Did your New Years health kick come in a box? How are you going with that?
January, February, March how you invigorate us all with the promise of fresh starts, clean slates and new habits. I love the motivation that comes with the turning of the page of the calendar and wouldn’t want to dissuade anyone from making changes to their lifestyle to improve their health. But I’ve noticed a recent trend on my social media feeds over the past year or so, that makes me want to get a bit shouty.
It usually starts with some vague comments along the lines of “I’ve got so much energy, this is amazing,” prompting people to contact them by private message to find out the scoop on what this secret energy booster is. Then comes the comments like “I’ve lost 10 kilos with nutritional cleansing, contact me to find out more.”
It’s the phrase ‘nutritional cleansing’ that’s the giveaway that your friend has been seduced by the biggest name in dieting of recent times. I’m not going to name the product here, as I don’t agree with it and think it doesn’t do anything to help create better food habits.
At its core, this product is meal replacement shakes, combined with a range of expensive supplements that claim to accelerate fat burning, boost energy and aid your weight loss journey.
What it really is, is dairy-based protein shakes together with some vitamins to replace the nutrients you aren’t getting from real food. Whenever you replace meals with diet shakes of any description, you miss out on a range of micronutrients that science is only just starting to learn about. These programs, whether it’s the expensive direct sales product that we are referring to here, or the cheap meal replacement shakes you can pick up for a fraction of the cost at your local chemist, work because they create a very low calorie diet. This means that they are great for rapid weight loss, but as we all know, rapid weight loss usually means rapid weight re-gain once you stop the program.
So what’s the alternative?
Sorry guys, I know it’s not quick and sexy, but the only way to really create lasting change is by empowering yourself to cook real, nourishing foods. “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” It’s the “mostly plants” and “not too much” part that most people struggle with.
Even if you don’t have food intolerances, my new online food program is a great way to reset habits and learn to embrace the life-enhancing properties of real, home-cooked food. And unlike a meal replacement shake, you can adapt this way of eating to family meals, social outings and all the other real world events that life throws at us.
So throw away the boxes and find real change in your greengrocer, butcher and farmers markets.