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Fad Diets
How to Spot a Fad Diet
Clues
Clues that a diet may be more about empty promises than real results:
Quick results
Eat whatever you want
No need to exercise
Rigid rules
Specific food combinations
Eliminates entire food groups
Unlimited quantities of certain foods
Magical substances: pills, powders, herbs, etc.
“If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
-Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Fad diets may result in weight loss but…
 Results are typically not long term  They can be dangerous
 They can be unrealistic and hard to stick to
Basics: Calories, Carbs, Protein, and Fat
People who lose weight gradually
are more likely to keep it off:
Aim for ½- 2 pounds per week.
3500 calories = about 1 pound
To lose 1 pound per week:
Aim to create a 500-calorie deficit
each day through eating a little
less and exercising a little more.
We get energy (calories) from carbohydrates, protein, and
fat. We call these nutrients macronutrients. The Acceptable
Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) gives some guidance
as to how to distribute your calories so that you get the right
amount from each macronutrient group.
Fat
20-35%
9 calories/gram
Protein
10-35%
4 calories/gram
Carbohydrates
45-65%
4 calories/gram
AMDR recommendations source: National Institutes of Health:
https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx
Carbohydrates: your body’s main source of energy. That’s why the AMDR range
for carbohydrates is the largest.
Choose your carbohydrates wisely. Smart carbohydrate choices include:
Whole grains: whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa
Fruit
Low fat dairy
Starchy vegetables: corn, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes
Fat: provides your body with a backup source of energy and also helps you feel full.
Fats have more calories than protein and carbohydrates, so if you are trying to cut calories it is important to
monitor the portions of fats ― even the most healthful fats still have a lot of calories. Choose heart-healthy
fat in place of artery-clogging saturated and trans fats. Some heart-healthy options include:
Nuts, seeds, and nut butters Olive oil Canola oil Avocado Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
Protein: helps your body build and repair cells, aids in immune function, and
preserves lean muscle.
Many protein foods contain high levels of saturated fat. Choose lean protein and aim for a variety of different
protein sources. Some smart protein choices include:
Eggs Low-fat yogurt Nuts and seeds Beans and peas Fish (no fat added)
Poultry (skin removed, no fat added) Lean beef (chuck roast, top loin, top round, top sirloin)
Ground meat should be at least 92% lean
Keep meat portions to about 3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards).
Tried and True Weight-Loss Tips:
Keep a food log Schedule exercise Plan your meals and snacks Eat breakfast
Slow down and eat mindfully Problem solve Get enough sleep (7-9 hours)
Manage stress Monitor your weight Find an accountability partner or group
If needed, seek help: Find a registered dietitian who can help analyze your eating and
exercise habits and identify other factors that may be contributing to weight gain
The BIG picture: Forget
fad diets; focus on a
commitment to health!