Fad Diets: Safe or Not?

UNITED STATES (WOAY) – Fad diets have been around for decades, but many are debating whether or not they are safe and if they really work.

Some diets require mostly living off baby food. Following the paleo diet means you can only eat what was available to neanderthals. Most recently, the keto diet has taken the stage.

“There’s really no quick fix to losing weight,” said dietitian and nutritionist Richard Williams. “It’s all about following something that you can be consistent with. I think that they can be successful. My question is can you do it in the long term?”

Some people find it difficult to make the drastic lifestyle changes each diet requires. When it comes to keto, dieters give up carbs. With the paleo diet, all processed foods are off limits.

“That’s one of the dangers about fad dieting,” said Williams. “Every time you diet, you go around the circle. You lose weight, you get bored and gain it back, try to lose weight again—and we call that yo-yo dieting. Every time you go through that cycle, it makes it harder to lose the weight and easier to get it back.”

During the keto diet, the fat and protein causes the body to go into ketosis. Ketosis forces the body to burn fat, resulting in rapid weight loss.

“What you lose is muscle and water… As long as you’re losing weight, people are excited about that. If you lose muscle, it’s going to be harder to maintain the weight. Your metabolism goes down [and] you can gain the weight a lot quicker.”

Before signing up for a diet, Williams said there is a number of things to consider and discuss with your physician.

“Since the ketogenic diet is a very high fat diet, you want to make sure that your cholesterol levels are checked,” said Williams. “Make sure there’s no interaction with any medications you may be taking [and] that it’s not going to cause any issues overall with any chronic diseases you might have.”

More information about healthy eating and lifestyle chances, consider visiting a registered dietitian in your area.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.