According to the Center for Disease Control, 45 million Americans are trying to lose weight. Experts say this is due to us being less active, eating less meals at home, and being busier than ever before. In efforts to lose weight, a majority of the 45 million people try the latest diet or weight loss programs available. Dieters try plans like keto, paleo, South Beach and more. A quick google search will yield you many other fad diet programs that are part of the $70.3 billion industry, which basically sells snake oil to the willing dieter.
However, as a registered dietitian, I would strongly encourage patients to avoid using the word, “Diet” and to abstain from following them.
Studies continue to prove that DIETS DON’T WORK
In fact, most people who attempt fad diets, ultimately quit. Why? Because these diets usually require the dieter to completely remove an entire food group or food groups, depriving themselves of nutrients needed to operate the body and its organs optimally.
These restricting behaviors put individuals at higher risk for both disordered eating and eating disorders. Lastly, weight is not representative of health. This means people can be either healthy or unhealthy at both higher and lower weights. Research shows that a Health at Every Size approach improves health regardless of weight.
How to spot fad diets
If you’re online or speaking to your friends, researching various ways to lose weight; use these warning signs below to evaluate if you might be walking into a fad diet program:
- It requires you to significantly cut calories or restrict your intake
- You are eliminating foods or entire food groups
- You are promised a quick fix. Think: “You can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days!”
- You are being sold a special food item or supplement
- It sounds too good to be true. Trust your instincts
The most effective way to lose weight is to not place the number on the scale on a pedestal.
It is to pursue overall health. Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s about making small, but sustainable changes to build a supportive, healthy lifestyle. This way of life should include the practice of engaging in regular exercise and by eating:
- Whole grains
- Protein rich foods
- Healthy fats
Finally, do yourself a favor and avoid labeling foods as “off limits.” By having the ability to honor our cravings—in moderation—we can avoid the unsuccessful cycle of yo-yo dieting, and ultimately failing at our goals.
Developing healthy decisions with Main Line Nutrition
Main Line Nutrition is currently offering a 12-Week program where you and a registered dietitian will explore a Health Fix and see where real, sustainable changes can be made in your life.
You can find more information about this program here.
If you have goals for a healthier 2019 and want to learn more about how small, sustainable changes can make for a healthier you by avoiding fad diets through a non-diet approach, please visit our scheduler to setup an appointment today with an Eating Disorder Dietitian.