are very active people, even into their 80s.

As to the myriad of diet plans, I think it's self explanatory. Any business that relies on our failing and coming back for more, is basically going to build a better - no, make that different -- mousetrap for us to buy the next time.

For me, 'healthy' eating is being calm and relaxed around food. No urgent terror that i have enough diet coke and snacks in the house for the next few days LOL. I eat a lot of veg and fruit, choose brown grains/breads over white every time, eat smaller portions, eat out a lot less and virtually eliminated fast food from my life. It's not perfect, but I know I can do it forever. And it was free :)

maenad
12-30-2009, 03:36 AM
I think alot of people enjoy the structure of a diet plan. They need a clear-cut list of foods they can and can't eat. I lost 50 pounds when i was in high school sticking to a strict diet like that. I ate the same few meals everyday, and it worked for me.

Now, that doesn't work for me. I am in my 20's, i have a very active social life and a job with hours all over the place. I can't follow a strict plan. I have no other choice than to eat out some days, while others i have a chance to cook and what not. I try to just "eat healthy" but i find that i slip up more often than i did when i was on a strict diet.

Marjolein
12-30-2009, 04:27 AM
For me, "healthy" means variety - all kinds of variety. A variety of protein, some lean, some not, a variety of grains - whole in general, very occasionally not, a huge variety of vegetables, sometimes raw, sometimes not, a variety of fats but sparingly, and alcohol, regularly but in extreme moderation. (ONE?! Whaddya mean ONE drink?)


There is no such thing as ONE drink! LOL How could you? Haha!

You're right about the variety. It's what my diet coach tells me time and time again. It's my problem area, especially with veggies. I'm not into veggies at all! Never have and never will be, probably. So it's pretty hard to vary with the ones I do like.
Fruit, though, now I can vary with that all I like! I love fruit. So fruit has become my veggie replacement a bit. I don't think that's all that wrong.

Marjolein

thundahthighs
01-02-2010, 11:46 PM
Marjolein, the good news is, after dieting and watching my sugars and carbs and fats and liquor and all that nonsense for months and months, my tolerance for the good stuff decreased, meaning it required fewer booze calories to "get me there". The bad news is, after dieting and watching my sugars and carbs and fats and liquor and all that nonsense for months and months, my tolerance for the good stuff decreased, and I will no longer be winning any bets at bars. Or amongst friends.

Seriously - I'm all giggling and doe-eyed after 2 or 3 stiff ones now. It's a real shame. :(


(Nice to meet another liquor-lover!)

ShootingStar
01-04-2010, 06:53 PM
Personally, I need structure. Planning and counting has me dithering around in the kitchen more than I'd like. I have too many things to think about besides my next meal. That's why I'm going to try a structured plan. I've tried WW and it's such an awesome plan, but my gosh, numbers numbers numbers in my head! I will deal with it later when I get to a maintenance phase.

Healthy foods like whole wheat pasta or bread are a siren call for me. Only a half cup (and then another and another...)? No way. Still, it's in my future, and a liveable plan is best for sure.

Marjolein
01-09-2010, 12:38 PM
Marjolein, the good news is, after dieting and watching my sugars and carbs and fats and liquor and all that nonsense for months and months, my tolerance for the good stuff decreased, meaning it required fewer booze calories to "get me there". The bad news is, after dieting and watching my sugars and carbs and fats and liquor and all that nonsense for months and months, my tolerance for the good stuff decreased, and I will no longer be winning any bets at bars. Or amongst friends.

Seriously - I'm all giggling and doe-eyed after 2 or 3 stiff ones now. It's a real shame. :(


(Nice to meet another liquor-lover!)

Hahahahaha! Been there, didn't get the t-shirt! LOL
Over the Christmas/New Year's period I kinda shamed myself for not being able to stomach my booze anymore. Not that I threw up or anything, I just didn't feel well and like it that much! And that after only two glasses of wine!!!
Or is that because I'm getting older........? :p

Ah well, let's just say that we now can enjoy our glass of alcohol more.

