Fad Diets – Why They Fail!
Remember the lemon juice, cayenne and maple syrup diet? How about the Caveman Diet? Or the 15-Day Cleanse? Every year we hear about a new fad diet claiming to detox you or help you drop the weight fast. And every year we consider one of them. Why do we do that?
It’s simple. The fad diet tells us that with a simple pill or liquid or plan that we’ll lose the weight without the hard work. It promises to “reset” our system and that we might look like the incredibly thin, perky person that peddles it.
The fact is while you may indeed drop some weight, there is nothing in a fad diet that will help sustain your weight loss goals. Here are just some of the reasons why they fail us:
They don’t change your habits:
A fad diet is usually formed on replacing real food with either a pill, tonic or special meals. While, you might drop some weight initially, there is nothing that helps you change your habits to support a healthy lifestyle over time. When the prescribed period of the diet ends there is no guidance on how to sustain your initial weight loss leaving the dieter open to putting the weight back on.
Losses are usually temporary:
In the first week weight typically falls off but it is mostly from fluid losses. These fluid losses can result from any dramatic cut in salt or carbs, but because fad diets are so restrictive and unsustainable over the long term, once you return to your normal habits these losses usually wane.
They aren’t nutritionally sound:
Again the issue is a fad diet usually asks you either to replace real food with a bunch of herbal concoctions (detox style) or a harshly restrictive diet of just one food (cabbage, meat/Paleo, etc.). If you are drinking nothing but a tonic or eating a steak for every meal, you are depriving yourself of valuable nutrients. The human body needs a balance of fiber, vitamins and protein to maintain your body’s vital functions. If you restrict yourself you risk becoming run down both mentally and physically in the long term.
They place you on an emotional rollercoaster:
As mentioned, the fad diet does nothing to change your habits long term, placing you at risk to put weight back on when you end the diet. When that happens we can feel like a failure and wonder “Why didn’t the diet work for me?” The yo-yo diet effect kicks as we beat ourselves up for “falling off the wagon” or not being able to make it stick” and we again start searching for a fix. The reality is, it isn’t our fault – it’s because we didn’t have a comprehensive, healthy plan to shed weight naturally.
So how do we break the cycle? It’s simple. It’s time for us to stand up to the fad diets.
The best way to lose weight is to follow a program that is centered around real food, proper portions and balanced nutrition. By establishing good nutritional habits – not forgetting to add in fitness – and sticking to them the weight will drop off over time and you will have established the habits that help you maintain them for a lifetime.
CalorieKing’s healthy lifestyle program is centered on the principles of helping you build the solid habits, providing a supportive community and the advice needed to navigate your weight loss journey. If you feel you need extra help, we recommend seeking the help of your health care provider or a licensed nutritionist or dietitian for a personalized plan to help you get started.