Why Should You Just Say No to Diets? Simple Steps Work
Funny. I was getting ready to write up this post, when I came across this: The Dr. Oz Ultimate Diet. Sigh. While Oz has some sensible advice from time to time, this “Diet” is not on the sensible list:

“Dr. Oz is helping you rethink your entire diet, from what you buy at the grocery store to when and how you prepare your meals. You’ll begin by implementing Dr. Oz’s Rule of 5, which forces you to throw away all the food in your house that list ANY of the following within the first 5 ingredients: 1) Simple sugars, 2) Syrups (all corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, etc), 3) White flours, 4) Saturated Fats, 5) Trans fats.”

Bad Advice

To ask people to “throw away” all of the above items is not only wasteful, but ridiculous. Does Dr. Oz know how much I pay for pure maple syrup (which is a refrigerator staple at my house)? Does he not want me to occasionally use white sugar to bake my beautiful children and husband cookies? I don’t want to use whole wheat flour to make a roux. Maybe his spouse doesn’t put sugar on her cereal, but mine does sometimes (and he’s a triathlete). I mean, come on. I want the people I live with to like me, not just love me.

Sure, what you buy at the grocery store has some impact on your overall nutritional intake, but I’m not going to tell you exactly what to buy. I give guidelines for grocery shopping in my books (pantry staples, etc) but I have no intention of controlling how you grocery shop. The notion that having ANY sugar in your diet automatically makes your overall dietary intake a waste, is ludicrous.

Yes, everyone should try to reduce the total sugar they consume. Reading food labels is a good idea. Oz doesn’t mention ridding any sodium from the household, but I suggest that you pay attention to the sodium on labels. Choose foods that have less sodium, sugar, and saturated fat, but you don’t have to rid your pantry of ALL sources!

A simple example: I just picked up a bag of pre-made cereal-snack mix at the store (I have active teenagers who have lots of friends over every weekend, and I allow them to have fun by eating some junk food once in a while). There were three flavors: Original, Bold, and Cheese. I wondered, “Hmmn, I like the idea of “bold. What makes it “bold”? When I read the label I saw that apparently having more sodium, more sugar, and more fat, makes it “Bold”, so I chucked a bag of the Original flavor into my cart.

A More Realistic Approach

But back to my original thoughts for today: Take simple steps. Here’s a simple step I just took at lunch:

“Want” – I wanted to eat my Bagel Thin with melted cheese, and a big ‘ol bran muffin (I’m having a baked good craving today), but instead I rethought this lunch, and balanced it out a bit.




“Need” – This is more of what I need (which still includes what I want). The same bagel with cheese, only half the muffin, and a whole apple. This small change swapped out the 125 calorie half-muffin for a 50 calorie apple, saving me 75 calories and adding fiber and vitamins to my diet.

You can take these small steps too. At each meal, ask yourself: “What’s missing?” or “Is this portion too much?” Slow down and think it through a little, and you can eat a variety of foods that you enjoy, and still lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.