Monday, December 29, 2014

Fad Diets: What you should know before you proceed

Today's blog article is a guest blog written by Eve Pearson MBS, RDN, CSSD, LDN. She is a sports dietitian in Texas who serves the Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller and Austin areas. Learn more about her and her services at What a great article to read this week when so many of you are creating your New Year's Resolutions - thanks Eve!

Be Extraordinary,



 “I have to have cheese, I don’t care what the diet says!”
This is what I heard someone say at the Whole Foods salad bar the other day.  I think it’s unfortunate #1 – that people feel like they have to cut things out completely and be on a diet period and #2 – this is the mentality that most people have when entering a diet.  Most of the time, I find many people are not 100% committed going into a diet, which is why they aren’t very successful.  If they did happen to lose weight on the diet, it’s likely to come back. Not surprising since most diets don’t include enough calories to withstand over longer periods of time.

Fad diets are easy.  There are rules, dos and don’ts, what you can’t eat and drink.  They tell us to count points, we count points.  They send us food, we eat it.  They allow you to be on autopilot after you learn the basic ins and outs of the diet.

I’m not saying I’m a proponent of many diets out there but next time you pick up a diet book, read online or hear from your best friend the latest fad, go into it with this mentality:

1)      Expect to learn.  What are you doing differently?  Are your portions smaller?  Is the timing different?  Pay attention to the details of what is making you successful knowing that if you go back to the way you were eating before (which is innate), you will gain back some, if not all, of the weight you’ve lost.

2)      Ask questions.  If a diet tells you to cut something out completely, question why and learn the repercussions of doing so.  A few that I’ve heard: bananas and grapes have too much sugar, carrots are too starchy and potatoes will go straight to my hips!  Give me a break people!  You’re hearing this from an industry where individuals take in 200+ grams of protein a day from protein powder! 

3)      Add foods back in slowly.  If you’ve cut something out knowing that you’ll have to add it back in one day, do it slowly.  For example, if you’ve restricted carbohydrates and are only eating vegetables for this macronutrient, don’t go binge on pasta when it’s time to add carbohydrates back in.  Add them back in the correct portions.

I wish there wasn’t a new diet that hit the market every single day but the truth is there is.  A diet, a diet pill, a medicine, a procedure….we’re bombarded with the advertisements.   Most diets have at least one good component: limiting simple sugars, eating 6 times a day, portion control, etc.  Next time you’re considering one, get all the details of what to expect, side effects and whether it’s really going to fit into your lifestyle for the long term.  Then, if you decide to go forward with it, learn from it!

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