Let Them Eat Cake

by Pat Barone, CPCC, MCC
“America’s Weight Loss Catalyst”

We’re going to have some fun this month.  Here are some food myths it’s time to destroy:

  1. Instant oatmeal might as well be cake!  Heavily fortified by sugars, the instant flavored stuff takes a great natural product and pretty much destroys or obliterates any contribution to a healthy diet.  Contrary to what the box label intimates, you don’t have to pay extra for “microwaveable” oatmeal to make oatmeal in the microwave.  Use the pure product (pure oats are even better than the flaked kind) and add vanilla, maple or other natural flavoring if you desire.
  2. Ketchup is not a vegetable, no matter what the government says.  Ketchup is approximately 80% sugar.  That’s a higher percentage of sugar than cake!
  3. Most cereal might as well be cake!  Look at your label.  Total is just about the only brand of cereal worth using for breakfast – and no other comes close in the amount of nutrients and vitamins.  The cereal manufacturers have come out with a lot of products aimed at women lately – touting the additional amounts of calcium in them – but none of them have as much calcium as Total.  (By the way, I just did a family taste test on the new High Protein Total. Don’t waste your time or money – unless you have a deep and abiding love for the taste of cardboard.)
  4. French fries are not vegetables!  They don’t count towards your daily 4 or 8!  Whatever nutrients might have been there are fried away and so laden with bad fat, they are unredeemable by the body for any positive use.  I’m not even sure they count as a carb either.  They are primarily fat and burned food particles by the time they reach you – certainly not something digestible.  Most commercial fast food french fries are reconstituted potato anyway.  They were only potatoes in another life, far far away!
  5. Sugar is not low fat!  If you live in Madison, Wisconsin and you were in Woodman’s grocery store at 8 p.m. April 13, that was me you heard yelling at the top of my lungs when I saw these words on a bag of sugar:  “A NATURALLY LOW FAT FOOD!

NO!!  NO!!  NO!!

I went from customer to customer, asking “Do you think sugar is a FOOD?  Do you think it’s LOW FAT?”  Unless you’re planning on sipping from the bag itself, you’ve got to mix sugar with something to make it edible – and that’s usually white flour and lots of fat.  It’s deadly!  Especially if it forms the bulk of your diet in the form of muffins, scones, breads, cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, etc.  Once and for all, let’s nix the low fat scenario that never worked to take off the pounds (but made a lot of money for food manufacturers).

  1. Most meal replacement shakes might as well be cake!  This is the comparison fitness experts make when they read the ingredients in a commercial protein shake – a cake mix with a little protein added.  You can make your own protein shake with pure protein powder (choose soy or whey protein), milk, a multivitamin, fruit or natural flavoring.
  1. Alcohol is sugar!  Make no mistake about it.  Doesn’t make any difference if it’s one of these new low-carb beers (which aren’t new at all, just more expensive now).

Here the point of my ranting:

What can you change in your current
eating regimen right now that would
have a positive effect on the amount
of nutrients you get every day?

After all, the more food you eat which doesn’t give you nutrients, the more you’ll stay hungry for more.  In fact you’ll stay hungry until your body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs.  That’s your body’s unique genius for survival at work.

Here’s an example of a positive change:  Chili’s recently revamped their kids menu so that kids can get a side dish of broccoli or corn instead of fries.  All right!  Let’s hear a big round of applause for Chili’s.  Now, this is a big shift and I realize it may take a while to catch on – in fact, the wait staff isn’t quite accustomed to it yet.  My son ordered cheese pizza, broccoli and milk for dinner last week and the server nearly fainted.  She was even more amazed when he ate it all!  “You actually drank all your milk?  WOW!” she said.  (He’s 11 and thought she was flirting with him so her response had some positive impact!)

When I look back at my 70-pound weight loss, there were two changes I made that had a huge impact on my success.  I gave up french fries and pizza.  Just two foods made an enormous difference! But I knew they were problem foods for me because, once I started eating them, I felt a loss of control around them.  (If you have a problem giving up a particular food, email me and we’ll set up a coaching session for you – I have great exercises to help you break negative habits!)

So, here’s my challenge:  Are you willing to have broccoli and milk with your pizza?  Or substitute a salad or vegetable for fries?  It’s the small changes that get you started and lead to you even more positive changes down the road.

Be proactive this week.  Make some simple changes like adding more veggies, fruit and calcium products or deleting sodas, fries and chips – it’ll make a difference you’ll see and feel!

You are welcome to reprint this article as long as you reprint the full article and include the following in its entirety: Reprinted from Pat Barone, America’s Weight Loss Catalyst & Catalyst Coaching® LLC, permanent weight loss coach. © 2000-2012 patbarone.com All Rights Reserved. Get Pat’s free 5 Key Lessons for Permanent Weight Loss here!