Diet photo

Are Fad Diets Bad Diets?

Trendy diets and workouts may help some people lose weight, at least for a while, but the true keys to weight loss haven’t changed: moderation and balance.

Diet Riot

Diets that promise weight loss by prohibiting or blending certain foods are more likely to help you shed water and muscle weight than fat — and you’ll probably put the pounds back on, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“Most of these diets are caloric restrictive and can be quite harmful,” says Janell Wilson, M.D., family medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen.

“These diets can also require the purchase of expensive supplements, and research is inconclusive on the benefits of supplements. A low-fat, low-calorie diet is best and results more often in long-term weight loss.”

Tried and true healthful eating is best: Choose plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; avoid salty, fatty foods; and practice portion control.

Pick the Right Pace

Workouts fall in and out of favor. Case in point: This year, high-intensity interval training — alternating periods of vigorous and moderate activity — is all the rage, while Zumba® and spinning’s popularity is waning, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

“It is most important to pick a workout that you enjoy and that you can do consistently, but it must be done in conjunction with a healthy diet or the results will be lackluster,” Dr. Wilson says, adding that one hour of vigorous walking will burn 300 calories. “It would be much easier to reduce caloric intake by 300 calories to yield the same results. Combining the two undoubtedly results in more weight loss.”

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