“Don’t no one around here know how to play this game?”
Came across an interesting post yesterday on Art Devany’s pay site. The gist of the post (for those without access) is a testimonial from a 46 year-old man (known as JF) who has lost 70-ish pounds by following Art’s Evolutionary Fitness lifestyle. Hell, the guy wasn’t even really faithful to the “lifestyle” since he didn’t workout while all this fat loss was occurring — he simply adhered to the proper diet. Imagine what the weight loss — and, more importantly, the overall body fat loss and bodily re-composition (muscle retention) — would’ve been had he even undertaken a half-assed workout regimen. 70 pounds. And the important fact to remember is that he’s made a change in eating habits that can be maintained for life.
Compare this, then, to the supposed success of the Jenny Craig superstars. Now, obviously, calorie restriction “works” in the short term, vis-à-vis weight loss. The real question is – and this is a question left conspicuously unanswered by Jenny Craig and their ilk – is just how permanent this weight loss is in the long term. In other words, How long will the JC faithful be able to maintain this weight loss once forced to re-integrate into the real world? With calorie restriction as the mainstay? Prepared meals? Are you kidding me? Let’s not even get into the muscle wasting issues.
Full disclosure, here, before I continue: I’ve had a long-time boy-crush on Valerie Bertinelli since way back in the One Day at a Time era, so I’m going to go easy on her here (I even thought her weightier self was pretty hot), and concentrate my riff, instead, on the Jenny Craig phenomenon as a whole.
Anyway, I wonder if ol’ Val will still be hucking the Jenny Craig “thing” 5 years from now — better yet, will she be able to maintain her poster-girl status 5 years out. This, methinks, would make for an interesting case study. I mean, really, how long can one wolf-down “prepared” meals or count calories, monkey with scales and food journals or screw around with “food exchanges” before the mind short-circuits? I think Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma — a fantastic book, by the way) has deftly encapsulated the only diet advice you’ll ever really need with this:
“Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much”.
Now, I might dicker with the “mostly plants” in want of “mostly protein”, but really, can you go wrong using Michael’s advice? Nope, I think not. And it costs not a damn thing to follow.