Sustainable Weight Loss vs Fad Diets
© Greg Rosenke
As the world becomes more health conscious, more people are changing how they eat to lose weight or maintain their wellness.
The International Food Information Council found that America is seeing a rise in dieters: the number of people dieting in the country rose from 39% to 52% in the past year alone. However, the council also notes that many of these dieters are unsure about how healthy their meal plans are – and what nutrition information they should follow.
As a result, countless Americans participate in ‘fad diets’ as a quick way of shedding extra pounds. The problem is that while results may come quickly, they can bring serious issues in the long run. Below are just a few of the reasons why you should lose weight without a fad diet:
They can cause nutrient deficiency
Many fad diets cause weight loss through restriction: they lower calorie consumption or eliminate food groups altogether (like in juice cleanses). This means that your body may not be able to receive the right amount of nutrients naturally found in certain foods, such as glucose from carbs, proteins from meat, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish. In reality, healthy eating should be about eating nutritious food in moderation.
Reputable weight loss programs aim to give followers the freedom to eat whatever they want so long as they don’t go overboard. These plans often consider individual nutrition needs like target weight, lifestyle, and medical history. Instead of labeling foods as good or bad, a good weight loss plan should focus on nutritional value and satisfaction. When choosing a diet, pick one that focuses on keeping your body healthy rather than restricting you.
They can result in unsustainable weight-loss
Since fad diets often promise quick results, your body will often adapt to changes in unhealthy ways. For example, calorie-centric diets like the Scarsdale plan will encourage your body to suppress your appetite. Though this will help you burn fat more efficiently, it will also make your body better at metabolizing energy. This means that once you are off the diet, you will gain weight more easily since you will be better at using less energy for everyday life.
Instead, it is important to create a diet plan that doesn’t encourage you to suppress your appetite and meddle with natural hunger cues. Be sure to eat when you feel hungry and consume healthy meals with complete food groups (fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and proteins). You can also opt to have small, frequent meals spread throughout the day so you feel fewer urges to overeat. These steps can help you eliminate unnecessary calories from your diet while encouraging sustainable eating habits for weight loss.
They can promote psychological issues
When people are so focused on how they look, what their weight is, and the number of calories they are eating, they become hyper-aware of these factors and feel the need to overcorrect the problem. Fad diets play into these notions since their nature as quick fixes promotes an unhealthy relationship with food – and, in turn, with one’s overall health. This can cause psychological issues like low self-esteem, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
Fad diets can negatively change your relationship with food, and their psychological repercussions can last for years if not addressed. You can fix this by looking at food as something you find pleasurable to consume. It is not your enemy, but a tool you can use to lose weight healthily. Always look for the good in what you eat: things like olive oil are often seen as an unnecessary evil to add to meals but have health benefits like preventing cardiovascular disease.
At the end of the day, weight loss isn’t something that happens overnight. Proper eating habits, nutrition, and exercise will always be the healthiest way to go rather than trying out a fad diet.