If you google fad diets you will likely come up with a never-ending list: 2019 Best and Worst Fad Diets for Weight Loss and underneath that is a list of the 5 most common forms of fad diets.
Many of us want to lose weight and we want to have lost it yesterday! Rather than going down the fad diet pathway, why not look at working on sustainable, healthy life long changes.
Research suggests that fad diets fall into five general groups:
- Food – specific diets, which encourage eating large amounts of a single food, such as the cabbage soup diet.
- Low-Carb diets, such as the Atkins diet, which first became popular in the 1970’s.
- High fibre, low – calorie diets, which often prescribe double the amount of recommended dietary fibre.
- Liquid diets, such as SlimFast meal replacements drinks.
Fad diets are generally restrictive, and are characterized by the promise of fast weight loss or great physical health, and which are not grounded in sound research. They ‘seduce’ those that are willing to ‘try anything’ to lose weight at the expense of their own health.
The problem with fad diets is that they don’t address, in any way, the lifestyle circumstances that cause the weight gain initially. In fact, fad diets can be detrimental to your health and increase the risk of heart disease and develop a ‘Yo Yo’ effect on your weight. Imagine your body going up and over speed humps all day. Eventually, your body would lose its ‘spring’, as the shock absorbers in your car would, and you wouldn’t be able to continue. You may become sick, lose motivation and or just give up as many do.
Consider the following:
- Start by removing the word ‘diet’ from your vocabulary. When the time is right for you avoid saying ‘you are on a diet’, but rather you are improving your health by making better choices.
- Slow down with the time frame you give yourself to lose the weight you have gained. Weight creeps on gradually, you may not always notice it straight away, but it’s that one morning when you wake up and think how did that get there. Weight is generally gained over a long period of time, so make a realistic goal with your personal trainer about how you can shred it safely and keep it off. Small goals often achieve big results.
- Understand how your body reacts to the food you eat. Ask a personal trainer to explain this to you. Understanding the ‘why’ may help when you are about to make that not so good choice.
- Forget about what other people are doing to lose weight. Concentrate on your own lifestyle, your own situation and set realistic goals accordingly.
- Have less time sitting in front of the TV and introduce a sustainable exercise regime. Talk with a personal trainer about a weekly plan. About how many times you should exercise, what program you should do on what day and how these best fit with your personal training session.
In essence, avoiding fad diets and becoming more aware of your own lifestyle and not comparing it to others, becoming aware of what you are eating and when you are eating it are two key steps in becoming a fitter, healthier person who can function at their best.
Master Personal Trainer