Weighing Diet Claims: Too Good to be True? (Video)

Claims by promoters of popular diets often say you can lose weight permanently without much effort or any significant lifestyle changes. That’s just not true.

A new year brings a new wave of diet promoters trying to tap into resolutions many Americans have made to lose weight. But achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires ongoing daily commitments to proper nutrition and physical activity.

“There are so many fad diets out there,” says Natalie Castro, R.D., chief wellness dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida. “The problem is they’re filled with empty promises. Dieters may see initial weight loss but often regain the weight they took off.” 

Even informed consumers can be confused by “conflicting claims, testimonials and hype” from self-proclaimed “experts” selling diets that promise quick weight-loss without significantly changing lifestyle habits. Many fad diets, for example, claim that you don’t need to be active or exercise regularly.

But being physically active is a cornerstone of healthy living.  Other questionable diet claims promise “rapid weight loss” with “rigid menus,” says Ms. Castro. But any “menu” that restricts or omits nutritious foods will not work, and could prove to be detrimental to your health, she says.

“The bottom line is simple: If the diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Castro says.

Proper nutrition is a subject to take up with your primary care physician, who may refer you to a dietitian.

According to U.S. dietary guidelines, you should focus on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruitsvegetablesgrainsprotein foods, and dairy to get the nutrients you need. Choose foods and beverages with less “added sugars,” saturated fat and sodium.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission warns consumers to look out for the following false diet claims:

Lose weight without diet or exercise!
Getting to a healthy weight takes work. Pass on any product that promises miraculous results without the effort.

Lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favorite foods!
Beware of any product that claims that you can eat all the high-calorie food you want and still lose weight. Losing weight requires sensible food choices.

Lose weight permanently! Never diet again!
Even if you’re successful in taking weight off, permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes.

Just take a pill!
Doctors, dietitians, and other experts agree that there’s simply no magic way to lose weight without diet or exercise

Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!
Losing weight at the rate of a pound or two a week is the most effective way to take it off and keep it off.

(Watch the video now to get more insight on diet claims from Ms. Castro)

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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