The New Year provides us with a fresh start and opportunity for different goals or habits. This New Year, be aware of any diets or nutrition programs that promise quick fixes. Focus on providing your body with enough energy to reach your goals in a healthy manner.

Identify Fad Diets: does the diet…

  • Make some foods completely “off-limits”?
  • Promise you will lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time? Example: 10 pounds in 2 weeks.
  • Claim you can lose weight without exercising?
  • Have the word “cleanse” in it?
  • Refer to foods as “good” or “bad”?

Why are these diets unsuccessful?

These diets provide temporary results. With quick weight loss, there are water, mineral, muscle and organ protein lost as well.

  • Rapid weight loss triggers a “starvation response” where the body slows down its metabolism to protect itself and conserve energy.

Once you reach your goal weight, the body gains weight faster because it requires fewer calories to maintain its normal functions.

The Biggest Loser Study

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study finds that the “Biggest Loser” contestants who lost a large amount of weight through extreme dieting and exercise were not able to sustain this weight loss.

Six years after their dramatic weight loss, this study found that:

  • Participants regained 70% of the weight they initially lost back.
  • Their body fat percentage returned within 5% of its starting range.
  • Their average Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) dropped from an average of 2,607 calories to 1,900 calories per day.
    • These calorie needs decrease when metabolism slows in order to keep the body from gaining weight.

How to make your metabolism work for you this year:

Drop the fad or crash diets and focus on making lifestyle changes.

  • Eat breakfast! Breakfast can jump start your metabolism and keep it burning all day. Eat within 30 minutes of waking.
  • Eat consistently! 6 smaller, more frequent meals each day helps to increase your metabolism and energy for weight loss. Eat a snack every 3-4 hours.
  • Perform aerobic exercise consistently throughout the week. This will burn body fat and continue to burn calories after you work out.
  • Rapid weight loss increases muscle loss and lowers our metabolic rate. Increase lean body mass and raise your metabolic rate through weight training.
  • Be patient.
  • Be kind to your body by providing it with enough energy to meet your goals!

Long-term results are well worth it!

We want to help you set nutrition goals, and celebrate your progress through an individualized healthy program. For more guidance in reaching this year’s goals, contact a NutriFormance dietitian for a plan that works best for you!