The “Last Diet You’ll Ever Need”? Not So Much…

That was the title of one of the articles in this week’s ‘s e-newsletter.  

Of course, I just had to click on it.

I never know what to expect when I see a title like that these days, so I braced myself for what I presumed would likely be anything from a gimmicky combination of packaged non-foods to a suggestion to eat (as Paula Deen says) everything in moderation.

Certainly, though, I assumed it would present itself as being ‘easy to follow’, given our society’s obsession with “quick fixes  and I-want-results-now”.

Boy, was I wrong.

Instead, along with a a picture that displayed a glass of milk, several pieces of bread and a variety of grains and legumes spilled out amongst some lovely fruit, veg and fish.I found a long chart, breaking down to the nth degree solely  based on number of calories, what one should consume:

  • Protein: Eat one gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight. So if you want to weigh 200 pounds, you’d eat 200 grams of protein per day for a total of 800 calories.
  • Fat: Remember, the amount of fat you want will depend on many specific factors. As a rough goal on a fat loss plan, eat .5 grams of fat for your goal body weight. Using the 200 pound model, you would consume 100 grams of fat per day, or 900 total calories.If you find that this is too much and you gain weight (reminder: fat does NOT make you fat), aim for .3 to .4 grams of fat per pound of goal body weight. Listen to your body and you will see changes.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are dependent on how much protein and fat you consume in your diet. That is, you’ll eat carbs to fill in the remainder of calories needed in your diet.Using the formula above, let’s say you wanted to eat 2500 calories per day.
  • Add your protein (800 calories ) and your fat (900 calories) and then subtract it from the total number of calories you want to eat (2500-1700 = 800 calories), then divide the remainder number of calories (800) by 4, and you’ll have a target number of carbohydrates you should eat (200 grams).
  • Therefore, on this sample diet you’d eat:   200 grams of protein (800 calories or 30% of your diet)100 grams of fat (900 calories or 40% of your diet)200 grams of carbs (800 calories or 30% of your diet)


There are so many things wrong with this approach.  With quotes such as, “…and if you’re eating healthy, about 10 to 20 percent of your total calories can basically come from any foods you want. Your choices among carb-dominant foods (fruit, milk, starchy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, grains, legumes) should be based on your personal preference and tolerance, while maintaining as much variety as reasonably possible” interspersed throughout, the message is no less confusing and inaccurate than the majority of the other diet trends out there.

Take a guess at how many people will read this and feel reassured that the fact that they do, indeed, regularly get 10 – 20 percent (if not significantly more) of their calories from soft drinks, candy, packaged junk and who knows what else.

How many more times do we need to see yet another placating message from an ‘expert’ to a ‘reputable source’ to a big, bad company, encouraging us that ‘it’s ok, a little is bit is just fine’, when, in actuality, no, a little bit of poison is not alright?

What a shame.  

Yet another wasted opportunity to send out a different message, one that’s accurate and  and would actually help people get healthier by telling them the truth about what they should really be eating (food).