More than half of Americans set resolutions on New Year’s Day to get healthier. Nearly 80% won’t keep these goals past February.
Why? After two decades of working with people to improve their health, I know that there’s one mistake almost everyone in that 80% is making.
They pick a diet or exercise program that they can’t stick with.
It sounds simple because it is simple. If you can’t stick with something for the long run, at some point, you’ll stop, and so will your progress. Whatever you do to lose weight, you have to keep it up if you want to keep it off.
That’s why I advise steering clear of these three unsustainable fads that are popularly advertised on social media as long-term solutions for weight loss:
I’m no vegetarian, but the Ketogenic Diet isn’t a long-term solution. The aim of the keto diet is to push the body into ketosis—a state where the body uses fat for fuel, promoting quick weight loss. Foods like red meat, eggs, cheese, oil, nuts, cream, and non-starchy vegetables are allowed. Fruit, whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and lentils are strictly limited.
While Keto fans may come at me with forks and knives for saying it, the negative long-term consequences of keto outweighs any potential short-term benefits. A comprehensive new review published in Frontiers in Nutrition supports my claim.
A group of physicians, researchers, and registered dietitians analyzed over 100 peer-reviewed studies on keto diets to evaluate its long-term effects. They found that people who go keto have a significantly increased risk of developing LDL cholesterol buildup, kidney failure, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer!
Keto isn’t healthy for the long-term, and that’s why it doesn’t receive my stamp of approval.
Optavia is a branded diet that requires purchased, pre-packaged meals or “Fuelings.” Its products vary from crunchy snacks, to bars, cereals, soups, and shakes. This popular diet uses the strategy of meal replacements with low-calorie, packaged snacks and small, calorie-controlled meals.
But long-term low-cal diets lead to a slowed metabolism, nutrition deficiency, and binging. Rather than focusing on establishing healthy habits, Optavia aggressively cuts calories and swaps meals for products full of additives, like sugar, alcohols, emulsifiers, and texturizing agents.
Ultimately, this unsustainable approach often results in more weight gain. In the U.S. News & World Report, Optavia ranked low on the list of Best Diets Overall. They reported, “Though you might lose weight quickly with Optavia, the meal plan scored particularly low for healthy eating.”
Opt out next time you see an ad for Optavia. This trend won’t give you the lasting results you want.
Weight loss pills and shots send shivers down my spine! These products can be dangerous and can lead to cardiac problems or unhelpful changes in your metabolism.
Many of the ‘active’ ingredients in weight loss pills and shots are stimulants designed to raise your metabolic rate. While this may sound tempting, the side effects include nausea, insomnia, and unsafe elevations in blood pressure. Recent findings suggest that these supplements could even cause organ damage, cancer, and cardiac arrest.
Instead of buying into drastic diet aids, I believe in real, nutrient-dense, satiating, and health-promoting food. This is the healthy and sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.
These three fads have one thing in common which puts them at the top of my ‘ditch that diet’ list—none of them are sustainable. In most cases, these fads will do more harm than good long term.
Instead of following the fads, tune into your body. Find a nutritional approach that fits you the best, nourishes your body, and gives you results that will last.