Food and Diets

Instead of “dieting” based on reducing calorie intake, nutritionist and nutrition science writer Maria Cross MSc, makes this recommendation:

The long-term solution is easier, more effective and evidence based. It involves these three principles:

1. When you cut out unnecessary carbohydrates, you burn body fat
2. When you eat fat, you burn fat.
3. When you eat protein, you stay full for much longer.

At the end of the day, this is still, technically, dieting. Because your diet is whatever you happen to eat.

Or… Maybe your diet is the prescribed plan that you have good intentions of following, whether to alleviate an illness or to reshape your body. The kinds advertised on magazine covers are more accurately described as reducing diets. Then, there are more variations. The diet could be a deliberate plan based on a positive principle, like “An apple a day.” Or it could be based on a strong negative admonition, like “No carbs ever.” Because the D-word has stretched out to cover so many meanings, misunderstandings have arisen.

Fitness expert Sean Croxton suggests that weight loss theory is too complicated and confusing for people to get a handle on, in addition to all the other things they have to deal with. He says of dieting, “It stresses people out. You know what? Stress makes you fat.” Here is his advice:

Eat right 80% of the time, other 20% of the time, get your groove on, have fun, enjoy your family, enjoy your friends. Don’t be the weird one out there being all evangelical about your food. Nobody likes that…

We always tell people the best diet to stick to. It is a diet that you can stick to.

More and more experts employ the term “multifactorial.” Purdue University’s Regan Bailey, Ph.D., MPH, is quoted as saying that many individual factors can cause people to respond differently to the same diet. Journalist Markham Heid adds,

These include person-to-person genetic variation, age, baseline nutritional status, inflammation levels, and microbiome makeup — to name just a few.

Joanna Blythman told audiences in her Guardian article that by advertising any food as low-fat, “you can sell people any old rubbish.” Also,

Low fat religion spawned legions of processed foods, products with ramped up levels of sugar, and equally dubious sweet substitutes, to compensate for the inevitable loss of taste when fat is removed.

This was in reaction to decades of what some critics view as the demonization of fat, which was carried out in order to divert suspicion from sugar. When a person embarks on a mission to get the body in order, the publication of new studies can sometimes upend their cherished beliefs. For instance,

[…] trials which show that low carb diets are more effective than low fat and low protein diets in maintaining a healthy body weight.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Dark Side of Fat Loss with Sean Croxton,”, undated
Source: “Science Might Have Identified the Optimal Human Diet,”, 10/01/20
Source: “Why Almost Everything You’ve Been Told About Unhealthy Foods is Wrong,”, 02/03/15
Image by Alan Cleaver/CC BY 2.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources