Diets don’t work for sustainable for weight loss.

In the past, I have written about diet culture & the challenges of weight loss maintenance. It’s no surprise that in 2019, diet culture continues to persist with the promise of easy, long-term weight loss success. While there is ample research that shows diets (i.e. a calorie deficit) result in weight loss, long-term adherence is challenging. Fad diets are difficult to maintain and eventually resumption of former eating habits is pretty much guaranteed. Subsequently, the weight returns, often more than the original amount lost.

The current diet trends aren’t actually new or cutting edge, just “recycled” versions of diets in years past. Remember Atkins? Currently rebranded as the Keto diet. The Keto diet has brought the return of the high fat, low carbohydrate meal plans. While this diet can certainly result in weight loss, long term maintenance of this diet is unsustainable & a long term low carbohydrate diet can have health consequences. Other diets such as Whole 30 & Paleo, cut out whole food groups, which automatically eliminates essential nutrients. Despite rebranding as “lifestyle” changes, they are in fact diets.

The best diet for a for a healthy lifestyle is really no diet at all. Consuming fruits & vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts/seeds, plant oils & water is the way to go.

Yet, will you continue to gravitate toward the promise of quick weight loss? What are you willing to sacrifice in terms of your lifestyle & physical well-being in order to attain thinness? Ask yourself these 5 points (courtesy of Lisa Andrews, Med, RD, LD) the next time you decide to embark on the next fad diet.

  1. Does this plan exclude one or more major food groups?
  2. Would it be impossible to follow if you went out to eat or traveled?
  3. Do you need to take a handful of supplements to meet your nutritional needs?
  4. Is the meal plan short term or long terms?  Can you sustain this way of eating?
  5. What will the plan cost you?  Not just in terms of financial cost, but consider your physical, mental & social health.

Adapted from Food & Health Communications

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

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