More Fad Diets than Food? It’s Insanity…

Wow!  This weekend I was in Barnes & Noble and perused my “research section” AKA “Diet and Exercise” and was floored by the number of new diet books out there promising to be the last diet you ever have to try.  It saddens me.  Diets just don’t work, at least not to achieve your goal.  When I meet with a client and we review their “dieting history” I ask if it worked: did they lose the weight and did they keep it off?  Usually the answer is “no”.  Even if you lose weight on a diet, if it isn’t something you can maintain as part of your lifestyle for the unforeseen future than the diet is not a success.  It’s a quick fix with a painful let down.  As a Registered Dietitian, my style of nutrition counseling explores why you eat the way you eat, what works for you vs doesn’t based on your individual lifestyle, and then the fun begins….We challenge your current eating behaviors, and I provide you with support as you establish healthy eating patterns in a way you can eat for life.

Be cautious with the diet gurus who claim to have a non-diet approach yet still employ a 1 size fits all “meal plan”, require you to eat specific foods, or buy their book/product.  Most recently I stumbled upon Shaun T’s “non-diet” eating plan (creator of the Insanity workout) via a Dr Oz re-run.

How is it not a diet if you are required to “taper your carbs”?                             

This is not a realistic way of eating, but since carbs hold water, carb restriction can produce rapid weight loss.  But like most rapid weight loss this isn’t true fat loss.  Your body is experiencing water loss.

How is it not a fad if you are required to eat sweet potatoes twice a day?                                            

Yes sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins (antioxidants) but there’s no miracle here.  Variety really is the spice of life and every food fits, yet no one food is superior to others.  In order to get the most out of what you eat, incorporate a variety of foods from all food groups.  Personally, I love sweet potatoes, but know even I would be sick of them after about a month or maybe develop a nice orange tint to rival sunless tanner.

How can he qualify that everyone needs 1400 calories daily (plus 100 if you eat your sweet potatoes)? 

This is where the weight loss is generated.  A strict calorie deficit will produce rapid weight loss but sets the person up to plateau if they need more calories than 1400 calories at rest (which is common with intense exercise).  The best way to determine your Calorie needs for weight loss is to see an RD and have your Resting Metabolic Rate measured so you gain awareness of the calorie level not to dip below!

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