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Fad diets, dissected!


For aesthetic or health reasons, growing numbers of people wish to lose weight. For this reason, weight loss has become a real industry, generating thousands of dollars a year. New weight loss methods are constantly appearing on the market, pretending to be THE solution; but, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Currently, we hear a lot about Jenny Craig, and the Dukan method. What’s the truth?

Jenny Craig is a weight loss service through which a coach is made available to you, and Jenny Craig ready-made food is delivered to you every week. Once you have reached your weight loss goal, you receive a leaflet to help you cook light recipes by yourself.

The Dukan method (another version of the protein fast) is a diet in which you will have to venture alone. Through all the weight loss phases, you are accompanied by a list of allowed and prohibited foods. During the first phase, even vegetables are prohibited; only protein foods are allowed.

In both cases, the weight loss goal will probably be reached. However, the danger lies more in the nutritional deficiencies that are incurred, (among other things, fiber, calcium, and vitamins C, D, and E) as well as weight regain, which will be hard to avoid with both methods.

Indeed, following these two programs, you will still not have learned what made you gain weight in the first place; you will not have understood the reasons why you eat; you will not have learned to listen to your hunger and satiety signals; and you will not have learned to enjoy food once again. You will only have learned to deprive yourself. When the body has to go through a food shortage, it stocks fats more easily and stimulates the production of hunger-regulating hormones, which will make you eat even more…

For all these reasons, I recommend that for your weight-loss project, you meet with a dietician that will be able to assess your needs and help you get back the joy of eating healthy while providing your body with all the nutrients it needs.

By Marilyne Petitclerc

Marilyne Petitclerc

Holder of a degree in nutrition from Université Laval, Marilyne has worked as a nutritionist for Nautilus Plus since 2010. Passionate about healthy eating and sports nutrition, she also gives lectures and hosts cooking workshops. With her clients, Marilyne makes extensive use of the instinct diet approach and the Mediterranean diet model. Furthermore, she has attended classes on live nutrition at the Hippocrates Health Institute. Maryline ran the Quebec City Marathon des Deux Rives - Half Marathon in 2010 and 2012. She also took part in the Staircase Challenge, another event held in Quebec City in June 2012. Marilyne also plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league and trains regularly at the Nautilus Plus branch where she is employed.

Fad diets, dissected! is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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