Not Another Fad Diet?!
At any given time, 50% of women and 25% of men are trying to lose weight. With our obesity epidemic on the rise, it’s no wonder why fad diets can be very alluring when you have weight to lose and want it off yesterday. You become enthralled in their hype, imagining yourself in a much fitter state, and, before you know it, you’re signing up for whatever gimmick they are selling, telling yourself that this is the last time you walk this path. All too soon though, you’re right back where you began and the cycle repeats itself. It’s hard to know what is truly the best option for you and with so much out there, it’s understandable why we often fail. Stop this reoccurring pattern and create a plan that you can actually stick with and make a lifestyle.
When starting a new diet plan, there are two common categories: Low-Carb (i.e. Atkins diet and the South Beach diet) and Low-Fat Diets (i.e. Pritikin diet and the Ornish Diet).
The evidence is clear that as long as there is a calorie deficiency, the weight loss goal will be accomplished.
For the perfect balance of calories, using the MyPerfectPlate method has been shown to be very effective for accomplishing this goal. It is sectioned into quarters and can be seen in the picture above how these are broken up into 5 main categories: Fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. It is important to have a nutritional balance on your plate so you can fill up and stay full while maintaining your health.
Eliminating any main source of food is discouraged and not an effective way to keep your weight off long term. Diets that eliminate carbohydrates, the bodies source of energy, such as the Atkins and South Beach diet, have been shown to help people lose weight, but maintaining that weight loss long term after the initial loss was very difficult to sustain. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some critical nutrients.
Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water. You also will be more likely to regain the pounds quickly. According to Natural Medicine in the Clinical Managements of Overweight and Obesity, “Obese or overweight patients who modestly decrease daily calorie consumption by 500 to 1000 kcal and exercise regularly can have good success for losing weight. Even modest weight loss (5% to 10% loss of body weight over four to six months) can improve many obesity-related health problems.”
“Eliminating any main source of food is discouraged and not an effective way to keep your weight off long term. Diets that eliminate carbohydrates, the bodies source of energy, such as the Atkins and South Beach diet, have been shown to help people lose weight, but maintaining that weight loss long term after the initial loss was very difficult to sustain. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some critical nutrients.”
Drug Therapy for Obesity
According to Natural Medicines in the Clinical Managements of Overweight and Obesity, there are three categories of anti-obesity drugs: appetite suppressants, thermogenic agents, and digestion inhibitors.
Drug therapy is generally reserved for patients with significant medical problems. It’s an option for patients with a BMI of 30 or higher that already have severe medical problems, but are considered dangerous otherwise.
There are a lot of supplements on the market, but there lacks any credible evidence or efficacy for most products. According to Natural Medicine in the Clinical Managements of Overweight and Obesity, products such as chitosan, a thermogenic agent or “fat burner”, and hoodia, an appetite suppressant, don’t actually have any reliable supporting clinical research for these claims. It is important to always speak with your doctor before deciding to try any supplement. They can help you steer clear of all the marketing hype and figure out what the best option is for you before wasting any money.
Overall, there are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. No super foods will alter your genetic code. No products will miraculously melt fat while you watch TV or sleep. Some ingredients in supplements and herbal products can be dangerous and even deadly for some people. Steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make claims to make any of these miracles happen.
Please reach out to your doctor or one of our Healthfit coaches if you have any questions.