The Latest in a Long Line Variety and Balance
Beverly learned about the HCG diet from a friend who’d been on it and lost 22 pounds in a month. She got very excited about it because she’d been dieting for 10 years and thought she’d finally found the solution to her struggle. She bought the required hormones and began the 500-calorie-a-day regimen. (I’ve always wondered why you need the hormones.) The diet allowed Beverly a small serving of a protein food, a vegetable, a bread and a fruit. She stayed on the restrictive diet for almost two months! This took almost superhuman strength, she said as she looked back on it. Beverly lost 18 pounds and felt terrible, although she certainly looked thinner.
Then, Beverly simply lost the will to go on starving herself. She couldn’t take it anymore; it wasn’t worth it, she said. So, she began to eat, and eat, and eat. She said she ate everything, almost, she said, including inanimate objects! She gained the weight back as fast as she had lost it, but the ride down on the scale and then back up was grueling. She said she wished she had never heard of the HCG diet.
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There are two things going on here. Beverly’s calorie intake is severely restricted, but there’s another kind of deficit for which diets are notorious; most are rigid in disallowing dieters to be sensitive to their bodies’ appetite fluctuations from day to day, for both type and amount of food. Bodies on a diet are usually in a food straight jacket. Dieters committed to specific diet plans are rarely allowed to have any flexibility regarding what and how much they eat: Bodies not only don’t get as much food as they need, they are also very restricted to specific foods without regard for their food interests and needs. So, before we talk about exactly what foods are recommended here, there’s another important thing to learn in order to understand the program you can live with.
Variety and Balance
There are natural fluctuations in our appetites and our interest in various foods. You doubt this? Try eating eggs three meals a day, every day, and watch what happens to your appetite for eggs. Variety in your diet is important for ensuring that you’ll eat a broad range of nutrients over time. As we know, foods are made up of different nutrients and calorie sources like proteins, carbohydrates and fats. And we’ve noted that there is a connection between the types of food you’re interested in eating and the food your body needs. If certain foods are limited or restricted in a diet, bodies may miss these nutrient sources and the dieter might develop a strong interest in these foods. On the other hand, when diets promote some food types as preferable over others, dieters may end up with an aversion to such foods. So, we need variety in our diets, to be sure. This is why restaurants have menus, I suppose. Naturally, the same types of food over and over just don’t appeal to us.
The point is, your appetite for certain foods is general a reflection of what you’ve been eating, or not eating, and if it’s off-kilter, you can fix it. If you’ve eliminated certain high quality foods or food groups, reintroducing them will bring you back into balance. And if you’ve focused your diet on a particular quality food group, like protein, back off and get that food group back to a balanced place in your diet.