UNC Health Care
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Skip the Fad Diet and Aim to Succeed

012414_AnnaGraceRotskoAnna Grace Rotsko is a Dietetic Intern at Rex Wellness Center through North Carolina Central University. She is passionate about delicious foods that are also good for your health.

Many New Year’s resolutions are geared towards weight loss. This can be a great goal to help you feel better for many reasons: positive health changes, and improved self esteem, and who doesn’t want their clothes to fit better? But, did you know that how you go about completing this goal affects the outcome? Fad diets focus on a ‘one size fits all’ quick fix, but this does not lead to lasting results for many reasons:

012414_faddiet11. Fad diets may not promote balanced meals.

Many diets deny certain types of food but our bodies are built to eat all of them in the amounts that are right for us – fat, carbohydrates (grains, starches, fruit, breads), and protein. Cutting out certain food groups is dangerous and can lead to deficiencies or other health risks.

2. Fad diets don’t teach long lasting lifestyle changes.

Fad diets usually last a few weeks or a few months so as soon as the diet is over it is easy to fall back into old habits and put back any weight that was lost. They don’t teach how to eat for your continued health.

Woman looking at fruit and veggies
Veggies and Fruits are the best choice

3. Fad diets often require serious restrictions.

Making changes that are too severe makes us less likely to stick with the diet and can lead to weight gain instead of loss. Also, if calories are too low our bodies start to conserve energy and it can become even harder to lose weight.

4. Fad diets usually require you to purchase specific food.

This food is highly processed, usually very high in sodium, or you have to rely on them to supply your food. Though these foods may help with your weight loss short term, they can have negative long term health consequences and can cost a lot of money.

Bicycle made of veggie slices
Exercise is best, and vital for weigh-los and good health

5. Fad diets don’t always add exercise.

Exercise is extremely important for your health. It helps use the energy that food gives us, build muscle, lose fat, and help us maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar. If your weight loss plan does not include exercise, it is missing a key component.

6. Fad diets have a specific start and a end date.

Fad diets give you a time frame for weight loss, but what happens after the diet is ‘finished’? Instead of dieting, learn how to eat well and what is right for you… It can be more delicious than you realize.

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So what can you do instead of following a Fad diet? See a Registered Dietitian (R.D.)! They will not only help you set up realistic goals for weight loss, but they will also create a meal plan that is tailored to your personal needs, schedule, likes, and dislikes all while using real food. They are there for accountability and to help you out along your journey.

Some insurance companies even cover nutritional counseling visits to a Licensed Registered Dietitian – call your provider for more information. To find a R.D. in your area visit http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdfinder/ or call your insurance company to find one in your network. Also consider signing up for the Healthy Way program through Rex Wellness Centers!

Take the first steps to weight loss that lasts! Make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian today.