Ditch Fad Diets

Sandi Forsythe gives you the skinny on the latest quick-fix diets and tells you how to lose weight the right way.

March 4, 2013
Ditch Fad Diets

With so many new fad diets out there women are given mixed signals about what to eat, when to eat, and what to stay away from. One week milk is bad, the next it’s good. Some diets focus on calories, some on fats, and some on carbohydrates. So how do you know what to do, what to eat, and what will really work? Truth be told, none of them are the key to unlocking your dream physique. Your ideal body can be created through a change in lifestyle not a diet.

I know many moms get desperate for a quick weight loss solution only to be disappointed. Most often two scenarios happen when women follow fad diets:

1. They start the diet, lose quite a bit of weight initially, cannot maintain the diet, and gain it all back. They end up worse off than when they started, why? Because fad diets don’t work—they don’t require you to change your lifestyle habits.


2. They start the diet and feel so restricted that they fall off the wagon soon after beginning.

See the problem with most fad diets is they are hard to follow, cut out food groups all together, and are no way to live a healthy lifestyle. Most of the time these diets are so restrictive they don’t allow for flexibility and let’s face it the diets don’t teach you how to make healthy choices—they simply create lists of “good” and “bad” foods. I’m not a fan of this food labeling; all food groups are necessary and essential to healthy living and when consumed in appropriate amounts, and all serve a purpose in our bodies.

So let’s look at two of the common fad diets right now:

THE NO/LOW-CARB DIET: I hate the bad wrap carbohydrates get, so let’s clear this up a bit. First of all, carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source for muscles and the brain. Without complex carbohydrates exercise is poor and performance and recovery are declined. Complex carbohydrates also aid in digestion, metabolism, and glucose or sugar regulation.

So here is the skinny on carbohydrates: select complex carbohydrates oppose to simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates do not cause a spike in blood sugar and therefore provide sustained energy in the body to be used during exercise. Complex carbohydrates include: oat meal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grain breads, fruits, and vegetables. Naturally, stay away from simple carbohydrates: processed cakes, snacks, chips, cookies, and crackers. Again, it’s about moderation so indulging in a sweet treat from time to time is okay.

THE LIQUID DIET: Recent popularity surrounding this diet has made it increasingly desirable for those looking to drop pounds fast; however the health risks far outweigh the benefits. Sure initially this diet will cause a rapid weight loss because your living on liquid, so calories are extremely restricted. The problems: reduction in calories can cause you to feel sluggish, the body burns muscle, digestion and metabolism slows, to name a few. Another major issue I see with this diet is that it is not sustainable, and when people re-introduce solid foods they will gain weight. And lastly, the amount of muscle people lose and the slowing down of metabolic rate.

So what can you do to lose weight without resorting to these fad diets? There is no magic pill, or quick fix solution, and when it comes to weight loss the faster the loss is not always the better. Weight loss should be slow, consistent, and sustainable. The goal is to increase the metabolism and fuel the body right to build more lean muscle, which will essentially assist you in your weight goals.

So what’s the trick to successful weight management? Regular exercise, a clean diet, and supplementation. Proper nutrition should consist of all food groups in appropriate amounts, frequent meals (6-7 smaller meals per day) to keep metabolism high, and attention to snacking. Often mom’s tell me they don’t have time to eat 6-7 smaller meals, they skip breakfast, and then binge later in the day due to extreme hunger. One way to combat this event is to invest in a good protein shake. I use MHP’s Probolic SR – this way if you don’t have time for breakfast or are looking to curb afternoon snacking you can grab a shake! Exercise is also the key to weight management; you need to get up a move! Don’t be afraid to add resistance training into your weekly routine. A solid combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training is recommended. Last, supplementation: I recommend a daily multivitamin to anyone looking to manage weight: my favorite is MHP Active Sport.

IFBB Pro Sandi Forsythe
Team MHP Athlete
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