Fad diets aren’t reliable for health, MSU expert says

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Fruits, vegetables, and healthy choices are becoming more popular choices as diet and exercise is on the rise.

Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto: The list is endless for popular fad diets in today’s health and fitness world.

Every day there’s a new big thing for dieting, and people are taking the bait and trying new things all the time. It’s been proven that a clean, healthy diet is effective, so why are fad diets so popular? From veganism to macronutrient counting or detoxing and cleansing, there’s some kind of diet out there to intrigue just about anyone.

Supplements like protein or branched chain amino acids (also known as BCAAs), to the more complex and new fad of taking collagen in just about every form, have popped up and become more popular since the beginning of health and fitness, but even more so recently.

Or have they?

Much like style, fashion, and beauty trends, diet trends and fads circulate. They fade out and resurface later on.

Some are fads, some diets are not. Many people are becoming more conscious of what they put into their bodies, leading to diets like vegetarianism.

Maya Johnson, 21, a senior communications  at Grand Valley State University, considers herself a vegetarian in transition to a vegan diet.

“I have been a vegetarian for eight months,” Johnson said. “Dairy, eggs and meat are a big no no for me.”

Fad diets can often make exercise and daily life difficult if calories are restricted.

“Fad diets come and go, speaking to the temporary nature of dieting,” said T.J. Hall, Program Consultant for MSU Moves through the MSU Health 4U Program. “It’s hard to keep exercising if you haven’t fueled your body sufficiently.”

Hall said that you can better your health through adopting a better diet, but health and fitness goals can’t be reached solely through nutrition.

“I work out four to five times a week, depending on my schedule,” Johnson said.

When it comes to reaching exercise and physical goals, Hall advises listening to your body’s hunger and appetite signals.

“Establish a regular routine of eating with meals and planned snacks, which can help avoid grazing,” Hall said. “People do best with foods that are familiar to them.”

After her transition to vegetarianism, Johnson has felt a huge difference in her body and her workouts.

“Since I’ve stopped consuming meat and dairy, I’ve noticed that I am less bloated and have a substantial amount of energy.”

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