Nutrition-Bites-Fad-Dieting

Nutrition Bites: Fad Dieting

With New Years’ Eve around the corner, many people’s thoughts shift to healthy changes. Diet advertisements featuring well-known celebrities or shocking weight loss transformation photos motivate thousands of Americans to follow new diets at the start of each year. Yet, with a billion-dollar diet industry in the United States, it is important for consumers to decipher fad dieting from healthy lifestyle changes.

Fad diets may produce rapid weight loss, but often the risk of malnutrition or sustainability is overlooked. The majority of fad diets center around macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat, often demonizing one macronutrient and celebrating another.

For example, low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets, such as the Ketogenic and Atkins diets, claim to promote weight loss. High fat may keep the stomach satiated for longer periods of time, but carbohydrates provide necessary energy for muscle and brain cells. Without adequate carbohydrates, the body may feel lethargic. High-protein diets, such as the paleo diet, are also popular. These high-protein, low-carb diets often restrict healthy fruit and grain intake, which may lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For these reasons, it is important to discuss any potential risks with a dietitian before starting a diet.

With the heavy promotion of diets, it can be difficult as a consumer to decipher fad dieting from real healthy lifestyle changes. Any diet that promotes rapid weight loss, includes elimination of a specific nutrient or food group, follows a strict menu, or doesn’t require exercise is most likely a fad diet. Powerful weight loss testimonies often accompany such claims, but fad dieting is not sustainable. Those who follow fad diets often experience the yo-yo effect, where they quickly gain their weight back after breaking the diet. Losing or maintaining a healthy weight is not about quick fixes, but it is about a lifestyle change. Individual planning, slow and steady weight loss, and focusing on physical activity are all essential to implement a healthy lifestyle.

Weight loss goals and big changes in lifestyle can be an overwhelming experience, and as a result, fad diets may appear to be a quick fix to the problem. Long term change is only won through real lifestyle changes. Contact a registered dietitian in your community to help set realistic goals and tailor a diet for you!

By Jaime Traverse, Tulane Dietetic Intern
December 2018

Topics:   diet , food environment , nutrition , physical activity , wellness

Other Related Posts

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

As I am sure most of our readers know by now, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) will not be funded for another five years. This is very sad news for all of us here at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, but I am sure it is just as saddening for those of you who have worked with us and partnered with us for the past 20 years. Yes, the PRC has…

Read More

Health-Racism-and-Communication-Seminar-Series

Health, Racism, and Communication Seminar Series

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Starting this month, Tulane PRC will co-host the Spring 2019 Health, Racism, and Communication Seminar Series in collaboration with The Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CEMCH) and The Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Women’s Community Health Education Center (MAC).  This seminar series works to educate attendees about communicating the influence of racism on health. 
 On Tuesday, March 19, Nicole Deggins, CNM, MSN, MPH, Founder and Director of Sista Midwife Productions will address Social…

Read More

Associations-Between-Neighborhood-Park-Quality-and-Usage-Findings-from-a-Tulane-PRC-Study-

Associations Between Neighborhood Park Quality and Usage: Findings from a Tulane PRC Study

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

In efforts to better understand factors that may impact physical activity levels of people in their neighborhoods, a study was done through the PRC to evaluate park quality and usage in lower income African American neighborhoods in New Orleans.   Based on prior research, neighborhoods have been classified as an important social determinant of health. “Neighborhood environments can play a role in one’s decision to engage in physical activity. Prior research has shown that lower…

Read More

Community-Partners-Update

Community Partners Update

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association (February 16th, 2019) On February 16th, the Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association hosted a green infrastructure workshop in partnership with Water Wise Gulf South at St. Mary of the Angel’s Church. The Green Infrastructure 101 Water Wise Workshop taught community members “do-it-yourself” solutions to reduce flooding while leaving the neighborhood looking beautiful. The event provided refreshments and raffle prizes, including rain barrels and a home assessment for Upper 9th Ward residents. Infrastructure…

Read More

Legislative-Update

Legislative Update

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

New Orleans Food Policy Committee is very pleased with the changes recommended by the City Planning Commissions Small Box Store Study. The recommended changes make it much more accessible for residents to access fresh food while also giving food businesses and farmers an economic boost. For more information or to read through the report, check out the City Planning Commissions website or click here While the entire document is very interesting, the recommendations begin on…

Read More

Staff-Update-David-Roston

Staff Update: David Roston

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

We are excited to share that David Roston is the new Communications and Disseminations Coordinator for the Tulane PRC. David graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Michigan with a degree in Screen Arts & Cultures and Master’s of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. David has an extensive history of working on local and international documentary films and is interested in fusing arts and media…

Read More

Active-Steps-Avoiding-the-March-Fall-Out

Active Steps: Avoiding the "March Fall Out"

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

The start of the New Year is often seen as a time to revamp and refocus one’s attention and time on health and exercise. Unfortunately, most people fall into a so-called ‘March fall-out’ after just a few weeks of hard work at the gym. According to the Washington Post, gym attendance significantly increases in the December, January, and February months, but starts to decrease in just a few weeks leading into March. Luckily, there are…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Mindful-Eating

Nutrition Bites: Mindful Eating

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Most of the population eats to eat. We are good at it, we know we need to eat in order to fuel our day, but rarely do we spend the time to savor and dissect what is being put into our mouths. Junk food and fast food are not layered with flavor and texture. They do not excite our pallet with new variety. Eating on the go leads to mindless eating and lacks emotional investment…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Grocery-Delivery-Service-Can-Save-You-Money

Nutrition Bites: Grocery Delivery Service Can Save You Money!

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Grocery store shopping can be exhausting with multiple rounds of loading and unloading groceries. Plus, the amount of time doubles when you go at the grocery store rush hour from 5-7 PM. No wonder Amazon had an estimated 18% share of online grocery delivery in 2017 with their new acquisition of Whole Foods. The future of grocery stores and how we shop is rapidly changing. Let’s talk about the perks of this method as well…

Read More

Tulane-dietetic-interns-gain-insightful-skills-in-nutrition-and-community-based-programs

Tulane dietetic interns gain insightful skills in nutrition and community-based programs

Education & Engagement

Published: December 18, 2018

This fall, 20 Tulane Dietetic Internship students gained first-hand research and health promotion experience in partnership with Tulane Prevention Research Center and local community organizations. The Dietetic Internship is a 10-month long, non-degree program offered at Tulane University that focuses on community health best practices, health promotion, and disease prevention for students seeking to become registered dieticians. As part of the Dietetic Internship, students completed a rotation with the Tulane PRC. During this time, students…

Read More

canary