Fad diets. They don’t work. And you’ve probably come across a few yourself. Or would’ve heard about them. The detox diet, the atkins diet, etc. There are loads of them. But how did fad diets gain so much popularity?
As it turns out, when it comes to weight loss, a lot of people want quick fixes & quick results. And that’s not to blame anyone. We are born & brought up in a generation of instant gratification. From instant Google Search Results to Instant Messaging, everything that we do, we’re looking for instant results. That’s how we’re used to operating now.
Sadly, it doesn’t work that way when it comes to fat loss & health in general.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why fad diets don’t work.
- Not sustainable in the long term
The main issue with these diets is that even though they might work in the short term, people are hardly able to sustain it for a long period of time & end up giving up on the diet feeling fitness is not for them & end up gaining all the weight back. They make you feel hungry 24/7 & no one wants to live like that. It’s not what you signed up for when you thought you want to live a better life by being healthy.
- Stress levels go up
Staying in a caloric deficit increases the levels of Cortisol (The stress hormone) in our bodies. When the diet is really restrictive, you end up feeling stressed & irritated wanting to get out of that state which can lead to bingeing & in turn damage your relationship with food.
Matching your calorie intake with your activity levels so that the deficit is moderate is the key to making sure that you don’t get stressed out & enjoy the ride.
- They don’t taste nice
Fad diets rarely taste good. And that’s one of the reasons why so many people look forward to having cheat days & cheat meals. The other perspective to this is to include the foods that you would like to have on a cheat day in your regular diet itself, just in moderation. Moderation is the key word here.
And the good news is, there are no such things as healthy / unhealthy foods. For anything to be healthy/unhealthy, the whole diet has to be considered. So while you might be thinking that a piece of cake is “unhealthy”, it’s not. You can add that in your normal diet too. Just in moderation.
- Impacts your social life
Imagine this, you’ve worked off the whole week – crushed it in your job / business , workouts went great , everything was awesome & your buddies are planning on meeting up at a restaurant to celebrate the weekend or for a birthday. And there you are, sitting & wondering what the hell is allowed in a detox diet when your friends are out there enjoying & having a good night out.
Give yourself the freedom to have a drink or two & enjoy when it calls for some enjoyment. This is how you’ll be able to enjoy the process & life in general.
Fad diets rarely work. They might work in the short term, but definitely not in the long term. Give yourself the freedom to include the foods that you like in your diet in moderation making sure that your calories & protein are on point.
That way, you will be able to enjoy the process more & the actual results that happen take time.
So the best thing to do is to dump the short term thinking & to embrace the long term thinking.