Fad Diets: Just Don’t

By Raphael | In Nutrition | on August 17, 2011

Disgust. Impatience. Roll of the eyes.

That sums up my reaction to fad diets. I can’t stand them and I think they’re utterly ridiculous. A nutrition plan for life (notice I use the words for life) should not eliminate all types of food groups. Any fad diet that asks you to eat only one source of food such as soup, or a cookie or any other asinine thing, is bound to fail. Think of one person who started any fad diet a year ago and is still on it – you probably have a blank stare right now. Think of one person who started a fad diet a year ago and then smoothly transitioned to a more livable diet – Big ZERO.

A fad will fail because it’s temporary. You can’t do it your entire life and based on its limitations, you don’t even want to do it your entire life. We want things fast and quick, and we want to incinerate that weight off. And even though it didn’t take a few weeks to put all the weight on, we still want to try something that will get all the weight off in a few short weeks. People don’t care if that loss is water or body fat or muscle…as long as the scale goes down.

I’m rolling my eyes again.

Don’t get fooled by people who tell you that xyz diet really does work. Every calorie reduced diet works. And, every diet will eventually stop working as your metabolism slows down.

Here is what I want you to do:

  • List all the healthy foods that you enjoy (include protein, carbs and fats)
  • Then create a plan based on those foods
  • Give yourself a small treat like a piece of chocolate a few times a week

Think lifestyle change and not just an extreme, panic-stricken “I’ve got to get the weight off NOW!” mentality. That type of reaction is based on emotion, not logic. It will never work.

Believe that you can create an enjoyable nutrition plan for a lifetime. If you don’t think you can or you need a little added push to stick with it, seek out someone who can help you.

Leave me a message and tell me what fad diet you went on that backfired.

8 Comments to "Fad Diets: Just Don’t"

  • Cathy W says:

    August 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm -

    Awwww geez—the list would be toooooooo long! And the problem is obvious–I lost over and over, but always put it back on, plus more. Because it was a d*i*e*t, and as soon as I hit “normal” I IMMEDIATELY went back to my old way of eating. After all, I’m normal now, and normies can eat anything, right?????? So now I eat things I enjoy, learn as much as I can about healthy alternatives, and learn to enjoy moving more. It’s not a battle (mostly not), it’s a new way to live. I have no problem envisioning eating like this far into my future.

    Grapefruit diet, canteloupe diet, saccharine, cabbage soup, counting calories, Atkins, eating only tomato soup + popcorn, protein diet, counting points, what were those candy things…Aydds?

  • Cathy says:

    August 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm -

    Love this…it’s so easy to get sucked into it all, especially when you’re in emotional/reaction mode like you mention…”just get it off now now now, whatever it takes…”

    So – I got prescription pills – Redux (cousin to famed phen phen), around the mid to late 90s. I lost weight like crazy, it was awesome! There were some unpleasant side effects but I truly did not care. I was never hungry and the weight was flying off. Smaller clothes, compliments…Then they pulled it off the market along with phen phen. I was pissed! I knew why they were taking it off the market but I was still really upset… didn’t really care.

    Can’t even tell you how quickly the weight came back on…faster than it came off, and then came more. It’s not a myth, it does happen – I know I was heavier after that than when I started the pills.

    It took a few more tries to get my act together…a few other fads, and a lot of help (um….thank you 🙂

    1. Raphael says:

      August 18, 2011 at 3:32 am -

      Cathy, ahh yes Redux. I remember it well. Thanks for posting this. You’ve learned and applied and that’s what it’s all about.

  • Raphael says:

    August 18, 2011 at 3:28 am -

    Great post, Cathy. A new way of life!

  • Karen J says:

    August 18, 2011 at 7:47 am -

    Great article!!!
    I spent most of my 30’s and 40’s on one diet or another, losing weight for special occasions or beach vacations, then putting it right back on until the next event. I tried a liquid shake diet, the grapefruit diet, the Mayo clinic diet, etc. etc. etc. It was a vicious cycle.

    Many years ago, I did the cabbage soup diet while training to do a century bicycle ride with the intention of losing a lot of weight and looking hot that summer. I looked great in my spandex bike shorts the day of the ride but the ride itself was an utter disaster. Not only did I “hit the wall” early on but I gained back all the weight and more that summer. Lesson learned!

    Thanks to your sound advice I am now learning to make good choices, one day at a time, everyday!!!

    1. Raphael says:

      August 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm -

      Karen, thank you! I appreciate you sharing this info. It’s amazing how many people have tried fad diets. You are free of this forever!

  • Reenie says:

    August 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm -

    Too many fad diets to count. The most schizo one was the grapefruit and egg diet. I love grapefruit and hate eggs, so I ended up mostly eating grapefruit. Took six months before I got tired of it. Gained back all the weight I lost plus. Now, I hear myself saying, “I have to get this weight off now,” and I acknowledge that as what I feel and continue on with my healthy eating plan that lets me lose regularly and slowly. It’s just frustrating when I think of all the things I could be doing right now if I’d gotten smart a few years earlier.

    1. Raphael says:

      August 20, 2011 at 4:53 am -

      Reenie, excellent post. Thank you for sharing yet another war story from fad diet hell.

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