From Flab to Fad

Know a coworker or friend on South Beach or a vegan diet? Fad diets like these claim to achieve quick weight loss while also being healthy. Diets such as ketogenic, paleo and Atkins are always on the weight-loss radar, but with so many options and rumors, it’s hard to discern which will work and which are truly unhealthy fads.

While all dieting should be done with the approval of a doctor or health practitioner, it is also important to find the diet that fits your lifestyle and that’s sustainable. Diets meant for significant weight loss like the keto diet and South Beach are best practiced in the short term, while going vegan or cutting calories can be integrated into your daily life for the long haul.

South Beach. The South Beach diet is a three-phase low-carb, low-fat and high-protein diet created in the mid-90s. The first phase is extremely low in fat and carbs. However, restrictions lessen during the next two phases, which opens the dieter up to the option of adding processed foods as long as the protein intake remains high. Caveat: The restriction of saturated fats along with the use of processed vegetable and seed oils could lead to health problems.

Atkins. A staple of weight-loss culture, Atkins has been around since the 1970s. It is comprised of four stages and a two-week introductory period. The first two weeks limits carbs to 20 grams a day. Following that, dieters can add carbs back into their diet 5 grams at a time to help discover their body’s ideal carbohydrate level for losing and maintaining weight. Atkins is thought to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight. However, keep in mind that many foods allowed on the Atkins diet are high in saturated fats.

Vegan. The vegan diet can be both healthy and unhealthy depending upon how it’s implemented. Since vegans cut out all animal products, it can become easy to rely on processed foods and beverages, which makes losing weight difficult and unlikely. However, if the vegan diet is undertaken with whole foods, the amount of weight loss can be impressive and sustainable — in addition to the proclaimed ethical benefits.

Keto. Going keto has become increasingly popular. The ketogenic diet aims to promote weight loss through the lowering of insulin levels and making ketones, acidic chemicals made in the liver, the body’s primary fuel source as opposed to sugars. The keto diet could also reduce inflammatory markers and disease risk factors in people who are overweight. However, too much ketone buildup in the blood can be dangerous, so you shouldn’t switch to a keto diet for long periods of time.

Before starting any new diet, talk to your doctor to see what’s right for you.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from