Weight-loss and recipe books continue to be best-sellers year after year. However, over the past ten to twenty years there has been a change in how these books/recipes are being put out there.
Weight loss books in the 1980’s and 1990’s mainly focused on macronutrients — proportion of fat, carbs and protein — as the major determinant of whether a food or dietary pattern promotes weight gain or weight loss. Certain combinations of low-fat, low-carb, high-fat, high-protein predominated, showing overweight people the correct way to shed their pounds.
In recent years though, recipe and diet books place greater emphasis on how nutrients and foods affect specific biological processes and the physiology related to weight gain and loss. The main focus has changed down to the cellular and molecular level of their readers’ bodies, and onto hormones such as insulin, the control of blood sugar levels, the regulation of fat storage in cells, and brain-satiety signals.
The reasoning for this sudden change? Well, it’s not because research in the last twenty years has been phenomenally ahead of our time. It is more likely a result of making money.
Publishing the same crap that some other expert published before you doesn’t necessarily pay for that new speed boat. Now does it?
The authors of these new fad diet books offer shockingly precise and scientific explanations of the multiple pathways through which nutrients and dietary patterns affect our metabolism and mediate fat storage, hunger cravings, and energy levels.
The focus on nutrients, and claims about the precise role of nutrients and foods on bodily health, are features of what I refer to as the ideology of nutritionism. Some of the characteristics of nutritionism are the reductive, simplified, and exaggerated claims that are often asserted about the role of nutrients on bodily health. The idea that fat is “bad” is an example of such a simplified and decontextualized nutritional knowledge, but that claim dominated dietary advice for decades.
The vilification of certain macronutrients, foods, or certain dietary patterns also lacks credibility when these same patterns have formed the basis of apparently healthy diets of so many communities, and across many cultures and generations.
The Genetix Program believes that sticking to what has worked for generations but fine-tuning that plan for the individual is the future of weight loss. Ask your Genetix Program coach how your plan is being catered to meet your specific biological, psychological, and nutritional needs.