There's a new diet craze amongst the celebrity set that seems to be gaining momentum and inspiring women towards a new way of eating. Before you grab some cabbage soup or mentally prepare for a juice cleanse, this new diet craze is so shockingly simple and enjoyable, you'll have a slap on the forehead moment. Ready to hear all about this new diet trend?
You may be surprised to hear, it's as simple as eating balanced, wholesome meals.
What a revelation right? Celebrities including actress Cameron Diaz and world-famous chef and TV host Giada De Laurentiis are all saying the same thing: It's not about cutting out entire food groups or sticking to an obscenely low amount of calories. It's not about fasting or drinking cayenne-spiked lemon juice. It's about eating a wide array of whole foods packed with nutrients and limiting your intake of processed foods. Basically, a diet rich with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy doses of fats offered by animal proteins and rich vegetables.
This way of eating may be labeled "clean eating" by some, maybe even "primal" by others, but the bottom line is it's transformative for today's woman and is completely changing the diet doctrine that has long been handed down to us by Hollywood. From diet aids you sprinkle on food to help curb appetites to eating only five handfuls of food a day, the diet extremes coming out of Hollywood each year sound both scary and ridiculous. They may work, for a certain amount of time, but the dieter is either stuck living a somewhat miserable existence, subsiding on limited calories, or the weight is eventually gained back.
This new way of eating, promoted by the likes of Diaz and De Laurentiis, calls for no extreme measures and no fad tricks to get thin quick. Rather it's a lifestyle change that you focus on for the long haul.
As Diaz writes in The Body Book, "In this book, there is no goal to reach in 7 days or 30 days or 365 days. The goal here is forever. And what you will earn is measured not in pounds or inches lost, but in what you will gain."
Diaz's entire book is dedicated to explaining the science behind food, nutrition, exercise and mental health, and offers a very sane and balanced approach to living an overall healthy lifestyle. From chapters explaining why you need to feed your body when it tells you its hungry, to infographs which lay out a history of food production in America over the last 100 years, the information contained within her book will leave the average woman feeling empowered and inspired.
This thoughtful approach to eating and cooking puts the emphasis on health, with the expectation that the desirable physical results -- weight loss -- will simply be an added side-benefit. Experts agree that this approach to healthy eating, which focuses on the long-term, is the best way to not only lose weight, but keep it off. The University of Rochester states, "Incorporating long-term lifestyle changes are required to increase the chance of successful long-term weight loss."
As Giada explains in her latest cookbook, Giada's Feel Good Food:
"My number one philosophy on eating: Eat a little of everything, but not a lot of anything. It's such a simple idea but it took me a long time to embrace it fully. I don't believe in deprivation; it just fuels cravings and creates a vicious cycle of negative feelings. On the other side, overindulgence with any one thing just dulls your taste for it, leaving you eating more of it, trying to get that same pleasure, which isn't a good thing. I'm not saying you can't eat burgers. You just can't eat them five days a week! The good news is that when you make smarter choices, your taste buds will change. Your body will tell you what it needs to run best and your cravings will reflect this."
Even Gwyneth, with her strict views on feeding herself and her family, preaches this gospel of wholesome balanced eating in her book It's All Good when you consider that all food groups are included, and there's hardly any mention of calorie-counting or portion control. It's all about fueling your body with the best food possible so that it feels good, and if it winds up looking good too, well then that's not so bad.
As a busy mother of three quickly approaching 40, I welcome this type of diet with open arms. Bring on the whole-grain carbs, healthy fats - including butter, and a large dose of fruits and vegetables. Embrace eating and feeling good, not diet and deprivation. And appreciate whatever bodily outcome may result from such eating. I've been "eating clean" for nine months now, and aside from a couple of initial lost pounds, the scale hasn't budged but I feel the best I've ever felt, especially knowing that I'm feeding my body the best I possibly can. I still may have some bumps and lumps here and there, but I've never felt more at peace with my body.
A few things to consider, if you're interested in jumping on this latest Hollywood diet craze of wholesome, balanced eating:
1. Stick to 5 the meals a day concept, including 3 meals and 2 snacks, never skipping breakfast. This keeps your metabolism functioning at a healthy level and provides your body and mind with the fuel it needs to keep going.
2. While the emphasis is not on calorie-counting, do be mindful of the amount of food and nutrients your body needs to function at its optimal level, and eat according to that. Don't starve yourself or overindulge.
3. Cut back and/or eliminate processed foods including refined sugars and salt-laden snack foods and fast food.
4. Don't cut out entire food groups, like carbohydrates, but enjoy a wide array of foods including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and proteins from legumes and animal products. If vegetarian, learn how to get the most nutrient-dense plant protein you can to feel your best. Eating well-balanced meals will ensure you get all your necessary macro and micronutrients.
5. Drink water, and lots of it. Not only does water hydrate you, it helps your bowels and kidneys function properly, helps your skin look its best, helps speed up your metabolism, and helps red blood cells carry oxygen more efficiently to your muscles and brain.
6. Get moving. Whether it's an actual exercise class or just a bike ride with the kids, get some sort of physical exercise as often as you can, hopefully on an almost daily basis. Moving your body has a host of health benefits, both physical and mental, and us moms know we need as much stress-relief as possible.
Well done Hollywood, on finally contributing some sanity to the conversation on eating and dieting. While I don't want to rely on celebrities to dictate all my lifestyle habits, I'll gladly embrace and rally behind those advocating for a more healthful and realistic approach to eating.
So what do you think, could you get behind this way of eating, and do you think stars like Diaz and Giada are good representations for a new approach to healthy eating?
-By: Andrea Howe