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How do I get through to my diet obsessed friend?

My friend is in great shape, very lean, but not skinny.
She's obsessed with eating protein, protein, protein and what time of day she eats it. She's not body building or anything, but is a runner (hello? doesn't she need to concentrate on eating carbs?). She doesn't eat breads and limits her pastas. Her reason for doing this is because she thinks she'll get fat if she doesn't. She doesn't have a history of obesity in her family, but does have a history of cancers (various).

I believe in moderation and balance, I eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, fish, and I limit meat (red) and dairy as these things are proven (read the medical journals available to you) to cause all sorts of cancers.

She thinks that because she looks terrific on the outside that the inside must be great too. When in reality, in the long run she is really hurting herself.

And lastly, because of her high protein diet, her breath is rancid, wouldn't that be an indicator that the insides aren't all groovin?

Wed. Jan 23, 2:57pm

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if it works for her and her doc agrees, leave her alone. different diets work for different people. she probably knows if she slips, one pound becomes 5, then 5 becomes 10, etc. it's her life, enjoy her as a friend and focus on your health..

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 3:43 PM

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I have a friend like that too, she carries around binaca :o)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:09 PM

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Protein is a very important part of a diet (not a gimmick diet - actual lifelong diet)...but so are carbs. If she's eating fruits, veggies and protein, she'll be ok.

One doesn't need to eat pasta, rice and grains to survive....and like the other person indicated, if it's working for her and her doctor doesn't have an issue with her diet, than it's her business.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:24 PM

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worry about your own health and weight not hers, especially if she looks good. i would definetly mention the rancid ass breath though - true friends do tell if the others breath is bad. I had a friend like that, her phone in the office even stunk because of her decaying breath, not from her mouth but something rotting from within.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:46 PM

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I thought bad breath went along with protien diets like atkins. At least years ago when I did it I kinda remember hearing that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 5:47 PM

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Protein diets can cause bad breath, but so can a whole host of other things.

In this modern era, you can find a study to support just about any way of eating. Telling a friend you're right, and they're wrong is not going to go over well. "Proper diet" is about as absolute as world religion. If you're not about to tell your friend her religion is wrong, don't tell her diet is wrong, simply because you believe otherwise.

(*MY* personal opinion is that moderation is BS, and too many people use it to justify a poor diet. Maybe not you, OP, but many do. My diet is focused on veggies, fruits, protein, and incredibly LOW GI. And I have several friends who don't eat grains AT ALL, and are perfectly healthy.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:54 PM

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High protein diets do cause bad breath but so does other things. You should definitely tell her about the breath problem. Chances are she isn't aware of it. I also think that if her diet works for her and she is healthy then let it be and worry about yourself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:57 PM

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A high protein diet may create bad breath, but it does not affect one's lipid profile. Several studies have shown that people who are on Atkin's diet has normal to excellent LDL and HDL. In short term studies, people also loss more weight (about 2-5 lbs) in comparison to others who are on zone's diet, high-carb/low fat diet.

In addition, if your friend is a serious long distance runner (+20-30mi/week). She actually need enough protein to prevent muscle break down. And, enough means about 80%-100% of her lean body mass. If she weights 120lbs and is skinny, she will needs close to 100g of protein per day (that's like 2-3 chicken breast/day). As long as all her protein sources are lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish) or veggie (soy), she follows a very healthy diet. As for carbs, one can always do carb loading for any runs longer than 1 hr. Even for a marathon runner, she only needs about 3g of protein per lb of lean body mass.

So, sure, complain about her bad breath. But, make sure you read enough medicine articles before presenting them as facts. There truely are very few things in medicines that are set in stones.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 7:32 PM

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Why not keep some gum in your purse, sugar free, of course :) to offer her the next time you guys hang out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 8:20 PM

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Real friends do worry about their friends health!! And how one looks isn't always an indicator of health. Express concern - about her eating habits, about the obsesssiveness, etc., and avoid criticism. Or express curiosity about her diet and talk about it that way - why the high protein diet? Is it good for you? How do you know? Bottom line, though, is that we can only take our friends so far. Ultimately, they have to be the ones to want to change.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 9:17 PM

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