This is the time of year when everyone is excited about some change in their life. My neighbors are doing a "dry January" because they want to cut down on their alcohol. Other neighbors committed to more physical activity before a hip replacement. And there is the inevitable "what diet will I do this time?"
Now, before I go to that, long-time readers of my newsletter will realize that I am drinking my cup of Peet's coffee. Peet's is a story of disappointment, which I will use to illustrate a point:
Diets are like that person who disappoints you again and again. The person you invite to events, but they never reciprocate. The diet starts out great. You lose a bit of weight, decide you can eat this way forever, and this is your new lifestyle. Then something happens. If you are smart, you realize you cannot live that way. Most, though, internalize and think, "It is my fault." Well, it isn't your fault.
Low-carb diets can be disappointing for various reasons. Some people may find it difficult to stick to a low-carb eating plan because they miss certain high-carb foods that they enjoy. This can lead to feelings of deprivation and dissatisfaction with the diet. Additionally, some people may not experience the weight loss or health benefits they were hoping for with a low-carb diet. It's important to remember that everyone's body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Furthermore, it is important to focus on overall health and well-being rather than just weight loss or specific dietary restrictions.
Every year, someone starts a new version of low carb. I've done a few myself. This year's version is carnivore. Some are doing a carnivore January. The results will be the same as the previous low-carb diets - and let me go back to Peet's coffee.
I have been a member of Peet's Coffee Club since 1995. I get it faithfully every couple of weeks. Whole beans. It costs about $36 for two bags. Then I discovered I could get it at Costco for $25, with no shipping charge, the same date of roasting. I wrote Peet's, of course. They told me my coffee is always fresh, unlike the bulk sold to Costco. Except the roasting date is on the package.
Diets are like that. You get some results, then disappointment. You don't get the return for the money. But someone in the low-carb community will tell you that you didn't do it correctly:
So, some consider weight loss surgery or new drugs. Both of these are reasonable (yes, I have done a lot of weight loss surgery in my time).
But what I've advocated is that people have to take responsibility for what they eat even after weight loss surgery. Well, you don't have to - but your body is a perfect calorie counter.
Does that mean a "diet?" No, the goal of weight loss drugs or surgery isn't to put someone on a diet for weight loss. The goal is to give them good food so they can nourish themselves.
It also means I have to get rid of silly ideas they learned from things like the low-carb diet. The low-carb diet, that friend you always invite into your home, always disappoints.
About ten years ago, I received certification in Culinary Medicine. Part of that training was long hours reviewing the literature more about food than I could imagine. For my patients, they will remember the day I began to advocate for the Mediterranean Diet.
I made the journey from some version of a low-carbohydrate diet to a diet that had substantial proof of long-term health.
Today, the Mediterranean diet is what I recommend to everyone. It is the most well-studied diet on the planet.
The Mediterranean diet is a way to eat based on the traditional foods and cooking styles of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It has been associated with numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. The components of the Mediterranean diet include:
It is important to note that the Mediterranean diet is not a strict set of foods but rather a flexible and adaptable way of eating. You can eat in this manner by eating food from India, the Phillippines, or Norway. The emphasis is on whole, unprocessed foods and a balanced approach to nutrition.
Want to learn more? I have a course coming up - watch this space. For my followers on TikTok you can find the course there.
Oh, and I will be buying from Costco, although many other coffee companies have come to me and said, "Hey, try our coffee." So I am. Sorry, Peet's - I may still drink you, but I have boundaries.
Do that with your diet that will disappoint you. Consider instead a diet that will nourish your body and keep you in good shape.
Good Luck & have fun!