Our dietitian and Clinical Manager of Dietetics at Spectrum Health reviews the first of a series of fad diets…
Ok so here it goes – are you ready for it……… THE BABY FOOD DIET!!! Yes that’s what I said… These delectable blends of rice and vegetables and ‘god knows what else’ are now the centre of the latest “weight loss trend” and fad diets.
Who comes up with whacky ideas like the baby food diet?
Celebrities such as Lady Gaga –if I had the money she has; I certainly wouldn’t be spending it on baby food, unless of course I had one.
So let’s dig a little deeper, what’s the baby food diet all about?
Every hour you eat one jar of baby food – 14 jars in total, throughout the day. In the evening you are allowed to have a “proper” meal including grilled fish and green vegetables.
Benefits/Results of the baby food diet
Commercial baby food is regulated with restrictions on additives, preservatives, flavourings, salt and sugar. The estimated calorie intake per day of the baby food diet is just over 1100kcal so is likely to result in weight loss. However it’s easy to decrease your intake of calories in a more natural manor by simply reducing portion sizes and increasing levels of fruit and vegetables in the diet.
Risks of the baby food diet
The lack of fibre, fat, and protein will cause the food to be digested quickly, leaving you potentially hungry in an hour or two and more susceptible to binging. Baby food is very bland and generally in puree form so there’s little chewing involved, so you will be more than likely left feeling unsatisfied and craving something else. Also, while the vitamins and minerals present in baby food are suitable for a growing baby, these are not suitable amounts for an adult, and could lead to vitamin deficiencies to arise in those following the baby food diet.
I’m an advocate of eating a little and often, but 14 times a day is pretty challenging. I can’t imagine being in the middle of a meeting and whipping out my jar of baby food. The reason it’s called baby food is because it’s for babies. They have small stomachs, no teeth and less mature digestive systems than adults, which is why purees are a suitable option.
The estimated cost per day is €10 to buy the commercial baby food. You can make your own baby food diet by cooking and pureeing a variety of fruits and vegetables and portioning them into small containers. You can freeze your purees in an ice cube tray and transfer them to small freezer bags for long-term storage. But realistically who has the time to prepare the equivalent of 14 baby jars every day, you would need to have a pretty big freezer.
At the end of the day the Baby food diet is not sustainable and whatever weight you lose will probably come back when you return to your regular eating habits. The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is by eating a balanced diet with the right amount of calories. The fact that you’re eating baby food instead of small portions of adult food doesn’t make any difference.
If you are considering losing weight or would like to discuss a diet plan seek the advice of a registered dietitian who can help you on your way…. please contact us for an appointment with our dietitian.