OH-Blog Logo
OHIOHEALTH

The Columbus Guide to Diets, Trends and Fads

Wondering what’s worth trying and what’s best to skip? To save you time, we asked the experts at OhioHealth.

Trends to Try

High Protein Low Carb Diet

Higher Protein, Lower Carbohydrate Diet

Recommended by: Brittany Smith, RD, LD, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “Eating more protein helps to promote quicker satiety, or the feeling of ‘fullness’ after a meal or snack. In turn, people tend to end up eating fewer calories when protein is included, thus helping with weight loss. There are many health benefits that go on inside the body, as well, such as lower triglyceride levels, an increase in ‘good’ cholesterol, and better control of blood sugar and blood pressure. Some low-carbohydrate substitutions to try include swapping out the bread that is holding your sandwich together for a lettuce wrap, or trying zucchini noodles in place of traditional pasta noodles!”

Wearable Technology Heart Rate Watch

Wearable Technology

Recommended by: Laura Leach, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “I know this sounds bland and uninteresting, but to me, it is a great way to just MOVE. People always have an excuse not to do a certain kind of workout and some of the time the excuse is legitimate — like injury or capability. There is no excuse for not moving in some way and keeping track of what you do. Wearable technology can also help you if you are a regular exerciser.  You can keep track of your heart rate and determine how you may be able to vary your current workouts. It also can help you track other ancillary habits like sleep and diet.”

Recommended by: Erica Roessler, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “Wearable technology has been mentioned in pretty much everything I’ve read, and you see everyone wearing Fitbits, pedometers, etc. In fact, it’s been the leading trend in fitness the past 3 years. There also seems to be a shift to getting people to just move, like Laura mentioned, which is always encouraged by tracking. Plus, everything is technologically based these days so most people enjoy seeing their results. I know for myself it’s a great motivator.”

Bodyweight Training Workout Video Plank

Bodyweight Training (e.g., TRX, home videos)

Recommended by: Erica Roessler, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “I think if more people could realize all of the possibilities and that you don’t have to spend forever in a gym to exercise then it might be more appealing to those who don’t always have time or remain as dedicated. Bodyweight training is also a great way to remove the barriers of having to have a gym membership and when working out at home, needing a large variety of equipment.”

Mediterranean Diet Veggies Hummus

Mediterranean Diet

Recommended by: Jessica VanCleave, dietitian, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should try it: “Don’t let the word ‘diet’ scare you. The Mediterranean diet is more of a healthy lifestyle plan than diet. In fact, this type of eating pattern was recently included in the Dietary Guidelines update as an appropriate diet plan. It is similar to the regular healthy eating guidelines but is more plant-based, with an emphasis on seafood instead of poultry, beef and pork — and less dairy. It also encourages olive oil, nuts, seeds and other heart-healthy fats. Why this diet? The Mediterranean diet has been shown beneficial in reducing heart disease and the risks of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.”

Working with an Educated Fitness Professional

Working with an Educated Fitness Professional

Recommended by: Jason Fox, exercise physiologist, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should try it: “Working with an educated, certified and experienced fitness professional can help fitness enthusiasts establish goals and a long-term fitness plan. A professional will help the client work safely and effectively to accomplish their goals.”

Group Training Fitness Classes

Recommended by: Laura Leach, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “It can be a great way to try something new or vary your exercise routine.  It can also be a time to spend with friends or meet new people.  More importantly, it gives you accountability and/or a commitment to your workout.”


Trends to Skip

Detox and Cleanse Diets Drink

Detox and Cleanse Diets

Advised to skip it by: Brittany Smith, RD, LD, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should skip it: “It sounds like a great idea to detoxify and cleanse your body, but are these ‘juice’ diets and very restrictive diets actually a good idea? Short term, maybe, but long term, you may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies. When you restrict your diet to just a few select foods, or live off of some sort of juice concoction, you are likely missing out on many necessary vitamins and minerals. Our body is also already equipped with its own detoxification system, which is made up predominantly of our kidneys and liver. Therefore, our body does a pretty good job of keeping itself clean all on its own!”

CrossFit Kettlebell Workout Group

CrossFit

Advised to skip it by: Laura Leach, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should skip it: “I have seen multiple injuries from this kind of training due to the number of repetitions being done and the level of intensity used.  It can wear and tear on your muscles/joints over time.  CrossFit is something to gradually work up to and even use sparingly but is not recommended for everyone looking to start an exercise program.”

Advised to skip it by: Erica Roessler, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should skip it: “I think the concept is great in that it gets a lot of people to exercise. However, I don’t think each CrossFit location takes an appropriate approach. I’ve heard that some make new members go through training before they’re set free, which is great. Not all of them do this. If doing CrossFit, be sure you’re under the supervision of an experienced coach who will help make modifications and point out errors in form. Olympic style lifting is not a common form of exercise for most people, so extensive training is required.”

Gluten-Free Diet Muffins

Gluten-Free Diet

Advised to skip by: Jessica VanCleave, dietitian, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should skip it: “A gluten-free diet is essential for people with celiac disease and can be beneficial for some other conditions. A gluten-free diet, however, is not recommended for the general population for weight loss. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat barley and rye and helps foods maintain their shape. Gluten-free does not equal fewer calories or carbohydrates and can often be even higher [in those] than the regular versions. Avoidance of all things that contain gluten can also lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients like B vitamins and fiber.”

Staying in the Gym Longer than One Hour

Staying in the Gym Longer than One Hour

Advised to skip by: Jason Fox, exercise physiologist, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should skip it: “Unless you’re is training for a specific event, you usually don’t need to spend longer than 60 minutes in the gym. After 60 minutes, the body’s energy stores are depleted and need to be refueled. The body is also at an increased risk of injury in this fatigued state. Safe and effective workouts can be completed within 60 minutes.”


Trends to Investigate

Intermittent Fasting

Advised to learn more by: Brittany Smith, RD, LD, McConnell Heart Health Center 

Why you should learn more: Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where an individual cycles between periods of eating and fasting. Fasts can be anywhere from 16-24 hours. Fasting is a practice that has been around for a long time, but more studies have begun to emerge in the past few years. Some studies are showing promising results, such as reduced inflammation, reduced insulin resistance, and some benefits on cancer risk. Intermittent fasting is NOT for everyone. Although this style of eating works for some, it may not work for all. If you have low blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal, or metabolic conditions, fasting for prolonged periods of time may be dangerous. Do your research before you jump on the bandwagon.

While some of these trends have been around for a while, they don’t show any sign of slowing down in 2019. Take it from the experts on which ones to try and which ones to skip.

TOP