With the arrival of summer, some are finding that their resolution diets just don’t live up to the hype. It would be nice to think scientists will find a “magic diet” that will live up to all the empty promises the current fad diets give. Unfortunately, it has been proven repeatedly that fad diets don’t work. Permanent, healthy weight loss requires limiting caloric intake, exercise and eating a healthy diet.
The media has been a powerful driving force for fad diets over the years. Although most diets only end in wasted money and frustration, some actually end in serious health problems. Most often though, the end result of a fad diet is regain of weight lost and a sense of failure that sets up the pattern of unhealthy dieting and binge eating. The following are “red flags” that the diet discussed is unhealthy, invalid and possibly unsafe:
- Causes consistent weight loss of more than 2 pounds per week
- Causes permanent weight loss (even when you stop using product)
- Results in substantial weight loss without diet or exercise
- Causes substantial weight loss no matter what/how much is eaten
Other empty promises include miracle foods, the elimination of “toxic” foods, and a combination of foods that will equal weight loss. Learn to look for and avoid these dangerous diet traps and focus on learning how to find the right balanced healthy diet for your body. Major fallacies with fad diets include unrealistic short term goals, frustration that results in a return to poor eating habits, return to unhealthy weight, and the continuation of undertaking another fad diet. This is a dangerous cycle that many people continue to fall into.
Some examples would include the Atkins diet and the cleansing diet. The Atkins diet was created by an MD and is based on the principle that weight loss can be achieved safely through the significant limitation of carbohydrates in your diet. Although research has shown this to result in quicker weight loss in the first 6 months than diets that reduce caloric intake, there are health risks. It causes significant water loss in the body which can result in side effects such as nausea, headaches, fatigue and constipation, as well as kidney damage over time.
The cleansing diet is much simpler in principle. The theory is that the body must be “cleansed” regularly to eliminate wastes and toxins. This principle is simply false because the body is naturally self-cleansing by our digestive system and elimination of waste products. Over time, these cleanses deplete your body of essential vitamins and minerals and can cause damage to your heart, liver and colon.
Although fad diets change with time, they all reinforce the fallacy that weight loss can be achieved quickly and easily. They appeal to the emotional aspect of losing weight without effort and with no regard to adopting lifestyle changes that will ensure permanent weight loss and healthier habits. There is no single diet that is right for everyone if you consider all the factors that are involved
- Food allergies/sensitivities
- Digestive and systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and elevated cholesterol/blood pressure
- Food preferences (likes and dislikes)
- Food availability due to affordability, what’s available in the region/season
So, even if you aren’t fooled by the false promises of a fad diet, how do you know what foods are right for you and your specific needs? The best options for finding a healthy, balanced diet are to follow the standard nutritional guidelines set by the FDA. If you have special considerations due to some of the factors listed above, consider seeing a licensed nutritionist for a consult. It should only take a couple visits to set up a reasonable list of foods that will be safe and healthy with guidelines to the desired amount to be eaten. These visits are sometimes covered by insurance if your physician recommends it. If not, the cost will most likely still be less than any fad diet will cost and the results will be safe, healthy, and permanent.
Recognizing and Preventing Dehydration
Dehydration is a common and easily preventable condition, which can affect everyone from weekend warriors to elite athletes. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than are taken in. Common causes include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and excessive sweating. Not drinking enough water during hot weather or exercise can also cause dehydration.
There are different stages of dehydration. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, low urine output, headache, dizziness and fatigue. Symptoms of severe dehydration are extreme thirst, lack of sweating, little or no urine output, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and unconsciousness.
Treating dehydration is usually as easy as drinking fluids. Healthy adults should drink more fluids, such as water or a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, etc). For those with severe dehydration, seek medical attention immediately. Dehydration can cause many complications in sports and in your life. These include heat stroke, swelling of the brain, seizures, low blood volume shock, kidney failure, coma and death.
Anyone is prone to dehydration, but there are certain populations who are more at risk. Those include infants and children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, endurance athletes, people living at higher altitudes, and people exercising outside in hot, humid weather.
Prevention of dehydration is as easy as drinking plenty of fluids. When exercising, you should consume water and sports drinks to combat the loss of fluids while sweating. You should also consume more fluids when you are ill. Medical attention should be sought when fluid replacement at home is not enough. You can look at a persons urine to determine their level of hydrations. A hydrated person will have high urine output with clear to light yellow colored urine. A person who lacks proper hydration will have a low urine output with dark yellow to amber color of their urine.
Medicine From The Kitchen
Making Bodies Better
The philosophy of using food as medicine has been around for a long time. Cultures from around the world have adhered to this practice for centuries. Food’s primary purpose is nutrition, providing different minerals, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, carbohydrates, fats and proteins for our bodies to function at an optimum level. Food has also been known to help the body heal itself. Proper nutrition is the fuel that maintains, cleanses and regenerates our bodies. There are several pantry items that can enhance the flavor of our food as well as help heal our bodies.
Ginger can help alleviate nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, indigestion and bloating. Research also shows that a daily dose of ginger extract can actually help reduce inflammation and the pain from osteoarthritis.
Cabbage has antioxidants and cancer-fighting enzymes. It helps our bodies fight free radicals and clear up toxins. The fiber in cabbage helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and regulates bowel movements. It also contains glutamine which heals the cells that line the stomach.
Cinnamon proves to help control blood sugar and cholesterol. It has an antimicrobial action and is the perfect remedy for nausea. Cinnamon also boosts the performance of insulin, helping those who suffer from adult onset diabetes. It is a good source of vitamin K, iron, fiber, calcium and manganese.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, pain killing and liver detoxing capabilities. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent. It enhances the immune system.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a strong antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of prostate, colon, lung and bladder cancer. It also protects our white blood cells, the body’s defense against infection.
- Finally, to schedule an appointment for physical or occupational therapy, call 904-858-7045 or call any of the 12 area JOI Rehab Centers.
JOI Fracture and Injury Care
JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury.