Why Fad Diets Don’t Work & What To Do Instead
Let’s talk about fad diets for a minute.
There have been numerous fad diets that have permeated our culture in the past few decades. You may recognize some of them: South Beach, Atkins, Low-Carb, and Keto, to name only a few.
These diets are also considered restrictive eating styles. And the truth is: they DON’T work and can be very dangerous.
I talk a little bit about this in Episode 55 of The No Sugarcoating Podcast, and I want to expand on this topic today.
These diets are designed to be “the next big thing” that promise a “quick fix” for you. However, these are simply ways for companies to increase their profits. This is the cycle that I often see happen.
You aren’t happy with your weight or body because:
- You’ve either recently gained weight.
- Your weight has plateaued.
- You are going on a trip and need to be beach body ready ASAP.
- You’re bored with your eating and want to try something new.
- Some celebrity or public figure is preaching it so you want to try it.
- It claims to get people amazing results and you want amazing results.
- You are desperate and will try anything to lose weight.
- You are a bandwagon diet jumper and every month you are doing something different.
- Someone told you that you were fat or you’ve been bullied or judged for your body image.
I see this vicious cycle and these kinds of struggles happening with nearly all my clients.
And let’s face it: I used to be all of these things. I tried all the fads and all the eating styles on top of them to try to fix myself – to end my food addiction, to lose weight. I wanted to be a size 2. (P.S. This was physically impossible because I have a butt and hips.) But I was slowly killing myself to look a certain way that would appeal to society. This threw me into a cycle of binge eating and depriving, being a drill sergeant asshole to myself in the gym and in deep desperation to find the next fad.
And what blows me away the most is how many other women and men are struggling with the same things. Whether it be a more severe or lighter level it breaks my heart to see people being so hateful and mean to their bodies.
The problem is all of the above are signs of the following:
- A lack of self-care;
- A lack of awareness of your body;
- Not listening to your body and instead continuing to put your body through the stressors of restriction;
- Struggling with emotional eating, a food addiction, body image issues, striving for perfection that doesn’t exist;
- Feeling the need to sabotage and punish your body because it doesn’t look the way you want it to;
- Trying to look a certain way without taking into account how it may be negatively affecting your physical and emotional health; and
- Not enough sleep, hydration, relax time, regular eating times and so on.
We are pressured by media, social media, movies, magazines, celebrities spending millions on plastic surgery. PRESSURE! How do we live up to that?
But it seems we are wired to find the thing that will fix us tomorrow. If it’s going to be something that takes time, it’s not worth it. It’s not going to be fast enough. Have you ever said to yourself, “I NEED RESULTS NOW!!! Not in 5 months or a year. NOW!” We have been programmed to expect everything now. We forget that our bodies do not work that way. And I believe it’s good that they don’t, or we’d treat them even worse.
Our body is our temple. It allows us to live this beautiful life on this earth. To move, breathe, taste, hear, smell, see and enjoy all that this world has to offer. So why do we keep treating our bodies like dumpsters and throw ourselves under the bus. Why aren’t we listening to our bodies? Why aren’t we investigating why we disapprove of ourselves, gain weight, plateau and have a stomach that is so bloated you look six months pregnant.
Taking time to start to learn how to listen to your body, investigate why your body is not working the way you want it to for optimal health and take action steps to support yourself toward a healthy relationship with yourself emotionally and physically are the keys to having a body we love to live in. The fad will give us more of the same: anger, hate, frustration, hormone imbalances, cravings, fatigue and disapproval of ourselves.
When I start working with someone, we explore all of the physical and emotional imbalances that are in the way of them losing weight, feeling optimal, energetic and happy in their own body. And I see some major disconnects with pretty much everyone. And again I had them too. Here are a few:
- No or very little time for yourself
- Not eating regularly throughout the day
- Skipping breakfast
- Binging and depriving
- Hormone imbalances
- Don’t approve of or hate certain body parts or your whole body
- Powerful unstoppable cravings
- No willpower
- Not eating the right healthy foods
- Eating only refined, packaged foods with little to no nutritional value
- Not setting boundaries
- Overcommitting your schedule
- Food allergies and digestive issues
The more we deal with this, the more overwhelming it can seem to embark on a health journey that might take one, three or even five years to complete. People think “that’s too long!! I want to do it in three months.” And that’s where we have to invite in patience. To truly balance the body physically and emotionally, bring you to optimal health and fully embrace self-love is going to take far more than three months.
And I’m not saying that to be limiting. I’m saying it because I’ve worked with enough people, including myself, that I just know. And this is a great thing. Why? Because the journey you take with yourself to reach optimal health is the most fulfilling and amazing journey you will ever go on in your life. It’s also one of the messiest. But a year or three of work is a lot less time than the time you will spend suffering if you keep on the fad diet/body hate train.
Do you want to have a fulfilling healthy life so you can focus your time and energy on actually enjoying it? Or do you want to be so burdened by health symptoms and negative thoughts that instead of being able to enjoy life, you are overwhelmed by your suffering? That is no way to live. So I invite you to get OFF the fad diet train and let’s shift your lifestyle.
I highly recommend reaching out for extra support by an expert like myself or someone you really trust or feel safe to support you on this sacred journey. You deserve it and are worth it. Some other tips I have to get started to shift are:
- Throw away, unfollow or get rid of all your fad diet books, followers, influences.
- Invite in a variety of healthy whole foods and stop counting your calories.
- Throw out your scale and/or only weigh yourself once in awhile. Go by how your clothes fit.
- Instead of focusing on the negative, start a gratitude journal or positive daily focuses to help shift your mindset.
- Get enough sleep, stay hydrated and start saying no to others so you have more you time.
Don’t put a timeframe on how long you are allowed to give yourself to reach optimal health and lose the weight for the last time. Be open to it will take as long as it does.
I invite you to explore small steps toward a self-loving and caring relationship with yourself including listening to your body and honoring what it’s asking for rather than going completely against your body and continuing to hate, exhaust, sabotage, starve and stuff.
There is far more here so I invite you to listen to The No Sugarcoating Podcast for more details.
Or book a 30-minute complimentary consultation with me today to start exploring your unique journey and body freedom plan.
Feel free to share your journey as well on how you’ve overcome the fad diet bandwagon.
And remember there is no better time than the present to start taking action with your health!