Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

The New Biggest Loser

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Let The Diets Begin…

A new show this season, My Diet Is Better Than Yours, came to CTV and randomly caught to my attention when I was waiting for my post-ice cream sugar crash to send me into a slumber Friday night.

I was curious.

I clicked play.

My thoughts starting going…as usual.

my-diet-is-better-than-yours

Oh hey looky it’s Shawn T!

This show, like The Biggest Loser, is all about weight loss but it takes a slightly different spin as each individual is placed with an expert that is passionate about a certain diet. They believe that their diet is not just a short term thing, but a longer term solution or lifestyle change to weight management.

Now while it’s interesting to see the different fad diets put head to head in a real life experiment, you know how I feel about diets…

Diet= Short term (if it even does anything in the first place) and possibly puts your health at risk!

I don’t agree with diets whatsoever. I think that everyone needs to take the time to learn their bodies, play around with their nutrition and find out what works effectively for THEIR body and lifestyle. This allows it to be maintainable for the rest of their lives and not feel deprived.

For most, I feel as if this is a lifestyle of eating mostly whole foods with some processed and/or treats in moderation. I believe that is sustainable and something that is sustainable is your secret to success.

Plans that TAKE AWAY are not sustainable because whenever something is lost we want it more.

Anyways, I wanted to take the time and go through the fad diets that are being highlighted and give thoughts on them. Now these are strictly my opinion and I’m no expert, I just wanted to go through and discuss them. I would love for you all to give your thoughts too so feel free to jump into the commentary in the comments section! 🙂

The Wild Diet

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Basic Idea: My automatic thought here was that it was a paleo or even maybe a ketogenic style of diet. The first thing he introduced to his client was bullet proof coffee, or when you butter grass fed butter in your coffee. This may seem gross to you at first, but many ketogenic followers love this high fat, caffeine boosting start to their day.  Personally I don’t agree with the ketogenic diet, but my thoughts aside, the basic principles here are eating higher fats to compensate for the lower carbohydrate consumption. This is supposed to make you a ‘fat burner’ rather then the standard ‘sugar burner.’ With regards to proteins, they will be high quality the fattier cuts and varieties are encouraged because these are natural fats that are nourishing for the body. Despite by initial perception, he does have a major focus on plant based foods (2/3 of the diet) which is different from the ketogenic diet which I believe is more like 75% fats.

In addition also utilizes a 7-minute workout a day as your exercise and that’s it for the most part.

Despite my hesitations due to the whole keto feel of this diet, there are a lot of things I do like about it.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~Focus on REAL food. Don’t count calories but just avoid processed crap and diet foods, which he states are just cardboard tasting things disguised as food. I completely agree with this logic. Too many people just read calorie counts and ignore what is actually making up those calories. Something lower calorie may be completely made up of chemicals while a higher calorie food may be all natural foods. Now, considering both, which would rather eat?

~Meeting your farmers/butchers/etc. He talks a lot about eating quality meats and seafood and to know where you food comes from. If you have the opportunity to do this, I think this is so important. I always feel better knowing that my meats come from a local source rather then shipped across the ocean from a place where the conditions the animals were raised are unknown.

~You have to eat fat to loose fat. SOOOO TRUE! Low fat is not the answer. Fat is satiating and thus by cutting it out, you are basically setting yourself up for a binge. In addition, you body needs it for basic hormone production and guess what is included in hormones? What cues hunger and satiety.

~While I love my long workouts and despite being hesitant to say that a mere 7 minutes can really work especially once the initial weight comes off, the idea that short bursts (think HIIT) works as a very effective fat burner is completely correct.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~I still don’t like the idea that carbohydrates are evil. This diet and many others place a negative light on all carbohydrate sources (vegetables are exempt here) and I still don’t believe this to be true. Saying you shouldn’t eat a sweet potato just doesn’t seem right to me but my learning continues on this topic.

~I don’t know how sustainable this is. I don’t think you should worry about what everyone else is eating, but true low carbohydrate eating is really not the norm and so many may have issues eating out. Also, alcohol is often banned with these types of diets and while some people like myself are perfectly content without the booze, most are not and would then feel deprived.

~I also still believe that there is never one true lifestyle for everyone. Right now for me personally, my coach would laugh in my face if I told him that I wanted to even reduce my carbohydrates let alone reduce them to sub 100g levels. Carbohydrates are the easiest fuel for your body to use and call me a sugar burner all you want, but most bodybuilders thrive on carbohydrates when building muscle because it’s an easily accessible source of energy that your body is set up to use.