Marjolein

kristyjoy
01-09-2010, 02:01 PM
I personally like have a "plan" to follow. A lot of people don't really know how to eat healthy, and these plans help them. Of course, it's a cash cow, everyone wants to lose weight and get healthy, but I like having a plan of action.

Me Too
01-10-2010, 09:58 AM
The problem is every body knows that broccoli is healthier than a piece of cake, but we want the cake, and we eat the cake instead of the broccoli.
So unless we come to terms with this and really learn to make healthier choices, eating healthy is not going to happen no matter what we want and know we should do.

kaplods
01-10-2010, 12:08 PM
For many folks, it's a lot more complicated than cake (that is desire for unhealthy foods).

If giving up cake, and junk food and eating only "healthy foods" were the solution, I would have lost all the weight I needed to, maybe fifteen years ago.

The problem is, a healthy diet is more than just quality - it's quantity as well (and can't be separated from other healthy choices in your life, either such as activity level, stress, sleep quality/quantity - it's a package deal).

And of course, overeating fresh cherries, lychee fruit, whole grain cereal, starchy vegetables, avocado.... is still overeating.

I went to a consultation for a weight loss program in our area a couple years ago (It was a great program, and I would have signed up in a minute, if we'd been able to afford it, but insurances and Medicare don't cover it - they'll cover wls, but not a diet and exercise program).

Part of the evaluation process was a diet survey, and the nutritionist asked if I'd ever had my thyroid tested, because my diet looked remarkably healthy for a person of my size. I told her that my thyroid had been tested, and the hormone leves were found to be low but close enough to normal that my doctor didn't want to prescribe synthroid. I pointed out that I wasn't very active because of my health problems, and that the survey hadn't really asked about portions. I did eat more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, and I did eat more lean meats than fatty meats, I was (at the time) eating quite a few servings of whole grains and starchy vegetables (which I didn't count in the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, because I consider them "bread" or carbohydrate servings, not fruits and vegetables), but the fact was I was obviously eating more than I needed (even though it was a fraction of what I was eating when I was younger and gained most of the weight - the healthy diet was keeping me from gaining weight, but wasn't sufficient to help me lose the weight because of the huge drop in my activity level).

The dietitian and doctor heading the program agreed that for me, it was an issue of quantity, not quality (and recommended a low carb and/or low GI diet).

That's been working very well for me, when I stick to it - I still can't shake decades and decades of indoctrination that low-carb diets are unhealthy and even dangerous. Even though I've proven it to myself, I still have a hard time accepting low-carb eating as "healthy."

But that's my problelm, and it has no bearing on the truth. The truth is that for me, starchy and sugary foods - even the healthiest of them, are not healthy for me.

giselley
01-10-2010, 06:59 PM
Diet plans are sold by rhetoric-- the art of convincing people. I do not believe that only one thing will cause an overweight person to lose weight. It will be a combination of a lot of things. Ommitting "junk" from the diet, lowering calories, lowering food volume, raising the amount of exersise the person does, and managing stress so over-eating will not happen. People have different styles of accepting information. Some like the packaged plans because they see something great about packages, and they believe they need that sort of assistance. Some like the "eat only one sort of thing" type regime, because they listen to, and believe the experts. Some decide to count calories, and some decide to go vegan. There are a lot of ways to go, and a lot of ways to do it. I'm a low/carb paleo type dieter. I also believe in one meal a day, and forgoing eating until I am very hungry. Others might like totally man-made medicine tasting stuff. Lesson learned: Dieting is 99% mental. Once you get to the place where you know you are in control of what you feed the beast, you don't let it beat you up any more. Let it whine, let it cry, it will not get the potato chips back, or the candy-- you are in control. Whatever that means.

Ophelia31
01-13-2010, 03:17 AM
I've wondered the same thing.
I've tried several diets in the past but this time I am just doing the same thing you are. To me, there is too much stress involved in trying to follow some really specific diet that makes me feel bad when I can't do exactly what I'm supposed at every meal.
So I am just counting calories...staying below 1200 calories a day. I quit eating sweets. I started drinking water instead of soda. And I am exercising.
I've only been at it a week but I am still learning what I am capable of...which is a lot more than I thought.