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This is why your diet isn’t working — do this instead: expert

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of losing weight because you don’t know what diet to follow, a nutritionist has some tips. 
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the task of losing weight because you don't know what diet to follow, a nutritionist has some tips.

Thinking of fasting? Not so fast.

Joyce Patterson, a dietician from Michigan and the author of the book “Think Like a Dietician,” is serving up some facts about which diet trends are bogus and which lifestyle changes will keep the weight off for good.

“We live in a world full of messages to restrict, eliminate and fast, and misconceptions related to diet trends are common, such as macronutrient or supplement needs,” Patterson told the Daily Mail.

She said that many of the dieting trends on social media, like Keto and intermittent fasting, are backed by “minimal scientific evidence” and that ironically the most restrictive diets are often the most popular.

Keto

The ketogenic diet consists of eating low carbohydrates and replacing them with fat, according to Healthline. Limiting carbs and eating more fat will put your body into a state of ketosis which makes the body burn fat for energy.

Patterson said there aren’t enough long-term studies on the keto diet to determine whether or not this diet is safe long term.

However, some studies have found that the diet can be effective for weight loss and health. A 2013 study found that obese adults put on a keto diet lost 13% of their beginning weight.

A second study from 2022 found that mice on a ketogenic diet had stronger stem cells and longer life spans.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of losing weight because you don’t know what diet to follow, a nutritionist has some tips. Getty Images
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of losing weight because you don’t know what diet to follow, a nutritionist has some tips. Getty Images

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a dieting schedule in which the dieter changes between fasting and eating on a regular schedule, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

Some people eat only during an 8-hour window during the day whereas others eat just one meal two days a week and regular meals the rest of the week.

When the body fasts it burns fat after it’s exhausted all its sugar resources.

Patterson warned dieters against adopting restrictive low-calorie diets. She said that the “all or nothing” mentality could make people crave more food and have the opposite effect. She said people also tend to give up restrictive diets because they’re difficult to follow.

The 80/20 rule

This is the diet Patterson recommends dieters try for long-term weight loss. It consists of following healthy diet advice 80% of the time and eating whatever treats you want 20% of the time.  A healthy diet is composed of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

“One of the most important experiences that a dietitian can share is that perfection is not only unattainable but also unnecessary,” she said.

“A healthy diet does not have to be all-or-nothing. The occasional treat is not harmful,” she added.

She said low-fat, low carb and restrictive diets are the “most unsustainable” because they’re the most “restrictive.”

“Without proper guidance, people may end up practicing unhealthy behaviors that put their health at risk,” she explained.