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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog Written by: Nicolina Iorio