Thursday, July 5, 2012

Do Quick-fix Diets Work?

It’s human nature to be on the lookout for the "magic diet/pill" that will give us that quick-fix when it comes to losing weight.  This attitude has fueled the craze for new fad diets while encouraging the belief that if we eat specific “healthy” foods the weight will just come off.  Can these diets give us what we are looking for?   

Well, the quick and easy answer is no.

New research has found striking results between weight loss, exercise and diet trends; those who exercised more and ate less were significantly more likely to lose weight.  Many of you will not find these findings surprising, but the research uncovered on quick-fix diets was.

People who claimed to follow popular diets, liquid diets, non-prescription weight loss pills and diet foods/products were not associated with weight loss.  In fact, most of the successful weight loss methods are accessible and inexpensive.   
  • Join a cycling or running club (or recruit a friend)
  • Walking on your lunch break
  • If you can't manage the 30 mins a day exercise requirement, go with 15, any exercise is better than nothing
  • Sign up for a class: yoga, pilates, martial arts or zumba 
Safe, maintainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs/week, by lowering your calorie intake by just 250 calories and increasing your daily exercise will average a loss of about 1 lb per week.  It is also recommended that you speak to your doctor or dietician before starting any significant weight loss program.
There really is no substitute for eating healthy and getting regular exercise; joining a weight loss program/group helped people stick to their exercise regimen and reported greater weight loss so grab a friend and get outside!

References from the SIRC Collection

1. Clark N. SPORT NUTRITION. Dieting Gone Awry--When Food is Foe. Palaestra. January 2010;25(1):47-48.
2. Crerand C, Wadden T, Foster G, Sarwer D, Paster L, Berkowitz R. Changes in Obesity-related Attitudes in Women Seeking Weight Reduction. Obesity. March 2007;15(3):740-747.
3. Hicks R. Fad diets risk your health. Cycling Weekly. April 14, 2011;:33.
Kelley L. FAD DIETS: STOP THE YO-YO MADNESS!. Triathlon Life. Summer2008 2008;11(3):40.
4. La Bounty P, Campbell B, Antonio J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition. January 2011;8(1):4-15.
5. Long-term changes best route to weight loss. Handball. February 2007;57(1):25.

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