I get a lot of questions about them.
Would you be surprised if I told you that they work? Well, most of them do… For a little while…. But the bottom line is, they usually DON’T work long term and you usually end up gaining more weight than you lost in the first place.
Fad diets give you some wacky rules to follow: eat 9 grapefruits a day, drink tea before each meal, don’t eat carbs, don’t eat anything between 7pm and 7am. If you follow the rules, you lose weight, but the problem comes when you try to live your life normally. These diets are usually not meant to be a lifestyle. They don’t teach healthy eating they teach some tricks to help you cut calories and that works as long as you stick to the tricks. And once you stop sticking to the tricks you gain the weight back, sometimes more than you had before. This is because when you diet and lose weight (especially without strength training), some of the weight you lose will be muscle, and that lowers you metabolism
I get it. We all want a quick fix to lose the weight. You see Instagram models doing it, you hear about it on doctor oz, it must be worth a try, right?
Why do otherwise smart people fall for these stupid advertising gimmicks?
Let me give you some straight talk. It’s probably not what you want to hear. Eating a healthy balanced diet WORKS. It works for LIFE as a LIFESTYLE. It is the way I eat to stay naturally lean all year long.
The main thing you need to keep in mind when trying to lose weight is how many calories you are eating. Weight loss really is a game of calories in vs. calories out, and these fad diets all try to package that in some gimmick-y way to make you believe this new thing is different and better than everything else out there.
Some fad diets you’ve probably heard about and maybe have tried:
-Cabbage soup diet
Are there any benefits to fad diets? Well, as I mentioned most of them will help you lose weight, so if you are looking to drop a few pounds fast and don’t care about rebounding (like you have a wedding or reunion coming up). A “cleanse” might be a good idea if you’ve had allergic reactions that you suspect are food related. Cleanses give your digestive system a break and enables you to tease out what might have been causing problems. Fad Diets also can help shake up your habits. If you are stuck In an unhealthy way of eating following a program can help jolt you out of those habits on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Finally, fad diets can make you more conscious and aware of what you are eating, which is the first step toward change. Unfortunately the “change” and “healthier lifestyle” usually never follow.
Overall, I am not a fan of fad diets and highly recommend minimally processed balanced eating. It’s not sexy, but it WORKS! Part of the word diet is “die” and that’s exactly how I feel about most diets.
Are you a fad dieter? What have your experiences with dieting been like?