Spirit of Eating Plan B

Eating well is simple. It can be simple. And it's worth it to make it simple.

Friday, September 7, 2012

About me and this blog

So, it is time to move into international territories from now on. I have been asked to do this several times by readers of my Finnish blog who have wanted their friends abroad to be able to read this stuff too.

About my work
I'm a nutritionist and usually call myself nutrition or obesity researcher. In addition to weight management I've been interested in eating disorders, body composition assessment and sports nutrition and in all these I have been doing clinical work and scientific research :

Lack of  effect of long-term antioxidant supplementation on incidence of upper-respiratory-tract infections in athletes. 
Fogelholm, Mikael, Vasankari, Tornmi, Borg, Patrik, Katila, Riikka  & Tuomi, Tirno. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society / Volume 57 / Issue 04 / November 1998

Deurenberg P, Andreoli A, Borg P, Kukkonen-Harjula K, et al Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001 Nov; 55 (11) :973-9.  
Borg P, Kukkonen-Harjula K, Fogelholm M, Pasanen M. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 May, 26 (5) :676-83.
Borg P, Fogelholm M, Kukkonen-Harjula J Obes Relat K.Int Metab Disord. 2004 Dec; 28 (12) :1548-54.
Kukkonen-Harjula KT, PT Borg, Nenonen AM, Fogelholm MG.Prev Med. 2005 Sep-Oct; 41 (3-4) :784-90.
Linna MS, Borg P, Kukkonen-Harjula K, M Fogelholm, Nenonen A, Ahotupa M, Vasankari TJ.Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Feb, 31 (2) :245-53.
Eklund C, Nenonen A, Kukkonen-Harjula K, Borg P, Fogelholm M, Laine S, Huhtala H, Lehtimaki T, Hurme M.Eur Cytokine Netw. 2006 Jun; 17 (2) :131-5.
Borg P, Fogelholm M.Obes Rev. 2007 May; 8 Suppl 2:47-52
Pietiläinen KH, Kaprio J, Borg P, G Plasqui, Yki-Järvinen H, Kujala UM, Rose RJ, Westerterp KR, Rissanen A. Obesity (Silver Spring).2008 Feb, 16 (2) :409-14

I started initially as a "pure" researcher but after some years I started yearning more and more for clinical work. I just felt there's no way I'm going to learn enough just by doing research. Knowledge and experience from research is needed, but for expertise and practical solutions you also need clinical work for several reasons. So, past few years I've been doing more clinical work and concentrated on my main areas: well-being, weight loss and maintenance, eating disorders and sports nutrition. Of course the main health issues come with all this.

On top of this I tend to lecture a lot and I've written 5 books: 1 in sports nutrition and 4 in weight topics. The first of my weight-loss books was loosely called "Relaxed/laid-back weight management" and the name has somehow lived in Finland to this day to sum up an easier approach to weight management. The name might sound too good to be true but the truth is that in weight management people's views have pretty much stagnated to what it used to be decades ago. The dietary focus in weight management may have shifted during decades, but the attitudes and eating psychology towards weight-loss has remained much the same despite huge advances in scientific knowledge. As a result, people still try to manage their weight by very difficult means and there is an easier way.

Thats enough about me for now.

About this blog
I presume this blog is going to be a lot like my Finnish blog. Especially as I will start by translating earlier topics. I will mostly focus on eating but may touch issues in other areas too. The blog's name implies what I usually experience in clinical work - to eat better people have to adopt a whole new approach to eating which in many ways might be quite the opposite of what they used to do. Thus words Easier Eating Plan B. Future posts will explain this in more detailed but to put shortly it usually means eating as much as you like, worrying less about eating, improving some dietary factors but neglecting many, not doing/eating anything displeasing - it's easier, its more enjoyable and (despite many don't believe it) it's effective. In many ways it is similar to intuitive eating which seems to be developed much the same time as my own idea of eating - likely many others too felt that about 10 years ago the science and clinical experience was starting to build up and show the errant ways of the past.

Is there any need for this blog? Well, that is for readers to evaluate, but there cannot be too many blogs discussing both dietary factors AND eating psychology from a viewpoint of a clinician and a researcher. I can't say my rss-reader is filled up with open-minded, somehow science based blogs that are NOT looking eating from a viewpoint of some diet - whether its low-carb, paleo, recommendation-based or whatever. (So no, there is no optimal diet. There are just several possibilities for good eating which stem from personal preferences, environmental factors, lifestyle factors and individual factors. The number of factors involved is simply so big that it's just ridiculous to think there could be a "best diet".) There are hundreds of nutrition blogs, some dozen use some kind of science based approach when possible/useful, a few are also open-minded and not stuck to some ideology - but not many that I've seen seems to include eating psychology/behavior. Lot of of talk about nutrition, much less about eating - it actually bothers me because both are equally important and if forced I'd admit that eating behaviour is even more important because it largely dictates the nutritional possibilities. But as no one's forcing me let's just say they are equally important.

I also believe there is a need for a message saying that good eating can be SIMPLE. Because it is simple. If you want you can surf all day looking for information on a perfect diet and you can make it reaaaallyyy difficult. But it's mostly useless. The basics of good eating is really simple and sticking to those will get you through most ordeals - and especially weight management which is the most common driver for eating better. When I say good eating is simple, it doesn't mean its always easy - but it's heck of a lot easier than what most people try to do. The way to simple eating is understanding which things are really important and which are not - important ones we focus on and on the rest less so. What we don't want to happen is putting effort in minor details and counterproductive changes and neglecting the major factors - and this is what often happens and eating get's really difficult.

There have been times when people have suspected that thinking eating could be simple only shows my ignorance of all the tricks that nutrition and our body has to offer. Well no one surely can know them all, but I do consider it very important for me to know these minor details and I actively follow about 60-70 science journals plus I have some dozen PubMed search phrase crawlers waiting to bite new studies - naive example of following research but there you go. But I also think I don't need to talk about all the little details and discrepancies nutrition science has to offer - these make eating just more difficult and often add to the general impression of uncertainty. If I wrote about all those tiny factors I might seem like an up-to-date science geek but from my point of view I just didn't do my job to keep things simple and common-sense. And that's my aim.

I'm sure there is lot more to say, but this will suffice for a short introduction. Hope you enjoy reading these posts in the future and especially i hope these posts help readers to follow a more tasty, enjoyable and better diet.

Some small technical aspects
I don't like using scientific citations in the text although there is science behind pretty much all I say - and if there's not I usually mention it. When I use some citations, its usually through a link to a single study. Of course one single study never confirms anything and those links are usually just representing an example of my opinion - there are always studies with different results too and I've still come to my conclusion. So no huge reference lists can be found here - I want to blog leisurely and not write a scientific article. Writing this way is just so much faster and more enjoyable - and as to my conclusions the reader's will either believe all, some or none of the text. The references wouldn't likely change that.

No comments:

Post a Comment