Monday, March 12, 2012
Pop Tart and Candy Diets
Ready to lose weight? Step up to the newest diet craze- the Peanut M&M diet! Can you imagine a diet that will let you eat this delicious candy and still lose weight? Okay, hold on right here. I could go on and actually give you details of how my new Peanut M&M diet will work- but be prepared to hear something like eat ONLY the green ones- then clip on your pedometer and don't eat the yellow ones till you've walked 2500 steps. So what's my point?
Last week, I was at a wonderful talk by registered dietitian, Daniela Knight, and one of the participants asked what she thought about the "Pop Tart Diet". (BTW, for fun, I googled pop tart diet and sure enough, came up with not only a diet but a youtube video explaining the supposed health benefits of pop tarts.) I loved her response- "Oooh, doesn't that sound enticing? Wow! A diet where you eat pop tarts! Way more fun than eating more fruits and vegetables, right?" But the audience was hooked, and all wanted to know details of the "diet". So here's the thing- ANY weight loss program CAN include pop tarts (or donuts, or peanut M&Ms), but if that is the mainstay of the calories in the diet, you are not going to feel so great. Your body (obviously) needs a balance of nutrients and vitamins that ideally comes from multiple colors of produce plus a protein source. Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than you burn off. Period. So yes, you COULD eat six strawberry pop tarts per day, with as much water and diet sodas as you can hold, and you would be on a 1200 calorie per day diet. For most people, that would result in weight loss- BUT- you would be seriously lacking in protein, fiber, calcium, B Vitamins, Vitamin C...get the picture? No energy. None!
Am I saying NEVER eat a pop tart? No! Daniela (my favorite dietitian) would tell you immediately that NO food is "bad". Treats like pop tarts and M&Ms we need to limit, not ban. What IS a healthy way to lose weight? Fruits & veggies galore, with enough protein (eggs, meat, chicken, fish or nuts) at each meal to equal a daily total of roughly one gram per kg of your body weight.
Now, if I wanted to get RICH, I'd go back to my color-coded peanut M&M diet...but don't forget walking the mile in between color changes...
BOTTOM LINE: Yummy treats like pop tarts or peanut M&M's can be INCLUDED in any healthy diet- but should be the occasional bonus, not the mainstay!