The “No Diet” Plan

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Basic Idea: This one is really interesting to me because he specifically states that it’s not about the food. Instead, he states that the food has become the habit that needs to be tackled. So yes he does tweak their diet and their exercise habits, but he focuses on behavioural changes that are supposed to lead to weight loss. Some of his ideas may sound crazy, like eating on a blue plate to reduce how much you eat (Reasoning: blue is not found in nature often and therefore you eat less because you don’t automatically think of a food), but when really think about some of them, they make sense. So he refocuses your thoughts on the way you shop, the way you sleep and how you perceive food in order to help you loose weight. One of the things that really stuck with me was…

If it goes bad, it’s good for you.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~I’m on board with the notion that often it’s not the food that is the problem, its the underlying behaviours and attitudes that lead to weight gain. Much like eating disorders, food becomes the way of dealing with something they don’t want to face. Notice how many individuals with depression or poor self esteem often turn to food for comfort?

~I love the fact that sleep is a major focus because many Americans are not getting enough and that really does have a potentially deviating effect on the body and that cortisol (i.e. product of stress) can lead to weight gain all by itself.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~As I mentioned, many of his ideas may seem bizarre and therefore may not be followed in the long run.

~Due to not focusing a lot on food and exercise, I’m wondering how long the weight loss will continue before a plateau occurs. When their goal weight is 100+ pounds away, I’m wondering if these changes are enough to reach where they want to be.

The Superfoods Swap

JASMIIN QUEEN, DAWN JACKSON BLATNER

Basic Idea: This plan says that can really have whatever you are craving because you can just swap out some of the less nutrient dense foods for more nutritious ones. As an example, in the first episode she made a cauliflower cheese sauce for her daughter’s beloved mac n’cheese and she said it was good and couldn’t even taste the cauliflower in it. This plan also says that you can have your treats, they just have to be a social thing (eat it out, don’t bring it home) rather then something done in secret.

Cut the CRAP

C-Chemicals

R- Refined Flours and Sugars

A- Artificial Stuff

P- Preservatives

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~Teaches proper servings and how to eyeball proper proportions on a plate. Instead of the typical American plate that is probably 50/50 carbs/protein, dedicate 1/2 to veggies and a 1/4 to each other macronutrient (carbs and protein). A healthy dose of healthy fats is also called for as a topping.

~You are not depriving yourself. Taking out always leads to binge eating if there are underlying food relationship issues so I like how this talks about how you can eat your treats but do with others to take your focus off the food and make it more about the company.

~This seems more reasonable and sustainable then some of the other plans. A little bit of learning on what nutrient dense foods are, how to shop for them and how to incorporate them into your favourite dishes are really all you need.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~I always think the term ‘superfood’ is misleading. Personally I think a majority of vegetables and many fruits are superb in their nutrition stats. Yes, there are some such as your greens that pack a huge nutrition punch, but you should always remember that a rainbow is best. Just because green is getting the spotlight, the reds, oranges, yellows and purples need lovin’ too because they also give you a great range of those nutrients.

The Wellness Smackdown

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Basic Idea: This plan is focused on detoxifying the body and is anti-inflammatory. It centres around lots of water, vegetables, vegan eats, and other lifestyle habits including oil massages, non traditional exercise (yoga, meditation, etc) and really listening to your body and dealing with stress in a more positive manner.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~I like the idea of focusing on inflammation and dealing with stress better because cortisol is really NOT your friend when maintaining not only a healthy weight but also overall wellness as well

~Drinking lots of water is great because it’s something that many forget but is vital in letting the body cleanse itself and for basic processes.

~Focus around vegetables and wholesome foods. With the amount of processed foods these days, it’s no wonder why many kids have no idea what vegetable makes up ketchup.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~The initial liquid cleanse. I HATE CLEANSES. Can I say that any louder? What is your liver for? Your body is designed to detoxify and cleanse itself naturally. Yes, it has taken a bit more of a hit with all the crap food we eat these days but to put yourself on a liquid diet of juices for a week is not something I would ever recommend.

~This leads me into my second issue which is the reinforcement that juices and such make you loose weight. The initial week she lost about 6 pounds. Granted because she is overweight, she will loose more then an individual in the healthy range, but she lost mainly water weight because SHES NOT EATING! When you consume only liquids, typically you will show “weight loss” but it’s not long term. DONT FALL FOR THAT.

