People often look for the quickest fixes and easy solutions when it comes to weight loss. And the amount of diets out there makes that obvious. It feels like there are endless regimens, nutrition programs, and supplements that claim to make the pounds melt off. And they are enticingwhen you see before and after shots of people who sing the praises of these programs as the reason for their own success stories, it makes you eager to try it, and you go into it with optimism and determination. However, after a few days in, you get exhausted by the extreme restriction, and by the time the weekend rolls around, you give up. The real key to weight loss is making sustainable lifestyle changes, which is often difficult with diets that promise quick results through all or nothing programs. Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, a nutritionist and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, is giving us the lowdown on five diets that she doesnt recommend if you want to see sustainable change.
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If youve looked into weight loss or fitness regimens in any way recently, odds are youve seen the keto diet online. This high fat, low carb diet is marketed as a way to lose weight fast. However, the results dont last long term, and it has even been connected to muscle loss if followed for too long.
The sirtfood diet is a 21 day diet that involves extreme calorie restriction and exclusively eating foods rich in sirtuins, like parsley, blueberries, apples, and green tea. Sirtuins are believed to regulate inflammation, slow the aging process, and speed up the metabolism. However, at some points in the diet you are limited to as little as 1000 calories, which is not only hard to maintain, but dangerous for the body.
Optavia is a program where you eat half lean protein and greens and half fuelings, or pre-made processed meal replacements made by the company that include bars, cereals, shakes, and soup. Much like the sirtfood diet, Optavia relies on extreme calorie restriction, so it isnt sustainable long term.
Intermittent fasting is a system in which meals are timed around extended periods of voluntary fasting. While there are many methods, a more popular option is daily time restricted fasting, where a persons non fasting time is compressed within a 24 hour period. While the restrictive nature will lead to weight loss, the extreme hunger and cravings that come with not eating for long periods of time may force you to break the diet before you make any progress.
Described as a nutritional reset, Whole30 promises to detox your body while addressing issues with cravings, blood sugar management, and inflammation. However, it requires extreme and sudden restriction for an extended period of time, which may be hard to maintain long enough to see results.
Ultimately, all these diets are rigid diets that omit food groups or specific foods and thereby prevent permanent weight loss. Young says, People who go on a diet and get into that headset, generally end up failing, because they cant wait to get off the diet. She says that its best to allow all foods but practice portion control, which allows you to cultivate healthy habits and soter a positive mindset.
I like to approach weight-loss from a positive angle. Enjoy foods you love, and think about healthy foods you can add to your diet. She also encourages healthy food swaps, which is easier to manage than rigid rules and restrictions. For example, instead of a bagel with cream cheese, try avocado toast on whole grain toast. Also, rather than focus on the scale, focus on the lifestyle.