When it comes to fad diets, just say no—because at the end of the day, they make promises about weight loss that they just can’t keep.
The most recent fad diets include high-fat ketogenic (keto) diets, paleo diets supposedly based on what cavemen ate, and even cookie diets.
But while they’re popular, these diets aren’t necessarily good for you—and they may not even help you to lose all the weight you want.
How weight loss works
Here’s the skinny on losing weight—you have to burn more calories than you take in.
Specifically, you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume to lose one pound of fat. In other words, if you cut your calorie intake by 500 calories each day over the course of a week, you would lose one pound. If you normally consume 2500 calories each day, you could lose a pound of fat per week by cutting back to 2000 calories daily.
Technically, you can lose this weight by following a fad diet, just as long as you burn more calories than you consume in a day. These gimmicky diets don’t work very well, though, as they are often tough to maintain long enough to see any real weight loss.
Fad diets can also be bad for your health, as they do not always provide the complete nutrition your body needs to function.
In some cases, fad diets can even cause health problems. The high-fat keto diet may cause diarrhea and reduced athletic performance, for example, while the high intake of saturated fat and protein on the paleo diet can increase the risk of kidney and heart disease, along with an increased risk of certain cancers.
And at the very least, fad diets can cause you to feel terrible.
How to eat right
Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as vegetables and whole grains. Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, so high-fiber foods tend to be lower in calories. Fiber, also known as bulk or roughage, fills you up so you feel more satisfied after meals.
Here’s a tip: load half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Fruits and vegetables are very low in calories and packed full of nutrients.
You’ll also want to try to eat every color of the rainbow. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals and fiber your body needs while you lose weight.
Make half the grains you eat whole grains, which promote digestive health. Opt for whole grain breads and cereals.
Avoid junk food, fast food and sugary food, as these tend to be heavy on calories and light on nutrition. Beware of packaged and processed foods; check the labels to assess the calorie, fat and nutritional content of the meal.
If you eat meat, consume small quantities of fresh, lean meats, such as chicken. While meat is a good source of protein that your body needs, the fat from some cuts of meat can clog your blood vessels or cause other health problems.
Finally, look for ways to optimize the effects of your low-calorie diet. Combine a nutritious, low-calorie diet with exercise, for example, so that you can burn many more calories than you take in. A half hour of moderate bicycle riding can burn 145 calories, for example, while a 30-minute vigorous game of basketball might burn 220 calories.
What to do if you can’t lose those “last few pounds”
Have you considered CoolSculpting?
If you’re like many people, you’ve discovered that diet and exercise gets you close to your target weight, but not quite there.
That’s because—despite your best efforts to eat right and work out—stubborn fat can remain in place to ruin the smooth appearance of your waistline, arms, inner thighs, flanks and other parts of your body.
CoolSculpting, however, is a safe and effective non-invasive means of getting rid of stubborn fat. Consider it if you’ve been dieting properly and you still can’t get all the way to where you want.
Interested in more information on good nutrition, exercise and procedures like CoolSculpting to optimize the results of weight loss? Speak with a healthcare professional or give us a call at Bel Viso Medspa.