Say “No” to Fad Diets

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By Lisa Graham, RN, BSN, CDE,
Northside Hospital Diabetes and Nutrition Education Program

There is no “miracle”# weight-loss plan when it comes to long-term, sustainable weight loss. Success, as nutritionists will tell us time and time again, is a result of lifestyle changes and smart food choices

Avoid any diet trend that claims you can “trick”# your body”s metabolism into burning more calories. There are only two ways you can “trick”# your body into burning more calories: a healthy diet and routine exercise. Also, be wary of any diet that promises fast and easy weight loss. Healthy weight loss requires patience and hard work. Any diet telling you otherwise is just blowing hot air.

If you”re serious about weight loss, ignore the hype. Follow the tips below to get back into shape for life.

1. Go slowly. When you”re making small, meaningful changes, the weight will come off slowly, but it”ll likely stay off because you”re building good habits rather than crash dieting. Healthy, sustainable weight loss for most people is about 1-2 pounds per week. Losing more than a couple of pounds per week is typically neither healthy nor sustainable, and the weight lost is typically water weight, not body weight.

2. Don”t starve yourself. Eat just 300 to 500 calories under what you burn each day. If you start cutting too many calories, your metabolism slows down to protect fat stores in expectation of a long period of food deprivation.

3. Eat only when you”re hungry, stop when you”re full. Many people lose weight just by paying attention to this one tip.

4. Get your Zzz”s. Studies show that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone, which may lead to overeating.
5. Get moving. No fad diet on earth can replace the weight-loss wonders that routine exercise has to offer. You”ll not only burn calories during the activity but you”ll also build muscle, which will help you burn even more calories over time.

For more healthy living tips and information on resources to help you lose weight, please go to or visit

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