Baby food dieting is nothing new. It's one of those fad diets that comes and goes in waves of popularity. On the front side, it sounds good because it allows for a variety of foods and is an inexpensive portion-controlled plan. But is it a healthy way to lose weight?
What Is the Baby Food Diet?
If you haven't heard of the Baby Food Diet, it's an easy-to-follow diet plan. As its name suggests, snacks and some meals are replaced with jars of baby food. For people who don't like to count calories or don't feel they have time to figure out what to eat in order to lose weight, baby food dieting sounds like an easy approach to controlling portions. It's also an attractive option for people who can't afford prepackaged meals provided by diet programs like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig.
Baby food recommended for this diet should be:
- High quality
- Low sodium
Baby Food Portion Sizes
The Baby Food Diet doesn't have an official set of guidelines so people who follow a diet by this name take one of two approaches. The first approach is to eat only baby food. The second approach is to eat one meal of normal food and baby food for the remainder of the day. The end result is that dieters eat less and lose weight because portions are very small.
Is Baby Food Dieting Healthy
While the Baby Food Diet may seem convenient, it is in actuality, a fad diet. Advocates of the diet point out that baby food has less preservatives and additives than most processed foods. As a result, the baby food diet is deemed healthy. Not only that; it requires so little preparation that it encourages people to stick to it. A nutritional benefit of the diet is that people include fruits and vegetables in their meals, so when combined with eating less, the Baby Food Diet does seem to be good for you.
The problem is that portions are too small for adults. Consider the amount of calories in baby food. For example, a tablespoons of banana apple dessert strained is 67 calories. That's right, one tablespoon. You see, a serving size for babies is one to two tablespoons. Herein lies the major problem with this diet. The Baby Food Diet restricts you to one or two baby-size meals each day. Those little jars don't hold enoung nutrition for adults; plus they limit the food eaten to strained varieties which limit chewing and satiety.
If this diet truly followed a baby's diet, you'd have to drink plenty of milk, along with your baby food. Babies drink most of their calories in formula or breast milk. Not only that, but pediatricians recommend children 1 to 2 years-old should eat 1200 to 1400 calories. If you eat 1200 calories a day, you will most likely lose weight. However, when you follow a fad diet and then return to regular foods chances are you'll gain the weight back. Why not follow a 1200 calorie plan with a diet that consists of food designed for people with teeth instead! You'd lose weight and the transition to normal eating would be much easier.
Snack Version of the Baby Food Diet
Another version of the baby food diet is called the Baby Food Snack diet which again doesn't have any hard and fast rules. The basic concept is that to use baby food as snacks and to replace some meals. Weight is said to come off slowly, and baby food eaten must be strained or pureed.
Baby Food Is Not Diet Food
Baby food is designed to meet nutritional needs of growing babies. It is not bad for you, but any diet that limits you to one kind of food is a fad diet. Even though there is variety within the baby food category, adult nutritional needs differ from those of a baby. Research has shown people who gradually lose weight tend to be more successful in keeping it off. Think about that before starting a diet consisting of baby food that promises quick weight loss. Instead, eat a sensible diet and shoot for losing one or two pounds a week, if you want to keep it off for the long term.