Published on May 1, 2017
Graphic credit: Dr. Karen Coughlan/www.thenutcoach.com
You stick to a diet.You lose a lot of weight.You go off the diet.You gain it all back.You get depressed.You start bingeing.You gain it all back.You go on another diet.You lose some weight.You go off the diet.You gain it all back.You get depressed.You start bingeing.You gain it all back.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Does this sound familiar?
As long as you continue fad dieting, you’re going to continue regaining weight. A ‘fad diet’ is any diet where you make drastic dietary changes in hopes of a quick fix. Here’s how to spot one.
1. It’s advertised only on a 3:00 a.m. cable show or infomercial. Don’t believe everything you see on television. Anyone can purchase time for an infomercial.
2. “Cabbage soup” is in the name. Diets featuring grapefruit, eggs or any single food do work in the short term. After all, there’s a limit to how much cabbage you can eat before you feel nauseous and bloated, so your calorie intake drops to semi-starvation level.
3. There are “before” and “after” photos of someone who lost 100 pounds eating hero sandwiches. If an ad relies heavily on a sensational testimonial, read the fine print. By law, weight-loss claims must be representative of all clients or include a disclaimer that results shown are not “typical.”
4. You need a chemistry degree. Not “allowed” to eat fruit with other foods, or protein and carbs at the same meal? There’s no science behind the notion that digesting different foods simultaneously produces toxins that make you gain weight. So go ahead and eat a sandwich; your body knows how to multitask.
5. It says you’ll keep the weight off forever. Anytime you go off a fad diet you risk returning to the food and lifestyle habits that made you overweight in the first place. The best route to long-term weight loss? Sensible eating and exercise.
6. Foods your mom said were good for you are now supposedly not good for you. Can foods like beets, bananas and carrots cause us to store excess sugar as fat? Nonsense. The only thing that causes people to store fat is too many calories.
7. It requires tracing your ancestry back to prehistoric times. There’s no evidence to support eating like a caveman or tailoring a diet to your blood type. Instead, use your energy to research your family history of disease.
8. It bans an entire level of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. If you fail to take in the proper nutrients from all the food groups in a balanced way, your health may suffer. And, if the Almighty wanted us to have ONLY 2 food groups called Pizza and Potato Chips, He would have created them!
9. An acceptable breakfast is a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon. Wake up people! The average low-carb/high protein dieter gets a whopping 50% of his/her calories from fat, which ups the risk of kidney and heart disease.
10. It claims weight loss is effortless. Yeah, right! . . . and getting a root canal is fun! Losing weight takes planning and commitment and hard work, but the rewards are well worth it.
Forego the drastic dietary changes in favor of making improvements in your eating (and exercise) habits, improvements you can live with over the long term. Sure, the weight may come off more slowly this way, but it’s also more likely to stay off. Getting weight under control takes longer than we’d all like, but you just can’t live your life on a diet. The way you lose weight has to mimic the way you maintain weight. And, if the way you lose weight is not the way you’d encourage your children to eat, ask yourself why not . . . and then don’t do it!