This morning, while on the elliptical, I watched one of those celebrity entertainment programs (I think it was Extra) before the news came on. There was a lot of discussion about nutrition and they had a guest trainer to the stars who talked about a healthy diet that included five small meals a day.
I think that’s a reasonable approach, in fact I’ve heard the term “grazing” to describe that type of diet. What bothered me about this diet were the meal-snacks themselves: egg whites, cheese and meat. The portion sizes were small but the balance was completely off. There were no vegetables or fruit or whole grains. I’m sure that following this diet and training would help a person lose weight but unless the person was taking supplements I can’t imagine it’s a healthy approach. During other parts of the show they featured diet snacks, all of which included Philadelphia cream cheese. This was clearly sponsored and cream cheese is probably a better choice than butter or lard but I think it’s disingenuous to represent the main ingredient in cheesecake as particularly healthy.
I eat small portions in my four daily “meals” – pre-post exercise, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Total calorie intake is low and I am careful to balance to the food pyramid. Knock on wood this diet works since I rarely get sick and when I do it’s usually a mild cold that leaves after a day. Yesterday, due to scheduling issues, I missed lunch and barely noticed. I had something small on the fly to remind my metabolism that I’m not starving so it should keep working. I remember a time six months ago when missing lunch would be much more noticeable.
I hope people recognize that just because a famous trainer on television promotes a diet that is disproportionately balanced toward protein it doesn’t mean it’s a good choice.