~The notion that veganism is best. She stated that research shows that those who practice a plant based diet get sick less and live longer. Although I would need to do more research, I doubt that the relationship here is direct. I feel like it may have something to do with the focus being shifted to more vegetables then the average person because of the loss many of the other food groups. Vitamins and minerals that protect you from illness mostly come from your vegetables and fruits, so if you eat lots of those, of course you should then have a stronger immune system. Concluding thought. Don’t blame meat for illness.

~She stated some interesting thoughts on these oil massages and how it apparently releases toxins that allows them to then leave the body. I don’t know how strongly I believe this. Toxins are invaders and often get stored in fat as your body doesn’t want them freely floating around. I have a  hard time vouching for massaging causing weight loss due to releasing said toxins. I do think that toxins can lead to weight gain, but I don’t believe that if you can actually rub those free to get rid of them that the loss will be a great one.

~Listen to your body BUT DONT SNACK!….Hmmm…

~A lot of raw is included here which is a bit rough on the system. I have stated before, we are not cows and we started fire for a reason. Cooked is easier to digest and therefore we absorb more of the nutrients. I’m not saying cook the **it out of your food and never touch anything raw, I’m just not suggesting eating the majority raw or you may run into some GI upset.

UPDATE: She got the boot after the premiere unfortunately. 

The cLean Mama Plan

my-diet-is-better-than-yours-carolyn-barnes

Basic Idea: As a busy mom, Carolyn’s plan was made to try to advantage of the busy lives of her clients through ‘taskercise.’ This is where you take your every day chores and tasks and tweak them to be a form of exercise. She doesn’t believe you need a gym or equipment, instead squat while playing with your child, use your stairs for cardio or even pushups, etc. She also believes in making healthy food options quick and easily accessible so that you are less likely to grab the less nutritious foods due to being busy.

My Thoughts THE GOOD:

~I like that she is trying to make this more doable for the busy bees of our world. At least it’s something they can do every day if they just use a lil bit of imagination.

~Focuses on cLean eating. The notion of CLEAN aside, she means to fuel your body often to avoid crashes (which can then lead to poor food choices), and places an emphasis on whole foods and vegetables in particular.

~I love that she stresses variety to get a bunch of different nutrients. Many people forget that foods lack certain nutrients and therefore a healthy diet should include many different foods to ensure you are getting a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Yes, eating kale is great, but if that is your only vegetable you may run into other deficiencies.

My Thoughts THE BAD:

~Eating every two hours would probably not be doable for someone who doesn’t even have the time to sit down.

~I don’t see this form of exercise being particular useful for large weight loss goals (diet aside). Perhaps in the beginning due to the increase in activity overall, but I do believe that you will plateau pretty quickly. The food will help to keep the losses going, but this is like any other ‘clean eating’ lifestyle.

~The idea of ‘Lean’ is concerning. I’m sure this lifestyle does include the use of healthy fats, but I never like the idea of only consuming lean proteins. It gives the false notion that the fattier cuts, like beef, lamb, etc are bad for you which is not the case. These are natural fats and how can you say that something that is natural is going to cause you harm when eaten in moderation?

Concluding Thoughts. 

Overall I think the superfood swap is most likely the one that can be maintained over the long term. It’s easy to understand and is about moderation and not deprivation.

Well there is a lot more that I could say, but at 2700 words already, I think I should be done.

Please give me your thoughts! I would love to hear them.

Which, if any, do you think are the most sustainable over the long term?

-Chelsea

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6 thoughts on “The New Biggest Loser

  1. I relly loved this post

  2. This was such a fun read- yet informative!

  3. I want to watch this show when it comes online next week. I used to listen to the podcast Abel James (The Wild Diet) put out, but stopped because he was kind of fanatical. Butter in coffee is gross. He was all about biohacking and fat loss one show and then the next about how we shouldn’t focus on that and focus on life. It was a really confusing message so I gave it up. I thought Jillian Michaels was also on this show? Maybe not lol

    • You gotta watch the first episode! It’s up already 🙂 HHAHA I actually liked Abel as a coach (not his diet he was preaching, but how he handled himself)…or maybe that’s just because his attractive 😉 Yeah no jillian on this show, but I’m just wondering what diet is coming up on the next episode to replace the one that was given up.

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