Fad Diet Facts: Why They Don’t Work & What You Can Do Instead
There’s a reason why fad diets are called the way they are and not referred to as “really effective diet plans.” Learn about fad diet facts here and why you should try other ways to lose the weight and keep it off.
It’s almost summertime. That blue bikini from last summer is staring at you from the hanger at the front of your closet, where you put it to remind you to stick to your diet every day. Sound familiar?
You’re not alone. A whopping 91% of American women want to change their bodies. Odds are, you’re among them.
Fad diets seem like the easy way out. A set number of days or one restricted food group seem like something you can handle for a month or two. But what about once that month is up?
The weight comes back, and brings some new baggage with it. Now you’re feeling like you failed and weigh the same as you did before. Fad dieting is not a sustainable way to get healthy and lose weight.
What is, then? Keep reading for some illuminating fad diet facts, and to learn about healthier weight loss alternatives.
Why Fad Diets?
Let’s face it: Fad diets are easy to get into. You’re frustrated with yourself and too busy to put in the real work necessary for sustainable weight loss. Enter: glitzy popular diet plans with beautifully curated social media pages and promises of 20 pounds down in thirty days.
It’s human nature to want a quick fix. This includes quick weight loss and quick answers to questions about science and nutrition that really require some better research. When a fad diet brands itself with authoritative personas who seem to know what they’re talking about, we want to trust them– and so we do.
Maybe you’ve got a high school reunion coming up, and want to show those guys what you’re really made of 20 years later. Let’s be real, though. What are you really made of?
The idea that the way your body looks defines who you are could be a critical self-esteem issue that you need to take a closer look at. Often, self-esteem issues are at the heart of the draw toward fad diets. Make peace with yourself, and peace with your body will follow.
Why They Don’t Work
First of all, fad diets simply aren’t based in quality nutritional science. Many of them skew statistics to present results that aren’t realistic. They also rely heavily on clever advertising and marketing to gain new followers rather than on scientific fact.
A good rule of thumb: the bigger the social media presence of the fad diet, the less likely it is to work. Social media followers are attracted to the idea that the diet works, which can be instilled in malleable minds through clever branding tactics.
Secondly: you’re not as in charge as you think you are. Your brain regulates your weight via the hypothalamus and certain neurotransmitters, so it’s possible that you’re working against your body’s best advice while you’re dieting. Fad diets try to trick your body into losing weight it’s not supposed to lose, so it’s no surprise when the weight comes back as soon as you lose steam.
This yo-yo nature of fad dieting won’t ever keep you healthy and happy long term. Instead of trying to trick your brain, form a team and get on track the healthy way.
The Value of Healthy Eating
Here’s the correct solution for those sick of dieting: don’t start a diet, change your diet.
Healthy eating is the key to long-term, sustained weight loss. It’s not about staying thin, limiting yourself, stepping on the scale every day, or depriving yourself of your favorite foods. It’s about balance.
Harvard University has revised the food pyramid into a more accurate one that reflects the most modern nutritional science available today. Notice that all the foods you love are on there somewhere– even white pasta, alcohol, and butter!
Changing your diet will prevent the yoyoing of fad diets. Sure, it’ll take a little longer for the weight to come off, but isn’t that a small price to pay for the longevity of your health and self-esteem?
The Importance of Exercise
How long has it been since you picked up those five-pound weights in the corner of your garage? They’re probably growing dust back there since so many alternative diets don’t focus on exercise.
That’s a huge problem of fad diets. Exercise is hands down the best thing you can do for your body. Regular exercise is essential for losing weight, keeping disease like diabetes and cancer at bay, and increasing your heart’s strength.
Gym memberships can be expensive, and it can be difficult to work regular exercise routines into an already busy schedule. Look to home workouts to make the transition easier. Some home workouts are as simple as ten minutes jump roping.
Hopefully, you can carve ten minutes out of your day to invest in the only body you’re ever going to get. The benefits are too numerous to count, and it’s a better solution than criminalizing yourself for eating certain things, like many fad diets want you to do.
How to Keep the Weight off
First, educate yourself on nutritional science so you can actually understand what’s going on inside your body. Look for evidence-based and science-based articles. Read critically– make sure there’s actual content there, not just gimmicky marketing language.
Second, invest in your self-esteem. Like we said before, the heart of fad dieting is a body positivity issue, which is rooted in self-esteem. You need to get right in your heart and soul before you can get right in your glutes.
Take some time for self-care. Some popular self-care practices include:
- keeping a meditative journal
- visiting a sauna bar
- taking regular baths
- playing with pets
- getting your hair or nails done
- buying a new houseplant
They might seem small, but these little activities add up over time to a happier, healthier you.
Have These Fad Diet Facts Worried You?
Don’t stress! Now that you’ve read up on all the fad diet facts and healthier ways to lose weight, you can start to form a real plan to get yourself in shape the right way. Learning the right way is the first step, and you’ve already taken it.
Check out our other health and fitness articles for inspiration, and don’t worry too much. Take your body to the beach, and voila! Beach body!