There’s a Reason Why Fad Diets Rhyme with Bad Diets

22 Comments

I know what is going on in that head of yours. You are frustrated by the amount of weight you have been putting on over the years. Maybe the weight was sudden. Maybe the weight slowly but surely added itself to your thighs, hips, and stomach. Whatever the case may be, you are sick of it. Summer is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, and you want to look awesome. You want quick results and you want them now. I totally understand your pain, but unfortunately quick weight loss is not good weight loss. Most likely you will gain all that weight back as soon as you stop the program.

Here is how you know it is a fad diet:

1. They guarantee fast weight loss results (LIKE OMG, 2 weeks from now you will be 10 pounds less! And have incredible abs like these models on screen! Here are some digitally enhanced REAL LIFE people who have had success with our product).

2. They require you to buy their products. (You can only lose weight if you eat our very expensive, small portion meals! Or this shake 3x a day… all for the low price of three payments of $25.99.  SCORE!)

3.  They cut out complete food groups! (Fat is bad, Carbs are bad, Protein is bad! Instead lose 50 pounds by eating sticks! High in fiber, low in cals!)

 

I know you want the digital abs and the prepackaged mumbo jumbo. I get it. It seems so easy! Follow their plan, look gorgeous by summer. Unfortunately, these results will do more damage than good. Lets break this down for you!

1. Fast Weight Loss Results – I know you want it but when your body loses weight fast, it also means it will put weight on fast. If you do not give your body time to adjust, your adipose tissue will crave for ways to be filled with fat. That means one slip up and that narrowing waist will be filling up in no time! Also, you know what fast weight loss is associated with? SICK PEOPLE. Sick people lose weight fast. Why? Because things are not working right in their body! Important nutrients are missing that are keeping certain functions from actually happening! I know you are thinking all these wonderful toxins are leaving your body. You can tell because you are peeing ALL the time. Guess what else is in that pee? Protein and calcium! They are abandoning ship because things are going to hell in your body. I know, the bottle says 100% of everything you could ever possibly need but your body does not absorb everything 100%. Also certain vitamins and minerals compete with absorption if they are taken together. Be careful with what you eat (or don’t eat). Watch out for too much caffeine. Yes, caffeine can stimulate your metabolism… but certain products have as much as 10 cups of coffee worth of caffeine in them! Why don’t you drink that much caffeine? Oh because it causes dizziness and irregular heart beat? Now, that can’t be good…

success

2. Only Buy Their Products! You cannot lose weight without it! If you try to stray from the path, you will certainly fall into a pit of depression, self-pity, and low self esteem! If a diet preaches about their products, there is a good chance that they care more about the money and less about your health. Do not shovel the cash over to them. Do some budgeting. If you cut back on portions, buy healthier foods at the grocery store, plan out your meals for the week, make some meals ahead of time and shove them in the freezer, I guarantee you will be way better off in the long run. Also, what happens when you lose all the weight and no longer can afford their products? Oh wait, you really have no idea about proper portion sizes and healthy foods? You have no idea how to eat without supplementing a shake for at least 2 of your meals? Do you really want to live this way for the REST OF YOUR LIFE?

3. CUT OUT FOOD GROUPS IF YOU WANT TO LIVE. Unless a doctor has specifically said to cut out a certain food group from your life, do not do it. Each food group plays a very important role in your body, and having too much of a certain food group can have negative affects on your body. Example: Atkins’s diet. They really push to not have carbohydrates, at least not until you are near a certain goal. They claim they will turn your body into a fat burning machine. I will give them this… if you give your body fat, and only fat, it will burn fat. But guess what? If you do low impact to moderate activity, you are burning fat anyway! The only reason you are losing a crapton of weight in those first few weeks is because your body has no idea what the heck you are doing to it! You are also probably missing some important minerals and vitamins that come in the shape of grains and fruit. Each food group plays an important role: Carbohydrates are easily broken down to glucose and provide energy (no matter the activity level so if you are doing strenuousness activity, glucose can still function without oxygen for a short period of time). Proteins are the building blocks for muscle as well as enzyme function. You do not want to eat in a way that forces your body to break down proteins! The body does not want to do it and it will say “bye bye” to muscle mass before it says “bye bye” to fat storage. Muscle takes more calories to maintain. If you are giving cues that you are in a place where nutrients are sparse, your body is going to respond in a way to guarantee survival. Lipids help in the delivery of vitamins that are fat-soluble: A, D, E, and K. Lipids are also the building blocks for your cell membranes. Too much fat on the other hand causes an increase in cholesterol, and it is not always the good cholesterol either. Be careful of a diet that involves a lot of fat. Even if it says “good fat,” because even too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

