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May 9, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas 0 Comments

It’s Not Really What you Eat But How Much

Diets and the dieting lifestyle are nothing new in the U.S. Since the big fad diets started in the 1970s, it seems that nearly everyone is on some type of diet. But here’s the thing: diets don’t work – not in the decadent Nevada culinary scene, not anywhere. Sure they’re good to take off 10 or 20 pounds before a high school reunion, but most dieters gain back all of the weight they lost plus a little more.

The reason diets don’t work is because they are an unnatural change in the way dieters are used to eating. One diet says cut out fats. Another diet says cut out carbs. And yet another wants you to live on juice alone. And just like any other diet craze, long-term success is nearly impossible. You can’t cut out a whole class of foods and expect to remain successful.And in you live and work in the culinary cooking world of posh Las Vegas resorts it can be even harder.

What You Eat Doesn’t Matter; How Much You Eat Does

That’s a simplistic statement, but several recent studies have found that there is no real difference between most diet plans no matter what they cut out of your meals. Dieters who stopped eating fats lost equivalent amounts as dieters who eliminated carbs and dieters who reduced all caloric intakes. The only significant differences came in the participants’ ability to lose weight and keep it off. Dieters who reduced their total caloric intake were most successful at keeping lost weight off over a two-year period.

As simple as that sounds, it is an important fact for dieters to learn: there are no magic diets that let the pounds melt away and stay away. Only a lifestyle change that includes overall caloric reduction, a balanced diet, and regular physical activity will bring long-term positive results. 

Moderation is Key

It’s also important to know that you don’t have to completely eliminate less healthy foods. They can still be a part of your healthy lifestyle as long as they don’t dominate it. Desserts, fried foods, pasta, red meat, and breads are still possible as long as they are kept in moderation. The simple fact is that we just eat too much … of everything. A healthy lifestyle change doesn’t include eliminating certain foods but controlling the amount of all foods.

Small But Important Changes

Of secondary importance to portion control are the types of food that you eat. Eating patterns that include abundant plant foods and fruits with minimal to moderate consumption of dairy and red meat and moderate to high consumption of fish and unsaturated fats like olive and flax seed oils are very beneficial to dietary health.

If those foods sound familiar, it’s because they are typical of the Mediterranean cultures of Spain, Greece, Italy, and Northern Africa.The people of this region are very physically active and long-lived, and it all starts with the foods that they eat. They do not deprive themselves of desserts and red wine, but they do restrict their calories to the foods listed above. As should anyone in this country that is considering a lifestyle change that includes long-term weight loss.

Even in the rich and delicious Nevada culinary world you can start with the little things. Have a salad instead of a potato. Instead of the high-fat Parmesan ranch dressing, try vinegar and olive oil. Instead of the 8-ounce steak fillet, have the 4-ounce portion.  Keep eating what you like, just reconsider how much and how often you are eating it. 

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Las Vegas, Nevada. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Las-Vegas for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures. Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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