Weight Loss Myths

October 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy Lifestyle

We all know that the weight loss industry is big business and therefore, when information is provided free of charge in the media by health professionals such as celebrity doctors, many people believe that they are being fed the right advice (pardon the pun).  It is generally assumed that these health professionals don’t have hidden agendas when providing ‘free’ information and you may not stop to consider that they also have books or other products to sell you as well as possibly trying to increase their bookings for paid speaking events by appearing in magazines and newspapers and on TV. Others try to push products that they are being paid to sponsor, which is common in the vitamin supplement business.

I have nothing against health practitioners trying to make money, after all – if we can’t make a sustained living helping others we couldn’t continue our work and therefore, no-one would benefit from our knowledge. However, what I do object to is the misinformation often given by practitioners that seemingly have limited knowledge of nutrition and the science behind nutrition, despite them becoming celebrities in this field.

One example is a ‘free’ weight loss diet I have just read that instructs participants to chop up a large variety of fruit into ‘bite-sized’ pieces and leave in the fridge to graze on throughout the day. The problem with this approach is that by the time you consumed all of the fruit, there would be very few nutrients remaining so what would be the point? I guess as a naturopathic practitioner and health scientist, I look at this type of eating method quite differently to most other practitioners.

When I first began studying nutritional science at university many years ago, I learnt that the second we cut open fruit or vegetables, they begin to break down and lose nutrients (and valuable antioxidants). The longer they remain uneaten, the higher the nutrient loss. That’s why you should never purchase ½ a cabbage, cauliflower, celery or other vegetables sold in the shops and should always try to buy the produce while they are still whole. The same applies to melons or other large fruits that are sold in sections. So, telling people to chop their ‘fresh’ produce up into small pieces and leave in the fridge, in my view, increases their chances of suffering from nutrient deficiencies. Not only that, encouraging overweight people to eat lots of fruit can prevent them from losing weight altogether. Fruit contains natural sugars (fructose) which can generally prevent any significant fat loss, if too much is consumed. Furthermore, this particular ‘weight loss’ program also encouraged followers to eat a fair amount of bread. As bread is a complex carbohydrate that increases blood glucose levels, it too can prevent effective fat loss. After many years of clinical experience in naturopathic health care and seeing a vast number of overweight people – one of the many factors that has caused their excessive weight gain has been their intake of complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately a large amount of people crave carbohydrate-rich foods like breads, pasta and crackers but most of us are unable to lose weight when eating such foods. Therefore, in my view, including lots of bread and a large amount of fruit in a ‘weight-loss’ diet is questionable, not to mention encouraging the consumption of ‘nutrient-deficient’ fruit, due to its advanced preparation. 

If you are seeking individual advice about the safest and most effective weight loss diet for your biologically-unique body, I suggest you consult a qualified naturopath or our centre for naturopathic health care and nutritional and weight loss advice rather than reading generic information in newspapers, books or magazines.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Do you buy your fruit and vegies already pre-cut? Have you found it hard to lose weight when eating bread and lots of fruit? Are you fed up with misinformation about weight loss?

Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher 

Earth Medicine TM

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Sar Rooney is a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner specialising in Anxiety and Depression |Women’s Health| Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Genetic Polymorphisms (MTHFR/Pyroluria) | Nutritional Medicine | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention 

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Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please note: I am not a medical practitioner.


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