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All Fads Are Not Hip…

…especially when it comes to fad diets, where vitually anything goes. Many of us have “tried everything” without long-term success; which is why attaching our hopes to the latest craze, promising results, is almost second nature.

It’s true. We’re all guilty of searching for that magic bullet. Despite the abundant infomercials, best-selling books, relentless television, magazine and newspaper advertising to the contrary, there are no miraculous diets, magic pills, or astounding breakthroughs that work long term and keep us healthy. What we really need is to embrace reality, not the promises surrounding fad diets and false advertising.

As a matter of fact, weight loss, even long-term, does result from fad diets. Unfortunately, the ensuing tolls on our emotional and physical health are vastly underestimated. Diets, based on eliminating (temporarily or permanently) foods containing essential nutrients, potentially compromise our metabolism, immune function, mental, and overall health. Likewise, diets incorporating unhealthy, fat and/or sugar-laden foods, are not a solid foundation for a healthy lifestyle. These fad diets lure us with guarantees we won’t feel deprived. These empty assurances carry with them the potential for serious consequences: slowed metabolism, insulin resistance, depression, anxiety, and a propensity to binge and/or overeat.

This does not mean we have to throw in the towel. Once we acquaint ourselves with the simplicity of weight management, we’ll save ourselves a lot of time, frustration and money. More importantly, we’ll be investing in our overall health. A healthy lifestyle is not a fad or a craze. As it happens, it is our answer to weight loss, weight control and optimal fitness.

In fact, body weight, composition and fitness levels are a direct result of nutritional intake, quality and quantity of movement. To reach and maintain a healthy body composition and level of fitness, we must consistently adhere to a diet and exercise regime reflecting that. This prohibits fad diets that eliminate healthy food groups (for any period of time) or incorporate foods proven to elicit adverse effects. Conversely, this includes a nutritious intake of balanced meals every 3-4 hours and prohibits foods known to produce harmful reactions. Every meal must contain a portion of lean protein, fibrous complex carbohydrates, healthy fat and clear water. When we eat every 3-4 hours, we eliminate cravings, binging and overeating. Additionally, we aid our metabolism and are able to take full advantage of ingested nutrients.

We often “go on diets” to lose weight. To lose weight, just take in less calories than you burn. However, if you are looking to invest in your health, fat is what you need to lose; which is why the sources of your caloric intake cannot be ignored.

Upcoming HealthQuest InterActive and HealthLine issues will provide detailed information about healthy foods and realistic exercise programs to fit into busy schedules. In addition, we will dispel common myths associated with fitness and nutrition.

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Written by Brooks Juneau

March 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm

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