 

I get it — you are willing to take some risks to look good for at least one week, but fad diets lead to yo-yo diets, and sudden decreases in weight back to sudden increases in weight puts a lot of strain on the body. I urge you to get all the facts from a nutritionist before claiming you know it all because of what the interwebs tell you. Everyone is trying to make it in this world, and so many people are going to try to lure you in.

Fad diets do not work in the long run. You know what works? Knowing that this is going to be a long, daunting task that can save YOUR LIFE. It is not just about your weight, but the health of your heart, liver, kidneys and brain! If you are overweight, you are putting a strain on them. Now don’t you think they deserve a chance to have the very best?

Signs of a Healthy Diet

1. You lose 1 – 2 pounds on average a week. (You may lose a little more, a little less. No guarantees on this one!)

2. You are not restricted by anything, but it advised to not eat a lot of snacks that are high in calories and low in nutrition. But if you eat that candy bar, it is not the end of the program! Keep trying to change your habits.

3. You get 30 minutes of physical activity a day, or 3 hours of high intensity physical activity a week.

4.  You feel good about yourself, not because the numbers on the scale are going down, but because there is a balance in your body! Energy improves.

5. No one is shoving their products down your throat. You are in charge of your own life.

6. You are not eating below 1,000 calories (unless you are on a special regimen with a nutritionist/doctor). Your body needs 1200 calories to survive. Nothing about starvation mode. This is the calories your organs burn to thrive. Do not deny your organs of happiness because you want to fit into a bikini.

commitment

 

Commit to health! You owe yourself at least that much.

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22 thoughts on “There’s a Reason Why Fad Diets Rhyme with Bad Diets

  1. I agree 100% with what you said in the post. I was a yo-yo dieter, I did most of diets that exist. There as a time I lost 20kgs with herbalife when when I couldn’t afford them again I gained them all back because I didn’t learn how to truly eat healthy. Now I exercise, eat healthy I do eat anything from carbs to protein but all in moderation. I have lost weight but very slowly but I know that I won’t be gaining them back especially as fast as I did on my other diets. This is the lifestyle I chose for myself and I will never go back.

    • Same here. I did slim fast, special K, etc, and I just could never keep up with it! I hated feeling so restricted and having pretty much the same thing every single day. I lost 5 pounds and ended up gaining 10 right afterwards. Not very good at all!

  2. Thank you! I so hope that people read this. Nothing drives me more crazy than the fad diets that people are always pushing, or my friends jumping from one to another. Instead of wasting all that time with gimmicks they could have been making real progress with good old hard work and eating right. Thank you for the great post.

    • I have been looking for more motivating weight loss blogs to follow, but a lot of them turn out to be fad diet blogs and it totally breaks my heart! Yes, I get it. You lose a lot of weight very quickly, but people do not even give a passing thought of what that means to the body! I definitely hope people can get some information out of this… my dream is to be a nutritionist and spread wisdom, not gimmicks!

