When you think of a fad diet what do you think of?
Let me explain to you exactly what a fad diet is and how these can be detrimental to our health and attitude towards food. A fad diet is a diet that usually promises weight loss. Normally in a short space of time. Eliminates certain food groups. Are quite dramatic in terms of calorie cutting and basically they normally sound too good to be true.
A few tips on how to spot a fad diet:
- Promises results in short period of time.
- Excludes certain food groups ie. No carb diets, no fat diets etc.
- Super rigorous meal planning.
- Not supported by any qualified Nutritionist or Dietician.
- Doesn’t have any quality scientific trials to back up their diet. Only personal testimonials which really means nothing.
- Normally will recommend a combination of foods/supplements that will magically work to burn off fat.
The fad diets are everywhere these days.
As a registered Nutritionist it’s quite frankly scary the amount of people being sucked into this nonsense nutrition that is not backed up with relevant scientific research.
In the short term I have to admit that indeed people will lose weight on a fad diet. Due to calorie restriction and dramatic change of eating pattern. The problem is this weight loss is only short lived. After completing a fad diet the person normally turns back to their previous eating habits, in turn gaining weight again and normally more than previously.
Why are people gaining weight after completing a fad diet? The issue here is they are not changing people’s attitude towards food for the better. They are not teaching people how to incorporate a healthy balanced diet into their daily life. They are promoting excluding vital food groups from the diet and allowing people to develop an even more negative relationship with food. Not changing anything about their eating habits means they go back to where they started.
The deprivation and restriction that you experience while on a fad diet can lead to binge eating at a certain point. Why is this? You are depriving your body! The strictness can only last so long. Then you cave in and can’t stop. All you can think of is: when I am finished with this diet I am going to buy a pizza, fries and large coke. Completely defeating the purpose. This is because you are depriving yourself.
The Diet Cycle
This diagram below illustrates the cycle of the fad diet.
Ways fad diets can be detrimental to your health:
- They do not encourage eating healthy foods
- They exclude certain food groups that the body requires for energy and nutrients
- Can cause nutrient deficiencies
- Causes depression
- Can cause eating disorders
- Cause weakness and fatigue
My job as a Nutritionist is to help people form a healthy relationship with food. Incorporate a diet into their lives that is nutritious and balanced. To not be afraid of food. Creating this relationship with food by generally eating a nourishing diet will help you lose weight. And you will keep it off! As you have a new way of eating that is 100% sustainable.
While eating a nutritious, balanced diet you will incorporate eating a piece of cake every now and again as that is what balance is all about but it’s HOW to balance is how the experts can HELP.
LETS BANISH THE FADS!!
Pictures taken from: