Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Follow Friday:10 checks of a healthy weight management program

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I haven’t done a Follow Friday post in a while so when I came across this checklist I knew that I had to share it with you. It’s one of the many great resources available on the Canadian Obesity Network website.

I hope that some of the people who keep landing on my old post about Ideal Protein will come across this and have pause for thought.

Note that all of the boxes should be checked and that you should consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any weight loss program.


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Not so ideal protein

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A couple of twitter peeps recently told me about the Ideal Protein weight loss program. Obviously without signing-up I can’t learn all of the secrets but their website, and my friends revealed a fair bit about the program.

Initially they come across as relatively reasonable; focussing on how to maintain weight loss, not just on how to lose weight. However, when you look at what their program entails I’m not sure how it can emphasis weight maintenance when it’s based on no-low carb and purchase of their products. From what I hear, it’s also quite low-calorie. None of those things amount to sustainability which, as I’ve said many times before, if you want to see sustainable weight loss you have to make sustainable changes. Is cutting all carbs sustainable? Nope. Apparently you only have to do that for the initial phase of the diet. This will allow you to show great progress in the beginning as you lose water weight. Not true weight loss. Okay, what about the low-calorie diet? Sure, some people can happily survive on 1, 100 calories a day, I don’t know any of those people but I’m sure they exist. If you’re one of them, chances are you’re not seeking out a weight loss program anyway. That brings me to the final issue: their products.

Yes, consuming protein can increase satiety and is advisable for weight loss. No, you don’t need special processed foods formulated by Ideal Protein. In my experience the majority of protein bars, chips, whatever, are pretty disgusting. Sure, some are palatable and can work in a pinch but for the most part they’re an unnecessary expense and not usually all that healthy. They tend to be highly processed foods (just check out the “dill pickle zippers”) providing you with little nutrition other than protein. Just because a chip or a candy bar has protein added to it doesn’t mean it’s suddenly a health food. There are plenty of affordable sources of protein available at the grocery store which will also provide you with additional nutrients. Try hummus with veggies or whole grain crackers, a handful of nuts or seeds, roasted chickpeas or edamame, plain greek yoghurt with berries, an apple with peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, tuna and flatbread, I could go on and on. It is possible to eat real food and lose weight. Don’t succumb to the allure of a company that would have you believe that you need to buy their foods to lose weight.