It makes sense that when we encounter a problem, we’re naturally drawn to quick fixes and easy solutions. Depending on the nature of the issue, these can be very efficient and work great. But in many other cases – including weight loss and fitness – a “quick fix” is often recipe for disaster. Fad diets are typically “quick fix” diets built on weight-reduction regimes that eliminate or restrict the intake of one or more food groups and focus in ingesting fewer calories for weight loss.
1. THEY’RE EXTREMELEY RESTRICTIVE
Fad diets are often overly strict and restrictive in terms of what can and can’t be consumed. Clear rules like NO SUGAR or NO CARBS reign these sorts of diets. Aside from being extremely difficult to follow, restrictive diets prevent your body from receiving the key nutrients it needs to function effectively. This can lead to a drop in energy and growing feelings of fatigue, irritation and dizziness. Although the kilos might drop off in the first week or so, you’ll be slowing your metabolism down in the long run and will find that losing weight in the weeks to follow more and more difficult. This alone makes these kinds of diets counter-productive, non-sustainable and harmful to you and your body.
2. THEY WARP YOUR VIEW ON FOOD AND NUTRITION
Fad diets often train the mind to believe certain foods/food groups are bad and should be completely removed and others are good and should be consumed in excess. This sort of living encourages the demonisation of certain food groups such as carbohydrates, which are regularly targeted as the source of weight gain. However, carbohydrates are extremely important for the body and without them, your physical and mental performance and reduced due to a shortage of glucose-energy. In fact, carbohydrates are the most efficient form of energy for the body. Other common food groups that are commonly misconceived as “evil” in the weight loss battle are fats and sugars.
3. THEY MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR THE FUTURE
These diets are all good and well when you’ve learned to discipline yourself and stick to the rules, but what about when you return to a regular diet? Your body has been able to shed the weight but here’s the bad news – it has also adapted to the bizarre dietary restrictions of the fad diet. As soon as you’ve returned to a healthy and balanced diet, your body will immediately gain the weight back and all your hard work, pain and struggling would have been for nothing! Even if you decide to stick with the diet in the long-term (which will undoubtedly have negative repercussions), the weight loss will start to plateau at some point!
TRY THE HEALTHY APPROACH
Instead of attempting a quick fix (and harnessing only short-term results), take the route that’s more effective, sustainable and healthier for you. It may take a little more time, but you’ll look and feel better and continue to see results in the long-term.
Here are a few helpful tips to keep you on the track to healthy weight loss:
Prepping your meals for the week is a great way to stay on track with your weight loss journey (+ save you lots of time and money)! This method allows you to plan your meals in advance, so you’re less tempted during the week.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Our first mistake with healthy eating is often not drinking enough water. We often still feel hungry, even after a great meal – oftentimes this doesn’t mean you haven’t eaten enough, but because your body is thirsty, it feels it hasn’t ingested enough.
Incorporate more water into your life if you aren’t getting your 8 glasses in every day.
PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to throw out the snacks and turn away from your favourite foods. This is where portion control is so important! Make sure you are eating the right amount and right types of food for you – this will vary from person to person, depending on dietary requirements, size, lifestyle, etc.
Starving yourself is one of the worst things you could do for your health and your body! Starving the body leads to malnutrition, dehydration, a loss of energy and will decrease the speed of your metabolism (amongst a host of other issues)!
Not only will your body get used to eating so little that when you return to a regular healthy diet, you find the weight piling on again, but you’ll also be taking away the essential nutrients your body needs to function. Make sure you’re ingesting the food your body needs to generate energy and keep itself healthy and happy.
TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER
Leading a healthy and lifestyle means you should be mentally, emotionally and physically healthy! Make the journey enjoyable for yourself by making healthy changes gradually, so you don’t shock your body (and make yourself miserable in the process). Listen to your body and be receptive to what it needs. Your life will be transformed for the better in no time!