The Fad that Fits: Find the Right Nutrition Plan for Your Body : Diet culture. This cringe-worthy term invades our social feeds, usually as a negative for its reputation of assigning value to body size. Assuming “skinnier” is “healthier” undermines the beautiful whole of our amazing human figures—not to mention the many important jobs our bodies carry out each day to keep us thriving.
A healthy diet is one of the most important pursuits in a healthy lifestyle. But bodies are complicated. And as a society, pervasive messages can make us feel like we need to lose weight to look a certain way—instead of being motivated by feeling great and committing to a long-term health journey. Luckily, a movement toward a more body-positive attitude is beginning to crowd out toxic diet culture—yay! But the focus on quick-fix weight loss without sustaining health remains widespread and highly sought after.
There’s nothing wrong with maintaining a healthy weight, and doctors recommend it to improve overall health, longevity, and quality of life. There are many supplements that support metabolism to help maintain energy and a healthy BMI. However, an obsession with the scale can easily tip a desire to lose weight into unhealthy territory.*
Just a Fad
Fad dieting is another pejorative term commonly associated with nutritional programs focused on the quickest way to lose pounds. Learning how to be skinny is much different than learning how to be healthy. But are all fad diets bad?
Dieting for weight loss isn’t a new concept, but it’s up to you to decide which strategies have a place in your healthy lifestyle. Take a look at a few of the most popular diets:
This diet utilizes staples of Greek and Italian food traditions to achieve and maintain a healthy weight—historically, members of these regions have lower instances of lifestyle disease. It avoids sugary foods, refined grains, and any highly processed foods in lieu of plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil as a healthy fat source. Plus, sharing your meals with friends and enjoying your life make this diet less structured, easy to adhere to, and a lot of fun.
Not quite veganism, consumers eat around 90 percent plant-based foods. This diet takes a step away from the rigidity of excluding well-sourced meats on occasion, and emphasizes including proteins derived from plant sources. For example, proteins from pumpkin seeds, almonds, peas, and hemp. This subset of plant-based dieters prioritizes adaptogens, including ashwagandha, turmeric, and reishi mushrooms.
Focus on the way you eat, rather than what you eat. Intermittent fasting, or IF, has blown up for its simple framework and successful results. It breaks the belief that constant snacking is essential for revving up your metabolism, and instead involves simply not eating for most of the day. There are many types of fasting—prolonged fasting, time-restricted feeding, and alternate-day fasting. You take the approach that makes sense for you.
This diet aims to consume food portions by volume to trigger a feeling of fullness. In other words, the most amount of nutrition for the least number of calories. Planning a diet within this framework includes foods that keep you feeling full longer, while simultaneously consuming fewer calories overall. This diet includes foods like broths and non-starchy vegetables, like kale and carrots, while avoiding calorie-dense food like meats and oils.
This buzzy diet keeps carbohydrate-filled foods to a bare minimum and pushes fat-filled calories. The result is a metabolic switch that allows the body to utilize ketones as its main sources of fuel—which burns fat for fuel. While effective, it requires rigid adherence to remain in a state of ketosis so you can reap the full fat-burning benefits.
Make Your Plan Personal
Achieving a healthy weight at any stage in life can be a battle for many of us. Sedentary jobs, weight gain from lack of activity, age, and a lack of any nutritional framework wreak havoc on our health. Only you can determine which diet is sustainable for you—after all, only time will tell if it works for you. And while the term “fad diet” implies the results aren’t permanent, any program rises above the fad if it benefits your lifestyle long term.
Your Plan Doesn’t Have to Be Permanent
Our lifestyle habits, in large part, create our state of health. And though a never-ending stream of nutritional frameworks exists to guide our daily nutrition, don’t be shy about trying a new plan. It may take weeks, months, or even years to settle into a consistent nutritional plan—the important part is to simply have a plan.
Investigate how your food impacts your overall health. Don’t leave your daily diet up to mindless snacking, or bending to each and every craving. Empower your life-long health journey by taking inspired action and measuring the results. You have the power to be more than a fad—love yourself, and your healthy confidence will shine through. If you decide to embark on a “fad diet” as a strategy for health, that’s up to you. Just find the fad that fits.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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