FAD DIETS: Truth or Fiction?

I get a lot of questions about different diet plans. Women have for years tried these from the "grapefruit diet" to the "veggie soup" diet to "zig zagging" your calories. There is a lot of information out there and it can be confusing and unfortunately a lot of these don't do what they promise or do at first but fail you in the end. So which ones work and which ones don't? I am going to break it down for you using some of the most popular diets out there.

 

First of all, I would be very cautious of anything until you know that there is actual scientific evidence backing any claim. The fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry and there are those out there who don't have your interest in mind, but their pocket book. Here is a list of the most common fad diets out there:

 

Low Carb Diet

The Atkins and South Beach diet are very popular diets and a lot of people have lost weight using it. Atkins has recently revamped it due to past criticism and it is now more focused on more wholesome ingredients and healthier fats. In the past it well went over the 30% recommended daily fat intake, but this newer version stays within this percentage. The verdict is still out on if the process of "ketosis" is harmful to organs long term. The lack of carbohydrates is a concern because carbohydrates are needed by the central nervous system and muscular system to function properly. Carbohydrates also add fiber to the diet which has been known to lower the risk of colon cancer.

Cabbage Soup Diet

This diet is not sustainable and can lower your calories too low which can cause the body to eat muscle on not fat. It does aid in digestion, but be prepared for gas. It is not recommended.

Negative Calorie Diet

This diet is based on the belief that certain green vegetables have negative calories which "burn" calories to digest them, when really any weight loss is probably due to reduced calories.

Low Fat Diet

This diet basically requires you to eat little to no fat in your diet.

Low Fat – 20-30% of calories come from fats Very Low Fat – 0-19% of calories come from fats.

While it does cause you to cut out a lot of unhealthy foods like cake and brownies, not all fat is bad. It is important to read up on which fats you need to incorporate into your diet. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and the Mayo Clinic recommend this method.

3 Day Diet

This diet is not recommended and should not be sustained more than 3 days. It often leads to "yo yo" dieting.

Zig Zagging or Calorie Cycling

cycling method is used by body builders mainly who are trying to lower their body fat or are trying to break out of a plateau. You are supposed to have one high calorie day, and one low calorie day. Your low calorie day will be initially set at 15-20% below your maintenance level. Your high calorie day will be initially set at your maintenance level. You will then “cycle” your calories on a three days down, one day up rotation. The theory behind this is your body's metabolism gets tricked by the high calorie day and does not go into starvation mode. Tricking the metabolism has not been proven. A 300-400 calorie workout could put your calories up to 40% lower which could put you into "starvation mode" Make you know exactly what your maintenance level truly is using a TDEE calculator.

Fad Diets

 

The LowDown Is This:

  • You need to eat and SHOULD NOT go under what your body needs to survive. This can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism which = future weight gain.
  • Using a TDEE calculator, you can determine what your body needs to maintain your weight and lower that amount between 300-500 calories either through diet or exercise. No diet needed just an educated, proven method.
  • Losing weight does not have to be hard or complicated like the Diet Industry wants us to believe.
  • Food is our fuel and what we put in our bodies will determine how well we run and how far we can go. Do you put cheap gas in your car or let it run on empty?
  • You need to eat and choosing a balanced diet full of complex carbohydrates, healthy protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables and limited junk food can make a huge difference with how you feel and how you look.
  • Balance is key. Fast weight loss is often more muscle loss than fat loss so be ready to make slow, healthy progress and make

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