The Truth About Fad Diets

It’s not easy losing weight. It takes time, persistence, and dedication.

Before I get into this article, I’m going to hit you guys with some hard facts.

  • Approximately 55-60% of adults (over the age of 18) are overweight, with 22% of them being obese, and these rates continue to increase.

  • According to studies, about one-third of America’s population are on some type of weight loss diet. These diets can include: Biggest Loser, Atkins, Jenny Craig, Keto, paleo etc…

  • Studies show that only 5-20% of those people are able to maintain their weight loss after the diet is finished.

Now before those who swear by these diets rip my head off, I do believe that some of these diets are maintainable for certain people! For example, those with a certain health risk or disease may need a diet lower in fat or carbs. Or those cutting for a competition will decrease their carbs to ver low levels, but it only lasts for a short period of time.

Now to get personal…

I myself have fallen for these diets, and after it was finished, I regained the weight I had lost plus some. I was restricting certain foods, restricting my life, not going out with friends, staying inside by myself because I was scared. I thought to myself, “As soon as I lose this weight, I’ll be happy. THEN I can go out and be with my friends”. I know some of you are thinking this as well, but STOP. After the “diet” ended, yes I lost some weight, and I felt happy for a little bit. But guess what happened? I started eating my regular foods again, I slowly started gaining the weight back, and I was sad, depressed, and lonely yet again. And once that happened, I would jump to the next fad diet to lose the weight again. It’s a vicious cycle. I highly recommend to not fall for these traps.

Fad diets cause more harm to your body than good. After the diet, there are multiple biological changes that happen to your body so that it is nearly impossible to keep the weight off.

1. It is shown that when you are dieting, you are more likely to notice food. I don't know about you, but when I was dieting, every time I walked into a restaurant or a grocery store, my first thought was desserts. The whole time I was at the restaurant, I had this internal debate if I should get a dessert or not after dinner. Literally, the WHOLE time. I couldn't even enjoy myself because I was thinking about whether I wanted cheesecake. The more you restrict foods, the more appetizing and tempting those foods become, making them harder to resist.

2. Losing body fat affects several hormones that control appetite. The level of hormones that help you feel full, leptin, decreases; while the level of hormones that make you feel hungry, ghrelin, increases. Therefore, you are more likely to feel hungry, even after just eating.

3. Probably one of the most important biological changes that fad diets affect is your metabolism. Your metabolism slows down significantly. Your body adapts to running itself on fewer calories, so the “left over calories” are stored as fat. Which is why when people decide to stop the fad diet, they gain back SO much weight.

Why kill yourself for 4, 6, even 8 weeks to lose a little weight, just to regain it all back when you start living normally again? The REAL solution to weight loss is: adequate calorie intake to sustain daily activities and exercise, and a dietary pattern that can be sustained for life. Yes, it will take longer than just cutting your carbs or calories for several weeks, but I PROMISE you, it is better in the long run.

I hope this article helps and encourages some of you to stop these diets, or reach out for help! I’m here for you.

Your Coach, Natalie