It’s a new year which means lots of people are trying new things to help themselves work towards their goals. You may notice people around the office sipping peculiar drinks or family members posting on social media a new health routine. Before you jump on the bandwagon let’s look at some of the popular practices going on right now and decide: Gimmick? Or Give Me It!

Apple cider vinegar shots.  Apple cider vinegar is growing in popularity. Many people use it for cooking, salad dressing and even as a way to “clean” their hair, but some are toting its weight loss and energy benefits. Most popular these days are “Apple Cider Vinegar Fat Burning Elixers” which contain: water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cinnamon, honey, and cayenne pepper. In the Washington post, Carol Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., associate director of the nutrition program at Arizona State University, has done extensive research on the subject and says there is some evidence that acetic acid can be good for weight loss and target body fat. Johnson says, “When you consume small amounts of acetic acid through apple cider vinegar, it activates your metabolism to help your body use fat as a form of energy rather than storing it.” She goes on to say, it’s worth trying — provided you’re not looking for immediate results;  “vinegar is not a magic bullet for weight loss. I have seen very modest weight loss in my studies, of one to two pounds after 12 weeks.” So maybe combined with other things that claim to boost fat loss like lemon, cinnamon, and cayenne there may be some hope. All in all, it is pretty safe as long as you dilute the vinegar with enough water and always rinse your mouth out after so that acid doesn’t hurt your teeth. Since it’s pretty safe we rate this one: Give Me It!

The Keto Diet. Are you seeing people around you gorging on high fat and meaty meals? They may just be on the “keto diet.” Although this diet does help people to reduce their carbohydrate intake, increase energy and promote weight-loss, can it really be a sustainable lifelong diet? Dr. Alan Barclay, Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Research Associate at The University of Sydney examine the dietary fad saying, “Following the ketogenic diet can be safe in the short term but it does come with health concerns. It’s not something that I recommend for the general population for the long-term,’ says Dr. Barclay. ‘By drastically cutting out carbohydrate-containing foods, you’ll miss out on the nutritional benefits of healthy choices like whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and legumes such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils.’ Also eating a diet high in fats and processed meats can be a dangerous habit when it comes to your heart health. Yes, it may help you reduce weight but it could also be pushing towards heart disease! So for that, we are calling this one: a Gimmick!

The Golden Spice! If you have been hearing a lot about turmeric you aren’t alone. Out of nowhere Americans seem to be embracing this long-treasured eastern spice. Turmeric can be boasted as helping to reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease, reduce cancer and even promote weight loss. There are some side effects to turmeric that should be discussed with your health care provider before taking routinely such as blood thinning and tummy issues which can be quite cumbersome. Long story short, it appears that there are health benefits to including turmeric in your diet as long as your body receives it well. As long as you check with your healthcare provider first, we are calling this a: Give Me It!

Gimmicks and fads seem to cycle around after so many years. Do your research to see why it might have left the headlines. Think about your overall health needs before trying anything new or too drastic. And as always, if it isn’t something you can see yourself doing or committing to as a lifestyle change, it is probably leaning more towards a gimmick. As much as you are motivated to eat well, lose weight and all those healthy things, look for smart changes you can make and commit to for a lifetime, becomes sometimes slow and steady does win the race. Next time you want to click that ad, or purchase the next fancy herb in the magazines, ask yourself: Gimmick? Or Give me it!