Avoid Following These Fad Diets

The new year is here and that means new years resolutions have been made or are being made. People will commit to eating healthy, exercising and losing weight, which is great. Although it is common for people to follow different fad diets to help them lose weight rather than approaching weight loss healthily. A healthy weight loss will always lead to a successful weight loss.
 
We all know diets do not work in the long run. Studies show that 95% of all dieters will regain the weight they lost in 1-5 years. A most common effect of beginning a diet and not 'succeeding' is yo-yo dieting. This cycle involves starting a diet for a period of time, stopping and then restarting it again. Many women can be on a dieting cycle for their whole life, not knowing that chronic dieting is doing them more harm than good. However, women often yo - yo diet because they believe they have failed the diet, not that the diet has failed them.
 
Studies have further shown that dieting is also associated with increased food preoccupation, binge eating, and eating in the absence of hunger.
 
Therefore, no matter what, stay away from these fad diets. While they may help you lose weight in the short term, in the long-term you will not be able to adhere to them because they are not sustainable.

 

Low Calorie Diets

Avoid following low calorie diets that suggest eating below 1,000 calories or even 1,200. There are so many diets and meal plans online promoting 800 calorie diets but they are not healthy to do, especially in the long-term.
 
You may be thinking that you need to eat super low calories to lose weight. This is not true, while you do need to eat in a caloric deficit this does not mean eating below 1,000,
 
Eating too little calories can actually affect your weight loss. Restricting your calories too much can often lead to a weight loss plateau.
 
Your severe caloric deficit may work well for a few days or weeks, but your body is smart and can sense there is a large decrease in energy. Eventually, your body will start to conserve energy to continue function they way it should be.
 
Low-calorie dieting brings with it many negative side effects.  Restricting your calories too much also increases both chronic psychological stress and cortisol production – two factors that are known to cause weight gain.
 

Meal Replacement Shakes 

Meal replacement shakes are simply processed drinks used to replace a real meal.
 
They claim to have the nutrients you need, however, they do not, and most likely the vitamins and minerals said to be found are actually synthetically made and not naturally found in food, which in turn makes it difficult to be absorbed. Furthermore, many of these meal replacement shakes contain artificial ingredients and too much added sugar.
 
You may lose weight consuming meal replacement shakes not because the shake itself but because you are in a caloric deficit. The meal replacement shakes are low in calories, but processed and contain no nutrients. So while you may lose weight, the weight lost will not last, this is because you will not be able to continue drinking shakes for the rest of your life. Therefore, once you finish these shakes after a few weeks you will most likely gain all the weight you lost and then some. In addition, these shakes will leave you feeling deprived, restricted and constantly cravings foods.
 



 

Gluten Free

In the last few years, the number of gluten free products being sold has increased as well as the number of people diagnosing themselves as gluten intolerant. The problem is that the going gluten free has become more of a fad diet, rather than a medical necessity. Gluten free is not a diet anyone should just follow because they want to lose weight.
 
Gluten is a protein found in wheat that holds the bread together and helps it to rise. It is the gluten that gives the dough its elastic texture. Gluten is found in wheat and other grains such as barley, oats, triticale, Kamut, rye and spelt.
 

Current research is suggesting that individuals who do not suffer from Celiac Disease should not avoid gluten from their diet. The research suggests that avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk. Whole grains are known to have cardiovascular health benefits. Therefore the researchers suggest that gluten-free diets, for those who are not Celiac should not be encouraged.

Don't think because you are eating gluten free products that you are eating healthier. Gluten free products can also contain artificial ingredients and just because they are gluten free does not mean they are low in calories, they can also be high in calories. It is, therefore important to read food nutrition labels, to ensure healthier food choices.

 

 

Low Fat

For so long we were all led to believe that consuming fat was the cause of all evil.
 
While the low-fat diet became popular in the 1960's and 1970's it is still an approach many continue to follow and believe in.  The low-fat approach became an ideology, and all health practitioners, the government, the food industry and media were all advising it.
 
It was believed that the fat we eat caused people to become fat as well as other the cause of many chronic diseases such as heart disease.
 
The food industry began producing low-fat products and promoting them as healthier than high fat.
 
Firstly, fat is not bad, and the fat you eat is not the fat that you wear. Secondly, many of these low-fat products are high in sugar. Many people are unaware of the added sugar found in these low-fat products. However, the added sugar which is found in low-fat products is necessary otherwise the product will have no taste. The food industry has to include an element of flavour and taste to these low-fat products otherwise they would not sell. So how do you make a low-fat product taste nice? Add sugar.
 
The problem with the low fat diet and what people are not told is that fat is necessary for both your body and mind. And when I mean fat I mean the fat you consume and the fat on your body. Both are required for a healthy life.

Fat Burners

Don't even think about wasting your money on a fat burner. No pill will help you lose weight. You cannot expect to take a pill and lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, it is impossible! If such a pill existed no body will be dedicated to eating and living a healthy lifestyle. Even if studies show positive results, the weight lost will be negligible.
 

Low Carb

You do not have to follow a low carbohydrate diet or eliminate carbs entirely from your diet to lose weight.
 
The low carb diet came about in the 1990's calling out carbohydrates as the 'evil' food. Making people switch from low-fat to low carb.
 
However, carbs do not make you fat. It is important to point out that carbohydrates are not created equally. What this means is that while carbs are not bad for you and they do not make you fat, there is always a better option and that moderation is key.
 
Carbohydrates, such as  complex carbs contain vitamins, minerals and are high in fibre. Carbohydrates are just as important any other macronutrient, protein and fat, for a healthy diet.
 

Juice Cleanses

Following  juice diet will not cleanse your body or toxins from the body, our bodies are designed to do that by themselves. The liver, kidneys and spleen are 3 organs in the body which work to detoxify the body from toxins.
 
Juice cleanses lack valuable macro and micronutrients, your body will be missing out on protein and fat and you will also be in a large caloric deficit and fruits and vegetables are low in calories. Your weight loss results will be short lived and a waste of time and money.
 

Detox Teas

Drinking these teatox teas will not help you lose weight. You may lose weight, however, the weight lost is most likely going to be water weight as a result of the diuretics which make you pee a lot. Also, such teas may also contain laxatives which will yet again make you visit the toilet. Therefore, such a weight loss approach is not sustainable nor healthy in the long-term.
 

Take Home Message

Be flexible with your diet. If you want to lose weight, you do not have to go on a crazy low calories diet and you do not have to deprive or restrict yourself. Many people who decide to lose weight restrict certain foods and food groups. They label foods a 'good' and 'bad,' 'healthy' and 'unhealthy.' When you start labelling and restricting food, you begin to develop an unhealthy relationship with food and start to hate the journey and as a result quit or start binging.
 
Allow yourself those foods you crave every once in a while. You can include some 'unhealthy' foods in your diet every day if you want. As long as your diet is mostly made up of micro nutrient dense foods, you can include a few 'bad' foods. You can follow the 80/20 rule. If your diet is 80% whole foods, the other 20% can be processed foods.
 
Make sure you nourish your body, providing it with good quality whole foods, that contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. Avoid the fad diets and short term fixes, strive for sustainability and long term adherence to a lifestyle. Be consistent and dedicated and results will follow.

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