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Bad Diet Advice

Posted by cavewomanrunner on March 18, 2009

A popular on-line news source offered a brief explanation of 5 things you can do to improve your diet. If we look at these suggestions from a Paleo perspective, however, most of it is not great diet advice.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Medical Correspondent, lists 5 small changes you can make to “help you lose weight.” There’s no mention of being healthy, it’s all about what the scale says. These might be ok methods for cutting back a little bit, but in the end they’re really not going to make you healthier. Here are the tips and a look from a  Paleo perspective.

1.  Replace whole milk with 1% milk. There is a 100 calorie difference. Paleo folks did not consume milk. Dairy truly isn’t needed in our diets, as we get all the calcium we need from other good foods – meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts. Granted, drinking 1% milk instead of whole milk is 100 less calories, but you could instead drink water and feast on leafy greens like broccoli, collard greens, kale or okra. Most servings of these veggies have more calcium than a cup of cow’s milk.

2.  Don’t eat the whole bagel – only eat half of it! That’s also a 100 calorie difference. Paleo take – don’t eat processed grains! Instead of ingesting white flour, sugar and who knows what else, try eating a piece of fruit or an egg instead. Again, there’s more nutrients and usually less calories in fruits, eggs, meats, and veggies than in processed breads. Cut them out, and you’ll be cutting out not only calories – but sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and processed and enriched flours.

3. Eat chocolate yogurt or a popsicle instead of chocolate ice cream. Again, 100 fewer calories.Chocolate yogurt and popsicles are processed foods with tons of sugar. What’s wrong with having an orange or celery with almond butter instead? You crave chocolate? Try going without it for a week and see if you still crave it. For me it goes back to our bodies getting addicted to sugars and carbs – we want more and more and more of them, even though our diet may already be 70% carbs. Cut back on the carbs and sugar and you won’t crave them. You’ll stop the vicious cycle. And then you’ll want an apple or some  carrots – or a nice piece of salmon – instead.

4.  Make your lattes with skim milk instead of whole milk. This only saves you about 90 calories, but it’s still calories.See #1 above about milk. Also, most Paleo lifestyle folks cut out coffee altogether. I don’t drink it, but also don’t mind getting caffeine through tea, especially green tea.

5. Get off the couch and take a 20 minute walk. A 1 mile walk burns about 100 calories.This is actually the best advice in the entire article. Some folks say diet is about 85% of our health. I agree, but with the caveat that you must also exercise regularly. And exercise is not just going to the fridge for another piece of chocolate. It’s vigorous exercise (getting that heart rate up) for more than 30 minutes more than 3 times a week. Start with a 20 minute walk and work your way up. Try running, cycling, swimming,  or yoga along with core strength exercises. Your body will thank you! And then you won’t have to count the stupid 100 calorie savings.

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