Why You Should Avoid Fad Diets
All too frequently, fad diets are thrown our way promising quick
weight loss without changing our lifestyles. They promise the moon,
ensuring that this amazing new diet will revolutionize the weight loss
world. Some sing the praises of eating a high protein, low
carbohydrate diet. Others require frequent fasting and avoiding
particular foods. Others swear by combining (or not combining)
certain foods in a meal.
While these "fad diets" are all different, they do have two things in
1- They promise fast and easy weight loss, and 2- They completely
neglect the principles of proper nutrition.
Most of us know, ~fname, that losing weight is not easy. It requires
a great deal of concentration, will power, and, at times, planning.
But do not let this steer you into the dark world of fad diets! Fad
diets can be harmful and sometimes quite dangerous. Let us take a
look at the effects of some of these diets and begin to debunk their
The "Eat more meat, minimize grains, fruits, and veggies" diet
This diet restricts your carb intake to 20 grams a day. This only
gives you one-tenth of the amount of carbohydrates recommended!
Without sufficient carbs, you experience a loss of energy, your brain
isn't as sharp as it should, you may feel cranky and agitated, and
your bowel system takes a beating. Does not sound like a good choice
of diet to me!
The "Cut out all sugars" diet
While refined sugars are not recommended, some forms of sugars
are OK. Natural sugars found in fruit, honey, whole grains, and
complex carbohydrates (which turns to sugar when your body processes
the food) are fine. Like with anything, just do not go completely
The "Cut your calories to 850 a day" diet
This would cut your intake to more than half of what it should be for
an average person! I do not think I have to tell you how dangerous
So why do fad diets get so much attention?
Initially, in most cases, you WILL lose weight. But it is only
temporary and your body usually takes a beating in the process.
These diets are unnatural and not the way our body was programmed to
And truthfully, very few people stick to these fad diets.
Those looking for a "fast and easy fix" and who are not willing to
make the hard journey toward changing their lifestyle usually are
drawn to fad diets, only to find that when all is said and done, all
the weight they lost is back. And oftentimes, it is more than when
they initially started out with.
The only diets that work are those that focus of healthy foods, low in
calorie and fat, with all the nutrients our body needs. Honestly,
dieting should not require a complicated formula or excessive calorie
counting. Making wise food choices, not over-eating, and exercising
enough is exactly what the body needs to lose those extra pounds.
So, what does a healthy diet look like?
A healthy diet will include the following qualities:
Reduced-fat: Fat has an incredible amount of calories as compared to
other foods: almost 50% more calories! And more than likely, excess
fat is stored on the body for future use. So when you overindulge on
fat and do not burn it off, it sits on your body until it is used.
Imagine day after day, piling on more and more fat and how easy it can
be to gain weight! You must be aware of the amount of fat you are
consuming if you want to maintain a lean, healthy weight.
Doctors recommend that the average person should get no more than 20
to 30 percent of their total daily calories from fat. Any more than
that, and weight loss begins. Cut back on fatty meats and dairy,
fried foods, and high fat snacks like potato chips. You will be on
your way to cutting the fat from your diet, ~fname.
Carbohydrates: Never doubt this fact: Carbs are our friends! (As
long as they are healthy carbs!) Vegetables, whole grains, fruits,
legumes, and complex carbohydrates give us a full feeling so we are
less likely to over-eat. The body also uses them to burn for energy,
which makes them less likely to be stored as fat. A bonus? Complex,
good carbs are full of important nutrients our body needs.
Eat in moderation: The biggest problem most people face, and I, too,
am guilty of this, is over-eating. Eat in moderation. Do not stuff
yourself until you feel full. Stop before that, when you feel
satisfied. This is a fantastic tip to learn and get in the habit of
Another point to eating in moderation is this: you do not have to
completely sacrifice the foods you love. Craving a snack that is not
the healthiest choice? Then every once in a while, have a little!
Most people fail at dieting because they go "cold turkey" on their
favorite, fattening foods and end up binging on them in the end. If
you allow yourself, every once in a while, to indulge on a little,
you will be far more successful at weight loss in the end.
Snack, but wisely! Snacks can be great in curbing our appetites.
Just make them small and healthy. An apple, a small handful of
pretzels, and some carrots: you get the picture.
Losing weight really is not a new thing. Throughout the
centuries, the functioning of our bodies has changed very little. So
do not be fooled when a new diet comes along, singing the praises of
new findings about how our body burns fat. If you stick with
traditional whole-foods, have a variety of them, and indulge yourself
every now and then, you WILL be successful at weight loss!