Tuesday, November 18, 2008

5-Bite Diet?!?

It's been a while since I've blogged in here, but I posted my thoughts on this diet on Facebook and MySpace, so why not here? Here it is:

I couldn't resist tearing a new one on this deal.

I took a couple days off because of my grandfather's passing. There isn't going to be a funeral or anything, but I thought I should at least spend some time with my family over the next two days.
On any day I have off, I got up, washed some dishes, turned on the TV, and what? "We're going to have Dr. Alwin Lewis to talk about the new 5-bite diet." That grabbed my attention immediately.

In a nutshell, here's what it is: You can eat whatever you want! Yes, you can (in a non-Obama-type way because I don't want to offend B.O. by that association)! But...you have to skip breakfast, and you can only have 5 bites for lunch and 5 bites for dinner. You can have unlimited (low-calorie) teas, colas, coffee, water, etc. for the day. By doing this, you're supposed to lose weight and change what your stomach considers as "full". This can be 5 bites of a Big Mac for lunch and 5 bites of a tub of lard for dinner...just as long as it's five bites. "It's better than getting gastric bypass surgery and works the same way" (this "doctor's" golden argument of the diet).

Ok, let's briefly forget the fact that you're starving yourself here because that's completely obvious to EVERYONE.
1. You're skipping breakfast. It's not like it was some made-up garbage or part of a fad diet when doctors and nutritionists said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jump-starts your metabolism for the day. If you skip it, then what? Not only do you not get that metabolism kick, you're robbing yourself of the energy you need for the day. You get the most bang out of your buck with breakfast if you eat within one hour of waking up.

2. You're not taking in enough calories. If your caloric-intake for the day is in the hundreds, you're starving yourself. Plain and simple. Take it from someone who struggled with anorexia for six years of her life until she realized this is no way to be healthy. Yeah, I lost weight eating less, but was I any healthier? No. In fact, I was probably worse off then than I ever was in my life health-wise.

3. You're not getting the nutrients your body needs. This guy claims that you can do this safely as long as you take a multi-vitamin every day for your nutrients. He also says the reason why it's ok for obese people is because they "have too many nutrients" and need to cut back. WHAT?!? Their obesity has nothing to do with having too many vitamins and essential nutrients. They're not eating properly (i.e. the McDonald's diet) and exercising. Of course, health problems (thyroid, for instance) and age can affect it, as well, if you are on a good nutritional plan and exercising regularly. If you're not even trying though, there's no excuse.
I think it's common sense that a person is going to benefit more from vitamins and nutrients coming naturally than through a pill. A multi-vitamin can only do so much for you. You know, they're called supplements for a reason: They SUPPLEMENT. I think someone needs to show this "doctor" the definition of that word.

4. You may lose weight, but you're not getting healthier. Going back to point #2, you're starving yourself and not just of calories but proteins, carbs, etc. These are essential things your body needs throughout the day. Eating 5 bites of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is not going to have the same nutritional value as eating grilled tilapia on with some brown rice. But when we're talking about this diet, I guess the better I eat, the more starved I'm going to be, so I'd pick high-calorie foods to compensate.
It's not all about how MUCH we're eating but WHAT we're eating. This guy is trying to capitalize on saying the only problem here is that we just eat too much, and it has nothing to do with what we're eating. It has been PROVEN that if you pay attention to what it is you're eating and eat properly (even sans exercise), you'll be healthier. Starving yourself doesn't do it. Been there, done that; doesn't work! And not only that, it screws you up mentally. I can't even begin to go into the layers of problems that creates.

I found it interesting that someone who was trying to back up the diet wrote this in a comment on a website: "Many anorexics/bulimics/compulsive over eaters are having success with this diet. Loosing 15-30lbs every two weeks." Do they realize that they mentioned people with anorexia and bulimia as having success with the diet? Why should they be starving themselves anyway? I thought their problem was they needed to gain weight and/or get some help from a psychiatrist.

I guess I'm so passionate about this because I've had to deal with the absolute mental and physical tortures you put yourself through when you don't eat enough. I know anorexia is a different animal than just doing one of these diets, but it perpetuates the problem and could cause it in people who wouldn't have become anorexic otherwise.

As people in the Beachbody community (or otherwise), I think it's so important for us to impress good nutrition even more so when diets like these (don't even get me started on the acai berry diet) pop up. People who are uneducated in this area will jump right on this wagon and potentially destroy their bodies and lives. It's sad but true...