Replace “Fad” Diets with the “P&D” Lifestyle!

By: Ebony Eddy, 2nd Year Health Sciences Major

woman choosing food


Are you guilty of searching up “quick and easy ways to lose weight?” Have you ever come across a diet that seemed too good to be true? Don’t worry. You are not alone. Currently, Americans are infatuated with the idea of achieving a specific goal in the least amount of time possible with little effort, particularly losing weight quickly. Luckily, March is National Nutrition Month and that brings about a great opportunity to spread awareness about the negative effects of certain diets we decide to try in order to accomplish our weight loss goals. These types of “fast-result” and “dramatic” diets are known as fad diets. Fad diets typically do not result in long-term weight loss and are potentially dangerous for your health. Many of these exist and people are putting their health at risk every day by trying them. Luckily, there is a healthier way to achieve results and that is through the P&D lifestyle. P&D stands for “patience and dedication”. An individual who is dedicated to losing weight will take the necessary steps to make this happen and will realize that it is a process that requires patience. This lifestyle has a higher chance of being long-term, which is why it is a lifestyle and not a diet. Being healthier overall means incorporating healthy values in your life forever.

Side Effects of Some Fad Diets:

Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet recommends the restriction of carbohydrates in your  diet to help you lose weight without lowering caloric intake. Though quick and short-term weight loss is achieved, there are limitations to these results. For example, carbohydrate restriction can cause ketosis, which results in nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue. It can also worsen other medical problems like kidney disease. In addition to this, carbohydrate deficiency is often compensated with fats which can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Eat Right for Your Type Diet
There are many limitations to the Atkins diet. For example, it claims that your blood type determines which foods you should or should not be eating. However, if you avoid certain foods based on your blood type, you may become deficient in essential nutrients needed to stay healthy. Because this claim has not been supported with scientific evidence, this diet should be avoided.

Omish Diet
The Omish diet says that strictly limiting fat of all types allows you to eat fewer calories without eating less food. This plan leads to eating more high-fiber foods which can lower blood cholesterol and pressure. In the long run however, you may become deficient in essential fatty acids. Restricting all types of fats limits you from incorporating healthy fats into your diets. For example, fish, nuts, and olive oil are protective against heart disease. Individuals that stay on this diet for a long time may have an increased chance of getting heart disease in the future.

Guidelines for Identifying Fad Diets/Other Diet Scams:

People get tricked into trying fad diets all the time, so if you want to make sure that you never accidently attempt one, here are some things to look out for and guidelines:

  1. They promise dramatic or rapid weight-loss: Weight loss should be gradual and should not be any more than 2 pounds of weight lost a week.
  2. They fail to encourage actual lifestyle changes: Programs should teach individuals that physical activity is important and that 30 minutes-1 hour of activity a day will benefit for their health. Also, programs should try to be helping individuals correct their poor eating habits for the future.
  3. They collect large sums of money or require people to sign contracts for expensive “long-term” programs that don’t work: becoming healthier should generally be affordable or at least be on a pay-as-you-go type of schedule
  4. They fail to inform clients about risks associated with the weight loss for the program being promoted: statistics on drop-out rates, side-effects, and long-term results should be included
  5. They do not provide weight maintenance tips: a plan should be provided for maintaining weight loss while losing the weight

Just remember that you are in control of your own weight loss, and you should not allow fad diets to affect your health. Remember to try the P&D lifestyle of patience and dedication and you will be able to become a healthier individual overall, while losing weight!

DeBruyne, Linda K., and Kathryn Pinna. Nutrition for Health and Health Care. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2017. Print.