If it begins with a hashtag (#) it’s sure to mean the topic is trending and folks are talking about it. Popular hashtags like #yum, #foodie and #nutrition are hot topics that lead to posts about weight-loss trends, staying fit and the fastest, easiest way to get there. If you go to your favorite social media platform and type in #nutrition, here’s what you’ll find:
- Recipe for smoothies, whole foods, soups of all sorts and various preparations for cauliflower
- Products and deals like protein shakes and workout programs
- Diet trends such as low carb, high protein, Paleo, Whole 30, Clean Eating
- Selfies–lots of them. Often, you’ll find young, scantily clad bodies offering up six packs for days!
However, just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Many diets are all about quick weight loss solutions that can limit certain food groups (like carbs or fats) and will have you counting calories or spending so much time on food prep that your commitment soon fizzles out. Making any changes that are lasting takes making lifestyle changes that are realistic and that you can stick with.
The most successful weight management plans combine nutrition, exercise and behavioral therapy. Fad diets are short-term fixes that set many up for failure. If a diet plan or product sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Christina Galiatsatos, Registered Dietitian, recommends, “If weight loss is the goal, a slow and steady reduction is more likely to last than a drastic weight change. Healthy and reasonable nutrition plans aim for a loss of no more than a ½ pound to one pound per week. If you lose weight too quickly you will also lose muscle and bone mass and water. This can lead to a rapid post-diet regain of weight.”
Talking to a registered dietitian is a step in the right direction. A dietitian can help you to identify your troubled areas around food, which are often behavioral. S/he can help you with a sensible food plan and provide techniques in grocery shopping, meal preparation and learning ways to enjoy your food.
It’s best to avoid any nutrition plan that eliminates or severely restricts main food groups, such as carbohydrates and fats. Limiting food choices and adhering to a rigid meal plan can cause frustration that leads to derailing your diet. Galiatsatos final recommendation, “Ask yourself, ‘can I do this for the rest of my life?’ If the answer is no, then the plan is not for you.”