3 Diets Not to Go On in 2017
By: Samantha Jamieson - Dietetic Intern
As the New Year approaches, resolutions are the main topic of discussion and many of these resolutions consist of weight loss. Most people tend to use some drastic diet to lose this weight instead of a healthy way of living. A diet is defined as “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” Now a healthy lifestyle is defined as “getting regular exercise and adequate sleep, balancing the demands of work and school with relaxation to help provide a balanced and healthy lifestyle.” Only one of these two terms has the word lifestyle in it, which means that it can be maintained for life and won't disrupt your day-to-day life. Many popular diets have come out promising to make you lose weight and achieve all your goals, but in reality, these diets cause more problems than help.
We are going to break down each diet into 3 sections:
1. Is this diet maintainable for a long time or will you gain everything back? Why is this important?
2. Will this diet disrupt your day-to-day life?
3. Is this diet safe?
The first diet is the new and very popular, Whole 30. The basis of the Whole 30 diet is that you cut out certain food groups (added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy) in order to “reset” your body and its’ metabolism. This diet cuts out two main food groups that are involved in a well balanced diet, grains and dairy. Ultimately this diet causes you to only eat meat and vegetables for a whole month. Lets break this diet down now.
1. This diet is NOT maintainable for a long time. Many people lose 10-15 pounds doing this, but once you reintroduce all foods you have cut out, you will gain the weight back.
2. This diet will absolutely change your day-to-day life. No more going out to dinner, no more parties, no more having drinks with friends. This diet causes you to completely shut yourself away from the normal eating world in order to see results.
3. This diet does not necessarily put you in harm because you are still eating a decent amount of food. You will probably be lethargic and tired from the lack of grains. The diet also has potential for over eating carbohydrates at some point due to carbohydrate deprivation.
The second diet, calorie counting/restriction, is a common way people attempt to lose weight. The idea is that the amount of calories consumed needs to be close to the amount of calories burned; calories in versus calories out, simple as that. But is it as simple as that? No. Many people become obsessed with the idea of calories, sugars, fats, etc. and this leads into a twisted relationship with food that ultimately causes you to live a life of restrictions and unhappiness surrounding food.
1. This diet could be maintained for a long time if you are happy with the idea of constantly counting calories. This diet takes the idea of eating to fuel your body away; instead it focuses on eating as little as possible to fit into a calorie restriction.
2. Counting or restricting calories will disrupt your every day life mostly because you have to know the amount of calories that are in every piece of food or drink. Some restaurants do have calories printed on the menu, which might make this process easier, but dishes that your friends make or your local restaurant that you go to every Wednesday with your family wont have the calories written down for you. You will likely over eat at some point due to deprivation of certain foods or overall calories.
3. The safety of counting/restricting calories is tricky because calories fuel your body. Restricting your body from the necessary energy it needs may cause the body to retaliate and result in slower metabolic burn. Eating fewer calories than what your body needs may cause your body to store more dietary fat as body fat or result in altered body function leading to illness. Psychologically, counting calories can lead individuals to obsessive thoughts about food, weight and body. This can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food or potentially could lead to an eating disorder.
“Clean” Eating is one of the newest weight loss trends. What does that really even mean? At its simplest, clean eating entails eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. This may sounds appealing, but as with calorie restricting, it begins to become obsessive and cause problems with disordered eating.
1. The main thing about this diet that does not work is that it completely takes out the idea of “balance” and having the freedom mentally and physically to eat a variety of foods.
2. This diet will alter your day-to-day life due to lack of variety in foods that are considered suitable on this diet. Since the diet is limiting in variety you will likely over eat on foods the diet prohibits.
3. There is nothing wrong with eating whole foods and lean meats, in fact, your body does need these foods, but your body also needs other food groups as well. This diet will cause you to cut out most convenience items, which if eaten appropriately can be part of your diet.
To Diet or Not Diet?
Moral of the story …you may lose weight, but once you alter what you are doing, you will gain the weight back, plus some. The solution? Long-term behavioral change with food. Don’t fall for the quick fix schemes. Instead, look into scheduling an appointment with a dietitian and changing your relationship with food.
Let’s make 2017 the best yet!
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to discuss exercise or over-exercise, please visit my contact page or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. #dallasnutritionalcounseling