Fad diets are diets popular for a period of time, promising its users with certain health benefits like weight loss, nutritional advances, and other quick fixes. These types of diets, such as the South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, and Paleo Diet, are advertised heavily in mainstream media to inform people of its “advantages” and ultimately persuade people to literally buy into its empty promises. Here are some facts and myths that will hopefully better inform you of what truly is a fad diet!
Cutting out carbohydrates and severely restricting caloric intake will result in weight loss.
Although a significantly less amount of food then you usually do may result in initial weight loss this is NOT the recommended route dietitians and specialists would encourage for weight loss. As many times it is not sustainable. Carbs come in 2 forms: simple and complex. Simple carbs are represented by more sugary foods that contain less nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Cutting back on these foods is a healthy way to increase weight loss and nutritional status. However, complex carbs such as whole wheat grains, beans, and fruits are NEEDED by the body for energy and should NOT be restricted. These are the foods that keep you energized throughout the day!
Fad diets work for permanent weight loss.
While cutting certain foods out of your diet could have weight loss effects at first when following strict fad diet regimens, many people quickly get tired of how limited their choices are and immediately regain any lost weight. With diets like these, the body’s metabolic system can be significantly shifted, resulting in an even more difficult time trying to lose weight again. Instead of aiming for extreme weight loss in a short period of time, the best way to maximize health gains are to make healthy food choices, eat moderate but still satisfying portions, and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine!
Gives nutritional advice based on testimonials of other users rather than scientific evidence.
Advertisements use those who have followed the fad diet and reaped its benefits to adhere to the public and drive the idea that “it actually works”. Often, you will see before and after pictures of people who have used the diet strategies. While these pictures could be real (or edited), the consumer still has no idea how unhealthy and calorically restrictive the fad diet user’s practices actually were. Additionally, the influence of pop culture in the media play on people’s emotions by deceiving those into thinking that “if Kim Kardashian likes it, I will too”. It’s important to note that we are all different and that healthy eating and weight loss is not one size fits all.
Forces you to buy the company’s foods and supplements rather than showing you how to make better choices at a grocery store.
What happens when you can no longer afford to purchase the expensive products provided by your fad diet advisors? Rather than investing in overpriced protein powders from a clickable link on the sidebar of your computer, educate yourself about how to correctly shop for food on your own! Fill your shopping cart with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Drink WATER and lots of it! Nutrition and weight management becomes so easy once you know what works for you as an individual and taking steps to change or maintain your current state of health, even without a fad diet kit full of eccentric powders and potions!
Article Written by: Nicolina Iorio (Nutrition Intern)
As another new and exciting year begins, I tend to self evaluate my current state of mind and health behaviors. I aspire to make positive changes to my mind and body by setting reasonable and achievable health and fitness related goals and resolutions. Here are some tips to ensure long lasting, attainable goals that will benefit you physically and mentally throughout the New Year!
Be SPECIFIC.The first step to creating new goals for the New Year is to state exactly WHAT you are trying to accomplish. This can be classified by anything from wanting to lose weight, gain or tone muscle, overcome disordered eating, exercise more, or simply introduce a healthier diet strategy. A great method to creating a goal would be using action words such as “I WILL”, “I CAN”, or “I WANT to” and defining the goal by what needs to be achieved or attained and by WHEN. IE. I Want to lose 5 pounds
Make sure goals are MEASURABLE.Provide a way to evaluate your goals by using metrics or data targets. If you seek a more balanced or nutritious diet, you can purchase a certain quantity of dark green leafy vegetables (for instance) and make sure to incorporate them into your diet within a certain amount of time before a new quantity is purchased. Scaling is a great way to track caloric weight and making sure you are intaking the correct amount of food. Additionally, there are several phone applications that make it easy to track eating and exercise patterns in which you are able to manually input goals directly into the app!
Make sure goals are ACHIEVABLE. The goals you set for yourself should be IN REACH and within your body’s limits. Always know where you are currently and build up from there. Most people struggle with the perception of where they are as opposed to where they want to be. Don’t confuse the two! If you want to run a marathon but have never run before, start SMALL by running one or two miles a day and work up to a 5k initially! Everything is achievable with time, effort, and persistence!
