June 4, 2015 by Dr. Sana Keller
As if we need reminders that we may not be at our ideal weight…the addition of “skinny” to various recipes, foods and drinks just rubs it in…from skinny lattes, skinnylicious menu items, skinny water, skinny tea, skinny crisps, skinny pizza, skinny quinoa sticks, skinny donuts to skinny margaritas…enough! And although it may seem innocent enough to be encouraging these skinny foods and drinks, the underlying message and the ingredient lists often proves otherwise. Check out these unexpected reasons for ditching “skinny” for good:
1. Skinny Does NOT Equal Healthy!
Just because someone is skinny does NOT mean he or she is healthy. A newer term, Skinny Fat refers to the unhealthy state found in a growing number of adults that are normal-weight or less-than normal weight. The medical term for skinny fat is MONW or metabolically obese normal weight. Skinny fat is just easier to say and paints a clearer word picture. Mark Hyman, a Functional Medicine physician provides further insight on Skinny Fat here.
2. “Skinny” Recipes Usually Call For the Wrong Fats
Hopefully you’ve been noticing the “turning of the tide” in healthy eating from a Low Fat/No Fat (the outdated craze that actually contributed to the current obesity epidemic) to an evidence-based promotion of Healthy Fats in appropriate amounts. Examples of healthy fats include organic butter, ghee and coconut oil. If you would like to learn more about healthy fats, check out this post, then this post and finally this post. I make a point of not including any recipes on my Pinterest boards from sites that include “skinny” in the recipe name or website name since they promote the wrong message that no fat/low fat eating is healthy.
3. The Promotion of “Skinny” Can Lead to Major Eating Disorders
Although there are many causes of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, the goal of becoming skinny can be a major cause. Young girls and women are particularly targeted with “skinny” promotion by the media, the retail industry and, sadly, even peers. The glamorization and promotion of “skinny-ness” can be incredibly challenging to ignore–with all the diet pills, latest fads and “skinny” models making it sound easy–and making it seem almost necessary to succeed in life.
4. Being Skinny Does NOT Mean That You Can Skip Regular Exercise
Normal weight and underweight people sometimes shrug off their need for hitting the gym or working out, yet regular exercise is legitimately topping all the “Ways to Be Truly Healthy” charts–right along with making healthy eating choices. When we fully understand the multitude of ways that regular exercise positively impacts our health, it doesn’t make sense to only link the need to exercise with the desire to shed pounds. Strengthening our immune system, promoting heart health, and keeping our bones and muscles strong are just a few of the many benefits that regular exercise provides–in addition to helping shed extra weight and maintaining our ideal weight.
5. “Skinny” Menu Choices Do NOT Necessarily Mean Healthy Food Choices!
Skinny menu choices can lead to a false sense of making healthy eating choices. Check out these skinny menu choices from The Skinny Restaurant Guide I found online:
- One popular fast food chain listed a Jr. Vanilla Shake with 9 Gm Fat and 45 Gm Carbs and Kid’s Fries with 11 Gm Fat and 33 Gm Carbs among their Skinny Menu Choices.
- Another fast food chain’s Kid’s Hamburger made the list with 22 Gm Fat and 35 Gm Carbs.
- A popular dining franchise’s ‘Guiltless’ Asian Grilled Salad was included with 22 Gm Fat and 22 Gm Carbs.
- A burger joint’s ‘2 mini cheeseburgers’ made the Skinny Menu Choices with 26 Gm Fat and 38 Gm Carbs.
- One more: a popular breakfast franchise’s Club Sandwich made the Skinny list with 33 Gm Fat and 55 Gm Carbs.
Hmmmm…I could go on, but I won’t. Yet, I WILL raise questions about WHO is making the Skinny Menu decisions—WHAT are they basing their decisions on—and WHAT TYPES of fats are being used in these menu options?
It’s Time to STOP Glorifying Skinny Eating and EMBRACE Healthy Eating
It comes down to choosing our own mindset…deciding personally whether we are going to be swept up in the “Skinny” hype…OR make the best choices for ourselves and our families based on non-biased interpretations of sound study data, embracing “Healthy Eating.”
I know it’s confusing…trying to sort through the overwhelming amounts of health-related information out there. Yet, please don’t throw in the towel and give up. Just decide on one small step you can take now…on your healthy living journey (not your skinny journey)…write it down…and start now. I’m here to help if you need it. Contact me below with your questions!
Check out my Pinterest boards for great healthy eating ideas. I can brag about them since none of the recipes are mine—I just have a good “eye” for healthy yet incredibly great-tasting recipes. 🙂
To Your Ever Improving Health…
Sana Keller, PhD, RN, CNC Certified Nutritional Consultant
Holistic Weight Management Sessions now available!
Photo credits: skinny-pasta.com, palmerinutrition.com, skinnyfatlife.com, healthfitnessrevolution.com, litwatchers.blogspot.com, suescornerweb.com, whitelemonade.com, kidshealth.org,