Barbara – Compliance

A friend sent me a link to a report about the flaws of nutritional studies recently that contained some important “makes sense” information that I wanted to share with you. In Chocolate & Red Meat Can Be Bad for Your Science: Why Many Nutrition Studies Are All Wrong, we learn that the eating red meat might not be evil and eating dark chocolate might not be part of a healthful diet because researchers are telling us stories of cause-and-effect that might be things that occur together. People who have continued to eat red meat in the face of public campaigns against it might also ignore advice about exercise, smoking and tanning. That is, they might die sooner because of other choices that they’re making.

The author of the article described a “bias of compliance” – that people who follow their doctor’s advice are healthier than those who don’t. He cited a drug study that showed those who faithfully took even the placebo were better off than those who weren’t faithful to the drug. If we follow some rules, it seems, we tend to follow other rules.

Why am I telling you this?

We often talk on this blog – and in the real world – about what eating plan  will work best and I’m putting it out there that the eating plan is less important than adherence to a plan in general. Tracey wrote eloquently last week about Another Reason to Food Journal and I’m building on that. I’m in the same place as Katie, needing a Reset (and have been for a long while). I want to be in the place that Jenn is: Counting Down and kicking butt.

Since I don’t have to follow any particular plan to be successful, I’m going to commit to following a series of them – for two weeks at a time. Maybe switching from plan to plan will kickstart my motivation. If nothing else I’ll learn a few new recipes and figure out what works for me.  If you have a plan that you’d recommend, please let me know and I’ll give it a try. Otherwise, I’ll be consulting Prevention Magazine, popular diet plans and whatnot and reporting back to you.

Tale of the scale

I’m down a pound. Finally! I’ve joined Pam and others in a “waist-loss” challenge, which will get me focused on my (dreaded) waist measurement. I know you can’t lose weight only in a particular spot but having muscles underlying the “softness” at my middle will help.

Moving it

Hill repeats – running up and down the same hill over and over – have defined my last couple weeks. My motto is “big hills, little butt” and I’m pretty sure my butt is smaller ;) I ran 16km and 12km on the last two Sundays and did a couple of other short runs. I love this part of the half-marathon training! It makes me feel strong to be tackling these runs. It also gives me time to have extended conversations and solve the world’s problems, like I did yesterday with my friend, Erin.

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3 Responses to Barbara – Compliance

  1. Hi Barbara

    What an interesting topic! I’ve been searching for the ultimate health & fitness plan for ages. Perhaps one of the reasons it took so long is that I wanted something that was very simple and that I could stick to. Complicated tends to make my head hurt :)

    I finally discovered that the best thing I could do was consistently monitor calories consumed (a food journal) versus calories expended (an activity journal). I know that it sounds simplistic but if I can maintain a 500 a day calorie deficit I can lose a pound a week (on average). To take the pain out of making those calculations, I use a cool little wireless gadget that monitors my activity and provides statistics including how many calories I can eat in the day and still reach my goal.

    I try to eat healthy, especially watching my sodium intake, but I don’t feel guilty about enjoying the foods that I love even if they sometimes aren’t the “best” choices. My activites are things that I enjoy (yoga, Pilates, walking etc.) and that I can do on a daily basis. At my age it’s no use burning out on a really strenuous work out and then having to take time to recover.

    This plan is slow, stressless and hopefully something I that I will follow for the rest of my life as looking & feeling better are excellent motivators.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what others doing, especially how they are tailoring their plans to their own situation and requirements.

    Thanks!

  2. Tracey Ives says:

    Girl, you need a plan, I’ve tried ‘em all! Lol I’m a fan of no sugar/alcohol and just eating “clean” (ish lol) myself….80/20 is my motto! Tosca Reno’s Clean Eating is great, I tried the 17 Day Diet awhile back as well and didn’t find it too bad. It’s carb cycling after the initial 17 Days. Glad your enjoying the runs, and love the positive “let’s make this fun” attitude in regards to diet!

  3. Lara C W says:

    i think it’s trial and error until you find something that just becomes a way of being/doing/eating/living long term that works for you, mentally, emotionally, physically, and within the context of your work and family life. Most plans have some sort of restrictive aspect, which often can leave a person feeling in that need for ‘compliance’ situation. and it should never feel like something “out there” that you have to “stick to”, but just your way of being. that takes a long time.

    for me, i just eat mostly organic (can’t afford the organic meat all the time, so i’ve pretty much become a flexitarian…when it’s onsale, i buy lots and freeze it, when it’s not, I eat plant-based proteins). i don’t meal plan, i shop every 3 days for 3 days worth of meals. i also supplement, with Vega One, and with Vega performance series for my training days. I have lots of smoothies, salads, and ancient grains. I’ve gotten to know what my body needs without having to measure or count calories. After a while you just know what a 250, or 500kcal breakfast looks like (i go for the latter on a training day) without stressing about it.

    with time, your body gets so used to eating that way, that honestly, when you go for the sweets or the salties of junk/baked goods/ or processed foods, it actually makes you feel sick. so “compliance” becomes moot.

    trying different plans out for 2 weeks at a time is I think brilliant. that’s the longest I could ever stay on any given plan, interestingly. i’ved tried and read about weight watchers, bought and read and cooked most of Tosca Reno’s stuff (i mostly follow clean eating, but i eat more carbs than she allows…i’m not trying to be a figure competitor going for hypertrophy, i’m an endurance athlete and need my energy) looked at 4 hour body recommendations (and i live by Tim Ferris’s glass of red wine every night, bc i want to keep it in my life! LOL. but mostly it’s just a big anecdotal sell).

    from a science perspective i actually think it can become pretty complex if you want to start looking at cause and effect. picking something simple that works for you is obviously always the best bet. and in many cases, i think that becomes little bits of this and that, and your own thrown in to the pot. :)

    Lara.

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