Forget Fad Diets

Because of the holiday cycle of binge eating and the remorse and self-loathing that often follows, you should brace yourself for the newest fad diet books released just in time to take advantage of resolution season. We all remember the outrageous claims of diet “experts” offering a short cut to easy weight loss. Some readers of this column might have embarrassing memories of the month when you ate nothing but grapefruit or cabbage soup or whatever.

No food will actually reduce your weight. If weight loss is your concern, the best thing a food can do for you is to fill you up and provide needed nutrition without adding too many calories. Be skeptical of any program that promises weight loss without exercise. Similarly, diets that invite you to eat all you want and / or whatever you want are not trustworthy.

Some of the promoters of these “get thin quick” schemes are only guilty of wishful thinking, while others are downright fraudulent. One such huckster was recently exposed for posting before and after pictures that were based only on a difference in his posture. He had not actually lost any weight, but he stood like a schlub for his before photo and struck a dramatic pose, with his gut sucked in, for the after photo.

Your body is a furnace. The only sure path to lasting success at weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. It is not easy, but it is not mysterious. If you are overweight now, you will need some combination of eating less and exercising more in order to lose weight. Eating less can be accomplished a number of ways. Some prefer to eliminate entirely certain unhelpful foods that are high in fat, carbohydrates or sugar. Others prefer to keep their dining options open and focus on portion control. Your stomach will actually shrink in response, and you will find that it takes less to fill you up.

One alternative is a weight loss clinic staffed by medical professionals. If you have tried diet and exercise on your own, but cannot achieve the results you want, it makes sense to try something new rather than to continue with methods that have failed repeatedly in the past.

On the Space Coast, Dr. Diego Velarde at the Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute in Merritt Island has over ten years of clinical practice and specializes in bariatric surgery. There are several types of bariatric surgery, including lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Velarde performs minimally invasive robotic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical Robot that allows an increased range of motion and more precise movements.