Few things are more confusing than the conflicting information presented every day by the diet industry and supposed experts regarding what to eat. There are good fats, bad fats, antioxidants, high glycemic, low glycemic and many more diet claims and suggestions. The problem with focusing on these confusing, often inaccurate claims is that they overlook the bigger picture. Worrying about the minor details such as whether or not you should eat pre or probiotic foods is like fine-tuning your cars tire pressure while the engine is clearly on fire. To exemplify this point, I will share an example from one of my winning clients. To protect her identity I'll refer to as Stacey.
Stacey was at a family gathering which she knew would have a great spread of appetizers and finger food. She often struggled to eat sensibly at these gatherings as her family was quick to comment on her weight. Her plan of eating sufficiently prior to arrival and to spend most of her time next to the veggie tray was going well. She was feeling confident, munching on carrots, green peppers and melon slices. She knew her weight had come down recently and her clothes fit great.
As expected, her brother began commenting on her figure and she braced herself for the worst. However, this time it was positive. "You look great Stacey, have you lost weight?" he said. Just as she was about to sigh in relief, he suggested "You know, if you really want to lose that weight, you should stop eating carrots."
She was baffled, flustered and unsure of how to respond. Seemingly demeaning comments like this could easily send her into an emotional and eating tail spin. However, she gathered herself and her reply that followed demonstrated that she had truly embraced the principles of the Healthy Weights program.
Stacey politely responded, "I'm not sure where you are getting your information from, but I'm quite sure that eating too many carrots is NOT the reason for my own or anyone's struggle with body weight".
When she told me this story, I couldn't help but feel incredibly proud of her. I knew she had embraced the simplistic nature of nutrition while recognizing the complexity and challenges of human behavior and eating behavior. We both knew that her dieting past was truly behind her.
Where would anyone get the idea that carrots cause weight gain? Likely from the same kind of diet programs that recommend eating for a specific blood type, taking baseless vitamin B injections or suggest 'detoxifying' your system through meal skipping and expensive supplements. These instances are even worse than the tire pressure analogy as they aim to fix car parts that don't even exist.