When you’ve started a new diet, how many times have you thought:
“I’ve tried every diet under the sun. I wonder if this will work.”
“There must be something wrong with me.”
“I’ve just got no willpower.”
Don’t worry, you are not alone if you’ve felt this way.
Fad diets are set up to fail. They can create a pretty vicious cycle. You start a diet and stick to it for a while. However, it’s too restrictive and slowly you start feeling deprived. You break the diet, struggle to restart so give up and feel guilty. Then, because you have been so deprived, you may overeat and put on the weight you lost, sometimes more.
January is prime time for new diet plans to pop up everywhere – from scrolling social media to strolling through supermarkets. This isn’t surprising, considering so many people start the new year wanting to get healthier or lose weight.
As a healthy lifestyle service, here at MoreLife, we pride ourselves on helping our clients make real, long-lasting changes. We don’t want to offer you these quick fixes.
Let’s explain what we mean by fad diets, why they don’t work, and what’s a better way of losing weight.
What is a Fad Diet?
A fad diet usually revolves around a very restrictive eating plan, based on a few foods for a short time and can lead to very fast weight loss.
There are lots of them out there. They come in different styles of packaging, but all make similar promises of “amazing, quick weight loss.” Some examples include: Alkaline, Blood Type, Detox Teas, Grapefruit, Raw Food, and Slimming Sachets.
Lots of fad diets will try to sell you something as well, whether it’s special slimming products or online membership fees. Some will get endorsed by celebrities to help make these diets seem even more appealing.
However, it’s important to remember there’s no such thing as “quick-fix” weight loss. If you are looking to lose weight, you need to focus on making long-lasting changes to your lifestyle.
How can you tell if a diet isn’t going to work in the long term? One of the tell-tale signs is if it’s too restrictive. Read through what the diet entails and ask yourself:
Are you cutting out entire food groups?
Are you not allowing yourself any food that you enjoy?
Do you feel guilty if you eat something ‘off plan’?
When you start your weight loss journey, you need to make sure you’re creating habits you can stick with. If your new diet is making you miserable or not allowing you to enjoy certain foods, it’s likely you won’t be able to build sustainable habits from it.
This leads us nicely onto another red flag with faddy diets. The ultimate promise of “the quick fix.” Losing weight – and keeping it off – won’t happen quickly. It should be approached as a long-term lifestyle change. A big problem with these faddy diets is the weight can come on almost as quickly as it came off.
Real weight loss and change takes time. You won’t see results in a couple of weeks. We know this can be frustrating or disheartening. However, rest assured slow and steady changes will make a lasting difference to you and your body.
Relationship with Food
Some of these fad diets can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food where food becomes the enemy. Some cut out entire food groups. Others may make you feel guilty for eating certain things. You might start to see some foods as “good” or “bad,” which isn’t a very helpful thinking style. We talk more about viewing food neutrally here. The best way to approach weight loss is eating a healthy, balanced diet from all food groups and increasing your activity levels.
Addressing Other Issues
Let’s delve further into relationships with food. This is yet another area where fad diets fail. They don’t explore any other factors that make a healthy lifestyle. They ignore the emotions connected with food, such as eating when you’re stressed or tired. They don’t look at stress or sleep or exercise. If you’re simply sticking to a diet based on willpower alone, you’re not going to be addressing these other factors.
Why We Are Different
Now, if you don’t mind, we’d like to take a moment to tell you why we’re different. We’re really proud of the work we do. It’s the complete opposite of fad diets. For over twenty years we’ve been helping people make real, long-lasting changes with weight loss.
We don’t put people on restrictive diet plans, all foods are allowed, it’s about moderation and eating food you enjoy.
We don’t just look at what you’re eating, we explore your emotions around food. We take the time to look at your eating habits and how you can improve them. We can offer guidance on food, but it won’t be prescriptive.
We also look at sleep and stress, as both of these play a huge role in your lifestyle. We love teaching our clients about the benefits of exercise too. It’s not just a tool for weight loss. We can help you find the joy in movement and find a physical activity that works for you.