Why Fad Diets Don’t Work


Did you know that all fad diets share one thing: they propose a temporary solution for what is actually a lifelong problem. Once you stop the fad diet, the lost weight is quickly regained. The truth is, fad diets do not focus on modifying your lifestyle, which is needed to prevent the weight from creeping back on, and they are not sustainable for a healthy lifestyle. 

Many fad diets promise quick weight loss without considering the nutrients your body requires on a daily basis. This is especially so in diets that only advocate dependence on one main ingredient, or diets that ban certain foods, like carbohydrates and gluten. Following such diets means you unintentionally remove vital sources of nutrition that your body needs. 

What should you do instead?

It’s important to look at your lifestyle and make changes to ensure you are eating a healthy balanced diet that includes all food groups and that you are exercising regularly as this helps to increase metabolism, the speed at which you burn the energy provided by food.

Follow healthy eating patterns

Follow healthy eating patterns with each meal containing at least one item from each of the following food groups:

  • Rice and/or alternatives
  • Meat and/or alternatives
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit

Ensure you have a variety of colours on your plate and vary the items within each food group across your meals. For example, if you have broccoli for lunch, choose a different green vegetable like kale for dinner, etc.

Keep your plate filled with natural food items where possible. Using frozen food is OK but avoid processed foods as much as you can. Eat these in moderate quantities.

Eat in Moderation

There is no need to exclude any food from your diet, unless you have a medical condition that specifically requires you to eliminate certain foods. All foods provide nutrition that you need and are good if eaten in moderation – in other words eating as much as your body needs and no more.  You do not have to avoid all traces of sugar, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colours and flavours, other additives and so on. Avoiding them all is called “clean eating” in its extreme form. This has been a lifestyle trend in the past decade, which in many cases is propagated by wellness bloggers and famous people in the media. There are various claims and different versions of clean eating that promise to transform your life or treat your health issues. But, every individual is different. What may work for someone, might not work for you. Not only are fad diets not sustainable in the long run, some may have serious long term side effects, which we absolutely do not wish to see happening to you. Look at your meals as something to be enjoyed while staying mindful that they are supposed to fuel you with the right nutrients. Don’t be afraid to eat out occasionally, where it’s harder to control what is in the food you order. It’s OK to go off plan every now and then. Moderation is key. Enjoy your food, choose it mindfully and eat happily.