3 Popular Diets Debunked

Everyday there seems to be a new fad diet promising “easy” and “instant” weight loss. But are these diets good for your health? And do they really work? We asked Wellness Formulation Expert, Dr. Anke Ginzburg for her opinion on three of the most popular diets of today.

What is it? 
The 5:2 diet allows you to eat normally for five days a week (sticking to 2000-2400 calories a day) and then for two non-consecutive days, dieters “fast” by limiting themselves to 500-600 calories.

The Expert’s opinion:
As far as fad-diets go, the 5:2 is a relatively sensible and sustainable option. It’s simple maths really: eating fewer calories will help you lose weight. As two days of planned lower calorie intake is psychologically manageable, followers of the 5:2 diet tend not to overeat on the five non-fasting days.”

What is it?
The Dukan diet book sold over eight million copies worldwide and picked up a few famous fans along the way. It’s a prescriptive diet plan whereby carbohydrates are omitted in favour of fats and protein.

The Expert’s opinion:
"High-protein and high-fat diets tend to make you feel full, meaning you consume less calories overall. By excluding carbohydrates, dieters may experience a rapid initial weight loss because body water that is normally bound to carbohydrates is lost. As a consequence, the Dukan diet may help with short-term weight loss, but its long-term effects are controversial. The body needs a balanced diet to function properly, which means a combination of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as vitamins and minerals. I personally do not recommend the Dukan diet as a long-term lifestyle improving measure.” 

What is it?
The Paleo diet is all about eating like our Stone Age ancestors. Dieters eat as naturally as possible: grass-fed meats, fruit and vegetables and whole foods such as nuts and seeds are all on the menu. In short, if you can’t hunt or forage it, you can’t eat it. 

The Expert’s opinion: 
“The Paleo diet is a sensible approach to a healthy lifestyle. When followed correctly, the Paleo diet provides all the micronutrients and macronutrients that the human system needs in order to function optimally and healthily. If you do follow it, I recommend sourcing organic foods for optimum health results.”

Expert Advice: 5 Tips for Long-Term Weight Loss

  1. 1. Every morning set yourself an achievable goal for the day: “Today I will…eat a balanced meal at each mealtime. Exercise for 30 minutes. Drinkmore water. Eat healthy snacks.“ At the end of the day acknowledge your achievements. “I have been good today because…”

  2. 2. Take one day at a time. Don’t look at weight-loss as a mountain to climb, instead see every day as taking you one step closer to your new, healthy lifestyle.

  3. 3. If you slip-up, don’t fall into the all-or-nothing trap of “Oh well, I ate a piece of chocolate, now I can eat the whole bar.” Learn to accept that you may occasionally give in, but that the overall change is a positive one.

  4. 4. Believe in yourself. The sum of many small changes over a prolonged period of time is far more beneficial than a radical change over a short one.  

  5. 5. Follow a diet plan or roadmap (like the Wellness Roadmap). Clear and easy-to-follow guidelines will help you reach your weight loss goals in a healthy and sustainable way. 
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