Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Spot a Fad Diet

Is that a “Fad Diet” I see? How to Spot a Fad Diet
Presented to you by: Sarah Recanati MS, RD, CNSC – Livingston Branch
Home Solutions Infusion Therapy

With such a focus on weight in our society, it isn't surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight-loss products. All the conflicting claims, testimonials and hype can confuse uninformed and informed consumers alike. Unfortunately there are no magic foods or pills that will provide a “quick-fix” for weight loss.  If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are some helpful ways to spot a fad diet:
  • The diet promotes rapid weight loss:  Healthy and long-lasting weight loss amounts to no more than ½ pound to 1 pound per week. If a diet causes you to lose weight quickly, you're likely losing muscle, bone and water. You will also be more likely to regain the pounds back quickly afterwards.
  • The diet tells you to eat specific foods or food combinations:  There is no reliable scientific evidence that eating certain foods or food combinations promotes weight loss. Also, limiting the types of foods you eat may cause you to miss out on important nutrients.
  • The diet is based on drastically cutting calories:  Starvation-type diets may promise quick results, but our bodies are not designed to drop weight so quickly. These diets rely on the body’s natural reaction to dump water and your body will suck up the water like a sponge once you start eating normally again. Also, depriving yourself of food may lead to binge eating and overeating.
  • The diet tells you to completely cut out a food group:  Cutting out a whole food group is always a bad idea because it deprives your body of essential nutrients it needs to function and could cause cravings of the foods you eliminate.
  • The diet is based on special pills, powders or herbs:  These usually cost a lot of money and tend to be gimmicks. Many diet pills contain laxatives or diuretics which cause you to lose water weight.  Also, most powders and herbal supplements that claim to speed up your metabolism have no reliable scientific research to back up their claims.
  • The diet says there is no need for exercise:  Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and lose fat, the best path is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and moving more.

The best way to lose weight and to keep it off is by devoting yourself to a lifestyle that includes regular exercise and eating a variety of foods with moderate portions.

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