Our industry is releasing new 'fads' on a regular basis, even to the extreme of the '8 hour diet'! So how do you differentiate between a fad and a nutritious sustainable program?
Here is a useful checklist developed by Dr Paul Cribb from Metabolic Precision, so each time you see a Weight Loss 'Claim' you are able to decipher its credibility and validity.
Keep it Simple.
1. Does is exclude or dramatically reduce carbohydrates, fats or proteins?
Dramatic reduction in any major food groups is not a healthy way to loose weight. Will you loose weight? Probably. Will you loose FAT? Probably not. When you starve your body of essential nutrients you will more than likely loose muscle as opposed to fat stores. Muscle mass is the key to optimum health and longevity so why would you jeopardise that?
2. How many good nutrition sources does it restrict/ eliminate?
We've read some amazing claims in just the last 6 months, eat only RED foods, or is it only YELLOW foods?
Any program encouraging you to eliminate food variety will likely lack essential vitamins and minerals or be unsustainable. Unless you have particular allergies or food intolerance's cutting out 'all GREEN foods' (an exaggeration I know) will not enhance your wellness pursuits. Nutritional restrictions and elimination are sometimes necessary to transition towards a balanced food plan, however they should always be replaced with alternatives to ensure you don't miss the key aspects to keep you living long and living lean.
3. What type of exercise is recommended, how long for?
Any weight loss program claiming GET RESULTS WITHOUT DOING 1 MIN OF TRAINING is, unfortunately, not looking at weight loss holistically. Adapting your food habits can certainly help drop some kilo's, but how do you KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF? With structured exercise you build lean muscle and metabolic responses that keep you looking young and feeling young long term.
Some programs also require a huge amount if time in the gym to get results. For Body composition results you only need 3% of your week! Often people over-do
exercise (particularly in January after New years resolutions are made) which actually HINDERS results. At Excite we will help you
manage the right amount of exercise to achieve your goals and match your lifestyle.
4. Is it based on scientific research?
Many programs (diets) have scientific research behind them, what we need to establish is:
- • How many people were involved? Smaller group testing size will lessen validity of the study.
- • WHO was tested? Firstly ensure it was a tested on the human populations, not rats or mice. Were both genders tested? What ages? Greater validity exists when both genders and age appropriate participants were involved.
- • What was the DURATION? We can make the assumption that if people are going to make healthy changes to their life they want to ensure the results will LAST. If testing duration is less than 12 weeks then again, validity is decreased.
- •Does it provide access to the scientific research? - great! Check it out.
5. Is it sustainable and simple?
If you take ONE thing away from this article, let it be this. Can the program fit into your lifestyle for the long term? does it suit the family as well as you? Can you still ENJOY food and not feel deprived?
If the answer is YES, then you have a program that will change your life for the long term. No more Yo-Yo-ing and feeling fed up with how you look and feel.
At Excite Health and Fitness, we can help educate you further on these 5 steps!