Don’t buy whatever they are selling

Every year is the same–January is notorious for detoxes, cleanses, and new fad diets. Hopefully by now you know these meal plans do NOT work to achieve long term weight loss and health goals. I will explain exactly why you want to avoid these diets and their empty promises. 

1. No new weight loss book or diet is actually “new” at all. They simply copy and repackage other diets that have been pitched to you in the past. The F-Factor diet tells you increase your fiber intake (nothing new there), the Whole 30 tells you to eliminate alcohol and sugar (nothing new there), the Keto diet drastically cuts carbs (so did Atkins), and the Dukan Diet promises to improve your metabolism (it won’t). Unfortunately as many as “95% of people gain the weight back within 6 months” of starting these diets, because while they may reduce your calorie intake they do not teach you healthy eating habits. 

2. Never trust a diet that praises certain foods and food groups and bans others. Carbs, proteins, and fats all provide macronutrients and our bodies need a combination of all 3. Many high-protein, low-carb diets lack fiber which keeps our digestive tracts healthy and are too high in animal protein, which is taxing to our organs. Likewise, we need to consume enough protein to fuel our muscles, and enough fat to absorb nutrients. Eliminating or restricting any of these food groups does not make any particular diet a healthy choice. 

3. Beware of diets that try to sell you their snacks, prepared meals, and supplements. The products sold in connection with various diets (think South Beach) is an industry which generates billions of dollars—wow! Healthy eating plans should promote FRESH foods, lots of plants, and encourage people to cook their meals at home. Many of these packages foods have artificial sweeteners, processed soy products, and non-organic ingredients loaded with GMO’s.

4. Diets that offer “quick results” are rarely, if ever, sustainable. People can lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks on many trendy diets. But motivation starts to waiver after the first few weeks, people cannot abide by all the restrictions, and inevitably they give up and the weight returns. The initial excitement of losing large amounts of weight so quickly lures people to try a hot new diet, especially one being endorsed by a celebrity, but their bodies soon rebel. Diets that drastically cut your calorie intake cause your body to stop burning calories and resist weight loss. Your body goes into “survival mode” and your metabolism essentially shuts down. You can see why the failure rate is so high, and why people get trapped “yo yo” dieting as they bounce from one fad diet to the next. 

Do not be discouraged. There is one “diet” I can wholeheartedly endorse, and it is really more of a lifestyle than just a way of eating, which is the Mediterranean diet. I have followed it myself for years, and recommend it to others as a safe and effective way to lose or maintain your weight and adopt a healthy, active lifestyle that will never go “out of style”. The Mediterranean diet allows a wide variety of foods, tons of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, little red meat but other lean animal protein, nuts, beans, and moderate amounts of alcohol and coffee. Now that is truly a plan people can live with…happily ever after. 

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