FIX OR FAD? Quick Fix Diet

Inexpensive, high calorie "food" is available 24/7 everywhere. Not moving our bodies has also become as natural as incessantly checking our cell phones. Many of us sit eight hours a day staring at a computer screen, entranced and reluctant to drink water because it might precipitate a bathroom break.

More than 35% of American adults are considered obese, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With so much emphasis put on healthy living, many people turn to “quick-fix”(aka: fad diets) that promise rapid weight loss and a new waistline in a short amount of time. Fitness fads and diets are not the answer to improving health and well-being. They may provide small temporary results but they will do nothing to change the REAL reason people are overweight, out of shape or in poor health.

 There are nearly as many fad diets as there are foods. Essentially what they all do is severely restrict your calorie intake. While you may lose weight in the short term, fad diets are not sustainable and can be dangerous. Because you are depriving yourself of energy, your body goes into "starvation mode". Once you come off the diet, your body thinks another famine is coming and works hard to store whatever energy it can.

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Paleolithic Diet 

Paleo advocates argue that evolution points us to diet similar to that of caveman times - unprocessed meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Research has shown good results from the Paleo diet. The catch? Excluding dairy, grains and beans mean people are not getting enough dairy, vitamin D and fiber, all important for older adults.

If you exceed the amount of protein your body needs daily, you put a strain on your liver and kidneys. The early weight lost with this diet is usually due to water loss, not fat loss.

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Weight Loss Supplements & Tea

There is no magic pill. The science behind claims for supplements is "inconclusive and unconvincing". This includes herbal teas that promote weight loss but accomplish it through diuretic water loss, not fat loss.

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Cleanses & Detox

The Master Cleanse - 10 days of consuming nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne concoction plus a nightly laxative - was conceived as a detox process, but it and comparable plans have evolved into crash diets. Yes, you'll lose weight but it would be temporary and highly risky. Remember: your liver, kidneys and other organs, and body is already well-designed to detoxify itself.
PLUS, fasting (not eating solid food) for a long period of time can lead to dizziness and fatigue. In addition, your body reacts to starvation by lowering your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories). This means your body is burning fewer calories.

Keto ketogenic diet with nutrition diagram low carb high fat healthy weight loss meal plan

Ketogenic Diet

Remember the Atkins Diet? Similar plans are again popular. Keto diets - with most calories from fats from protein - force your body to draw fuel from stored fat, rather than from blood sugar derived from carbs. Any diet that limits bread or sugar will help you lose weight BUT maintaining weight loss and the benefits seen with keto diets are usually limited time. 

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Mediterranean Diet

A permanent diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and healthy fats, with an occasional glass of red wine, is the healthy way too lose weight and keep it off. A new study found that older adults who follow this diet had higher mental function. 

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Lifestyle & Healthy Eating

Anything in life that is worthwhile does not come easy. Big change takes big effort, work, dedication, and motivation. Quick fixes, 21-day challenges, and fake food are not the answer. Don’t deprive yourself everything you enjoy; just add something new and healthy. 

Celebrate small victories. Focus on the positive — getting healthier, that is the end goal. 

Avoid the scale, it is only giving you an abstract number, focus on how you feel.

The basic principles of the diet are healthy eating. Over- eating before bed is not a good idea because you're not going to be using up the energy you've consumed if you're lying down. Eating three similar-sized meals during the day, including breakfast. Dinner should not be the biggest meal and it should come "a good number of hours" before you go to bed.

Avoid anything that asks you to exclude a food group entirely or that says a food has a magic ingredient. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." It is also possible to get toxicity from eating too much of one type of food. If you do decide to go on a diet, always consult your trusted health-care provider(s) or dietitian, especially if you have a medial condition!