Solving the Diet Dilemma

by Susan on June 3, 2013

Diet red flags to avoid

5 Diet Red Flags to Avoid

You’re surrounded by it!  The word DIET!  It’s on TV, the radio, bookstores, checkout line at the grocery store, everywhere!  And every week there’s something new.  Adkins, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Low-Carb, High-Carb, Hollywood, HCG, cucumber-vinegar-sandpaper-and-lemon diet (ok, I made that one up), well, you get the idea.  There’s always some famous celebrity advertising the latest fad.  Or that ad that keeps popping up on your computer screen claiming to have the one and only secret to a flat belly.  Or the “mom that discovered the miracle diet that doctors don’t want you to know about”.  We’re bombarded from every angle.  But how do we sort out the silly fad diets from sound nutritional advice?  Where do we even begin to find the truth?

As a nutritionist I like to keep up on the latest and greatest in the health and wellness world.  And yes, there is MUCH to wade through these days.  And yes, a lot of it is pure malarkey!  Here’s a few tips in finding the line between good health assistance and, well, just plain ridiculous.

  1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If they’re claiming you will lose 30 lbs the first week, I’d run the other direction as fast as I could!  Huge red flag to me that it’s either far from legitimate, or just flat out NOT a healthy way to lose weight.
  2. If it’s continuously spouting the word D-I-E-T, another red flag to me that it should be avoided.  Why?  Diets don’t last.  No one can live on a “diet” for a long period of time.  Our focus should not be on crash diets and magic formulas to “get skinny overnight” but rather on a lifestyle change – gradually transforming our lives into the healthy way of life we were meant to live.
  3. If it is severely restricting or eliminating an entire macro-nutrient – that is restricting or eliminating all carbohydrates, or all fats, or all protein.  Our bodies are designed to utilize all three macro-nutrients and a balanced meal plan has been proven healthiest over time.  It is one thing to temporarily restrict certain foods such as grains or meat to give our digestive system a rest but deciding to eliminate carbs from now on is another thing entirely!
  4. If you are forced to severely restrict your calorie intake or skip meals.  This can put your body into what nutritionists call “starvation mode”.  Your metabolism slows down and your body starts to store fat for the “famine” it’s convinced is just ahead.
  5. If it claims you never have to exercise.  Of course there will be times in life where you will need to step away from exercise for a brief time, to recovery or rejuvenate.  But it’s been proven time and time again that a healthy meal plan should be accompanied by an exercise plan as well.  Not only does this help you lose those unwanted pounds, but also tones up your insides – your heart and other organs.

So next time you’re at Walmart or Target and the latest celebrity fad diet jumps off the tabloids, check it with these 5 diet red flags first.  Will it help your health in the long run or is it just another in a long line of “things you’ve tried that doesn’t work”?  The Diet Dilemma doesn’t have to overwhelm us!  Arm yourself with these tips and be ready to change your life by changing your health!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Johan Van Aarde June 4, 2013 at 2:35 AM

This is such a great article! Thanks, with all the media hype, it is hard to sift through the nonsense, your blog makes it easy to spot the ones that can harm our health in the long run.

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Susan June 5, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Thanks, Johan! Glad it could be of help to you!

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