Castle Personal Training

Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.

Blog 04-12-12 Time to DASH off; The “Superdiet” that works! (Told you so)

Hi guys,

I don’t usually read the tabloids, they bother me too much, but sometimes I do and I stumbled on to this. (Yahoo have also just done a little thing on the DASH diet as they, essentially, just copy everything the tabloids report and, as others copy from Yahoo, this means that soon enough it could be everywhere)

Obviously the article is full of the usual hyperbole, and stupidity, you always get with the tabloids; “It’s not too late to drop a dress-size by Christmas”, and “A brilliantly simple new diet that’s sweeping the U.S. targets your tum”

I am going to have to review this diet as I get asked about this sort of thing and it bothers me somewhat that articles, like the DM article linked to above, actively sell a diet without giving people all the facts or alternatives.

The DASH diet was created to “lower blood pressure” in people with Hypertension (High blood pressure). According to their website, backed up by various respected scholars, there are also loads of other benefits to “following this diet” such as; “It is associated with lower risk of several types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney stones, reduced risk of developing diabetes, and can slow the progression of kidney disease!

How it achieves this is quite fascinating (Yes I’m being sarcastic here);

This diet is brilliant! Let me briefly describe how this diet works.

After the first 14 days, during which you learn to eat smaller portions and have been weaned off the refined sugars, they tell you to stick to this;

Type of food Number of servings for 1600 – 3100 Calorie diets Servings on a 2000 Calorie diet
Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)
6 – 12 7 – 8
Fruits 4 – 6 4 – 5
Vegetables 4 – 6 4 – 5
Low fat or non fat dairy foods 2 – 4 2 – 3
Lean meats, fish, poultry 1.5 – 2.5 2 or less
Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3 – 6 per week 4 – 5 per week
Fats and sweets 2 – 4 limited

Amazing! Whoever created this is a genius, I can’t believe this hasn’t been thought off before! 

Oh wait, now I know why it sounds familiar;          Image

What you see above is the “Eat well plate”. It looks like something you’ve seen before, doesn’t it? It should do as this is what the government has been telling you for ages what healthy eating looks like.

There is nothing new about this diet, even the Daily Mail know this as they also reported on this diet at the start of the year. It’s just eating healthy! The first 14 days is just in there to stop people being reliant on sugar hits for their energy and get them off the simple carbs (white rice,pasta, melon etc)..everything else is just what you’ve always been told to eat.

This is NO CRASH DIET! I hate that term with a passion as crash dieting is very bad for you and ineffective in the long run. This diet won’t make you lose ridiculous amounts of weight very quickly. Nobody should ever crash-diet!

This diet also won’t  “mainly make you lose fat around the stomach area”, fat-loss can’t not be targeted at a specific area!. It is a myth that you can target fat-loss, fat-loss is an overall result of calorie deficit. If your calorie intake is less than your calorie output you will lose weight, usually in the form of fat. It’s that simple really.

Going onto the website of the people that actually voted this diet as “the best” and we find there are some issues with this diet that the DM, and Yahoo, don’t tell you..

They state that the two main negatives are “Lots of grunt work” and “Somewhat pricey”. Sounds like quite big negatives to me. You have to put in loads of effort into following this diet, when it comes to researching meals etc. That’s one of the main reasons people don’t stick to diets. People want easy-to-follow meal plans and over time healthy eating should become an automatic thing if you want to promote a healthy eating as a life-style. This can only be done by promoting “learn by doing” and by making the “doing” very easy.

And, apparently, it’s not really suitable for those on a budget. I know, from experience, that healthy eating does not have to be expensive but this diet apparently is. (I don’t know how they rated that to be fair).

The final problem that I have with diet books like this is that they don’t cater for the individual. People who struggle to eat healthy at the moment will therefore not gain a lot by buying this book. It’s actually more likely that this book just ends up with all the other diet books you’ve tried before.

In short; The “DASH diet” is just another nice sounding way of eating healthy. There’s nothing wrong with it but it’s not a miracle diet and should not be sold as such. If you don’t mind putting the study time in and research healthy eating then you don’t need this book as you can do it for free. If you don’t know where to begin, or just don’t have the time to study healthy eating, this book won’t tell you what you need to know and what you should be eating.

There are more effective ways of changing your habits and life-style and this is where a good Personal Trainer, Nutritionist or Dietician can come in and help.

I, and many others, have always said that healthy eating is the best diet though and it’s nice to see that these 22 experts agree.

Your friend,


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