Low carb diet, caveman diet, grapefruit diet, cabbage diet… do any of these fad diets sound familiar? A diet that promises an effortless quick fix, a smaller jean size and a happier life is often called a fad diet. With all of the hype, fad diets can be appealing, but the bad news is that these diets often limit nutrients and can be harmful and unhealthy to the body.
Lorain County General Health District Health Commissioner, Dave Covell, reminds all that focusing on regular physical activity and a well balanced diet is the key to good health and weight maintenance. A diet promising any of the following is a sign of a fad diet, suggests Covell:
1. Program promotes fast results! - Slow and steady wins the race. Losing .5-1pound a week has been shown to have lasting weight loss effects. Rapid weight loss increases the chance of regaining weight and decreases muscle and bone mass.
2. Plan requires no exercise! - Regular physical activity IS necessary for weight maintenance and good health. Participating in 30 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week is recommended.
3. Diet tells you a certain food group is off limits! - Each food group has essential nutrients needed for a healthy and well balanced diet. Eating only specific foods or food groups can leave out critical vitamins and minerals.
“It’s simple: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” says Covell. If you look at your eating habits and admit that you can’t eat that way forever, then you’ve likely fallen prey to a fad diet. Don’t feel badly if you’ve tried a fad diet that flopped; instead, make this New Year happy and healthy by getting regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet.
Need tips to make a great plate? Check out www.choosemyplate.gov on how to make a healthy plate. For physical activity ideas and healthy recipes visit www.livehealthyloraincounty.com/recipes, follow us on Twitter @LorainCoHealth and join us on Facebook.