Fad diets have been around for ages and every week the magazines are promoting the next big thing. The ironic thing is, most of these diets are ideas recycled from the past.
But one glaring fact remains – their success rates are depressingly low. The only ones who benefit are the bottom lines of the companies and media who promote them – certainly not your waistline.
Fad Diets Are Designed To Fail
Fast weight loss diets fit perfectly into our modern way of life where our precious time is continuously being squeezed.
Rapid weight-loss programs are designed to make you lose weight quickly over a few weeks. The ‘quick fix’ solution to tackle your weight problem is very appealing, especially if you have an up and coming class reunion or wedding.
The truth is, losing 10 pounds a week sounds far more attractive than making the lifestyle changes needed for long term effective weight loss.
Although, long term lifestyle changes are the most effective way to lose weight, most of us are not willing to give up on our unhealthy eating habits and instead we opt for the ‘quick fix’ approach.
Furthermore, fad diets appeal to our vanity and ego – not our health. We want to look appealing and attractive as the cool Hollywood celebrity endorsing the product rather than thinking logically and asking ourselves – is this diet really good for my health?
Fast Weight Loss Diets Mislead
One of the persuasive selling points of fad diets are their claims of losing fat fast, however this is often misleading. Many fat loss diets are actually fooling you in to thinking that your losing fat.
Don’t get me wrong, low calorie diets can be effective at rapid weight loss, however its not fat your losing as Martha McKittrick, RD, a dietician at the New York Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center explains;
“Any diet that’s promoting more than a one- or two-pound weight loss a week, most of that’s going to be fluid,” It’s almost impossible, unless you weigh like 500 pounds, to lose more than one or two pounds a week of fat.”
The truth is, restricting the amount of calories you eat has a diuretic effect on your body, this means the weight loss is caused by your body purging water. As soon as you eat carbohydrates the water and weight goes back on again.
Another reason why people should avoid a fad diet plan is that restricting too many calories can trigger the bodies metabolism into eating up muscle tissue in order to stay alive – not recommended at all!
Fad Diets Make You Fat
For most groups of people, dieting becomes a habit. This yo-yo approach ironically increases weight as many people will testify to.
If diets actually worked why are they still being sold to us and why are the rates eating disorders and obesity levels reaching epidemic proportions?
According to William Leith in the Daily Telegraph diets can actually make us fat;
“What happens when the body is given less food than it needs? In the short term, it lives off its own reserves of fat. It gets thinner. But another mechanism comes into play: it also gets better at getting fat.
When you diet, your mind wants to lose weight, but your body does not. When you diet, your body thinks you are unable to find food. You think: diet. Your body thinks: famine.
And crucially, the more diets you go on – the more famines your body is exposed to, in other words – the better you become at getting fat.”
Kick Start Permanent Change
However, they can be useful in one sense. As a short term approach they can help you lose weight which can give you the motivation and momentum to kickstart healthy habits that lead to permanent change.
Many people who want to lose weight desire to change the way they look rather than improve their health and avoid high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. But in the long run, maintaining a healthy weight is what’s really important.
Being overweight is often linked to unhappiness in some personal area of our lives. However losing weight makes us healthier and this can increase our levels of happiness and vitality because we feel better.
If your still attracted to fad diets then go ahead, but start with a mindset of using the diet as a stepping stone to permanent change. Keep your expectations realistic and just go for it.
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