It's coming to that time of year again where diet culture is going to be pulling at your heart strings to purchase their "quick results" false promises, that will leave you feeling frustrated because their methods are unsustainable.
Unfortunately, the diet industry has done a great job at marketing to make sure that their products are trending, but do they really work?
Fad diets are created to give people a “quick fix” to their problem (wanting to lose weight), but they don’t have long lasting results (maintaining a healthy weight).
Wouldn’t you rather learn how to eat for your body so that you CAN maintain a healthy weight?
Keep reading this article to learn why fad diets don't work and how you can support a healthy weight!
3 Reasons Why Fad Diets Don’t Work
Number 1: They Focus on Eliminations/Restrictions
Many fad diets restrict whole food groups like carbs or fats. This is not a sustainable option in the long run. Yes, cutting out a whole food group may help you lose weight to start with, but let’s face it, who wants to give up cake forever??? Definitely not me!
Number 2: They Promote Unhealthy Habits
Like I just mentioned, fad diets restrict whole food groups which can lead to nutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, and potentially dehydration. Fad diets can also lead to disordered eating habits like binge eating. When you don’t prioritize eating a well-balanced nourishing meal plan and instead focus on restricting what you eat, it can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors which can damage your health.
Number 3: They Follow a Strict Eating Pattern
In most fad diets there is no room for moderation, they follow a strict eating pattern. Most of the time people tend to give up the diet because they feel like they are depriving themselves of their favorite foods.
Does this sound like something you have experienced in the past? Well, if you’re still reading this article, chances are you are ready to find a nutrition plan that you can actually follow that includes more than just carrots and celery.
Now that you have read some of the reasons why fad diets don’t work, let’s focus on strategies that do work for maintaining a healthy weight.
5 Strategies to Build Healthy Habits
Use the 5 Main Food Groups to Create Your Meals
The 5 main food groups include: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. These foods have lots of nutrients that your body needs to thrive and function. Choosing meals that include one or more of these food groups can help you create some healthy options to eat! Click here to see how much of each food group you should be eating daily.
Tune into Moderation - All Foods Can Fit
Instead of cutting out foods that you love eating, focus on eating a balance of foods. All foods can fit into your nutrition plan. The key is moderation - because when we don’t deprive ourselves of the foods we love eating (ice cream, yum!) we can satisfy our cravings without over eating.
Focus on How You Feel (Not Just the Scale)
Using a scale to track weight loss is a good tool, but sometimes it can be demotivating if we don’t see the numbers move as quickly as we hope. Instead of focusing on a number, focus on how your body is feeling (maybe having more energy), how your clothes are fitting, or improvements in your blood levels (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc).
Set SMART Goals
Setting small, sustainable goals is a great way to accomplish your long-term health goals. It can help you stay motivated to reach your bigger goals if you find successes in accomplishing smaller goals. You want to make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Find a Physical Activity that You Actually Enjoy
And lastly, physical activity is a great way to build a healthy lifestyle. You want to make sure you are choosing activities that you enjoy so that you can look forward to it every single day. Some activities can include: gardening, hiking, riding bikes, walking with loved ones, going to group exercise classes, and so much more!
So to answer the question: Do Fad Diets Really Work?
No, they are just a temporary fix that doesn’t build healthy habits for long-term success.
If you want to maintain a healthy weight and build healthy habits that will set you up for a lifetime of wellness, then you should focus on eating a well-balanced diet, setting goals that you can achieve, and find a physical activity that you love!
Want a balanced nutrition plan that is specific to your nutrition needs? A Registered Dietitian can help you create a balanced nutrition plan that can include all foods so you don’t ever have to feel restricted again.
Schedule an appointment with us here at New York City Nutrition when you are ready to commit to a lifetime of healthy habits.