Weight Loss Tip: Avoid Fad Diets

Weight Loss Tip 61 - Avoid Fad DietsWeight Loss Tip 61 - Avoid Fad Diets

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  

Weight Loss Tip 61 - Avoid Fad Diets

Weight Loss Tip 61 – Avoid Fad Diets

Today, you will start a new diet. Tomorrow, you will break your diet.   Next, you will awake to plan or start a new diet, or maybe you will wait a week.  It is a vicious and deleterious cycle, not only for your health but also for your confidence.  You are better and smarter than this.  You need to break this cycle.  

One of the problems is we buy into too many fad diets.  It is time to get off the fad diet roller coaster and make lasting changes that will correct the way you eat, drink, and even think about food.  With all the focus on weight in our society, you cannot even get out of the grocery store without seeing at least 5-6 throw away trashy magazines listing the next and best fad diet that will get you to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.  I hate to break it to you but the only ways you are going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days is a gastric bypass or amputation.  Don’t waste your money; they are unrealistic and unhealthy.  

I am sure that it will be surprising that millions of people fall prey to the false belief that fad diets will help them lose weight.  Along with these fad diets comes the long list of bogus weight-loss products that have just about as much science behind them as the explorers that thought the earth was flat.  In fact, I would say the notion the earth is flat is more believable than the crap many of the supplement sellers want you to believe.  The manufacturers and retailers use research articles that often have a bias, nothing numbers needed to treat, conflicting claims, star testimonials, and pitches so-called experts to hype their products.  Many of these so-called experts likely have never had the products.  These efforts can confuse even the most informed consumers to try and convince you that their product is the only one that will help you get slim quick.  

Warning signs to avoid when picking a diet plan:

  1. Avoid diets that vilify specific foods: Sorry Adkins lovers.  Adkins and low-carb craze are nothing more than a group of fad diets.  I am not saying that increasing your protein mildly when dieting is a bad thing, but when you try to cut all carbohydrates, you are falling for their jargon hook, line, and sinker.  Next thing they are going to do it try to sell you their over priced food line up or vitamins.  Other diets fit this category, but the low-carb is the largest one.  
  2. Avoid any diet that claims to cause massive or rapid weight loss. Like the hare and the tortoise, slow, steady winds the race.  Slower weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic, fast weight loss in which you do not learn habits that build a routine.  Healthy programs usually recommend no more than 1-3 pounds of weight loss per week with the norm being 1-2.   If you lose weight too quickly, you fail to build a routine that makes it last and you will be more likely to regain the pounds.
  3. Plans that are too restrictive and lack flexibility.  Variety is the spice of life that keeps you interested.  If I diet is too restrictive, dieters can become bored and lose interest.  Also, it can make eating on the road or our with your family impossible or too complicated.  Sure some restaurants offer vegetarian and low-carb meals, but many do not.  
  4. Weight loss plans that claim exercise is not needed.  I agree 100% that exercise is a much smaller part of your weight loss than we thought in the past, but it is essentials to building healthy habits and it reduced hunger and is awesome for you heart.  Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week or 30 minutes per day.
  5. Any program that claims you can exercise 10 minutes or less per day.  We have all seen the ad for 8 minutes abs.  It is more like 8-minute toilet flush with you cash going down the drain.  Save your money and just walk 30 minutes.  Abs are made in the kitchen anyway.  
  6. Diets that claim you do not need to restrict intake of a single food.  I have seen them all.  Broccoli, cabbage, cookies, pizza, and grape fruit diets are examples.  I have to admit that I have never seen some one gain weight eating only Brussel sprouts or broccoli, but I am sure their spouse did with the noxious gas it created,  This is another type of fad diet.  
  7. Any diet that claims that a single nutrient is to blame for obesity.  This concept is just wacky.  I have to agree that sugar is the cause of a lot of the obesity in the united states, but if you eat too much Crisco or olive oil, you can get fat as readily as if you ate mostly carbohydrates.  I am 100% certain that not all calories are equal, but it is also true that you cannot simplify obesity in the world to a single food or nutrient.  

The bottom line: Avoid the fad diets.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is so, chose a different diet.  Pick a more moderate diet that makes sense based on your eating habits.  If you only eat meat, use moderation and sticking a diet that mostly meat with lower portion sizes might work for you.  If this is not you, consider a more balanced diet with smaller portions sizes.  If you pick a diet you can stick to that follows the above tenets, you will be more successful and less likely to have a lapse.  


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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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