As I mentioned yesterday, I interviewed my cousin Gail Kardish, a Registered Dietician, about all things Oz. I got her expert opinion of Dr. Oz’s Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan, the DASH Diet, and found out why Registered Dieticians hate my “Whiz-ard”. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out, here is the link https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/fact-or-fad-part-1/ now on to Part 2!
Q: A lot of people have a lot of success with Weight Watchers and the points system – what are your thoughts?
A: The old Weight Watchers system was a great diet. The new plan sets some people up to play the system. For example, instead of eating nutritionally balanced food, some people will take all of their points for the day, and have one gigantic piece of chocolate cake. It’s perfectly legal, but not the best choice.
Note from Jill – the old system included all of the basic food groups and a limited amount of optional calories. Each week, new foods were introduced and you received a few more optional calories. You had boxes to check off indicating that you had eaten a serving from that particular food group. You also had to check off whether you ate your optional calories and drank 6-8 glasses of water. This diet was amazing and the one where I kept weight off for almost a decade. It was more about serving size versus points and it was really about a lifestyle choice, not a diet. I’ve tried the new system, I did well, but the point counting got to be too much. I know it does work for a lot of people though.
Q: How about the new trend where celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow offer nutritional advice (side note, I’m not a Gwynnie fan)?
A: I hate Gwyneth Paltrow (can you tell we are related?). Don’t even try to do what celebrities do! A lot of what they put out there is untrue and not substantiated by any credible sources. They are also air brushed in photos which sets up a standard that the average women can’t live up to. What they put out there is not reality. They have chefs and personal trainers whose job it is to ensure that they are in good shape.
Q: Moving on to my favourite new topic – probiotics. As a registered dietician, what do you think of them? Can you stay on them indefinitely?
A: They are still fairly new, but there is research that supports their claims. It is possible, in some people, that they may have a placebo effect. So far, from what I’ve seen, they won’t hurt you, and may help with certain conditions and you can stay on them indefinitely. A lot of people find them unaffordable, so I suggest kefir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir) – it’s a good source of probiotics and is much cheaper than taking a capsule. (Note from Jill – I’d rather go without probiotics than eat kefir, but good suggestion Gail!).
Q: Ok – give me the skinny on cleanses – are you in favour or not?
A: I am absolutely, 100% against cleanses (as are most registered dieticians). I believe in a lifestyle not a diet or cleanses to maintain or achieve good health. A cleanse is a quick fix and you lose all of the perceived benefits almost immediately when it ends. Keep in mind that your body detoxifies itself and is set up perfectly to do this through organs like the liver and your kidneys. As soon as the cleanse is over, most people go back to the same habits and theoretically, you are “re-toxifying” yourself. They are dangerous, in many cases, as you are losing a lot of water which throws your electrolyte balances off. Some cleanses even use laxatives, which, over time, can result in a lazy bowel and some people become reliant on them causing permanant damage. As a registered dietician working at a hospital, I see people in the Emergency Room as a direct result of doing a cleanse. Keep in mind that you aren’t losing all of those calories either when you use a laxative cleanse. By the time everything reaches your colon, the small intestine has already absorbed the calories and nutrients so you are only really losing electrolytes and fluids. Even if you aren’t using a laxative based cleanse, there is no long term benefit and you are missing out on important nutrients that all of the main food groups have to offer.
Q: What is the key takeaway for the reader?
A: There are no quick fixes. You should be eating from all of the food groups to be in optimal health. Most people, if they diet, will eventually gain all back all of their weight and then some. Unless you make the decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle, the changes that are required to maintain a healthy weight can’t be maintained. No one is perfect, as I mentioned before, you have to give in to cravings occasionally so that they don’t turn from a treat into a binge. Make small changes to get yourself started and then keep going.
My cousin makes a ton of sense, and I agree with her about mostly everything. She also warned me about the Bernstein Diet – it’s not healthy or sustainable. There are always exceptions to every rule though. I gave Dr. Oz a C+ for his Rapid Weight Loss Plan because I had brain fog, there were mornings where I felt nauseous (maybe it was the electrolyte immbalance that my cousin was talking about) and because I couldn’t exercise. There were things that we both liked about his plan, but I think I’ll concentrate on the MASH Lifestyle Plan which I’ll write about tomorrow – taking the best of Dr. Oz and DASH. I also totally agree with what she said about cleanses. I know that a lot of people won’t agree with me (or her) and that’s their right, but I can only write about my own personal experience and thoughts, and give you the best advice that I can based on a professional’s opinion. Make that two professionals, since my trainer told me that no person who has a career in fitness would ever recommend a cleanse or any eating plan where you cannot exercise.
I can understand why, as a health care professional, she would have some issues with what Dr. Oz is putting out there. I have personally learned a lot and have gotten a lot of benefits from his advice, but keep in mind I sift through a lot of detail until I find what I am looking for. My typical blog entry, no matter how simple the topic, is about an hour of research. Most days, it’s a lot more. I made the error of changing my diet without speaking to a professional. After speaking with my cousin, at some point, I’m going to speak to a Registered Dietician and seek my doctor’s advice about what I have been doing. Check your benefits to see if you are covered, they are a great resource.
I would like to close with a little moment of gratitude. Today, I am truly grateful to my cousin for being such a great interview subject. I am also grateful that her entry was my most read blog to date. Gail, you were an amazing interview subject and I hope that you will let me interview you again in the future. Until then, I am…