We are heading into a New Year in just a few weeks and that means the annual resolution to lose x number of pounds before the summer bathing suit season comes back around. That, my friend is the main reason why fad diets are a billion dollar business here in America. Sure, we all want to look our best. And who hasn’t heard the expression, “You can never be too rich or too thin?” We can’t achieve the “too rich” part of that expression quickly, but we think we can handle the too thin part…oh yeah! Fad diet to the rescue!
Please, please, please don’t be duped into the fad diet trap! Both history and science have proven that fad diets don’t work.
As a plastic surgeon I have seen patients lose weight quickly before a procedure only to gain more weight back once they go off the diet. Not only is this unhealthy for the entire body, it can really mess up a beautiful facial procedure.
Unfortunately, we live in a country where about 70% of adults are overweight or obese, so the diet industry is still booming. However, the good news is that perceptions about how to get that weight off are shifting in a healthier direction.
How To Recognize A Fad Diet
A diet is considered to be a fad when it’s what everyone is talking about. It’s the “stylish” new way to lose weight and it promises dramatic, quick results. Turn away. This is where will power comes in. If you can resist the trend and turn your attention to what has been proved to work, you can avoid the unhealthy repercussions. Those include gaining more weight than you lost and perhaps a slew of other health hazards like high blood pressure, diabetes and other results that come from yo-yo dieting.
As a general rule, fad diets typically promise one or more of the following, so steer clear if you’re considering a diet that:
Claims to help you lose weight very quickly (more than 1 or 2 pounds per week). It takes time to lose weight and allow your body to adjust.
Promises that you will lose weight and keep it off without exercise. If a diet plan or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Limits your food choices or doesn’t offer balanced nutrition.
Focuses on food combinations. Research doesn’t prove that eating certain foods together speeds weight loss.
Bases claims only on before-and-after photos.
Requires you to spend a lot of money, especially in advance. This includes pills, prepackaged meals, or seminars required for the plan to work.
Draws simple conclusions from complex medical research.
Accomplishing your weight loss and health goals can be achieved. But, since the weight gain probably didn’t happen overnight, it isn’t going to disappear overnight either. What has been proven to work time and time again is eating smarter and moving more. So, you would be better off making a resolution to find a physical activity or sport that you really enjoy and will actually do on a daily basis. (Be careful about the enticing gym membership too. If you don’t like the gym, you’re probably not going to keep going!) It can be as simple as going for a daily walk. All you need, according to most registered dietitians and nutritionists is 30 – 60 minutes a day.
Instead of paying for a gym membership or fad diet, why not schedule an appointment with a doctor who specializes in nutrition. Work together with your doctor to create a personalized plan to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and lose fat. That’s a better use of your money than throwing it away on a fad.
The New Year is a great time to do things differently. I wish you the very best in the New Year. I wish you health, happiness, prosperity and the achievement of your health goals in the healthiest way possible.