Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Good Foods, Bad Foods

The following Post is a Guest Post from John Barban - Scientific editor of Eat Stop Eat and author of The Adonis Effect. (Please direct all comments towards John)


Good Foods, Bad Foods

I was recently reading some comments about ESE and some other diets and people seem to keep using the words “Good foods” and “Bad foods” .

I think this is a dangerous distinction to be making because it presents the potential for us to label almost anything good or bad depending on our focus and opens the slippery slope towards full blown Obsessive Compulsive Eating.

Let’s look at a mythical example of a ‘good food’ and a ‘bad’ food.

Our mythical “Good’ food = Orange Juice

Our mythical “Bad” food = Cake

If you label orange juice a “good food” you might want to consider all of the following points:

1) Do all brands of orange juice get this distinction?

2) Would the nutritional label of your ‘good’ orange juice have to fit into a certain parameter of sugar, salt, calories, additives etc, per serving? (you could simply adjust the serving size to make it fit, half cup vs full cup)

3) What about the source of oranges used and whether or not they are genetically modified

4) Pesticide use on the oranges used to make your juice

5) Artificial flavors and colors?

6) Political implications of where the oranges came from; was any farmer or region exploited in order to get these oranges into the juice you are drinking, were they paid a fair price, were there government subsidies etc.

7) Environmental impact and fuel usage of transporting the oranges and manufacturing the juice and the container that ended up on the store shelf in your town

…and on and on and on…you could take this more in the political direction, or more environmental, or more biological and the specific effects the juice has on your body (this last one is what I am assuming most people mean when they say ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food).

My mythical ‘bad’ food =A slice of Cake

If you label cake as ‘bad’ food you might want to consider all of the following points:

1) Is store bought pre made cake the same as home made cake even if it contains the same amount of fat, sugar, salt etc?

2) is it only bad because of the amount of calories or fat or sugar it contains? (is one bite just as bad as a whole slice)

3) Does the frequency that you eat the cake make a difference for how ‘bad’ it is. Ie: only once every couple months at a celebration is ok, but once a day is bad?

4) Environmental impact and fuel usage of transporting all the ingredients to the store then ending up in a mixing bowl on your counter then the oven then on your plate.

5) If it were the only piece of food you ate today would it still be ‘bad’

6) If you are in good health, happy with your weight and have no measurable ‘health’ issues before and after you eat the cake is it still ‘bad’

…and on and on and on…

It is my contention that there is no such thing as good and bad foods, there is only this…

The food you choose to eat, and the impact this food has directly on your body (both physiologically and emotionally) and the environment impact if purchasing that particular food item.

When you look at it this way food choices become much more personal than general lists of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and you can start to become a much more responsible, eater, shopper, consumer, citizen, parent, spouse, person.


(please feel free to leave a comment, however, if you want to talk to me directly, feel fee to email me at john (at) adoniseffect.com)

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Monday, June 08, 2009

How to lose baby fat

Here's a great email from a women who used Eat Stop Eat to help her get rid of her post-pregnancy baby fat.

She combined Eat Stop Eat with a solid workout plan and responsible eating, and deserves an amazing amount of credit for her hard work.

A great 'real life' success story ==> lose Baby Fat


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Friday, June 05, 2009

A bone to pick with Brad Pilon

NOTE: This is a Guest Post by John Barban, Science Editor of Eat Stop Eat and the Nutrition Help Blog.

As you know Brad does a wonderful job simplifying the concept of diet and weight loss to a point that is straight forward, easy to understand and frankly very difficult to argue with. But I have a bone to pick with Brad.

I feel like he stops short and doesn’t quite take it as far as it can go.

I think there is one more step Brad could take explaining how weight loss and diet really work. And so far this is most effective and simple way I can explain this (although it does seem to make some people uncomfortable)…so here goes.

Take 5 minutes at some point today (preferably alone) to take all of your clothes off and go stand in front of a full body mirror and then say this one simple statement out loud while you are looking at yourself in the mirror:

“The amount and kind of food I eat, and the amount of exercise and activity I do, make me look like this”

If by the end of this statement you are feeling pretty good about yourself and like what you see in the mirror then that is great. Give yourself a pat on the back even.

If on the other hand you see a few spots where you would like to see some improvement (specifically losing some fat, or maybe even building up a few muscles) then you only have two courses of action…and those are…

Eat slightly less calories (on average) than you are currently eating…to lose fat

Do more targeted weight training than you are currently doing…to build muscle

It really is this simple.

How you arrive at a calorie deficit is up to you. I personally choose Eat Stop Eat because A) I spent almost two full years editing the darn thing and B) it really is hands down the simplest way to eat less calories long term without going nuts about it.

And weight training is absolutely essential to building and maintaining firm and youthful like muscle long into your life.

This might be a bit harsh, but it’s really what we’re all dealing with. The way our bodies currently look and our ability to change and manipulate it with diet and exercise.

I have found Eat Stop Eat to be the only truly effective long term solution for lasting fat loss/weight loss. And as always weight training will be a staple in my weekly routine for the rest of my life.

Weight loss nutrition and exercise should never be more confusing or consuming that these two simple steps.

People like Brad have taken the burden upon themselves to sort through all of the nutrition and diet industry media hype and rhetoric as well as rooting through all of the dry and tedious research.

Once this information has all been analyzed and broken down we realize that our multiple ways to 'eat for weight loss' yet they all revolve around eating less (and hopefully weight training more).

When you simplify this down to it's core the result is the beautifully simple nutrition and lifestyle of Eat Stop Eat.

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