Nutrition Trends I Hope Won’t Stick in 2013

Looking ahead to the coming year, I’m hopeful that some nutrition trends will slowly fade away. That’s the topic of my latest blog post for WebMD’s Real Life Nutrition.
Here’s what I’d like to see less of in 2013.7952188256_7a3d983b31
Searching for the “miracle pill” du jour
It seemed like every day in 2012 there was a new “breakthrough” weight loss supplement that promised to melt fat – from raspberry ketones and green coffee bean extract to the latest Garcinia Cambogia, or tamarind extract in a pill.  There’s a lot of hype, but little evidence that these pills will make any meaningful difference.  But one thing’s for sure: these pricey supplements will certainly burn a hole in your wallet.
Eating like a caveman
It became fashionable to go Paleo, but any diet that restricts such wondrous foods as cheese and yogurt or forbids nutrient-rich powerhouses like whole grains and beans is too limiting and not sustainable.  Paleo followers are a passionate bunch, but that doesn’t mean you need to jump on the hunter-gatherer bandwagon.   We can all benefit from reducing refined, sugary grains (which is a positive part of the Paleo plan), but there’s no need to go to this extreme, in my opinion.
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Going gluten-free for weight loss
All the celebrities are doing it, but that doesn’t make it a good thing to do. Unless you have celiac disease or truly suffer from gluten intolerance, simply deleting gluten won’t do you much good.  In fact, it could backfire.  Some studies suggest gluten-free diets may actually make matters worse for some overweight and obese individuals.  Often gluten-free diets can be inadequate in essential nutrients, especially B vitamins, iron and folate.  That’s because many of the popular gluten-free baked goods (which are often high in fat and calories) are frequently not fortified.  Plus, going gluten-free to lose weight means you’re taking your eye off the ball – you’re not focusing on other factors that could be making a more dramatic difference in your weight , and your health.
Overall, I simply hope there’s less “dieting” in 2013. Restrictive regimens and quick-fix approaches don’t work. There’s not a product on the shelf  – or sold on the Internet – that will be the answer in the coming year.  It’s not a juice cleanse, crystals you sprinkle on food you eat, or “skinny” shake that will make the difference.  What really works is changing your habits.
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That’s the focus of my new book with Cooking Light called The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook.  This is not a diet book – you won’t see the words “detox” or “cleanse” anywhere inside. Instead, this is a book to help you get off the diet merry-go-round and find a way to eat (and enjoy) food for the rest of your life.  The book focuses on a dozen healthy habits, along with an action plan, real-life stories, and delicious recipes to help you adopt these new behaviors.  Nearly all  12 habits are positive changes – things to add instead of eliminate, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, seafood, and breakfast.  The first habit is cooking three more meals per week – which is certainly one of the best ways you can implement the rest of the habits.
I feel so strongly that people need to love food, not fear it.  So if you have a weight-related goal in 2013, any approach you take should focus on changing your habits.  Work on savoring flavorful whole foods, practicing moderation, being mindful, and staying active.  Skip the miracle pills and cook more in 2013.  That’s the best resolution you can make.
Here’s what some of the dietitian bloggers who are featured in the book are saying:
Robin Plotkin Dallas Morning News
Jill Castle Just the Right Byte
Rebecca Scritchfield Rebecca Thinks…

caveman image courtesy of adomcarter on flickr

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0 Comments

  • Sadly, miracle pills won’t go away… It’s a great (and evil) marketing strategy, we can’t do anything about it 🙁

  • Timing of my landing on your site is perfect. For what i was searching the best, after referring the detail of this product. it seems too effective for cutting the fat. Thanks for sharing would recommend to my friends as well.

  • Thanks for showing the positive and negative sides of ever-so-popular Paleo.

  • I really hope all these fads will fade away and inspire people to make wholesome food choices through real food rather than miracle pills. It just makes me mad and sad at the same time seeing how people fall into these marketing trap, waste so much money but do not see any positive results rather than spending little bit more time planning and motivating themselves to cook and move more.

  • As long as the food industry continues to make and promote processed foods that cause obesity and the plethora of other health related issues the majority of American’s face, they’ll also (sadly) continue to pedal miracle cures, plans, supplements and programs designed to correct the problem. What people honestly need, in my opinion, is to understand the basics of health and nutrition. If it comes from a box or is full of words you can’t say, it’s likely not good for you. I’m obviously not the first (and I won’t be the last) to say that.

    There are holistic and scientific studies that show the benefits of different “diets,” but they are specific for health conditions or according to lifestyle. What works for Joe Next Door won’t necessarily work for Shelly Across the Street. Every person’s body has a unique energy signal and requires different foods to support itself. Find that signal, and you’ll find the key to proper health. I wrote the book, Bugs in My Brain, Poison on My Plate, which discusses these signals, and how to get away from “diets” and get to living.

  • The ironic thing, is that the foods that are good for you are becoming more expensive, whereas processed foods that are bad for you are becoming a cheaper. Counter that with wages not rising in value since the 1970’s, the vast majority are going to continue eating crap because its the only thing they can afford. There needs to be some serious thinking about this because the rates of obesity are sky rocketing.

  • Amy

    I agree that get skinny quick fixes are not ever going to help. However, I think that if people stay away from the idea of a “juice detox” and instead adopt those general principals into their daily lifestyle, that they will be much healthier overall and return to a healthier weight.

    There certainly are some benefits of long term juicing for weight loss, but that’s just it. You have to stick with it and add it into your daily routine as a lifestyle change instead of viewing it as a quick weekend fix to all your problems.

  • Delmar Knudson

    You can fool most of the people most of the time and make a profit from it. The formula is straightforward: Claim you have found a great new ingredient that does wonders. Claim all or part of it comes from an exotic locale far from your home (adds mystery and credibility), expound on the brilliance of the person that found/manufactured it, even if he is the village idiot and never could hold a job. Claim it is NATURAL! Arsenic, lead, salmonella, poison ivy, botulism, locoweed (Astragalus L.), mercury, carbon dioxide, are all natural. Possibly link it to something the ancients did. Get some celebrities to vouch for it. Claim the “establishment” is against it and hiding or fighting it. Once you hook them, you can reel them in, and get them to pay a considerable amount for all kinds of inactive or harmful ingredients. You’re on your way to wealth, and may be able to pour millions into TV advertising!

  • Ian Bradley

    Sounds like a good book. I agree that fad diets should be passé. Most of those who advertise these diets are preying on people desperate for an easy and quick way to lose weight. Like it or not, losing weight is an arduous process which involves working out, eating healthy and controlling portions. It’s really reconstructing a new way of life. I’m a supplement business owner and I work with my dietary supplement manufacturers to find proven ingredients that can help people make the most of the diets they choose. My customers say they feel they’re losing weight faster when they combine these supplements with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

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