Fad diets. There are so many around that it is unbelievable. But the crazy thing is I am sure most if us have tried the majority of them or at least know someone who has.
Lots of fancy marketing ads, amazing testimonials, transformations and promises about how this is the best diet under the sun. Must be all good then, let’s go for it.
So we hop on the bandwagon, motivated and ready to begin. We buy all the products, hoping for life-changing results, only to end up feeling hungry, tired, demotivated and cheated from not getting the results you were supposed to get.
So how do we spot these Fad diets before they can suck us in?
Here are our top tips:
Certain foods are FORBIDDEN
As many of us know, there are certain foods that are clearly much healthier than others (lean meats, fruits and veggies for instance). Whilst there are other foods that are pretty calorie-packed with little nutritional value. But there’s no reason to completely ban any food from your plan. They can all have a place.
If we ended up completely banning certain foods, then adherence levels would be very poor and it would be very hard to stick to. You also find that most end up getting very frustrated at not having certain things, and so they end up completely falling off the wagon and binging like crazy. So we need to avoid this and keep our diets as flexible as we possibly can.
As mentioned before, we want to avoid the situation where we feel the need to ‘cheat’ or ‘binge’ on certain foods to force our way through a tough week of dieting.
Cheat meals are a bad idea! With ‘cheat meals’ people often binge and consume a gross excess of calories which eradicates their calorie deficit that they’ve achieved during the week. Instead, we need to be more flexible with your diet during the week and enjoy the food we eat on a day-to-day basis. Otherwise, you will end up going through cycles of diet then cheat, diet then cheat and your results will be either really slow or non-existent.
There are lots of ‘Stages’
Any diet that has lots of stages that emphasises specific foods, or bans others is, without doubt, a fad.
Imagine it. During the ‘detox stage’ all you can have are ice cubes and lettuce.
Forget it!! Who the hell is going to want to do that and keep to it, even if it is for 10 days. Even if you did do it, just imagine how badly some may binge once they finish it because they have found it so hard.
There may be times where you may need to be a bit stricter with your diet, especially if you have a short-term goal. But in general it should be very consistent throughout.
Apparently buying their supplements is essential
No supplement is essential for you to make long-lasting changes to your health and fitness. There are some that are really useful (e.g. protein powder, fish oil), but their purpose is to “supplement” an already healthy diet.
But no supplement in the world is going to make that much of a difference that it is ‘essential’. If there was, then the inventor would be the richest guy ever, because we are all looking for that magic fat loss pill right?
So don’t be duped into buying anything, do your research and make your own decision whether you think it will help or not.
If it sounds too good to be true.
Honestly, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Any healthy eating approach that’s sustainable, practical and healthy can get results quickly, but won’t have you dropping extortionate amounts of weight in a short time frame. Doing so can be incredibly unhealthy, and you will sacrifice energy levels, concentration, productivity, etc.
You must change the way you live for it to work
If there is a diet out there asking you to completely change the way you live, then this is certainly not a diet you will stick to.
Your diet and training need to work around your lifestyle, not the other way around.
It Sounds Horrible
Do you enjoy the odd glass of wine or beer?
Can you not go without coffee?
Love your pasta?
If so, and your diet restricts alcohol, caffeine and pasta, are you really going to stick to it?
While you do need a degree of discipline when dieting, it should also be relatively enjoyable, and allow you to eat foods you like, otherwise, there’s no way you’ll stick to it.