By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer `
Many people like to start the new year off with new weight loss and health goals. In many cases, they will turn to the internet to see what the most popular diet plans are. And of course, there are countless different ones out there.
Those who have delved into some of the diets that are popular right now, like the keto diet or the practice of intermittent practices, have reported seeing the results they have been looking for.
But how sustainable are these current diets, and are they something to put into practice long-term?
Tribune Health spoke to local fitness coach Sanford Rolle, Jr, who shared his views on some of the most popular diet trends and their effectiveness.
Coach Rolle is the owner of Impact Fitness Coaching - a fitness business dedicated to helping people improve their fitness and health through personal and group training programmes. He believes coaching, training, instructing is his gift to the world.
“In my estimation, coaching is more than simply carrying individuals or groups through a series of exercises or training sessions. It is providing motivation, accountability, advice and sometimes a listening ear,” he told Tribune Health.
Having been in the fitness business for six years, and the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins Men’s Basketball team trainer for the past three years, he has seen the great lengths people go to get in shape.
While Coach Rolle does not knock people for wanting to get their weight and health under control, he said turning to fad diets may not necessarily yield the results you are seeking.
“I understand why people turn to them and I have tried a few in my time as well. I do not want to demonise any effort others make for a better life and health. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all,” he said.
“However, the issue I have with fad diets is that they are rarely effective in the long term and are often so restrictive, over the top, that most persons will fail trying to abide by such stringent rules. To those who have extreme will power, discipline or goals, these options may be viable options, but to the general population such extreme measures are simply unrealistic and unsustainable.”
The effectiveness of any diet, he said, varies from person to person. In some cases, people may obtain the desired result of weight loss or lean muscle gain, but compromise other aspects of their health.
“I know an individual that went on a high-protein diet and began developing kidney and digestive issues. I know another individual that did the keto diet and enjoyed great weight loss results but ended up with elevated cholesterol numbers. I am certain that there are others who may have better experiences, but in my opinion these diets are not necessary for success in any health or fitness journey,” he said.
Despite the unsustainability of fad diets, Coach Rolle knows there will be many who will go this route to achieve their desired weight loss goals. He hopes to encourage them to try more balanced diets.
“Weight loss at its most basic level comes down to calorie intake and expenditure. If you want to lose weight you can do so by simply eating less and moving more. Food is designed to give you energy and when this energy is not used, it stores as fat. Therefore, you can lose weight on any diet that places you in a caloric deficit. However, for overall health purposes, I recommend a balanced diet composed of proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates," he said.
Here, Coach Rolle shares his views on some of the top diets and his recommendations:
The keto diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet. The goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis.
“This means that rather than using carbohydrates for energy, your body would feed on fat, resulting in weightless. I do not recommend this diet for long-term use unless recommended by a doctor due to its restrictive nature,” he said.
The baby food diet (using baby food to replace full meals)
“Now this is new to me. I get the logic behind it, however, there is a reason baby food is for babies. Eating baby food will restrict calories, but it may leave you extremely hungry and lacking the necessary nutrition your body requires to function well. There would also be a possible increase in ghrelin (the hormone that makes you hungry), resulting in eventual binge eating. Not recommended,” he said.
This is not a diet, instead it is an eating schedule that restricts all meals to a smaller window of time. During the eating window, you will eat enough meals to achieve your nutrition and caloric needs.
“This is actually not a terrible choice and I recommend using it as an option from time to time because of its simplicity. Fasting, when done properly, can be effective. However, I do not recommend making extreme fasting a lifestyle. Remember, your body needs food for energy,” he said.
Weight loss teas
“You will lose weight by drinking weight loss teas. However, the majority of that weight will be from excess waste and fluid. It is water weight, and in order to continue keeping the weight off you would have to continue flushing your system with the teas. If your desire is to get a quick detox then maybe this is an option for you, but for fat loss it is not an effective option and I do not recommend it,” he said.
Studies have also shown that regularly drinking slimming teas – which contain the laxative senna – can lead to laxative dependency. This is turn can lead to a person’s liver shutting down, and potentially damaging their liver, too.