  3. I agree.. to an extent.

    As you know, I am on a weight loss program that fits into many of these categories, but it isn’t black and white. I am on the extreme part now, but its transitions to completely healthy and focuses on the three-legged stool of weight loss/maintenance (diet, exercise, mind (mental health and fitness mindset). I think shortterm ‘fads’ can be positive if they are medically supervised. It is drug-addict in rehab. They sometimes get placebos to help substitute the drugs + they are monitored and away from all drugs while in the program. When they are off the program, they will go back into the real world and will be faced with drugs (over the counter, prescription, and/or vacinity to illegal drugs) and will have to use the skills they learned in rehab to cope with those situations. For me, being away from the food during this stage is a similiar process and so far, has taught me so much. I was a binge-eater before starting and had zero self control. I won’t get it details about what I ate, but it was disgusting and was pushing me further and further down a path of depression. Now I have confidence in my ability to say “No” to unhealthy food, to voice my feelings about my weight, to not binge in private, and most importantly, I am learning that I love myself, am strong, and deserve a healthy diet with daily exercise. I now have full confidence that when we start the healthy diet (eating from all food groups, with balanced meals and real food), that I will be able to do it without the mental anguish that I have had starting ‘diets’ in the past. (By diet here, I mean lifestyle food changes, not fad).

    I do think for the most part that ‘fad’ diets leave out very important pieces to the puzzle (be it diet/nutrition, exercise, mental health, or even physical health), and think any diet change should be approached and planned carefully. It is not all just calories in/calories out and what works for one person, won’t necessarily work for every/anyone else. I’ve found that the balance of 30% carbs/%30fat/%40protein on my program seems to work very well for me, but have read that some people need a completely different mix.

    Hope you don’t mind me ‘rocking the boat’ but that’s just my two cents 🙂
    ~ Kim

    • I don’t think you rocked the boat… You brought up some interesting points. The thing is you are doing your diet while being supervised, correct? Someone is making sure you are doing okay. Just like a drug addict in rehab, they all get put on a special plan under supervision. They are set up to succeed for life not just for 6 weeks. Fad diets are different. There is no one who monitors what you do or guides you. All you have are information from Internet sources or books that may be biased. Instead of trying to see the bigger picture you concentrate on the idea that in 6 weeks, you will be thin. Not healthy, thin. Like I don’t think weight watchers is a fad diet… It is set up to teach portion control and good nutrition. But meal plans that you can buy off a television are not very good for setting you up for success once the meals stop coming. Also you still have to be careful on the amount of certain macronutrients you eat. High levels of protein may promote weight loss but it is also extremely hard on the kidneys. Doing it for small periods of time is okay, but a long term high protein diet can lead to kidney problems in the future, including kidney failure.

      • Yes, you are right – it is medically supervised. Some people classify it as a fad though since some people only hear the ‘fast’ part and the alarm bells start ringing so they don’t hear the full story. Glad to hear you are open to programs such as weight watchers, I’ve never tried it but have heard good things. I think the key to ‘non-fad’ is if you are learning a healthy way of thinking/eating/exercising that you can maintain indefinitely. I definitely agree with you — it does have to be about the long-term, not just 6 weeks or any other short period of time. I think you said that perfectly “healthy” not “thin” should be the goal.One area I know I have and am going to need to really work on/learn about is finding the right balance on a semi-vegetarian diet. (Ex: Ensuring I get enough protein from the non-meat sources that I consume). I think this was part of the reason I fell into the high-carb-trap in the past.

        By the way– you look awesome and are very inspiring for following a healthy lifestyle!

        ~ Kim

  4. I agree completely.
    The thing I dislike the most are meal programs where they don’t teach true portion control, calorie content, nutrition advice or life long habits.
    Not naming names but the companies to prepare frozen meals and deliver them to you are shocking – you just chose how many calories you want to consume and everything else is done for you.
    And what happens when you stop buying them? How can you be expected to stick to the same calorie limit yourself without the right tools?
    I am happy there are plenty like-minded people and we can spread the word to those nearest and dearest.

    • I know… and it drives me crazy because the people who give in to these sort of gimmicks are normally the same ones who say they cannot afford healthy food at the grocery store. It just makes me really sad that there are just so many misconceptions in the world. =(

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