The Dish on Diets

It finally happens… you’re getting ready to go out, grab your favorite pair of jeans and they don’t fit #worstdayever!  You decide right then and there that it’s time to get healthy.  The first thing you probably do is google “diets for weight loss,“ “get results fast results while dieting” or “what diet is best for me”…. And the pooof magic you have hundreds of choices at your fingertips.   But now what; how do you narrow it down? 

I’m here to help! Some of the top diets that popped up when I searched “diets for weight loss” are:  Keto, Whole 30, DASH and Weight Watcher.  So, let's start by talking about the pros and cons of some of the top diet trends.

Keto Diet aka Low Carb, High Fat Diet

This diet is like Atkins on steroids.  It was first developed in the 1920s to treat diabetes and epilepsy.  While on this diet you eat high-fat foods (all types), and little to no carbs (no more than 50grms)

Objective:  Trick you body into starvation mode, by eliminating readily available insulin (carbs) thereby forcing the body to burn stored fat as its source of fuel.

Pro:  Extremely fast weight loss results

Con:  The Keto Flu, vitamin deficiency (veggies are carbs= limited intake), long-term effects of this diet have not yet been determined; primarily due to lack of available data (this diet is very hard to sustain long-term)

Whole 30

This diet focuses on consuming minimally processed food and eliminating foods commonly associated with food sensitivity.

Objective:  Reset your body, restore gut health

Pro:  Lighter, healthier, and you will likely have more energy after your body has detoxed.

Con:  After you complete the whole 30, and start adding back in sugar, grains, and processed food you will likely gain more weight than you lost.

DASH Diet

This diet was originally developed to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension. This diet focuses on “balanced eating” with increased consumptions of fruits vegetables and heart-healthy fats.

Objective:  Balance blood sugar levels

Pro:  Balanced meals and snacks, increased fresh food intake

Con:  Although this diet has fewer exclusions than the whole 30, but if you are treating this as a “diet” as opposed to a “lifestyle change” the results will quickly have diminishing returns when you go back to your old ways.

Weight Watchers

This diet was initially developed in the 60’s to help women lose unwanted weight.   

Objective:  Weight loss

Pro:  Unlimited vegetables, support, and accountability

Con:  Counting and tracking, includes consumption of processed foods, does not “teach” people how to eat for health since the system is points based (in other words, you can eat whatever you want as long as you stay within your allowable points)

Now let's talk about the thing that doesn’t come up in your google search… 95% of dieters gain back MORE weight than they lost after “completing” the diet.  When you diet, you lose both fat and muscle; however when you regain weight, (unless you have included a fitness routine into your life), you will likely only gain back the fat… which will ultimately slow down your metabolism.

That being said, there are five reasons that most diets predictably fail...

1.     You try to exercise your willpower to control your appetite instead of understanding there is a science behind hunger

2.     Your focus is too much on counting calories

3.     Your diet consists of processed or low-fat foods

4.     Your weight is affected by hidden reasons that require medical attention

5.     You lack a stable health and weight loss plan to guide you on your journey

So what can you do that will be more effective that a diet?  The key to many of my client’s successes can be boiled down to a few easy lifestyle changes.

·       Eat enough whole fresh food to satisfy your appetite (your body will be less hungry because it’s nourished)

·       Eat protein for breakfast to boost your energy for the day – no matter what else you eat during the day always – always 100% of the time start your day w/ a substantial breakfast

·       Eat your last meal three hours before bedtime to give your system time to digest before sleep

·       Make low-glycemic foods your diet staple such as nuts, seeds, chicken and fish so your blood sugar stays level

·       Eat healthy fats at every meal such as avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil (healthy fats are your friend, not your enemy)

Somethings to remember before you put your body and mind through another off the shelf diet.

1. What’s healthy for one person might not be healthy for YOU.

2. Diets ARE useful as a reference but should not be used as a one size fits all guide to health.

3. Your diet changes as YOU change- a 20-year-old and a 40-year-old should not have the same diet.

4. Your RELATIONSHIP with food & your body impacts your health more than the food you eat.

5. Nourishment is about much more than just food.

In summary, I’d say… you should not expect “diets” to give you lasting results.  Only lifestyle change will.  Hope this helps all of you!