Food Labels: Low Fat, Low Calorie Foods for Weight Loss?
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 10:00AM
Mike Dillman in Natural health advice, advice, calories, diet, fat, food, health, loss, nutrition, raw, vegan, weight, wellness

My desire to write this blog is often motivated by what I read on food labels at the grocery store.  Most recently, my inspiration was a yogurt container. 

The offending phrase was "weight-maintenance support". That was followed by the words, "No fat.  No sugar.  No aspartame."  I could hardly suppress an audible groan. 

Misguided thinking

Marketing like this is a tell-tale sign of just how far off track we are as a society.  Sadly, so many of us are totally lost about even the very basics of a healthy diet.  That means claims like these will actually lead a lot of innocent people to make the wrong choices. 

It's an indisputable fact that the western diet is causing widespread bodyweight issues around the world (among many other serious health concerns).  Eating processed, refined, denatured and destroyed "food products" comes with a heavy toll, and you can't hide the effects. 

People don't like being sick, but most aren't willing to change.  They expect something for nothing.  They want to keep eating the same foods that caused them to get overweight, only without the weight gain.  The food industry is completely aware of consumers' mindsets and takes full advantage of the situation (working to make money off the illness they contributed to).  "You want to lose weight, we've got products for that!  We'll just engineer you some foods that you can eat all day long without gaining weight."  Hence we end up with grocery shelves stocked with"weight-maintenance" yogurt, as well as "weight-maintenance" bread, cookies, ice cream, cola, pasta, etc... 

Only a short-term gimmick

Is this a victory of some sort?  No.  At best, it's a pyrrhic victory.  The term describes a hollow victory that comes with such serious consequences that it dooms the victor to an eventual defeat.  You may have succeeded in the narrowest of perspectives; you cut your calories.  Bravo.  You win the battle but you lose the war. 

The real objective is a healthy, natural body weight

Remember to focus on your real objective. What are you really seeking to accomplish?  You want a natural bodyweight.  You want to feel good and look good.  You want to be healthy.  The obstacle to achieving this was eating too many calories.  The solution you chose to correct this was to redesign the old food.  What you should have done was chosen a different food. 

This requires meaningful change

Nothing really changes unless your diet changes, and that means a deep, fundamental overhaul, not a tease or an empty gesture.  You may not want to hear it, but it's true.  There's a reason why it's hard to quit snacking on unhealthy foods.  They lack the nutrients your body needs.  They never manage to fill the void because, no matter how much you eat, they never provide what you need.  This leaves your body longingly calling for more, naively hoping that the next bite might have something good in it, but it never does. 

Embrace a raw vegan diet

There is, of course, an easy way to fix this.  We talk about it extensively all over the site, so I'll cut to the chase for now.  Eat a diet packed with fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.  That way, your body gets the nutrients it needs and doesn't need to keep begging for extras.  Suddenly, you'll find that having the healthy body you always wanted is pretty darn easy. Or you could try and play games with your body.  You won't feel well, you'll always be seeking food to fill the void, and you'll never be healthy. 

Think critically

So, what is the point here?  It's simple.  Don't look for food labels for guidance on your health.  They don't address the real issue.  Weight-maintenance only means "we stripped any remaining nutrition out of this product to make it low in calories" or "we shrunk the portion size to trick you". 

Make meaningful changes

Be honest with yourself.  If you don't like the way you feel, you probably need to make a change.  Not a pretend one; a real one. 

Learn and ask questions

If you're overwhelmed and don't know how to start, that's okay.  It's certainly not your fault.  There's so much misinformation out there that it's almost impossible to find your way to the truth.  Browse the rest of the articles on the site.  Learn a bit about the raw-vegan diet and what it has to offer you.  Just please promise me you won't wander the grocery aisles hoping to find good health advice there.  It will only leave you feeling empty and wanting more. 

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Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

Article originally appeared on Real-World Raw Health and Nutrition (http://www.realworldraw.com/).
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