Protein is all the hype these days, which may be related to the fitness industry in Australia bringing in a whopping billion dollar revenue annually.
Unfortunately in Australia we have a pretty big focus on drinking, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a nice cold beer or glass of wine in the Australian Summer! However, not only are there sufficient risks associated with excessive drinking such as the development of liver disease, pancreatitis, nutrient mal-absorption and so on, the consumption of alcohol can provide a sufficient amount of unusable energy to the diet…
Often I am asked by friends or acquaintances to give them a simple “ healthy eating diet plan”, which I explain isn’t actually all that simple, given that I only know minimal information about their particular circumstances (i.e. social and medical history), have no idea of what their goals are, what they have or haven’t tried in the past, or what are currently eating (which I then get a verbal recall of everything they had for the previous day, or that morning).
I drove past a sign earlier today which said “Gluten free websites”. I am pretty sure that they were “taking the piss” (excuse the language) and capitalising on the whole gluten free- fad (which as a Dietitian doesn’t make a great deal of sense), and it got me thinking how do such ridiculous claims come about, and how are they so believable to people?
Now, usually I would do an informative post, perhaps verging on opinion piece, but blogs are generally based upon opinions, (although some opinions are more informed than others). The post that I am going to put up today, is purely based upon opinion, as I feel it is something that needs to be said.
Working towards the goal of becoming a Dietitian in the fitness industry has not always been an easy road. I am certainly not immune to having butting heads in the past, but I would like to believe that, that is a thing of the past as I come to realise how much energy you waste, and how little progress you make.
There are a lot of ego’s floating around this industry, and even more so there are plenty of people trying to make a buck. However, in saying that, there are also plenty of people that are genuinely searching to make a difference to someone’s life, and not manipulate a situation, such as is the case in the weight loss industry.
I am sorry to say this, but the truth is, there is no quick fix. Often weight gain is through a process of psychological based mechanisms (such as coping mechanisms) and cannot be undone through a simple weight loss pill, fad diet or diet shakes. Herein lies the issue with such, and failure of these “promises” and products to work, can lead to further weight gain as a result of emotional eating, retardation of metabolism and too much restriction, leading to over-eating (binge eating), which can also be tied into emotional eating.
One thing that people need to realise is that weight loss is a process (or journey) which has a central component of support. Beyond that however, it requires a lifestyle change (as arduous as this seems it really is not provided that you do it sensibly). Now, I often see a meme going around the internet stating that diet accounts for 80% of results, whilst exercise only accounts for 20%, and I really hate when it gets simplified as such. As I said the central component is support and engaging in exercise, using that as a social support base, whilst helping to expend is just as important as eating well. The culmination of all three components facilitate weight loss, and not just one component on its own.
So, now getting to my point. As health professionals, seemingly with the same goal, should we not be attempting to provide support (which means that we have to get along), as well as utilise our skills to enable results? I think it is time to stop the ego battle of who is wrong, and who is right and work together to help people, which is more rewarding than simply proving a point.