Registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer weighs in on “fad diets” and why they often lose popularity and fade away.
“Fad diets almost never teach you how to eat right, so as soon as you go off the fad diet, you return to your old eating habits and gain back all the weight, sometimes more. Also, if you’re losing more than 1 to 2 pounds a week on a fad diet, it’s not healthy and you’re likely losing water and muscle tissue instead of fat.”
So, how do we put healthy weight-loss guidelines into practice? Elizabeth has a few suggestions:
- Develop your plan and stick with it. You want an eating plan you can live with for life. Your ultimate goal is not just a certain figure or a number on the bathroom scale, it is a lifelong commitment to be the best and healthiest you.
- Focus on Plants. The basis of a successful weight-management eating plan is to emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with moderate amounts of calcium-rich (nonfat milk) and iron-rich (extra-lean meats, chicken, fish or legumes) foods. Be sure to get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and if you can’t eat fish several times a week, you can supplement with an omega-3 DHA supplement like Algal-900 or Ovega-3.
- Eat Frequently. Dividing the same amount of calories you’d consume in three large meals into five or more little meals and snacks encourages the body to “burn” the food for immediate energy rather than store it in the hips and thighs.
- Exercise. Even if you can lose weight on diet alone, you can’t maintain the loss unless you exercise daily. Start small with 10-minute walks and work up to a regular 3-mile walk.
What’s been your experience with fad diets?