What's Your Diet Deficit?
Many fad diets leave out more than the carbs, fat, or extra calories.
Are Supplements the Answer? continued...
"A lot of my patients see supplements as a quick fix," says Geise,
"But a pill is just not the same thing as getting these nutrients in your
The fact is that the science isn't good enough yet. We just haven't been
able to discover, isolate, and manufacture all of the nutritious things that
occur naturally in foods.
"A supplement will never give you all the phytochemicals that you can
get from fruits and vegetables," says Zied. "Supplements aren't a
panacea for the problems of an imbalanced diet."
Besides, you should consider that any fad diet that requires you to take
supplements might not be healthy in the long run.
"If your diet pushes supplements, that's a red flag," says Zied.
"And if it's pushing its own line of supplements, you really have
to be suspicious."
Modifying Your Diet
So what if your fad diet plan isn't giving you all of the nutrition you
need? Do you have to scrap it and start over?
Not at all, say the experts. Instead, if you like the diet you're on, you
can just make some changes to make it healthier. The key is to hang on to the
beneficial aspects of these fad diets while filling some of the nutritional
For instance, Geise tells patients, "If you don't ever want to eat white
bread or white rice for the rest of your life, that's fine. But you need to get
some more healthy carbohydrates in your diet." That way, she says,
"patients feel like they're still sticking to the diet, but making it a
little healthier. It's just modified a little." You may want the help of
your doctor or a nutritionist in figuring out how to make these changes.
In the end, you need not only a diet, but also a sensible meal plan that you
can stick to for life, says Magee. While you may not want to hear it, you need
to get regular exercise, too. Using common sense and moderation may not be a
quick fix, but it will help.
"I know it sounds so boring," says Zied. "But the data shows
that a sensible diet and exercise are the only things that work in the long