• Tracey Shaffer: Don’t follow the latest fad diet

  • It’s easy to get caught up in the promise of popular diets but it’s also easy to get confused.

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  • It’s easy to get caught up in the promise of popular diets but it’s also easy to get confused. One diet recommends low carbohydrates, another recommends high protein, and another recommends low fat. No wonder people are confused and as a result, they jump from one diet to another in search of the perfect plan.
    Fad diets are flashy and they sound easy. But unfortunately weight loss is not easy and most fad diets fizzle. If you want to be a successful loser, evaluate weight loss plans carefully and look for these red flags.
    1. Magic or miracle diet – There are no magic foods or miracle diets that magically melt away fat. What works for one person is not guaranteed to work for another.
    2. No need to exercise – The key to successful long-term weight loss is regular exercise. Simple activities like walking or biking are important for healthy weight and for overall good health.
    3. Easy – Weight loss is not easy. Successful weight loss requires making positive changes to both eating habits and physical activity patterns.
    4. Eat specific foods – No individual food can cause weight loss. Weight loss means sticking to healthful eating habits that include a variety of foods.
    5. Quick weight loss – Studies show that gradual, steady weight loss increases your chances of maintaining a healthy weight. Aim to lose one to two pounds per week.
    6. Lists good and bad foods – There are no good foods or bad foods, just good diets and bad diets. All foods can fit into your weight loss plan in moderation. Look for a plan that you can realistically follow for the rest of your life.
    You can succeed at losing weight. The key is to be patient and do some research before jumping into the latest fad.
    Try this healthy recipe to start your new year off right!
    Almond Spinach Smoothie
    Serves 2 (1 1/2 cup each)
    All you need:
    1 cup ice
    2 cups fresh spinach leaves
    1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    1 small banana
    2 Tbsp. almond butter
    1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
    All you do:
    Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
    Nutrition information per serving:
    Calories: 190
    Carbohydrates: 20 g
    Fiber: 6 g
    Fat: 12 g
    Protein: 6 g
    Sodium: 170 mg
    Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.

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