The media loves to lather attention on stories of people who lose weight by controversial means. And who better to draw attention to than those who do it by eating nothing but fast food or junk food?! It’s the ultimate sexy paradox.
There’s the teacher who has recently been heralded for his 37 pound weight loss eating nothing but McDonald’s for three months. And then there’s the nutrition professor who dropped 30 pounds in 8 weeks eating Twinkies.
Well, I for one am not lovin’ it.
I agree that these ‘diets’ prove the point that weight loss is achieved when calories in is less than calories out. I also think it is quite cool that the teacher used this opportunity to teach his students about how to read and interpret restaurant nutritional information – this is an important skill in navigating our toxic societal obesity terrain.
However, these headline ‘diets’ put out a lot of wrong messages as well. First of all, successful weight management is about permanent lifestyle change, not temporary diets. How about if we follow these guys up over the next few years and see what happened to their weight after they stopped their temporary diets?
Secondly, weight management is about addressing the underlying contributors to the weight struggle – from the emotional relationship with food, to the home environment, to stress in the work place, and so on. No discussion of these issues with these guys as far as I can see.
And I don’t think I need to say that from a nutritional perspective, neither of these diets are recommended.
So how about we focus on the stories of people who make appropriate, healthy, permanent lifestyle changes and enjoy sustained weight loss as a consequence? I’d love to hear your stories – send them in!