It feels like every week there is a new diet promising you the weight loss of your life. The truth is, these fad diets are just that, fads; and usually they don’t help anyone for any length of time. Dr. Tim Crowe, a senior lecturer from the School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University, wonders if mixed messages given about fad diets can alter people’s perceptions of which foods are actually healthy. The doctor has some legitimate concerns, which will be discussed in this article.
Let’s start off with a definition. What is a fad diet? The actual term may vary, but according to the McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine, fad diets are popular nutrition; Any of a number of weight-reduction diets that either eliminate one or more of the essential food groups (for example carbohydrates), or recommend consumption of one type of food in excess at the expense of other foods (for example only eating green salads); fad diets rarely lead to permanent weight loss and often don’t provide all of the nutrients Recommendations that promise a quick fix, recommendations based on a single study, or a diet that has claims that sound too good to be true (for example saying no exercise is ever necessary) are also considered fad diets. your body needs.
Looking into articles by Tim Crowe; he says cutting out key foods from out diets has been known to cause dehydration, weakness and fatigue, nausea, headaches, constipation and inadequate vitamin and mineral intake (Crowe, 2008). Cutting out food groups can mean eliminating healthy nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber or essential fatty acids. Some fad diets suggest only eating certain foods, or eating a combination of certain foods. This is something to avoid when looking for “true” diet plans.
The American Heart Association (AHA) is an established, reputable institution working to provide the public with information about their health; in 2008, the American Heart Association put out their own version of a diet book and called it “No-Fad Diet: A Personal Plan for Weight-Loss.” The book is based on integrating three ideals into your daily routine: Eat well. Think smart. Move more. The AHA’s plan helps you adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle that enables you to lose weight and meet your weight loss goals. This is more ideal than other weight loss plans because it promotes a healthy lifestyle, rather than promoting quick and easy weight loss. Here are a few tips from the No-Fad Diet.
1) Keep a food diary; write down everything you eat and drink. 2) Substitute fat-free or low-fat milk for whole milk, and save about 65 calories for each eight ounce serving. 3) Include high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet. They take longer to digest, so they keel you fuller for a longer period of time.
According to Tim Crowe, the path to successful weight management includes lifestyle changes together with a focused and realistic strategy (Crowe, 2008). Fad diets only work when you stay on them; in other words you have to be on a diet the rest of your life to be successful. Who wants to be on a diet for their whole life? No fad diet will keep your weight off forever because it is nearly impossible to always stay on any diet, and much easier to make small life changes; eat better, work out more, lose weight in a reasonable time period, and live a happier and healthier life.
American Heart Association. (2008). Welcome to the No-Fad Diet. Retrieved April 20, 2010 from http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3031890
Crowe, T. (May 2008). Nutrition messages given by fad diets can alter people’s food perceptions. Retrieved April 17, 2010 from Health Source.