I read a post the other day about the new up-and-coming fad diet and not unlike the pomposity of the gluten-free diet, in which its participant’s claimed health benefits that were shown to be almost entirely a figment of their imagination, the new “bant” diet, as in “to bant” also known as “banting” is just another twist of a common theme.
Unlike the gluten-free diet, where the diet foods that were sent to market often played havoc with the celiac sufferers (who could have used them) because the foods were rarely gluten-free (I read of several instances from celiac sufferers having serious trouble because they trusted the “gluten free” label), banting is pretty simple in its complexity. Humorously enough, quinoa is out of the cupboard as are most fruits and nuts and, looking at the green list (those foods that are “okay”), most food. The good part of the diet is that bacon is a go so I guess it can’t be all bad.
The main item I have a problem with is the fruit – the limit is 1-1/2 apples for the day, or one “small” banana, or (on the bright side) 2 oranges… Folks, at a very minimum I eat two apples though I love to throw a banana on the pile. In other words, I regularly eat a little more than two days worth of fruit a day. Now, if I look at Michelle Obama’s daily recommendation, that 1-1/2 apple is actually within the US government recommendation so it’s not all bad I suppose. As you would expect, being the Potentate of Pedaling I am, I get to play loosie-goosie with the amounts.
Now, Banting is not a new diet, it’s been around since the mid-1800’s and was popular until the late 1950’s when it was shoveled aside, humorously, for a high-carb, low fat diet – its polar opposite. According to what I’ve read, Dr. Robert Adkins dug it back up just fifteen years after it fell out of favor. So know this: banters are Adkins dieters by a different era. Simple really.
Not surprisingly, vegetables are high on the list of acceptable foods. Now, veggies are popular in diets for two simple reasons. First, they’re vitamin and mineral dense. Second, and pay attention here because this is the biggie, veggies are not calorie dense. Put simply, dieters can eat a veritable shit-ton of veggies with little consequence. It’s not rocket science folks – veggies fit with what eaters want: Lots (within reason ladies and gentlemen).
To wrap this up and put a bow on it, here we go again folks. Another diet, another fad, another reinvention of the wheel. Another way for the foodies to separate themselves from we commoners though their mastery of ignorance by pooping out the next catchphrase of the day… Fear not, being the Ruler of Rolling, the Sovereign of Cyclery, I’ll be munching on my Double Whopper (in-season only folks), fries (or onion rings – been favoring them lately) and sipping my AP with a smile on my face while you’re picking at your salad. Enjoy. I will.
Now, I will make one note of exception here: There are those out there who can exercise like they mean it and still gain weight just looking at a Whopper. You get my deepest respect and sympathy. This post is not about you, not even a little bit. I’m merely poking fun at the pompous nature of the diet industry.
There are problems with the high fat/low carb diets though. As you’ve either experienced for yourself or seen in other people, while these folks are on the diet, everything’s fantastic. They drop weight and life is good! What they’re doing is training their body to get its energy from fat. As this is happening calories are limited (because the food is limited) so your body is working double-time on the excess. Ah, life is fantastic!
There’s a flip-side though. While you’re training the body to get its fuel from fat, you’re also training your body to store its future energy as fat. The second you step off of that diet your body keeps storing everything you eat as fat and…? You balloon. That fast.
I have no doubt there is a small percentage of the population who have just as big a problem with food as I do with alcohol. Unfortunately you gotta eat while I can lead a perfectly happy life without alcohol. If you must live through abstinence, at least know what you’re getting into so if you “relapse” you know what you’re in for. For the rest, the other 90% of us, balance is best. Cut the calories, exercise every day, and learn to enjoy it. All of this hooha with quinoa and chia seeds is fine and dandy if you must, but I’ll take a bike ride and a burger every day of the week and twice on Sunday.