The Diet Hop


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The Atkins diet, South Beach diet and Weight Watchers. These may seem like quick ways to shed some unwanted pounds and you may try many to find the best one for you. But switching from diet to diet can be counterproductive.

Your body needs a consistent well-designed eating plan to stay healthy.

“What really works is adopting something that you can stick with that will keep you healthy for a long time,” said Rachel Franklin, MD, the Medical Director at OU Physicians.

But switching between diet fads to lose weight can actually make you gain weight instead. Your daily calorie intake can swing dramatically causing your metabolism to slow down. Your metabolism takes about three weeks to adjust to new food. So try to stay on a new diet for at least three weeks and if you feel it is not working do not switch to a diet that is the complete opposite, such as switching from a meat-heavy protein diet to being vegan.

Before trying a new diet, see which foods are off limits and then find alternative foods that can provide those nutrients.  Switching diets can also leave gaping holes in your nutrition. Diets that require reducing your carb intake by skipping grains, fruits and vegetables also can cut out your sources of fiber, antioxidants and even vitamins A and C. Just three days without certain nutrients can lead a person to develop symptoms of deficiency diseases like scurvy.

A report by Marketdata says there are 97 million active dieters in the U.S. and people spent nearly $66 billion on weight loss products in 2016. 

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT #2494


BACKGROUND: Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat. Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils. About 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Food available for consumption increased in all major food categories from 1970 to 2008. And, the average daily calories per person increased approximately 600 calories. Empty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40 percent of total daily calories for 2–18 year olds and half of these empty calories come from six sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk. Food safety awareness goes hand-in-hand with nutrition education. In the United States, food-borne agents affect 1 out of 6 individuals and cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year.


FAD DIETS: A fad diet is a diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. They target people who want to lose weight quickly without exercise. Some fad diets claim that they make you lose fat, but it’s really water weight you’re losing. These diets that are restricted to certain foods may work, but most are boring or unappealing. This can make them difficult to follow on a long-term basis. And, some fad diets can actually be harmful to your health. To determine this, ask yourself these few questions: does the diet promise quick weight loss, does the diet sound too good to be true, does the diet help sell a company’s product, and does the diet lack valid scientific research to support its claims? Potential problems a person may run into with fad diets are a poor long-term weight control. They can also lead to increased risk of chronic disease, like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Athletes can experience a significant reduction in their performance like decreased energy and fatigue. A person could also experience kidney stones and even ketosis.


NUTRITION STUDIES LINKS STRESS TO GUT ISSUES: Brigham Young University professor of microbiology and molecular biology, Laura Bridgewater, found that when female mice were exposed to stress, their gut microbiota changed to look like the mice had been eating a high-fat diet. “Stress can be harmful in a lot of ways, but this research is novel in that it ties stress to female-specific changes in the gut microbiota,” Bridgewater said. “We sometimes think of stress as a purely psychological phenomenon, but it causes distinct physical changes.” Researchers found fascinating differences between genders. Male mice on the high-fat diet exhibited more anxiety than females on the high-fat diet, and high-fat males also showed decreased activity in response to stress. However, it was only in female mice that stress caused the gut microbiota composition to shift as if the animals were on a high-fat diet. While the study was only carried out on animals, researchers believe there could be significant implications for humans. “In society, women tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety, which are linked to stress” said Bridgewater, who also serves as Associate Dean of the BYU College of Life Sciences. “This study suggests that a possible source of the gender discrepancy may be the different ways gut microbiota responds to stress in males vs. females.” 


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