By: Dr. Keith Kantor

Prevention Magazine asked Dr. Kantor all about fad diets…

Calorie Counting does not work, it may take weight off initially but it never stays off if you calorie count. Consuming the wrong mix of macronutrients causing hormonal imbalances specifically insulin is what truly causes weight gain or stubborn weight that is hard to drop despite your efforts. Focusing on a diet rich in vegetables, healthy fats and protein is the best option. Learn to listen to your body, stop when you are full, don’t eat out of habit, and eat when you are hungry.

Low fat diets are not healthy. Contrary to mainstream media and some health professionals beliefs, there’s not a strong amount of fundamental evidence that saturated fat or cholesterol is to blame for heart disease or obesity rates that we’ve seen rise over the past few decades. In fact, there have been a number of well-controlled studies putting low fat diets up against low carbohydrate diets with higher healthy fat amounts that prove to not only cause better health outcomes and chronic disease management (e.g. improved blood lipid profiles, reduced waist circumference, reduced blood sugar fluctuations, and improved blood pressure but better overall body fat loss from consuming higher dietary fat daily.

Pre-packaged processed meals and snacks as a diet plan. These types of programs (Nutrisystem, Quick Weight Loss, Medifast or similar) may provide a quick fix and a mindless option for those who want to take off the weight without cooking, grocery shopping or preparing meals. Consuming a diet of calorie controlled processed shakes, bars and meals will over time build up toxins within the body and those preservatives are chemicals that can actually backfire and slow your metabolism down by settling into the thyroid, etc., increasing your risk for developing chronic disease. In order to be a success story for life you have to learn how to live a normal life and make healthy lifestyle, and nutrition decisions without depending on processed meals and snacks.

What packaged, processed meals can cause damage exactly?
Jenny Craig meals/shakes, Slim Fast Shakes, Weight Watchers packaged meals and snacks, Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup, Nutrisystem meals, contain the additives carrageenan, soy, cellulose, sugar, artificial sweetener sucralose, caramel coloring, corn syrup solids, soy bean oil, enriched flour, to name a few, all of these ingredients are all linked to inflammation, weight gain and increase risk for cancer.
Celebs doing Nutrisystem– Marie Osmond, Janet Jackson, Melissa Joan Hart, Genie Francis, Dan Marino

Celebs doing Medifast- Ben Higgons, ABC Anchor, Hula, radio personality. Clearly Nutrisystem has a celebrity spokesperson budget that is much larger than Medifast.

Medifast is typically recommended in a clinical setting at weight loss centers, there program is referred to by bariatric surgeons and health professionals.

Low fat diets have many names including: The cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, or juice cleanses. These diets are restricting and contain very little if any fat grams per day, they may result in weight loss but it is short lived and not healthy in the long run.

• Which celebs do grapefruit? Kylie Minogue and Brooke Shields
• Which do cabbage soup? Sarah Michelle Gellar

• How does grapefruit diet work? A 12 day diet that promises 10 pound weight loss, high protein and as much fresh grapefruit as you can eat.

• How does cabbage soup work? 7 day low fat high fiber diet that promises 10 pound weight loss, you can eat as much cabbage soup as you want.

Why is each one bad and doesn’t promise weight loss? These plans are quick fixes that promote an unhealthy relationship with food due to extreme restriction. True weight loss and health is achieved by making small changes into long term lifestyle habits that fit into your schedule and overall quality of life. Eating cabbage soup or mostly grapefruit every day is not realistic for a long term lifestyle goal.


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