It’s estimated that $33 billion dollars are spent on diet products every year. Every. Single. Year. You want to know why? Because the industry is constantly creating new products to “quick fix” you to being skinny, or they are finding new ways to market directly to those who are vulnerable. Which means….? The industry will never die so long people are still buying into the quick fix and garbage marketing ploys. No million, or billion dollar company in the diet industry gives a crap about you personally, or your health. They care about money, and making as much as they can. It’s sad really, which is why you have started to see more educated individuals speaking out about creating a healthy lifestyle instead of wasting money on products and diets, a topic I am very passionate about. So, why don’t fad diets work? Why are they a waste of money?
Alright, so you’re wondering what exactly a “fad diet” is, and maybe you’re curious if you are one of these people that have bought into the bullsh*t. Well, if you have spend money on a product or diet philosophy that never gave you results and you couldn’t maintain..then that, my friend, was a fad diet/product.
Things like Diet Templates and calculators (found online and not real people), weight loss pills, weight loss wraps, weight loss teas/coffee, fat burners, Atkins, baby food diet, detox diet, keto diet, paleo diet..all of these are technically “fad diets”. I would also even throw Weight Watchers in there even though they don’t consider themselves a “fad”. These diets and products all have one thing in common….restriction. They cause you to have to “get rid” of certain things in your diet, or follow strict rules, in order for it to work. Or, it’s a weight loss product (like these) you waste your money on because it doesn’t actually help you lose weight, but actually just dehydrates you.
These are all called “fads” because they are short lived. There is a craze around them, everyone is buzzing and talking about it and you feel like “oh my gosh! This is it, this is finally the diet to work” and then a few months go by and it fizzles out and no one is talking about it anymore. These are the types of things that don’t work, because when the newness wears off, you fall off track.
The number one thing to consider when you are want to make a lifestyle change is this “Will I be able to maintain this for a long period of time”. Meaning, will you be able to stick with it long enough to see the results you want, or will you fall off track due to the rules or limits being too harsh?
Most people think a diet will change their life in a matter of a few weeks. Which it can, but if you do it right. A lot of fad diets are so restrictive that yes, you can lose weight in a matter of weeks or a month, but you can’t keep it off unless you continue on that diet for…ever. They key to long term success is again, finding something you can stick with long term and being able to have the knowledge and understand of what to do if you do “fall off track”.
Diet products are the same way. You can lose a bunch of weight while using it, but once you stop and you maintain the lifestyle you had before the product, the weight comes back. This is because you never made an actual diet or lifestyle change, you just took a diuretic or wrapped yourself in saran wrap to lose water…great in the short term, impossible to maintain and see real, lasting results in the long term.
So we talked about the approach that doesn’t work long term, let’s finally talk about what does.
Dieting is really just the act of specifically thinking about your food choices, how much you’re eating, when you’re eating etc. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing of restriction and limitations, but can just be you focusing in on nutrition as a whole. They best approach for sustainability and long term results is….finding your happy medium.
You have to be willing to change to a healthy mindset of whole, nutrient dense foods for 80% of your diet, and maybe 20% being the foods you love. If you just start eating less of the foods you love (aka just less food in general), you still might not see the results you want because you are still not properly fueling your body. You will gain weight or cause possible health issues if you over eat, and if you under eat. So you have to find the happy medium to maintain.
Your body needs macronutrients and micronutrients to stay healthy and flourish. This means vitamins, minerals, vegetables (micronutrients) and carbs, fats, and protein (macronutrients).
Your plate should always contain a carb, a protein, a fat and a vegetable , no matter what. This will allow your body to have enough fuel to get through the day, but also keep you full and keep blood sugar levels stable. All necessary scientific things.
Keeping it simple and straight forward will allow you to learn proper portion sizes as well as understand the macronutreints breakdown of food. Understanding that rice and potatoes are carb sources, chicken and fish are protein sources and oil and butter are fat sources. The more we start to understand food, the more we are able to make tweaks and changes to reach our goals specifically.
So a successful diet is not one that helps you lose weight in 4 weeks fast. A successful diet is one you can be consistent with, and maintain for 5 years, so that the results come slowly rather than drastically. And yes, I know the hype around wanting to lose weight quick, but those won’t teach you the basic necessities to long term health. You have to invest in yourself and your future in order to be successful at any healthy lifestyle change.
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