In today’s society, there is a huge focus on weight and appearance. Often, the pressure to fit a specific body size makes people fall for fad diets. Diet trends will always come and go. Have you ever come across a diet that claims to shed pounds and help you achieve your dream body in no time? Does it sound too good to be true? If the answer is yes, that’s because it is.
Even if a diet helps you achieve your short-term weight loss goals, fad diets can be unrealistic and somewhat dangerous. Just because you lose weight fast doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you in the long run. This article will break down why it’s time to ditch fad diets and what you should do instead.
The Truth About Fad Diets
The majority of fad diets advertise the benefits of losing weight quickly and effectively. Technically, both of these things are true. But generally, fad diets are based on severe caloric restriction or removing an entire food group from the diet. The side effect of this is that it can damage your metabolism and result in nutrient deficiencies. This means that it can alter how efficiently your body naturally burns calories. A magic weight loss pill doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as a DNA-changing or fat-melting product.
Research shows that, after severe weight loss through dieting, half of the weight comes back after two years. After five years, eighty percent of the weight returns.
So, why do fad diets fail so much? Short-term quick-fix diets are not sustainable. Unless you can find a plan that you can maintain for life, you will likely regain the weight.
When you’re looking to lose weight, your first instinct might be to choose the latest diet trend. The problem when you severely reduce your calorie intake is that your body starts to think it’s in starvation mode. The response to this feeling of famine is that your metabolic activities slow down. Your body is preserving energy so that it only performs essential processes. This is why you can struggle to lose weight even when you feel like you’re eating less.
Restricting your diet can also negatively impact your mental health. It can increase feelings of anxiousness and even have adverse effects on your mood. This can result in feeling a loss of control over food and ultimately entering a cycle of binge eating.
Healthy Eating: A Sustainable Weight Loss Plan
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of fad diets. When your diet controls every decision you make, it’s tough to sustain. On the other hand, by making healthy lifestyle choices, you can maintain a balanced diet. A diet for weight loss needs to be sustainable if you want the effects to last for the rest of your life.
- Create a Realistic Plan
- Turn Exercise into a Habit
- Be Flexible
- Fill Up on Veggies
- Eat Mindfully
- Don’t Skip Meals
- Manage Your Stress Levels
Create a Realistic Plan
Start by creating a realistic plan of action. You don’t need to make a ton of drastic changes all at once. Take it slow in the beginning. Think about your long-term fitness goals and what you need to do to achieve them. You don’t need to obsess over the number on the scale. Sometimes, the smallest changes can have the biggest impact. Small changes you can start to make include:
- Drink more water
- Always take the stairs
- Take your coffee black
- Ditch soda
Turn Exercise into a Habit
Find a way to make exercise a habit. It’s important to exercise consistently. When you make it a part of your routine, you will notice the benefits. Find an activity that you enjoy, so you look forward to it more.
Your body releases endorphins when you exercise. Endorphins are natural painkillers and mood boosters. It’s what makes you feel good after a long jog. The more you work out, the better you feel, and the more you want to do it.
Fad diets are often very strict. But there might be some foods that you are just not willing to give up. If that’s the case, then don’t. If you have a sweet tooth, have dessert. Be flexible with your eating habits. The best thing to do is to control your portions. Having a candy bar or eating fried food at a restaurant isn’t the end of the world. Allowing yourself a cheat day or free meal can help some people to stay in control of their cravings while eating a healthy balanced diet for the rest of the time.
Fill Up on Veggies
Make sure to load up on plenty of veggies. When you have vegetables at the beginning of your meal, it can help to curb hunger. Filling your plate with veggies is one of the easiest ways to cut down your calories. Vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, helping you to eat a more balanced and nutritious diet.
Eating mindfully means avoiding distractions while you eat. So, don’t check your email. Put the phone down. Switch off your tv and listen to your body. The idea is that this reflective time allows you to understand when you feel full. When you’re not distracted by the world around you, it gives you more control over your food.
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s easy to think that skipping meals means fewer calories. The problem with this is that, when you skip a meal, you will likely feel very hungry at the next meal. So, you’re more likely to eat whatever is in sight. Although you had the intention to consume fewer calories, it can often lead to overindulging. That’s why some fad diets fail.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Many people heavily underestimate the importance of sleep. You need to manage your stress levels for your overall well-being. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can interfere with your sleep. Studies show that people who sleep poorly are much more prone to unhealthy food cravings.
Find a way to manage your stress. Whether it’s exercising, meditating, or finding body cleanse products for a detox day, it’s entirely up to you. Sleep and stress are very much intertwined, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your stress.
Fad Diets: There’s No Such Thing as “One Size Fits All”
Everyone is different. A diet that works for your friend might not work for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to diet and weight loss. To maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight loss in the long run, you need to find what works for your body. You’re in this for the long-haul, so remember that slow and steady wins the race. Every little change adds up to a big difference.