A New Diet Promising an Extreme Weight Loss? What You Need to Know.
Updated: May 31, 2019
By: F.R.E.S.H Nutrition team
Every day there seems to emerge a new "diet" that makes magical promises of being the best one out there, the only one able to make you lose weight, and your only chance to be on top of your health game. Then, little by little, it gets critiqued by professionals who look at the science behind its baseless claims, and eventually it falls off the public's radar only to be replaced by another "fad diet."
Fad diets fail for a variety of reasons: inability to produce results because they're based on bad science, inability to be a realistic option to follow long-term due to severe restrictions or high costs, or lack of food diversity to be able to be applicable across cultures. However, as people continue to be overly focused on having the "ideal body type" with the least possible effort, these diets remain popular despite their consistent epic fails.
How does one identify a "fad diet?": 1.) The advertiser of the diet typically highlights the health benefits of a particular food or food group that is allowed on the diet, while downplaying the importance of, or criminalizing foods not included on the diet. Typically omitted foods are generally foods that most would consider healthy. 2.) The diet promises quick results that seem too good to be true. 3.) The diet is promoted by someone with very little or no nutritional training (ex. a celebrity, fitness expert, social media "influencer," etc.)
From the Cabbage Soup Diet, to the Ice Cream Diet, to the Dukan Diet and many more diets, one thing is consistent, they are not here for the long run. When selecting a diet pattern to follow, follow these guidelines:
1.) First things first, make sure your motivations for wanting to change how you eat are right. Health involves way more than just weight! If you're choosing a "diet" because your only goal is to lose weight, then you're likely to choose a plan that rests on unhealthy habits. For example, many low calorie diets for weight loss not only restrict calories very low, but also encourage use of artificial sweeteners. Following this type of plan would mean the individual is selecting to ignore their bodies needs and use chemicals which can increase the risk of stroke and dementia, just for the promise of weight loss. Willing to make a sacrifice like this means the individual needs to first do some work to better understand what health truly means, before they can make a positive change in their life.
2.) Don't really on what others tell you. Asking friends what worked for them, isn't enough. Everyone's body is different. Really take the time to evaluate how your body feels in response to foods, what has worked for you in the past and what hasn't, and what changes YOU are really willing to make in your life long-term.
3.) Find a "diet" that matches what you've learned about yourself and do your research!! Know the science behind the diet. If it doesn't make sense, and you don't feel as though you would clearly be able to explain to a healthcare professional why this should scientifically work for you, then reconsider it.
4.) Lastly, try to omit the idea of a diet from your brain! Dietitians hate the term diet because its synonymous with a short-term eating pattern. The way you eat should be sustainable, and should involve an overall healthy eating pattern regardless of which foods you choose to eat more or less of. This means the whatever you eat should have good variety and be able to maintain you long-term without deficiencies.
Remember, it's your body, your responsibility! At the end if the day, no celebrity or influencer is going to pay your medical bills if you wind up in the hospital from following a "fad diet" nor are they going to help you get your body back in shape after the damage it does.