Learning Our Lesson: Forget Fake Foods for Healthy Weight Loss

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I woke up the other day to a spot on a major morning television show featuring a weight loss “expert” who shall remain unnamed.  While the expert has no professional credentials, I don’t always see professional credentials as the be all and end all.  I do look for common sense and wisdom, however, and in this case, I fear both have gone missing big time.  Unfortunately, the “expert” is someone who is getting a lot of attention these days.

The display of foods that illustrated what the “expert” was recommending said it all.  From artificially-sweetened hot chocolate mix to fake whipped cream that sports a low calorie content, the foods fell far short of any semblance of foods that would support health.  Regular readers of this blog know our position on this subject:  Healthy weight loss can’t be achieved when health isn’t part of the picture.  Even if the expert was talking about how to manage a sweet tooth without going overboard on calories, the focus on fake foods took the discussion in a questionable direction.

It’s not a new direction.  Cutting calories whatever way we can has been the focus of many a weight loss program in the past.  If that had gotten us where we wanted to go, however, there would be little call for our women’s weight loss retreat.  In working here, I see first hand how that simplistic advice repeatedly gets people into trouble.

So to end my rant for the day, I offer my own simple advice:  Eat food [real food].  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

Oh, wait.  Those aren’t my words.  They’re Michael Pollan’s from Food Rules. They give us a good place to start, though.  If I tried to  improve on them, I’d focus on helping women who have gotten confused about how to eat because of past diet rules that have made them strangers to their body’s wisdom.  And that would be a much longer post.

What’s your biggest challenge in putting Pollan’s advice (seconded by me) into action?


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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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