Tag Archive | Advertising

The New Year: BEWARE of the Diet Propaganda

The New Year is once again upon us and the dieting industry will soon begin its massive onslaught of propaganda to convince consumers that they cannot begin the year without a firm resolve to change their body weight, shape, size etc.

Before we talk about how to fight back, here are a few insights into the way the marketing industry works.  Advertising is based on getting consumers to believe that they will NEVER be happy unless they buy this product, do this activity, eat this food, vacation at this place, and the list goes on.  When sellers look to market their product they seek to find a way to prove that “this” is where true happiness can be found.  Their message is that if you don’t buy, do, eat etc. this or that you will never be able to achieve real happiness. And of course you didn’t achieve this real happiness yet.  You haven’t tried this particular remedy.  So, the bottom line is, if you want to be happy do as the advertisement says.

Herein lie the dangers in New Year’s advertising.  New Year resolutions are often comprised of dieting and exercise promises.  The dieting industry goes all out in trying to convince their unhappy consumers that the ONLY way to start the year on the right foot is to buy new gym clothes, sign up to a gym, buy the diet pills and drinks, and begin a new and “all-improved” diet.  THIS year you are going to achieve REAL happiness by changing your body.

However, this is all a myth!  It is a lie perpetuated by the dieting industry, already a multi-billion dollar industry, in order for them to get richer on the backs of their trusting, vulnerable consumers.  This year, DON’T BE FOOLED!  The dieting propaganda is just that – PROPAGANDA!

Webster’s dictionary defines propaganda as “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread…”  It is information that is biased and made to fit their agenda; to get you to do as they say.  In order to make you feel like they have your best interests in mind they will promise you the ultimate happiness if you just buy, do, eat their product.

Here is the truth!  You CANNOT achieve any sort of happiness through trying to change your external body.  Extreme dieting, exercising solely for weight loss, or any disordered behaviors (diet pills, laxatives, etc) can never help you attain real happiness.  Happiness, true happiness, comes from within.  It is a synthesis of your inner self, your inner values, and your external actions and behaviors.  It comes while bringing meaning and compassion into your life.  It is an inevitability that stems from nurturing your mind, body, and soul with healthy behaviors, actions, and thoughts.  Attaining the ultimate happiness is NEVER dependent on the way your external body looks.  In fact, by focusing only on your external body you lose the ability to achieve happiness.  Your vision of the world becomes narrow and you become constricted to a disordered space where it is virtually impossible to find happiness.

So don’t be fooled.  Don’t believe the ads when they tell you that they have the answers for you.  THEY DON’T!  YOU DO! The answers are inside your heart and soul.  Look within and stay strong.  Nurture yourself.  That is the ONLY way to find true happiness.

 

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Why Is This Food So Misunderstood???

How can a simple wheat product that naturally contains protein and carbohydrate, and is fortified with iron and B vitamins, (and sometimes omega-3 fats) get such a bad reputation that people avoid it like it is a toxic substance, a drug, the devil?

Pasta is such a fabulous and versatile food. I cannot understand why so many people eliminate it out of their diet. I have heard countless times that pasta is “fattening”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a negative comment about pasta, I’d be rich.

Let’s clear up some misinformation about pasta.

  1. PASTA IS NOT FATTENING.
  2. CARBOHYDRATES (FOUND IN PASTA) ARE NOT FATTENING.
  3. PASTA IS NOT BAD FOR YOU.
  4. PASTA HAS NO “POWER”.

So why then do so many people avoid pasta? Why are they afraid of pasta?

People who don’t have the accurate information about the nutritional value of pasta “buy into” what they hear in the media and from other people who perpetuate myths and misconceptions.

Truth:

  1. Pasta is a carbohydrate containing food that also contains protein, B vitamins, and iron.
  2. Pasta has approximately 100 calories per ½ cup (cooked), similar to other grains and starches, including starchy vegetables.  

End of story.

So…why do people fear this food??? I don’t want to upset or trigger anyone reading this post, but I want to present the facts and my professional opinion, instead of perpetuating the misconceptions.

In my opinion, when “most” people eat pasta, they are eating probably upwards of 2 cups (cooked), which seems like a reasonable entree amount when you see it in a bowl or on a plate. 2 cups cooked is approximately 400 calories. Unless you eat it plain, you are probably adding some type of sauce and protein (like meatballs), which will also contribute to the caloric value of the meal. Then, you might add bread with butter or dipping oil, salad with dressing, and other components to the meal. Your meal could therefore be naturally higher in calories than the original 400 for the pasta.  So perhaps the total meal is of higher nutritional value, and then all the “blame” gets placed on this wonderful “harmless” grain.

Pasta is a versatile food. It can be combined with all sorts of proteins, cheeses, sauces and veggies. It can be added to salads. It can be eaten hot or cold. It can be an entrée or a side dish. It comes in all different shapes and sizes. There are even whole grain versions, high protein versions, and non-wheat (gluten-free) versions. If you haven’t had it in a while, you could first have it as a side dish. Or, you could sample a few bites of someone else’s.  If you are “afraid” of pasta because of all the myths you have heard or because you have had a “bad” experience with it, remember, it is just a grain. It is worth trying it again. You might actually surprise yourself and have a positive experience! Bon appetit!!

 http://www.ilovepasta.org/

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The Diet Nightmare!

