Why Fad Diets Don't Work
Have you ever looked in the mirror and saw a tad too much wiggle when you jiggle? Trust us- we’ve all been there. You make a personal promise to do something about it and start asking around the office to find out what diet everyone else is trying, or quickly Google what hot food trend every celebs in Hollywood are raving about right now.
There’s a quote that we like at easyGym, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ -Einstein. How and why would this quote relevant to dieting? Well, when you think about it, that’s what people tend to do. They ‘go on a diet’, lose weight, come off ‘the diet’, put the weight back on (plus some extra pounds on to compensate the too restrictive lifestyle they’ve just had), wait a few months until they want to lose the weight again, and start all over again.
Diets- and especially fad diets- promise fast results through what is seemingly a healthy diet, but is ultimately a series of unhealthy and unbalanced eating habits. Fad diets are usually targeting people wanting very quick results (big drop in weight, significant change in appearance) with little to no exercise.
We are going to address some of the reasons why these dietary patterns fail, and offer some healthy and balanced solutions to finally obtain the long-term results you want.
MISTAKE: Wanting unrealistic goals in a short period of time with minimum amount of work.
We get it. Who wants to go to the gym after a very long, exhausting, and stressful day at work? Or even worse, before work meaning waking up at a silly hour? Meal prepping on the weekends is not a lot of fun, we have to admit, especially when you could be out and socialising with friends, or watching a movie… And to anyone with children, who in the world has time for any of this?
The truth is that being healthy is a big, long-term commitment where you will need to stick to healthy eating habits, even if you don’t see any changes or progress straight away.
Being healthy is not an overnight process, nor over a week, nor even over a month. It is a full-time commitment which requires long-term dedication.
MISTAKE: Eliminating food groups or replacing real food with bars and shakes.
People are in too much of a rush to get results, trying to reverse 11 months of bad choices in 30 days. Carbohydrates are really good at holding water inside your body, so removing them induces fast water-loss. Drastically dropping calories by removing carbs will put your body into “survival starvation” mode. Your body will start eating its muscles for nutrients and hold onto as much fat as possible, because fat is calorie-dense and your body will now need it to function properly. Not ideal.
Finally, when you come to an end of this short-term diet and start eating normally again, your body will not be used the sudden surplus of calories anymore and store all of the fats, sugars and carbs you eat, thinking it is still in “starvation” mode, resulting in putting all the weight back on, and gaining even more weight than before.
MISTAKE: Being sucked in by so called health buzzwords.
The fitness industry is full of detox drinks, replacement-meal pills, and other magic potions. They will give you fast ‘weight loss’, but that’s the wrong kind of weight loss, which essentially is more of water- and muscle- loss than actual fat-loss.
The problem with these is that most of the time, they are not developed by qualified nutritionist, dieticians, doctors, or other experts in the food and health department, but by marketers looking to sell the next viral trend. These brands have no real interest in your health.
No diet involving cutting down meals or replacing meals by pills or drinks will ever be sustainable for your body. Your brain will crave food and become weirdly obsessed by it, because you’re depriving your body of it.
This develops a very unhealthy relationship with food, and as explained before, when your body craves food, it will stock fat and sugars to use as energy when it feels it’s lacking in food, which then transforms in excess weight and fat on your body.
Feeling lost, confused, not sure what to do now that we’ve established all myths in fitness are just… myths?
1. DON’T RUSH
The weight wasn’t put on overnight, don’t expect it to come off overnight! Losing weight the right is a long and slow process, but if done right it won’t come back!
2. GET A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
Nutrition and training should not be a guessing game – you need to know what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. Remember, proper preparation prevents poor performance.
3. KEEP A FOOD LOG
What gets measured gets managed. Logging food will not only put a barrier between mindless eating but also serve as a tool for you to track your progress. Studies have also shown people keeping a food log over a six month period lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t!
4. EDUCATE YOURSELF!
Educate yourself on which food is good and which is bad for your body.
Eat real food! Banish once and for all pills and drinks promising silly things, and choose food from the land as opposed to foods made in a factory. These are foods that our bodies over thousands of years have evolved eating.
And that’s it! No secrets, no magic pills or beans, potions or lotions – just sensible eating, consistency and a bit of hard work!