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Old 10-30-2013, 01:34 PM   #1
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A former commercial diet center employee apologizes

I just read an amazing piece by a woman named Iris Higgins called "An Open Apology to my Weight Loss Clients" (sorry I can't post the link). She worked for one of those commercial diet centers that provides frozen meals (the franchise remains unnamed, but you can make some educated guesses).

Some excerpts:
Quote:
I'm sorry because it's only years later that I realize just how unhealthy a 1200 calorie diet was. I stayed on a 1200-1500 calorie diet for years, so I have the proof in myself. Thyroid issues, mood swings, depression, headaches...oh and gluten intolerance that seemed to "kick in" after about a month of eating the pre-packaged food. Was it a coincidence? Maybe
Quote:
I'm sorry because every time you ate something you "shouldn't" or ate more than you "should," I talked about "getting back on the bandwagon." I cringe now every time someone uses that phrase. When did the way we eat become a bandwagon? When did everyone stop eating and become professional dieters? I'm sorry because I get it now. If you're trying to starve your body by eating fewer calories than it needs, of course it's going to fight back. I used to tell you that then, when you wanted to eat less than 1200 calories a day. The problem was, I thought 1200 was enough. I thought that was plenty to support a healthy body. Why did I believe that for so long? I'm sorry because I wasn't trying to trick you or play games to get your money. I believed the lies we were fed as much as you did.
Quote:
I am sorry because many of you walked in healthy and walked out with disordered eating, disordered body image, and the feeling that you were a "failure." None of you ever failed. Ever. I failed you. The weight loss company failed you. Our society is failing you.

Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It's really just that. Nonsense.
It's a powerful piece that speaks to all of us, who surely tried calorie restriction first.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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I think she's still 'missed the boat'. The calorie restriction is not a problem and 1200-1500 calories is quite acceptable for someone wanting to lose weight. The problem was not restricting the calories, it was the high carb/low fat part of their program that was the problem.

It's irresponsible to tell someone that all they need to do is 'eat real food' and 'be active' if they're still eating more calories than they expend. That's setting themselves up for that feeling of being a failure again.

Calories aren't the be all and end all of losing weight, but they do count. My middle son does CrossFit regularly to the level of competing in various events (and is one of the instructors) and eats Paleo...and barely maintains an appropriate weight and he admits that it is because as much as he's eating 'real food' and keeping active (far more active than most people), he's also eating more calories than he's expending.

1200-1500 calories is not unhealthy. How you eat those calories can be.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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I really don't want to debate whether calorie restriction is essential to weight loss or not in this thread. There's plenty of debate about it elsewhere. That's not really what her post was about, even though she focused on calorie restriction.

Her main point is that SHE, at the behest of this company, made women (primarily) feel like failures because this diet (assuredly high carb, low fat, though she doesn't address that) failed them. She believed in the diet and advice given, and has since learned differently.

I hope you'll find and read the whole thing. The real message is that conventional dietary advice is failing US, not the other way around.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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"The real message is that conventional dietary advice is failing US, not the other way around. "

Yeah...not what I got from that at all. She's still clueless if she thinks that 1200 calories is unhealthy and that you can get healthy by just 'eating the right food' and 'be active'...and she's still giving bad 'advice'.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
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Honestly, I don't believe anything I read and hear these days. I don't really think anyone knows anything. All that circulates is opinion. I rely on my own experience to make judgements and listen to other people's experience to help make my decisions. I don't really even thinks she needs to apologize, were all victims of the nonsense the media tends to spread around.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
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At least she trying to right the wrong she feels she helped perpetuate. I can admire that. She may not have all the answers yet, but she's at least on the right track now...
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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I sometimes wonder how the people who peddle all this diet mumbo jumbo sleep at night.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #8
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Although they didn't work for me I do know people who have lost weight and kept it off through such programs. A lot of people believe what they endorse is the best program so have no trouble preaching about it.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
Honestly, I don't believe anything I read and hear these days. I don't really think anyone knows anything. All that circulates is opinion. I rely on my own experience to make judgements and listen to other people's experience to help make my decisions. I don't really even thinks she needs to apologize, were all victims of the nonsense the media tends to spread around.
Couldn't agree more
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:35 PM   #10
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I have MS. I am a leader in a large group & have learned to respect others first hand experience as VALID... for them at least. We ARE individuals.
I know a guy who didn't need to lose but gained & triggered health issues when he ate LC with his wife who needed to lose & did well LC, BTW.
My own old school doctor was against Atkins but admitted it had worked for me. Now, more than 10 years later, he's encouraging me to go back on because everything else I tried has failed.
My ex went to diet meetings & councilors... it did not solve her problems... but so much of what they were told was bunk. But the "councilors" were all trained by the company as much as anything to sell goods & services... but really were not skilled in all the facets of weight control.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:30 PM   #11
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Don't confuse diet with way of life.,A 1220 cal diet is just fine if you want to lose 10 lbs for the bikini holiday but if you are metabolically challenged they are simply not equipped to deal with that . Their failing is that they do not recognise their limitations as market share is everything. Kudos to the woman to write this apology .It was not her fault ,she herself drank the kool aid but the takeaway from this for me is that people are starting to wake up and sare starting to wonder.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aomiel View Post
I think she's still 'missed the boat'. The calorie restriction is not a problem and 1200-1500 calories is quite acceptable for someone wanting to lose weight. The problem was not restricting the calories, it was the high carb/low fat part of their program that was the problem.

It's irresponsible to tell someone that all they need to do is 'eat real food' and 'be active' if they're still eating more calories than they expend. That's setting themselves up for that feeling of being a failure again.

Calories aren't the be all and end all of losing weight, but they do count. My middle son does CrossFit regularly to the level of competing in various events (and is one of the instructors) and eats Paleo...and barely maintains an appropriate weight and he admits that it is because as much as he's eating 'real food' and keeping active (far more active than most people), he's also eating more calories than he's expending.

1200-1500 calories is not unhealthy. How you eat those calories can be.
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