Diet Myth 8

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Diet Myth 8

Diets work

Whether you consume nothing but fruit juice or only eat foods readily available to our caveman ancestors, your diet isn’t going to work. Not in the long run, anyway.

“Going on a diet is one of (our) favourite pastimes. Diets typically entail temporarily altering eating patterns, losing a bit of weight, and then going back to old habits,” said Hardeman, a pulmonary and critical care physician in Fullerton, Calif. “Really, it all boils down to intake and output. People who stick to Atkins, South Beach and the Sugar Busters diets lose weight because they limit the intake of calories.”

But ultimately these magic-formula diets fail because they are unsustainable.

“The special diets are difficult to adhere to because they typically eliminate food groups (breads, rice, pasta, dairy, etc.) which make the diet incompatible with a modern food culture,” Astrup said. “So, for those who can live with these limitations it is fine, but for the majority of people we need something that is effective.”

Astrup said the reason diets that rely heavily on meat tend to work in the short term is that protein stimulates the satiety hormones released from the small intestine. He recently co-authored another study in the New England Journal of Medicine that found people were able to lose weight – and keep it off – if they increased their protein intake and decreased their carbs by modest amounts. Because, again, man cannot live on protein burgers alone.

“A lot of these magic formula diet books promise temporary change. It’s almost as if people don’t want to believe that doing more activity and adjusting their diet – it’s not a way, it’s the only way,” said Hardeman.

“Just because you’re sick of hearing about gravity doesn’t mean you won’t come down to earth when you jump in the air.”

This article first appeared on the New York Post.

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