Sunday, 29 April 2012

Line up, line up, it's dinner in a tube...

Will you be following this oh-so-glamourous next fad diet to top all fad diets?

Many a time have I queued up to have a tube inserted into my oesophagus through my nose... MmmMmm... sounds like dinner.

Ok, I can't keep up this charade any longer.

Apparently now people are being fed through tubes... and no, not out of necessity or ill health but voluntarily. Accordingly, this weight loss technique is becoming increasingly popular with brides-to-be. I personally cannot think of anything worse I could do to ease my feelings of anxiety, especially before what is meant to be one of the most special days of my life than deciding not to eat and instead just pass slush straight into my stomach.

I can understand the mindset behind it, in a purely devils advocate kind of way. One of the biggest problems with the weight loss side of dieting is that food can be addictive. I've written biefly about my thoughts on sugar addiction and this plays on the same pricipals. Say you're addicted to cigarettes or alcohol. To quit you have to stop smoking and stop drinking alcohol. You throw out the cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco filled wraps. Pour the bottles of wine down the sink and making sure to avoid the pub at all costs. These are products you don't HAVE to use. Quitting these completely may be difficult but by removing major sources of temptation these activities can eventually be blocked out completely. But food. You can't quit food completely. You can't just give away all your biccies to a neighbour and tip the rest away. No, food must be controlled. We must have a certain amount of it and be in control of our own individual requirements. This conundrum is what has most people tearing open choccie bars in frustration. Not being able to quit food cold turkey and having to take on the responsibility of your own food intake is tough. Especially when food can have such an addictive hold over us. Not to mention it's social aspect.
This is why I can see this tube method would be appealing. This gives people the option of nil by mouth. You don't have to eat anything. Nothing. Throw out the food. Rid yourself of anything edible you can find. Those chocolate bars you hid under the sofa, "just in case"? Out with them! Now you have a tube to do the work for you. Self-restraint? Forget about it. A tube, that's what you need!
Here is where the understanding ends.

I am perfectly able to understand (though not agree with) the thought processes which may go through ones mind upon hearing this insanity. HOWEVER, and this is an epic however, this is not a healthy way of thinking about food.The duration of this tube method (KEN diet) is 10 days. 10 days at 800 calories per day. Now here's an incredibly novel idea. Hold onto your seats boys and girls because this might seem a bit outside the box.


How about we EAT a reasonable quanitity of good quality, healthy food?

I'll give you a few moments to get over the shock. I'll try to limit the revelations (and possibly may have to tone down the sarcasm at some point...) ;)

The reason this tube diet works is because the substance passing through the tube is carbohydrate free and high in protein and fat. This causes the body to burn fat rather than excess sugars being pumped into the body. The same effect if you eat real food but cut out carbohydrates eg grains, sugars etc. Secondly, the caloric restriction to 800 calories is probably significantly lower than the participants were consuming before, therefore limiting the amount of food so there is enough that the body can use the amount it needs to function.

Now the main attraction. The Tube. (sounds a bit like a corny old horror film...). Feeding via a tube opens up the possibilities of infection to the individual. This is dangerous and unnecessary providing threats to health far outweighing the perks.

Overall this is THE definition of a fad diet. It's all the rage right now and that will hopefully pass sooner rather than later. It has a slightly shocking element to it, making it interesting. And it's completely unreliable as a lifestyle diet. For it's intended purpose, to give a quick and effective weight loss, it does the job but starving yourself will give similar results... Along with this method you get the added benefits of increased risk of infection, you learn nothing about how to maintain a healthy diet and weight so you get the long term health benefits and you get a tube stuck down your nose...

Eating healthy protein sources, a reasonable amount of good, healthy fat sources and carbohydrates in the form of vegtables and occasional fruit. Nixing the grains and added sugars. That sounds more like it to me :)

All in all, I'll have my dinner, hold the tube, thanks.