January is here and with it comes a fresh New Year, a good time to shed any extra weight gained over the party season. Sadly, despite all the ‘quick fix’ diets, and a variety of diet pills on offer that promise you will ‘drop ten sizes in ten days’, there is no miracle cure.
WHAT IS A FAD DIET?
A fad diet is normally endorsed by a celebrity of some sort and or a non-healthcare professional and will usually cut out one or more food groups. What will usually happen is that you try the fad diet and lose weight very quickly. So what’s the catch? You’ll inevitably get bored as the diet will be unsustainable, and then return to your normal eating habits and put all the weight back on and more.
HOW TO SPOT A FAD DIET
Does your new diet:
- Cut out major food groups such as wheat, dairy or yeast?
- Promise you’ll lose more than 2lbs a week?
- Seem very restrictive and hard to follow?
- Require that you buy special expensive foods to follow it?
- Tell you the reason you ‘can’t lose weight’ is probably a food allergy?
- Provide no clinical evidence?
- Promises to be the answer to all your problems?
Yes to any of the above? It’s a fad.
Be aware of who is offering advice:
There are many people out in the world today promoting all sorts of diets to help you feel great and lose weight, however many of them are not medically trained.
Be aware of practitioners who use tests such as:
- Blood tests, especially those that mix your blood with food.
- Hair mineral analysis to tell you what you should eat.
- Stool analysis.
- Looking in your eyes to tell you what diet to follow.
- Face reading.
None of these have any clinical evidence that they can help with weight or any other nutritional issues.
BUT I STILL WANT TO LOSE THOSE EXTRA POUNDS… think of the phrase ‘eat half, walk double’!
Let’s go back to basics:
- Have three, balanced meals spread out throughout the day.
- Eat the three meals in a 12 hour time frame.
- Have 5 portions of fresh fruits (2-3 portions) and vegetables (2-3 portions) daily.
- Include two portions of protein daily – tofu, beans, lentils, soy, chicken, eggs, fish.
- Balance out your meals. Lunch and supper should be half a plate of vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter carbohydrates.
- Get in 30 minutes of exercise daily. Cycle to work, go for a walk on your lunch break – get moving!
- Avoid snacks that are high in processed sugar or fats like nuts, crisps, biscuits cakes, chocolates. Replace your cravings with fruit and vegetables but keep fruit to a maximum of three times a day. Even fruit has high levels of sugar.
- Keep hydrated – most people require two litres of water per day.
Want Help With Your Eating Plan?
If you’d like more support from a professional, you can book an appointment with Dietitian Ruth Kander for some much needed January motivation.