Do Any Of The Fad Diets Make Sense?

Losing Weight in the New Year

On a recent episode of THE TONIC, Dr. Emily Lipinski ND and Tonic Publisher, Jamie Bussin,  discussed whether any of the current fad diets have merit. This is a digest of their interview (which can be listened to or downloaded as a podcast at


Q. What are the “Keto” and “Paleo” diets and do they work?

A. The Keto diet is primarily based on fat. Most people think that it’s just low carbs and grains. But the true Keto dieter is taking in approximately 70% fat. So they’re having foods like avocado, bacon and cheese as staples. The Paleo diet isn’t based on fat, but rather the diet of what our Paleolithic ancestors ate (ie. unrefined grains too). Where Keto can come into play is if someone needs to lose a lot of weight, particularly if they have other health issues, and they’re being monitored by a health practitioner and it is used as a short term solution (to get insulin levels regulated). I don’t see dieting as a long term solution. How do you eat 70% fat for the rest of your life?


Q. So diets can be a short term solution?

A. If you’re using a diet almost like a medical intervention, as a kickstarter, it can work. And I do see food as medicine. I also see reducing sugar as a legitimate goal in changing diets. Calories in/calories out does work, but there are a lot of other factors in weight loss, including hormones, stress, sleep, exercise. I’ve had a lot of patients over the years who’ve increased their calorie intake but made other changes to their lifestyle and they end up losing weight.


Q. Low fat diets are out of vanguard, but what about intermittent fasting?

A. A lot of people do get results with intermittent fasting. It might not be right for those with thyroid conditions, who need carbohydrates throughout the day to maintain homeostasis. Intermittent fasting can make their metabolism go down. It might not be right for those who have to take daily medications with food. Those on the program fast for a day or only eat during certain periods of the day – say for a 3-4 hour window or start with a 7 hour window, and otherwise only have water (although some have green tea or black coffee).


Q. Intermittent Fasting seems counterintuitive. Doesn’t fasting slow metabolism?

A. Because it’s intermittent rather than long-term fasting it’s not actually turning on the genes that slow metabolism because your body wants to conserve and store energy as fat. This ends up working differently. Most people take in fewer calories overall and giving your body that break might actually aid in digestion. It seems to shift your hormonal balance as well. Which is of particular help to those with diabetes.

Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND addresses the root cause of a medical issue using natural therapies such as diet, lifestyle and herbs either alone or in conjunction with western medicine. Find her at

Categories: Ask The Expert, Weight Loss