Diets in the News

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Have you heard about the newest weight-loss diet fad? It turns out it isn’t really new at all. In fact it has been “recycled” many times. In this incarnation it is called the Cico diet. Calories in, calories out. The premise is correct. You take the calories you need to maintain your weight & subtract the calories you need to expend to lose weight. If you eat more calories than you use, you gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you use, you lose weight. Basic biology. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a sedentary woman burns between 1600-2000 calories depending on age etc. What happens when you decide you will eat 1500 calories a day to lose weight & exercise to make sure you expend more calories? But…you don’t pay attention to the quality of the food you are eating? Check out this article to see:

International Business Times: Cico diet: Why you shouldn’t fall for the latest weight loss fad “Calories in, calories out,” is the mantra of the Cico diet – but dietician warns latest fad is unhealthy. By 

The quality of the food you eat is the key to not only maintaining a healthy weight, but the key to a healthy overall you. This is what I mean:

  • A Big Mac with medium fries & a medium coke = 1,080 calories
  • Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar ~ leftover from Halloween 🙂 = 270 calories
  • Turkey Sandwich on whole wheat with mayo, tomato, lettuce & 3 ounces of roasted turkey = 360 calories. Add an apple for another 110 calories & a glass of water or tea for 0 calories. Total = 470 calories. 
  • Greek Yogurt 1 cup = 100 calories. Add fresh/frozen Blueberries, 1/2 cup = 42 calories. Total = 142 calories

The U.S.Department of Agriculture has this link on their website. Take a look at it.SuperTracker is an interactive food, physical activity, and weight tracking tool that serves as the public interface for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The comprehensive and state-of-the-art resource is designed to assist individuals as they make changes in their life to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. Consumers can choose a variety of features to support nutrition and physical activity goals: personalize recommendations for what and how much to eat and amount of physical activity; track foods and physical activity; customize features such as recipes, goal setting, virtual coaching, weight tracking, journaling; and measure progress with comprehensive reports. Groups of people can now use SuperTracker to work toward their health and wellness goals together.” You can create your own plan or you can use the general plan. This is a great resource.

In another article the author quoted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that only 1 in 10 persons in the U.S. eats enough fruits & vegetables. This says it all. Fast food is not known for the fruits & veggies it contains. 🙁  From The Guardian: Only one in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables, CDC study finds By Jessica Glenza, November 17, 2017

This study made me sigh. I have been a registered nurse for 49 years…yikes, did I just say that out loud? 🙂 …and as a student nurse I learned that you could reverse Type-2 diabetes with diet. Eating a balanced plant based diet & exercising will bring your weight down & the need for diabetic medications will either stop or become less. Here is the new study done on rats:

Altering the Type-2 Diabetes Can Be Done With Low Calorie Diet, By Pooja, November 10, 2017  The author also refers to this being good news to the Pharma industry to create a targeting drug. I am not sure, even after reading the article several times, why they think that. Unless it is going to be another weight loss drug 🙁 

As I indicated, this is not new news in my world. These physicians have proven over & over again that Type-2 Diabetes can be reversed with diet.

From December 14th, 2014, Dr. Hyman: 7 Steps to Reverse Obesity and Diabetes Check out his books on Amazon.

Dr. John McDougall: Jason Wyrick: Cured Type-2 Diabetes and Obesity  Dr McDougall has talked about this since his first book came out in 1983. Wikipedia calls it a fad diet. I don’t think so. If you read his earlier works he explains how diabetes, heart disease & cancer travels the world following the introduction of the Standard American Diet & Fast Food.

Dr. Ornish is another physician who said that a plant based diet could not only reverse cardiac disease but also obesity & diabetes. He has been writing about this for more than 30 years!

WebMD Archives: Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?  “Losing 5% to 10% of your body weight and building up to 150 minutes of exercise a week may help you to slow or stop the progress of type 2 diabetes” says Ann Albright, PhD, RD

I read a rebuttal to the idea that a vegetarian diet should be followed to reverse Type-2 Diabetes. The reason the author gave was because you should not expect people to adhere to such a strict, difficult diet. I have remarked on that outlook many times. Americans are basically lazy when it comes to diet & their own health. Easier to take a pill with all its side affects than to change their lifestyle. 

These changes in Type-2 Diabetes can be accomplished with a Mediterranean Diet as well. Reversing Type-2 Diabetes. Good article from the UK. Instead of calling it “reversing” diabetes they call it going into remission. I feel that is a more accurate term because when anyone goes back to eating the Standard American Diet, their risk for Type-2 Diabetes increases as well as for obesity, heart disease & cancer.

We must all make our own choices when it comes to our health. It boils down to either wanting a better quality of life now or focusing on quantity of life.

We already know this too. But it is nice to have it verified. In the article the researcher pointed out that for those who simply don’t want to be a vegetarian can still get a huge health benefit by reducing their meat intake. 


In the article Newsweek shares that they had previously reported that research has shown vegan and Mediterranean diets are the best for reducing the risk for cancer and heart disease.

No matter how you choose to eat, make a plan. Don’t be so rigid that you set yourself up for failure & stress. Here are a few helpful ideas.

  • Plan your meals by the day or week. Shop accordingly.
  • Choose whole foods.
  • Reduce the amount of meat you eat by increasing the servings of vegetables, grains & fruits on your plate.
  • If you want to continue to eat meat, then buy the best grade you can afford by buying a smaller amount. Check to make sure it is antibiotic & growth hormone free.
  • Plan vegetarian/vegan meals several times a week.
  • Plan a day weekly or monthly to go out for a favorite meal. Don’t call it your “cheat day”. Incorporate it into your meal plan.
  • Plan a day weekly for one serving of your favorite desert or share a desert with someone. Your not “cheating” when it is part of your eating plan.
  • Pay attention to the size of your portions. 1/2 cup cooked rice, or other grain is a serving. Sounds like a small amount but once on your plate it is a lot. I think that serving size is really important. You can be eating the healthiest of diets but eating too many calories.
  • Sit at the table when you eat. Don’t eat in the car or while walking around the kitchen 🙂 
  • Eat slowly & savor each bite. Mindful eating.
  • Drink more water.
  • Cut out processed foods. They are a major source of fat, sugar, salt & artificial ingredients.
  • Keep only healthy snacks in your pantry. 
  • Exercise daily. Do what you can even if it means just walking the length of your driveway right now. Move as much & as often as you can.
  • This is the Holiday season. Enjoying the company of family & friends is much more important than what is being served. Laughter, fun, togetherness & love cancels the calories 🙂

I saw an interesting article about Holiday weight gain that pertains to what I have written above. It was in the Los Angeles TimesThe biggest cause of holiday weight gain isn’t the food By Holly Van Hare, November 20, 2017. Most people go on a strict low calorie diet before the big dinners. What happens is that it puts our bodies into starvation mode by lowering our metabolism. That is why you don’t lose a lot of weight quickly. Your body is holding on to those calories as fat for energy. Then the “big meal” comes & you pig out! Your body says “Hooray!” & packs on the calories as fat to help itself out of the starvation mode; so we gain weight. Makes sense, right? The solution is to eat a balanced, healthy diet during the holidays & enjoy the meals & deserts, but mostly enjoy the company. 

Be a healthier you no matter your present circumstances. It can be accomplished with a little thought & planning. Have a Happy Thanksgiving full of Love & Gratitude.

Until next week…Mary 🙂