When was the last time you can remember being in the company of other  women (and often men) without the conversation inevitably evolving into the latest “remarkable” diet someone is on, how carbohydrates are “fattening” or fats are “fattening”, how a low-carbohydrate diet is the way to stop “bloat” or how a lemonade fast is the best way to drop quick pounds, what the new secret is to drop weight while you sleep, what new-fangled pills are the latest weight loss magic that melt away the fat?

Someone will inevitably be compelled to argue how bagels are the devil, how she hasn’t eaten bread in years, how butter “sticks” to her hips like glue, how much weight she lost and then gained back, what body parts she gained it in, what times of the day she allows herself to eat, how much exercise she has to do or how much exercise she’s not doing and feels guilty about, why her thighs keep growing, where she has the most cellulite, how she can’t control the size of her  stomach? These conversations are epidemic! The irony is that these women don’t see this way of life as unusual or obsessive in the least, nor do they realize that their eating is not intuitive or healthy. If they didn’t discuss their dieting life with other women, they would have little to keep each others’ interest. Unfortunately, diet and weight topics of conversation are the common ground on which women reside. They seem to have lost touch with the other aspects of themselves and the other things in life that are more important than their dress size or the number they see on the bathroom scale.

This phenomenon is especially prevalent between January 1st and February 15th. During the first days of every year, many people embark on their “New Year’s Diet”, forgetting that last year, each and every single other time they embarked on one diet or another, the diet failed because diets always fail. It’s as if all the bad memories of all these failed diets were erased from their memory and they decided this time would be different. It WON’T be different. It NEVER is different. It CAN’T be different because it’s still a diet. It still isn’t normal or sustainable. It is rule-driven restriction, and it will fail.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Just because a new diet seems different because it subscribes to eating certain different combinations of foods at certain times of day or eliminates certain “fattening” foods, or because a celebrity or doctor tried it and lost weight (temporary weight, I’m certain), it is still a diet and will inevitably come to an end and any weight lost will be regained. That’s how diets work.

But, because people get so excited just before and in the early stages of embarking on their latest, newest diet, they make you feel like they’ve “got it” this time. They surely have the secret. This time, they will keep the weight off. They are certain of it!

A few weeks or months later (if it even takes that long), they will be off their diet, and they will no longer be excited. In fact, they will not be talking about that specific diet because it will have failed. They will only complain about how much weight they have regained. The irony is though, that they won’t blame the diet for failing them. No, that’s not the way it works. They will inevitably blame themselves, saying they can’t “stick” to a diet, or they are weak, or some other derogatory self-critical comment. This negative self-talk will further exacerbate their rebound overeating, subsequent weight gain and quest for a new and better diet. PEOPLE DON’T FAIL DIETS. DIETS FAIL PEOPLE!

Dieting like this is a cycle that never ends. It’s like being a hamster running on a wheel. The hamster keeps on going and going and going, getting absolutely no where, until he finally decides to jump off or falls off (or dies, trying to get somewhere he can’t get to).

For those of you who are “enlightened” and have given up the dieting nightmare, good for you!!!!!  For those of you who keep thinking that there is a “good” diet out there, get off the darn hamster wheel! Please work with a trusted professional to learn how to eat more intuitively, stop the endless diet cycle, learn self-trust and heal your relationship with food, yourself, and your world! It is a slow process, but at least you are off the wheel and really getting someplace worth fighting to get to!

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Happy New Year…and Beware!

Warning! Warning!

January 1st will be here in a matter of hours, and you will experience (or may already be experiencing) an “all out” onslaught of diet-related propaganda. You’ll see diet-related weight loss ads in magazines, on TV and on the internet. You will see diet books in the front of every book store. There will be workout clothes easily visible in all major stores that carry clothing. There will be high-pressure ad campaigns for gym memberships. Sports stores will have sales on workout equipment. In drug stores, diet pills will be easily visible. Grocery stores will have food products highlighted in their ads and in stores that are deemed “dietetic”.

Why????? Money!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 1st is the beginning of a very profitable, yet brief period of the year when companies will strive to make money off the people who gained weight over the holidays and those who make New Year’s resolutions to “get into shape”. These companies want you to feel bad about yourself so that you will buy their clothes, diet book, workout equipment, magazine, diet program, etc. They couple the onslaught of propaganda with claims designed to get you ”excited” about the “new and improved” version of yourself that you can achieve by partaking in whatever they are selling.

Please, don’t let this time period derail you off your recovery path!!! Don’t fall prey to these gimmicks and money making schemes. These companies are powerful and they have marketing geniuses who get paid to know how to prey on people’s vulnerabilities.

It will be over by the end of January into mid-February. Hang in there. Don’t let the ads penetrate your healthy mind. Don’t give them power over you! Be especially aware of your thoughts and feelings and subsequent eating behaviors. Challenge any negative thoughts and potentially eating disordered behaviors you may have urges to use as a result of hearing and seeing these ads. If you are going to make one New Year’s resolution, make it that you will do whatever you possibly can to make progress in your recovery!!!

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