You can probably picture the scene: while dishing up dinner, your brother-in-law and his fiancée share their plans to start losing weight. They even share their new mantra: "New weight, new me." And, of course, the upcoming nuptials lead to talk of wedding diets and quick fixes.
"Which diet will they choose?" you wonder. Will it be:
- The South Beach diet, a modified low-carb diet.
- The Atkins diet, a high meat protein and fat, low-carb diet that even restricts fruits and vegetables.
- Juicing, diet supplements or some other calorie-restricting, food group-limiting schemes.
Whatever they choose, it's not surprising to learn that these types of "fad diets" in general don't pass muster with medical experts.
Jeannine Hinds, MD, a primary care physician with HonorHealth Medical Group Indian School, says the common denominator in all fad diets is the promise of fast results achieved by unnatural restrictions in one's diet. Not only are these aggressive restrictions of entire food groups unsustainable, Dr. Hinds says they tend to result in nutritional deficits.
The body needs a certain amount of fats, proteins and carbohydrates daily to function. Excluding or overindulging in either can have consequences. For instance, eating too much protein can wreak havoc on the kidneys, which filter the food you consume.
Apart from people with diabetes and certain metabolic or thyroid diseases, most people should steer clear of such extreme diets. Instead, Dr. Hinds suggests going back to basics with a weight loss philosophy of eating healthy, whole foods and avoiding processed foods, especially added sugar. Focus on variety and moderation and enjoy the flavor of real foods.
Unfortunately, celebrity endorsements and catchy advertising tend to outweigh medical recommendations and, in some cases, even common sense. For instance, diet pills, herbs and supplements continue to earn record profits, despite not being strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Hinds warns against these dietary supplements saying, "Because they aren't regulated like prescribed medications, but rather as special foods, you don't know what you're consuming and that's pretty scary."
So, while your brother-in-law and his fiancée search for a quick way to get into wedding shape, make your plan to follow Dr. Hinds' advice and eat a balanced diet, focusing on vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins and fats…and don't skip meals, especially breakfast!
Dr. Hinds became a doctor because she believes "Medicine is the best way to give back to society." She says, "In this field, I teach, I preach and I give back to the community." She addresses her patients with compassion and believes their point of view should come first. "Mind, body, spirit: I try to remember that with every patient."