If you look around enough, you could find a new fad diet to follow every week for an entire year. There’s a huge problem with fad diets that most people can’t see because they get caught up in another chance to lose weight fast. The major problem with fad diets is that they aren’t sustainable for multiple reasons; and in some cases, they are dangerous.
Why fad diets don’t work
Deprivation by elimination- When you begin to feel deprived, (especially of a certain food), it’s all you can think about! If you say, “I’m not having any carbs for an entire month,” guess what you’re going to be thinking about all month. You guessed it- carbs! You’re going to want carbs more than you ever wanted carbs before. Sure, there might be a honeymoon phase; but it won’t last forever.
Rules- Your body doesn’t operate under any strict diet rules you might enforce. Everyone is going to be affected differently by adding or subtracting things from their diet. Food affects us not only physically, but mentally. By placing strict rules upon something that was once a natural part of every human’s day, a requirement for living, you’re creating a different relationship between your brain and your body. It’s not a healthy one.
Missing nutrients and calories- When you start eliminating multiple foods in a very strict manner, you can really do damage. You may not see or feel it for years, but it’s quite common when you’re bouncing from one fad diet to another. Your body needs enough calories and nutrients to work with in order to keep things running smoothly, which brings me to my next point.
Fad dieting makes you fat!- What?!?! I can gain weight from dieting? Yes, you absolutely can. Your body is smart. When it starts to feel your weight drop too fast and/or too often, it goes into storage mode. Your metabolism will decrease to help you store calories in an effort to protect you from starvation. Recent research has shown that chronic dieters have the exact same metabolic damage as people with full blown eating disorders, many of which start with a casual diet.
What does work
Call it moderation, or a healthy relationship with food and your body- whichever you prefer. Long-term success occurs when you make small and sustainable changes over time. You want to make changes that both you and your body can keep up with mentally and physically. What does that mean exactly?
It means crowding out less healthy choices like fast food and eating out every night, and instead cooking more often and adding more leafy greens to your diet. It may mean adding one Beachbody workout at a time to your week. Maybe you replace your 3pm candy bar with an IsaLean chocolate shake. Take your time and be patient. Real successes never happen over night, and I’m living proof.