With the sheer number of diet trends that are present in today’s society, as a consumer, it can sometimes be quite difficult to separate fact from fiction. Since knowing what to put in your body is one of the first steps to a safe and healthy lifestyle, we decided to reach out to some of the leading experts in the field to see what they had to say about current fads, dieting in general, and what you can do to make sure that you are getting the best nutrition possible.
Question #1 – What is one example of a diet today that can be harmful to your health?
“A diet or nutrition plan which can be harmful to your health is certain one where you place your eating into the hands of others. By this I mean consistently eating out, in particular fast food, junk food, soda and the like.”
“Any diet that is ‘extreme’ in the sense that it is very low in calories (under 1200 per day) or that cuts out entire food groups (i.e. carbs, protein, fat) for a prolonged period of time. These diets can be harmful because by cutting too many calories or major macronutrient groups you can put yourself at risk of nutritional deficiencies.”
“The list is quite lengthy but I would say anything that dramatically restricts calories or macro nutrients such as high protein/low carb diets. I also advise against any ‘fad’ diet. This subject is also covered in detail in my 2nd book Slimming Meals That Heal.”
“An animal food based low carb diet.”
“I would say essentially any ‘diet’ is apt to be harmful to health because it is a short-term solution to a permanent problem. Managing weight and promoting health are lifelong concerns, poorly addressed by any diet one goes ‘on’ and ‘off.’ Further, weight is maintained and health promoted most effectively as a family, not an individual; and families rarely ‘diet’ together.”
“To create and sustain health, feeding the body properly is absolutely essential – which is why I advise my patients to eliminate all processed foods. Why is this so critically important? Because virtually all processed foods are loaded with bad-for-the-body additives that wreak havoc on your health.”
“Any diet that restricts too many food groups raises risks for nutrient deficiencies.”
“The answer to question #1 is a pro-inflammatory diet.”
“Any diet that neglects sugar impact or food intolerances ultimately can set someone up to fail.
Even small amounts of sugar can keep insulin levels, and chronically high levels of this hormone shut down fat burning and contribute to Type 2 diabetes and other problems. In my Sugar Impact Diet book, I teach people how to gradually taper off sugar so they’re not going cold turkey and suffer all its problems. You gradually transition off sugar with my plan, which leads to fast, lasting fat loss.
The repercussions of food intolerances are subtle, and sometimes you might not associate the dairy you ate with the headache you get the next day. In my book The Virgin Diet, I show people how to eliminate and challenge 7 highly reactive foods for fast, lasting fat loss.”
“A diet that restricts foods that you really like.”
Question #2 – What is one example of a diet that helps lose weight in a healthy way?
“On the flip side a diet or nutrition plan which can be beneficial not only to your health but also allows you to take back control, is one where you start preparing more meals at home. Forward planning, thinking ahead and having some healthy “go to” meals is, in my view, one of the fastest ways to take back control of your health and your weight. More “whole foods” rather than pre-packaged or processed foods. Green leafy vegetables, fruit and lean proteins are a great place to start.”
“For any kind of diet, a balanced approach is best. Scaling back on daily calorie intake while boosting exercise is a safe way to lose weight. Most experts recommend aiming for a gradual weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week. Many of the popular diets (Ornish, Weight Watchers, South Beach) can be used in a balanced way to achieve gradual and lasting weight loss. The main thing is to find an approach that works for your taste preferences and lifestyle, so you can stick to it for the long term.”
“I do not believe in diets. My motto is the ‘Live-It” which is outlined in my 2nd book Slimming Meals That Heal: Lose weight without dieting using anti-inflammatory superfoods. This is what I would recommend as an answer to your 2nd question.”
“A whole food plant based diet.”
“The ‘diet’ that is best is any variant on the theme of wholesome foods in sensible combinations that works for a whole family/household, for a lifetime. This dietary pattern could be vegetarian or Mediterranean, or any other variation on the theme- and should allow for loving foods that love us back. Better to live it, than diet; and food for a lifetime of vitality should be chosen accordingly.”
“My emphasis is on food quality, not calorie counting, so you’ll want to include the healthiest foods and avoid common irritants and harmful foods that drain the body of energy, including processed foods, sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol.”
“Any diet that restricts calories will help with weight loss. Eating less works every time.”
“The answer to question #2 is an anti-inflammatory diet.”
“A low-sugar impact diet provides fast, lasting fat loss. Going cold turkey is a disaster here. You’ve tried it and you know the outcome: eventually you go face down in a box of donuts or whatever. Plus you’re not very nice to be around. On my Sugar Impact Diet, you gradually taper off sugar so you don’t struggle with withdrawal and other symptoms. You get all the benefits (including weight loss) without any of the drawbacks. Win-win!”
“The Slim by Design approach of changing your immediate environment.”