For the best part of 150 years, people have been obsessed with losing weight. Some people are slim and want to keep it that way, or some people are slightly overweight and want to lose a few pounds. Whatever the reason for wanting to keep your weight down, fad diets are not the way to do it.
Here are some reasons why you need to ditch them forever, today:
They Don’t Last
The main reason that everyone loves jumping on the fad diet train is because of the immediate results that they give. Yes, it is great to shed 5 pounds every week but these types of results do not last. As soon as you stop following the diet plan and go back to your old ways, the pounds start piling on again. And, as soon as they creep up too far, you will want to go back on another diet. You may choose to go back on the same one or you might want to try a new one.
Again, you lose the weight, stop following the diet, and the weight piles back on. This is a vicious circle that never ends.
They Can Make You Ill
Fad diets and extreme weight loss are known for their extreme measures to cutting weight quickly. But have you ever asked yourself what are the possible side effects of extreme food changes? Some diets require cutting out certain food groups and label them as “bad”. A lot of the foods that are labelled bad in these diets are actually good for you. The Atkins diet has created a fear of carbs (which we need for energy) and cleanses require nothing but fancy juices for a week that are often high in sugar.
This type of food cutting can be really bad for you and can cause long term health issues.
They Can Become Addictive
As a general rule, fad diets are designed to appeal to a person’s vanity. The designers of these diets know that some people want to lose weight, no matter the cost to their health. Combining this with the constant cycle of losing and gaining weight, this can create an addiction that can be hard to shift. This can be compounded by the buzz of finding a new diet and getting swept up in the hype. This cycle can go on for years if it is not broken.
Unfortunately, this is something that you might not recognise yourself and you might even need an intervention. There is plenty of information that can be found from visiting a website that can point you in the right direction
A Healthy Lifestyle is Better
As we stated in the previous points, these types of diets can have a negative impact on your health in many different ways. One thing that people forget is that a healthy lifestyle is a much better way to lose weight and keep it off. A healthy diet can take a bit longer to lose weight because there isn’t the extreme food cutting and calorie counting that you find with other diets.
Instead, focus on your health that will make you feel better, and the weight loss will be a happy side effect. Many of these diets do not care about the other factors they might have on you, and they fail to mention that they cause horrible long term health problems that can be irreversible.
Be Cautious Of Supplements
Supplements can be a great way to help you get those vitamins and minerals into your diet that you might otherwise lack. But they are not all that they appear to be. For one, having too many vitamins can cause health issues. For example, too much zinc can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea. But it is not just supplements. Detox teas have been linked to a variety of health issues, including IBS and caused a series of unplanned pregnancies.
Many of the influencers who were promoting them did not realise that they would affect their birth control. Many of the influencers went on to speak out about the detox teas and shakes after they developed various stomach and digestive disorders.
Mental Health Matters Too
The constant stream of diets, weight loss, and body shaming, is not good for your mental health. In fact, there are a number of mental health disorders that are linked to fad diets. Body dysmorphia is one of the main disorders which has been associated with fad diets.
Also, the constant need to jump onto a fad diet can be a sign of an eating disorder. There are many different types of eating disorders that have different effects on your mind and body. If you think that your diet obsession is the result of an eating disorder, speak to someone you trust.
Every time you sign up for a new fad diet, someone is making money off you. A lot of these diets require a sign-up or monthly fee in order to access the information. Call us old fashioned, but don’t you think that access to health should be free? Especially as the world is battling an obesity crisis. All of the programmes, the shakes, the subscriptions services are making someone else money.
In the US, the diet industry was worth an estimated $78 billion in 2019. In 2020, it fell by around 20% because of Covid. But in 2021, it looks like the figures are on the rise again as people who have overindulged during the lockdowns are now battling with some extra weight.
Long Term Effects
We have briefly touched on the long term effects of fad diets throughout the post but we would like to bring full focus to the long term effects that they can have on you. In a nutshell, they are bad for your mental health, cost too much money, and can cause long term damage to your internal organs. These yo-yo diets can also slow down your metabolism which will result in long term weight gain that is harder to shift.
*Photos by Anete Lusina