stealing just the good parts of fad diets

 By stealing just the good parts of fad diets

We've all fallen for a fad diet at some point in our quests for health and fitness, and maybe even tried a crash diet or two before a big event (you can read about all of our personal dieting foibles in the Meet the Bloggers feature) but obviously fads and instant fixes aren't the way to go for healthy, long lasting results. But are all the different crazy diets out there completely bad? Most of them are just different spins on the same basic principle of eating fewer calories than you burn, with crazy creative ways to go about it, so it seems there may be some good to be found!

stealing just the good parts of fad diets

Women's Health is helping us out by breaking down 4 common "fad" diets and separating the good from the bad. In a sense, you can build your own personalized plan by taking just the best parts of all the different trends and leaving the unhealthy 'fad' stuff behind. Here's a little of what they found:

Having Dinner for Breakfast

One dieter was successful by reversing the order of her meals during the day -- she'd have a big breakfast of things like casseroles, pasta, and meat in the mornings, a salad for lunch, and something light like tea and yogurt for dinner. Obviously this doesn't work for everybody (appetite in the morning would be a problem for me) and may even lead to overeating for some (I think I'd be hungry at dinner no matter how big a breakfast I ate!), but the idea is solid to front-load calories at the beginning of the day when you're most likely to burn them off. And switching up your routine can help break bad habits, whether you take it to this extreme or not.

One Container of Food for the Day

Another fad is to fill up a container with food at the beginning of the day and then when it's gone it's gone, period. The downsides of this method are obviously a lack of variety, probable lacking of some nutrients, and the fact that you have to plan ahead. But in the example the dieter used trail mix, which is full of protein and many good nutrients, so by adding some nuts to your diet and by planning ahead and pre-preparing meals for yourself during the week on the weekends you can get the benefits of instant meals without worrying about fast food or junk food.

The Liquids Only Diet

Another dieter was successful by giving up just one thing: chewing. She lived off nothing but coffee or tea, brothy soups with no solids, and water for 3 weeks. Sure she lost 10 pounds, but the pounds piled right back on as soon as she took up solid foods again. The key to stealing good from this diet is to drink before you eat, but do eat. Filling up on water and other low cal/no cal liquids can help you eat less at meals, but what you don't want to do is starve yourself (which is essentially what most liquid diets do).

Banning White Foods

One subject lost 20 pounds by banning all white foods, meaning dairy, flour, and sugar, from her diet completely. Unfortunately when she inevitably went back to her old ways the pounds came back. She lost the weight because she was eating more veggies and fruits and less processed empty calories. So to make this fad work for the realistic long term try ditching white empty starches but not the whole grain full-of-fiber ones. They digest slowly, keep blood sugar levels more even, and perhaps most importantly of all will help keep you from feeling completely deprived!

So find anything useful in these breakdowns? What is your perfect combination of dieting tricks?

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