As each New Year begins, advertisements also begin for fad diets promising quick weight loss. However, these quick fixes are likely not sustainable, and may cut out important food groups that we need for our overall health and wellbeing. In order to make health-promoting, long-term lifestyle changes this new year–

DO NOT: Cut out major food groups. Many diet plans may be advertised as “very low carb” or “very low fat,” however this may cause you to miss out on important nutrients.
DO: Eat a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. All of the food groups are important and play key roles in your body’s overall function.

DO NOT: Dramatically restrict calories. Very low calorie diets are not sustainable and may lead to increased cravings, binge eating behavior, and difficulty making mindful choices at meal times. In addition, very low-calorie diets can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and/or lightheadedness.
DO: Make sure you are eating enough food and getting enough nutrients during the day.

DO NOT: Do a juice “detox” cleanse. Juice is high in sugar and also lacks fiber, a very important nutrient. Any weight loss that occurs during a short-term juice cleanse will likely not be sustained once you start eating solid food again.
DO: Eat balanced meals and snacks that include whole fruits and vegetables.

DO NOT: Take over-the-counter weight loss supplements. These supplements are often not regulated by the FDA and may cause harm.
DO: Speak with a registered dietitian about your health goals to make sure what you are doing is safe and sustainable.

DO NOT: Give in to the “all or nothing” approach. If you follow this approach, you may think that because you chose to eat one “bad” food, the day is ruined so you should continue eating “bad” food for the rest of the day and restart your healthy diet the next day. This mindset can lead to yo-yo dieting.
DO: Remember that all foods fit, there is no perfect way to eat, and one meal or snack does not make or break your health.