Why fad diets don’t work

How successful was the last diet you tried? Based on our experience and research, the answer is probably, “not very!” We’ve all tried the newest trendy diet and guess what? We rarely last more than a few days and the results never stick! Before you try another, let’s talk about why and discuss effective options…

Fad diets can also be dangerous for your health! Click the links below to learn more about specific fad diets and why you should consider a healthier and more effective approach to losing weight. 

  • Paleo Diet: The paleo diet aims to bring us back to the eating habits of our ancient ancestors, and assumes they were more hunters than gatherers. The diet focuses on high protein consumption while shunning farmed foods, specifically all grains. Paleolithic humans only lived to 35 years on average, should we be taking their diet advice? 
  • Keto Diet: Short for “ketogenic,” the diet promises that you’ll lose weight — and especially body fat — based on the insulin-blunting effect of eating a very low-carbohydrate, high fat diet.  But the Keto diet can also lead to high cholesterol, preserved body fat and lost muscle mass: not exactly the trade-off you’d want for a few lost pounds.
  • Whole30: The premise of this elimination diet is to eat three “clean” meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (think: meats, seafood, veggies and eggs) for 30 days. But just because it ends after 30 days, doesn’t mean that everything about it is OK.
  • Weight Watchers: Rebranded to WW and backed by Oprah, we’ve seen some positive changes! Learn how Step One fits into the new WW ‘Purple Plan.’ 
  • Atkins Diet: The Atkins diet promotes eating as much protein and fat as you want while avoiding foods high in carbs (pasta, bread, cakes, fruits). Does minimizing carb intake and maximizing protein really lead to weight loss and better health? 
  • Seattle Sutton: Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE) was founded by a nurse and is a meal replacement system that provides 21 servings of food per week. We really had to do our research on this one and we were not impressed. 

If fad diets don’t work, what does? 

Diets turn food from what it should be — a necessity and a pleasure — into an enemy and a punishment.  We are guilt-ridden if we enjoy eating something “bad” or punish ourselves through deprivation. 

Instead of dieting, we should simply be eating more foods that promote health and fewer foods that promote disease.  When you eat for health, the weight part takes care of itself.

When you eat to lower cholesterol, you’re also eating nutritionally dense and satisfying foods, leading to fewer food cravings and overall lower calorie intake. Step One’s foods were not created specifically to promote weight loss, but many patients find this to be a extra benefit of eating them. 

Dr. Elizabeth Klodas MD, FACC

By Dr. Elizabeth Klodas MD, FACC

"Diet is a major driver of high cholesterol, but instead of changing the food, we prescribe medications. This never seemed logical to me.” Dr. Klodas has dedicated her career to preventive cardiology. Trained at Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, she is the founder and Chief Medical Officer for Step One Foods. Dr. Klodas is a nationally sought out speaker and has an active role at the American College of Cardiology. Her clinical interests include prevention of heart disease and non-invasive cardiac imaging and she has published dozens of scientific articles throughout her career. Dr. Klodas has been featured on CNN Health for her mission to change how heart disease is treated. An independent study performed at leading medical institutions affirmed the ability of Step One Foods to deliver measurable and meaningful cholesterol-reduction benefits in the real world. The results of the trial were presented at the 2018 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions. Dr. Klodas has also authored a book for patients, "Slay the Giant: The Power of Prevention in Defeating Heart Disease," and served as founding Editor-in-Chief of the patient education effort of the American College of Cardiology. In addition to her practice and her duties at Step One Foods, she also serves as medical editor for webMD.