Fad diets are NOT the answer
Fad diets typically promise unsustainable results and often suggest difficult to adhere to food restrictions. They typically enjoy followers, many of which are lost as they find the promises made to be unsustainable. These diets typically encourage the exclusion of large quantities of food group/s, usually fats and carbohydrates. Recently the latter have been 'demonised' relentlessly in some of these diets.
In my opinion these eating plans are so depriving and will likely cause it's participants some anxiety, crankiness and in some cases ill health. That was certainly my experience...I was very cranky many years ago when I embarked on highly restrictive diets.
Some of these diets that severely limit carbohydrates and encourage an increase in fats can also be life threatening. I recently, heard of a lady who was unaware that she had high cholesterol levels and suffered a stroke on one of these diets.
Let me enunciate our philosophy before I continue discussing some more downsides of many of these diets. At www.eatandexercisehealthy.com we use a more realistic and sustainable approach for weight loss and maintenance.
The way to successfully lose weight and keep it off, will involve eating a variety of the numerous healthy foods, with which God has so graciously blessed us. Exercise also helps weight loss and it’s maintenance.
Let’s take a look at a few other drawbacks of these diets. They do not teach us a good relationship with food. According to nutritionist Lisa Drayer, a CNN contributor. "The keto diet is just not sustainable over the long term. It doesn't teach you how to acquire healthy eating habits. It's good for a quick fix, but most people I know can hardly give up pasta and bread, let alone beans and fruit." I so agree with Ms. Drayer. It is hard having to give up so many foods. It is also is really not necessary.
As long as we live we need food to survive. We will do ourselves a ton of good, developing a healthy relationship with food. The earlier in life that this healthy relationship is imbibed, the better. The French have mastered this art...they teach their children young how to eat a good variety of foods and enjoy it too. They actively put into practice two popular sayings ‘variety is the spice of life’ and ‘moderation is key’. Food for thought right?
The severe reduction of carbs, in some of these diets, is often a huge problem. Some carbs are a great source of fibre, which is essential in regulating our bowel movements. According to a February 2014 Harvard Health Publication, its the quality of your carbs that counts. Simply put like with all food groups there are healthy and not so healthy types. There is nothing wrong with eating good quality carbs. It is wrong to demonise all carbs. There is a place in healthy food plans for a variety of good quality carbs.
I have heard that many on these carb restricted diets have to use laxatives to aid their bowel movements. I am not at all surprised. Meals that contain a variety of healthy foods are essential to keep our bodies well, without assistance in the form of laxatives.
Another possible outcome of highly restrictive diets is that the variety of foods that can be eaten is limited. This can make eating somewhat boring and complicated all at the same time. Let me explain. Chances are that with so many restrictions, the 'foods allowed', may have to be repeated often. This can get boring. Also some of these diets require such meticulous planning, causing them to be be quite complicated to put into practise. Food preparations do not have to be so complex. I certainly would not bother with such meal plans. I suspect many out there will agree.
That these fad diets can cause weight loss is not being disparaged here. The problem is that when weight loss is rapid, it can be unhealthy and is often not sustained. More often that not, more weight than is lost is put back on. In other words, the weight lost plus some is gained. A likely scenario that will then ensue, is the start of another diet and often the beginning of yo-yo dieting. Very quickly, this is a pattern of weight loss, weight gain, weight loss etc. I will discuss this another time. There is absolutely nothing beneficial about yo-yo dieting.
Unfortunately for many, the promise of quick weight loss is the biggest attraction...this is why many find many of these diets so enticing. Please! Please! Let’s remember that the weight we are trying to lose was probably gained over a long period. The question is, why then would you want to lose it ‘yesterday’? We must learn to be patient. It is small steady steps with weight loss that can be enjoyed and are often sustainable. Yes it is possible to enjoy the process of weight loss.
Unfortunately, the pressure to look good for an occasion frequently fuels the pressure to lose weight quickly. Perhaps the best way to not get into a fix like this, is to learn to always be intentional with what we put in our mouths. And in combination with exercise, keep our weight stable, with very few or minimal weight fluctuations. This can be your reality. It has been mine for the last 30 years.
At www.eatandexercisehealthy.com we will show you how to eat moderate amounts of a variety of real foods, enjoy them and lose weight too. These are the healthy foods that God has so graciously blessed us with. They are healthy, real wholesome and sometimes seasonal. These can be carbs, which can be veggies, whole grains and fruits. Proteins and fats which can be sourced from plants or animals. It is not eating moderate amounts of these foods that ails us or causes weight gain. It is often eating uncontrollably overly processed foods that is the problem. I will discuss overly processed foods in another blog.
It is one thing, not to eat a particular food because you do not like it. It’s another matter entirely to not eat it because you are on a highly restricted eating plan that is unlikely to give you the desired results of sustained weight loss and/or maintenance anyway.