Americans spend millions each year on diet books. Some of the most popular ones promise the secret to quick, effortless weight loss and a healthier life, all for the price of a paperback, and of course, the accompanying recipe books, journals, and maybe a DVD or two.

Many popular fad diets ignore the time-tested, medically and scientifically proven concept of eating a balanced diet of minimally-processed foods, lowering overall calories and exercising more. That’s simply not “new and sexy,” it’s not a quick and easy miracle fix, and it certainly won’t get a celebrity doctor booked on a daytime talk show. But over the long term, that is what works!

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food-specific diets rely on the myth that some foods have special properties that can cause weight loss or gain. But no food can. These diets don’t teach healthful eating habits; therefore, you won’t stick with them. Sooner or later, you’ll have a taste for something else – anything that is not among the foods you’ve been “allowed” on the diet.
The popular diets are based on the idea that certain foods are bad, that many people are “allergic” to them or are insulin-resistant, and therefore gain weight when they eat them. The truth is that people are eating more total calories and getting less physical activity, and that is the real reason they are gaining weight.
Successful weight loss (losing weight and keeping it off for at least five years) is accomplished by making positive changes to both eating habits and physical activity patterns.

Ten Red Flags That Signal Bad Nutrition Advice:
Recommendations that promise a quick fix
2. Dire warnings of dangers from a single product or
3. Claims that sound too good to be true
4. Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study
5. Recommendations based on a single study
6. Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations
7. Lists of “good” and “bad” foods
8. Recommendations made to help sell a product
9. Recommendations based on studies published without peer review
10. Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups

This information was created by:
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Nutrition Basics.” Health-e-Weight for Women. Brigham and Women’s Hospital – A Teaching Affiliate of Harvard Medical School, 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 23 May 2013.