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It seems like every year (and sometimes every month) there’s a new weight loss diet that makes the news. From the “Grapefruit Diet” and the “Cabbage Soup” diet that limit meals to specific foods, to versions of low carbohydrate diets like Atkins and Keto, and more recently some version of fasting.  

But will these diets work for you if your goal is weight loss? 

The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is yes. Any diet that restricts calories has the potential of achieving weight loss, but the real question should be “Can I lose weight and keep it off?” 

Here are some red flags that a trendy diet may not be for you: 

1.    Sustainability – Is this way of eating something you can see yourself sticking with long term? Is it expensive and hard to follow?  

2.    Social Life – How will this way of eating affect your social life? Will you be able to enjoy meals with family and friends and dining out? 

3.    Sports – Does this diet encourage you to be active and exercise in addition to restricting calories or does it promise weight loss without this? Activity and exercise help with flexibility, may help reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.  

4.    Supplements – Does the diet force you to rely on purchasing supplements to get important nutrients you are eliminating from your diet? 

5.    Stamina – If you are restricting calories do you have the stamina (energy) for your daily activities at work and at home with your family? 

If the weight loss diet has one or more of these red flags take a minute to consider if it is worth it to try. 

Often when people ask me about a sensible weigh to improve eating and activity habits and achieve weight loss, I refer them to the USDA’s Choose My Plate website and app that has tips, recipes and health goals and is free. Learn more at https://www.choosemyplate.gov.

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