From low-carb to no-carb, it's hard to tell which diet will work when you're looking to slim down. Fad diets are a trendy and enticing way to lose weight because they promise quick results. Many find success, but dieters beware: Those who lose are more likely to gain the weight back, and then some. Growing in popularity now is the paleo diet, otherwise known as the caveman diet.
Kary Woodruff, a sports dietitian at TOSH-Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, says the diet promotes clean eating but may not provide the essential nutrients our bodies need today. “(Cavemen) weren’t living long enough to have heart disease, they were not living long enough to have diabetes and all of these chronic diseases that typically onset later on in life.”
The diet cuts out whole food groups, which can have a negative impact on your health. Woodruff says setting a goal to lose one to two pounds a week over a longer period is best. “Losing weight too quickly breaks down muscles.”
Woodruff recommends tracking what you eat. “It could be just writing your meals down in a notebook or using an app or a website.”
Try not to go more than four to five hours without eating and have a meal plan for the week. “It helps us to save money and we tend to actually eat healthier when we plan our meals,” Woodruff says.
Woodruff says the best approach is the healthy plate method. It stipulates that half our plate should be made up of fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains and starchy vegetables, and a quarter with lean protein sources. “All those slow-and-steady approach, balance and moderation (diets), (they're) not as exciting. (But) we tend to see much better, long-term results, health benefits, weight loss benefits and overall confidence.”
To look up an appropriate calorie goal for your personal weight loss, go to www.choosemyplate.gov. It has the U.S. dietary guidelines and a user-friendly calorie calculator that will estimate what your caloric needs are.