With so much nutrition advice available, how do you know what to believe?
For example, my friend Jason asked me if I heard about Almased, not because he was interested in it but because he was shocked at the diet plan and that it was endorsed by a Registered Dietitian (RD). So, if a MD and RD recommend Almased, does that mean that you should use the product to lose weight and follow the diet plan?
At the beginning, you only drink vegetable broth, water and three Almased® shakes per day. For each “meal”, eight level tablespoons of Almased® with cold water (bottled or filtered) or milk (skim, unsweetened almond or soy). The weight loss during this phase may be higher than for the rest of the diet. You can stay in this Starting Phase for a couple of days or up to 2 weeks if you feel good. Then you begin the Reduction Phase, during which you replace two meals (preferably breakfast and dinner) with an Almased® drink and eat one healthy meal. This phase lasts about 6 weeks or until you reach your ideal body weight. Then you enter the Stability Phase. For several weeks, replace one meal a day with Almased® in order to avoid the dreaded yo-yo effect that causes pounds to come back on quickly after a diet. Weight loss continues during this phase. If you replace your dinner with Almased®, you speed up the fat burning process during the night. Almased® not only curbs your hunger but also improves thermogenesis, the conversion of fat into heat. The body takes the energy it needs for the nightly repair of cells that were damaged during the day from fat cells – you lose weight while sleeping. There appears to be many nutrition experts out there with plenty of conflicting information. I work with many athletes and fitness enthusiasts and patients in the hospital, who ask me about different diets, foods, products, etc. and although I hear similar questions over and over again, there is always a question or two that makes me a bit upset that there are actually people out there with no credentials who speak so strongly about how a person should eat and people actually go to certain lengths to pay money for their advice.
Just like with a tri or running coach, a lawyer, a doctor, accountant, etc, you always want to put your trust in a person based on his/her credentials. Certainly, experience goes a long way but there is something very important in society for individuals to gain an education in an area before practicing in that area.
But what about a personal philosophy? With so many experts out there (with and without credentials), who do you trust when your health is involved....and you are willing to pay money for help/advice?
I feel right there, this would take away a lot of confusion with nutrition for if you want nutrition help, direct your energy toward someone who has a reason to provide nutrition advice and then go with the philosophy that you feel will better your life and will fit your needs. Although I highly recommend working with a registered dietitian when it comes to eating for health and a RD specializing in sports when it comes to performance, your choice of who you receive your nutrition advice from should be based on a personal philosophy of the expert. Credentials or no credentials, there is a lot of advice available to the public and you don't have to believe everything that you hear.
To help you out when it comes eating to improve your health and/or changing your diet for performance/body composition, here are a few tips to follow.
-Ask yourself if the philosophy of your expert gives you happiness. -Does the philosophy have meaning? -Is the advice practice, useful and valuable during all stages of life? - Can the philosophy apply in all situations and circumstances in life? -Does the advice seem healthy? Would the advice of this expert work for a child, an elderly person or an individual who just beat cancer? Sure, everyone has different nutrient needs and different eating styles but is the recommendation so extreme for you that it would not be appropriate for others in some way or fashion? -Does the philosophy work for a lifetime - what about when the quick fix phase is over? -Can the advice of the expert carry you through the good and bad times in life? Is the advice only appropriate for you to be 100% in control all day every day? -Does the philosophy seem appropriate to meet your personal needs and goals? -Is your expert open to change or does he/she give extreme or black/white rules? -Is your expert open to many ways of thinking about how to improve your health? You don't have to accept every philosophy so don't limit yourself to believe that you only have live one way for the rest of your life. -Does your expert appear to be an expert at everything or is his/her philosophy based on a specialty? -Does your expert practice what he/she preaches? -Does your expert have an answer for everything or is he/she constantly exploring new ways of thinking to ensure that you live the best life possible?
The bottom line is where do you draw the line when it comes to believing everything you hear and read? Even when you are most vulnerable, desperate and needy to try anything and everything or feel frustrated that you have failed in the past, consider your primary goals both short and long term with your body, health and fitness/performance before you search for a person who has a philosophy that meets your individual needs.