The Negative Impact of Fad Diets
Did you know that the vast majority of people who lose weight and keep it off achieve success by increasing physical activity and modifying their dietary intake? According to the National Weight Control Registry, 98 percent of members made changes to their diets, and 94 percent exercised more. Maintaining a low fat, low calorie diet provides major long-term health benefits while fad diets can actually cause harm.
Why a Fad Diet Is a Bad Idea
Fad diets such as cleanses or programs that eliminate entire food categories such as carbohydrates may provide fast weight loss, but they are not sustainable for the long term. Can you imagine never eating your favorite pasta, or foregoing coffee in the morning? Many fad diets achieve near-instant success because they severely restrict what you can and cannot eat. However, moderation is a better formula for long-term success. Remember: food is fuel. If you deprive yourself of necessary nutrients, you’ll feel too fatigued to do anything but rest.
Cleanses can be particularly dangerous because they often combine severe and unrealistic calorie restriction with poor nutrition that can wipe your body of the beneficial bacteria it needs. If you spend a month avoiding dairy, meat, caffeine and sugar, you’ll lose weight quickly — but you’re also likely to gain it right back.
Some fad diets lead to dehydration because most of the weight loss is attributable to water weight. This is an especially serious problem if you’ve been engaging in regular exercise. Dehydration reduces exercise performance and leads to fatigue, but it can also be fatal.
How Can a Nutritionist Help Me Lose Weight?
A nutritionist can teach you how to lose weight slowly, safely and realistically. A nutritionist can explain why eating several small meals throughout the day combats hunger while boosting metabolism and performance. You’ll also learn why eating lean protein, complex carbohydrates and high-fiber foods keeps you fuller for longer.
Making sound dietary habits a lifestyle choice rather than a once-a-year scramble to lose pounds is what helps you lose and keep off unwanted pounds. For more information about nutrition, contact an ISTA-certified nutritionist today.