Saturday, 9 July 2011

Diet #26, The 3-Apple-a-Day GI diet

Diet 26 - half way through!! To celebrate, another mad faddy-sounding one - the 3-apple-a-day GI diet, by Tammi Flynn (an American, natch). The whole book reads like an info-mercial, those cheesy programmes that take up all those channels on Sky and makes you wonder who would ever buy anything from them. In this case, you have to imagine Tammi in a tight-fitting shiny leotard and high heels, standing behind a counter piled up with apples.

Fine, scene set, I'll begin to explain what this is and how it works... Although to be fair, I feel slightly misled. According to the very first line of the book, the "3-apple-a-day diet is not about eating apples". Eh??

The principle is really simple. In addition to following a healthy, low-gi diet, you eat an apple before each main meal (GI diet, week 15). The idea of the apples is that they're high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, fill you up to stop you overeating, provide nutrients, curb your sweet tooth, and provide a portion of your recommended 5-a-day.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, in order to support their credibility, it's imperative for diets books to source a scientific study to back up their findings. Luckily, I think that I've found the most tenuous of all. Tammi quotes a recent "Brazilian study of overweight women" which compared three groups of women who ate three apples, three pears or three cookies a day. Unsurprisingly, the groups that ate the fruit lost significantly more weight than the biscuit group. Really? Now there's a surprise! Another handy hint for anyone writing a diet book: throw in some arbritrary, unsourced statistics to support your case. In this instance, "a family history of obesity increases our chances of becoming overweight by about 30%".

As always, some random quotations that don't seem to make much sense. Here's my favourite:
Think of appetite as a sleeping lion. If you feed him, he will purr and sleep. If you starve him, he will attack. The lion is your appetite. If you aren't prepared with food on hand, your appetite may attach and you'll be relying on your willpower. That's doing it the hard way for sure.  Tip: Take apples with you everywhere you go.

To be fair, aside from the faddy, slightly misleading title, and infomercial tone, this book is actually full of sensible advice. Set yourself realistic goals, get fit, stay motivated, etc. The second half of the book contains over 100 high-protein but mostly delicious sounding recipes, and some suggested daily meal planners. Essentially, you set your own calorie limit, based on your weight in pounds multiplied by 10 (so, for me, 1400 calories), and then off you go...

As always in these books, FAQ's. In this case, should maybe be called SAQ's (stupidly asked questions). For example, can applesauce be used as a substitue? Yes. Of course it can. NOT!! At least we've quickly got to the root of the problem. Not diet. Stupidity. However, no one has asked about whether Cider counts instead of apples, so I'll assume it's ok, and I'll have that three times a day. At least I won't care about my weight.

The breakfast recipes are all-American: Bran muffins, breakfast quesadilla, breakfast burritto, breakfast-in-a-blender, turkey sausage patties. No wonder obesity has become such an issue. I might just stick with my all-English bran flakes and semi-skimmed milk in the morning, but I'll try some of the recipes for supper.

No comments:

Post a Comment