TYLER, Texas — For some, there is a temptation to find an extreme or "quick-fix" solution to weight loss. While no such solution exists, there are healthy ways to achieve fitness and weight loss goals.
“Everybody's kind of looking for a quick fix to get to their weight goals, whether it's to lose an extreme amount of weight or just a few more pounds to reach their goal,” UT Health registered dietitian Natalie Roberts said.
Roberts says she has seen some people go to unhealthy extremes to lose weight.
“I've seen people as far, as extreme weight loss, do fasting for a week," Roberts said. "That is highly unrecommended because it can cause all sorts of problems.”
Roberts says there are several popular diets such as the keto diet, the paleo diet, or intermittent fasting. While many of these plans can help with weight loss, most have their drawbacks in the nutrients they cut out.
“[The] keto diet is very high fat, moderate protein, lower carbohydrate, so there's a lot of research that you can find on keto that's good science behind it," Roberts said. "It does help promote weight loss. You really have to talk to your physician about that because there can be potential risks with heart disease, liver problems because of keto diet.”
The paleo diet is an effective weight loss solution, but Roberts says it leaves out one key ingredient.
“[The] paleo diet is thought of as the diet that's been for hunters and gatherers," Roberts explained. "So, back in the day when you had hunters and gatherers, the foods that were around [were] lean meats, fish, nuts, eggs, seeds, nuts. But you also have to think about if you're cutting out dairy foods, or most of your dairy foods, then you could have issues with getting enough calcium in your diet."
A diet plan that does not specify what foods a person should eat or avoid but rather when to eat, is intermittent fasting.
“Intermittent fasting is more of a diet plan or dietary pattern," Roberts said. So, one in particular, one is the 16/8 plan where you eat eight hours a day and fast the other 16. You can lose weight on intermittent fasting just like on any fad diet. However, if you were to binge and gorge during those eight hours and take in 3,000 calories, you're not going to lose the weight that you're hoping to."
No matter the eating regiment, balance is key.
“Just focus on eating a well-balanced meal that includes low fat, dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables,” Roberts said.
Roberts also stressed the importance of consulting a doctor before beginning any diet plan to ensure all proper nutrients are consumed.