Ensure RELEVANCE. The process of working to achieve your goal should make sense with end result. When attempting to improve throughout the given time frame, use necessary protocols that will accurately and effectively induce a positive result in the end. When aspiring to introduce a healthier diet strategy, simply start by avoiding sugary and starchy foods and begin to incorporate more macronutrients into your diet!
Provide a TIME-FRAME. During the specificity stage of goal setting, provide a REALISTIC time frame to meet your goals. Use a registered dietitian or fitness coach to pair your individual needs with a safe, effective guide/outline. Training for a marathon in a month seems a bit ambitious. Taking your time, training and eating properly, and realizing your own personal boundaries will ensure your ability to achieve any and all goals you have set for the New Year!
Example: I want to reduce the amount of soda I drink. I will Only drink 2 sodas instead of my typical 3 sodas a day over the next week. I will measure this by logging how many sodas I drink a day. This is relevant to me as I rely on soda for caffeine on a daily basis and still feel sluggish. I want more natural energy and I will start by eventually eliminating daily soda consumption. (Each week your goal is evaluated and altered to reach your next goal!)
For help creating and reaching your SMART GOALS email email@example.com
Blog Written by: Nicolina Iorio
No Bake Cookie Dough Energy bites
Healthy energy bites that taste like chocolate chip cookie dough! Perfect for breakfast, snacking, and even dessert.
YIELD: 12 balls | TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
1/2 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder (about 2 scoops—use plant-based protein powder to make this dairy free)
1/3 cup coconut flour,* plus 1-2 tablespoons additional as needed
1 1/2 Tbsp honey (or pure maple syrup)
1 Tea pure vanilla extract
1/4 Tea cinnamon
2-4 Tbsp Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips (dairy free if desired)
In a large bowl, mix the almond butter, protein powder, 1/3 cup coconut flour, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons almond milk. Stir until the mixture forms a dough that is soft enough to roll into balls, but not overly sticky. Add additional coconut flour or almond milk as needed to make the mixture more or less dry. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll mixture into 12 balls. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for later.
Bites can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
*Since this recipe isn’t baked, I recommend using pasteurized coconut flour to eliminate possible food safety risks.
Serving Size: 1 ball
Amount per serving:
Total Fat: 7g
Recipe from Well Plated by Erin Clarke | All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.
1 Can of all white albacore tuna
1/2 of an avocado
1 Cup of spinach
6 cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Dice avocado and mix with flaked tuna, season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate avocado and tuna salad next to spinach, top with cherry tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. You’ve got a protein packed, low calorie lunch!
~240 calories, 22g of protein
As a dietitian I get asked frequently what I do for meals and how I meal prep! This week I wanted to provide a sneak peak into what a week of meal prep looks like! I also added some treats which I normally don't include but was in the fall spirit! See my instagram @healthybitesnutritioncounseling post for more details! Below are the links to the recipes!
Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash
Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes with Spaghetti Squash
Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread
2 hardboiled eggs
1/2 bag of a 10.5 bag of steam in the bag mixed vegetables
2 Tbsp of pesto, fresh made or store bought, just check the ingredient list for additives
A few shakes to taste of Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning
Toss steamed vegetables, pesto and seasoning in a bowl, top with halved eggs and enjoy!
~ About 360 calories, 14g of protein
As a Drexel masters graduate I loved seeing this article that highlighted one of my advisors and her 30 day McDonalds challenge. This article highlights so many things that I try to educate my clients on. As much as we would love to meal prep every Sunday for hours it's hard to do that some weeks! We need to be flexible and be educated on making healthy choices. I constantly tell my clients that life events are going to happen but if we have the tools to make the best decisions, we can continue to reach our nutrition related goals regardless of any obstacles that try to get in our way. Fast food isn't going anywhere and sometimes it just makes our lives easier. So how can we incorporate on the go foods and meet our goals?
"Nyree Dardarian, a licensed dietitian and director of the Center for Nutrition and Performance at Drexel University, decided to prove a point to her students: You can eat healthy at a fast-food restaurant even if you do it for 30 days in a row. She had her blood drawn and measurements taken before and after her experiment. In that month her blood ranges such as her cholesterol remained within the normal ranges and her weight only went up about a pound. She made healthy choices when she went to McDonalds she never had a double cheeseburger or super-sized items." Below are some of the tips from the article on eating on the go from the article!
Follow our instagram or Facebook pages for a video on this article! @healthybitesnutrition