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Jan 5, 2017

Healthy Living: Do “Fad Diets” Cut Weight Faster?

So we’ve all heard of the military diet, the alkaline diet, grapefruit diet, and the cabbage soup diet, all that seem to be popular here in Belize when we want to lose weight as quickly as possible. Especially after the holidays with all that turkey and ham.  That’s when we turn to quick fixes like “Fad Diets” that promise rapid weight loss in a short amount of time with little to no exercise. But are they healthy? In tonight’s Healthy Living, I teamed up with intern Maria Reneau to seek the advice of Nutritionist Doris Sutherland to share her expertise.


Maria Reneau, Reporting

It’s no secret that Belizeans need to lose a bit of weight. According to the Ministry of Health, two out of every three Belizeans are either overweight or obese. Not only that but only one in four Belizeans exercise on a regular basis. It’s easy to understand why it’s tempting to turn to fad diets to drop a few pounds quickly and you will, but not for long. License Nutritionist, Doris Sutherland explains why.


Doris Sutherland

Doris Sutherland, License Nutritionist

“What they do is they only encourage short term weight loss instead of a long-term weight loss for these patients. However these types of diets they also tend to exclude large food groups, which in return they do not provide the necessary amount of nutrients the body needs. Let’s take for example the Cabbage Soup diet, where they recommend you to have only fat-free cabbage soup – it’s only a soup with water and cabbage, they recommend you to have this at least three times a day. This soup is only providing water and fiber. It does not provide any type of protein, which is very important for maintaining lean body mass, which is also known as muscle. We see that the weight-loss is initially rapid in the first few days, but after a few days we start to regain the weight very fast.”


Another popular trend that people may not consider to be a diet is skipping meals or cutting out all carbohydrates and fats which has the same effect on your body.


Doris Sutherland

“When we limit a food group, when we skip a meal, or when we eat too little of a certain amount of food, then we start to lose a lot of muscle, then our body starts to break down this muscle in order to provide energy for our body. This leads to a loss of water, which causes the false illusion that we think we’re losing weight but we’re not losing weight, we’re only losing water. This breakdown of muscle also slows down the metabolic rate which is the way our body processes the food. When there is a reduction in the metabolic rate, then there is a reduction on how our body will process the food. When we start for example the cabbage food diet, like I mentioned we cannot keep up with the cabbage soup diet, it is when we start to regain the weight even faster than the time we took to lose the weight.”


Sutherland also explained that, weight loss pills, and diet teas, and meal replacements like Herbalife, are considered fad diets and have the same negative effects. So is there a quick fix diet that will actually help you lose and keep the pounds off? Unfortunately according to Sutherland there is not.


Doris Sutherland

“There is no diet that will allow you to lose a lot of weight,  however, it should be as a way of life, where we should enjoy what we eat, we should love the type of exercise that we do, and also we should try and practice more healthy habits every day.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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