One of the biggest issues with diets is that they usually cannot be maintained for a long period of time. In fact, often times people who diet tend to gain more weight over time and studies show that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain. Fad diets became popular and continue to catch attention because many of them work well in the beginning; but the problem is that the weight loss is generally short lived. Many fad diets exclude entire food groups or consist of a major caloric restriction that is unsustainable in the long run. Of course you do tend to lose weight initially on these diets, but most of that weight is from the loss of water and/or lean muscle, not from stored body fat. In addition, most people are not able to keep up with the demands of a diet that strictly limits their food choices or requires them to eat the same foods over and over again. Ultimately these diets can slow down a person’s metabolism which will lead to gaining the weight back and more after they stop following the diet.
Instead of going on a diet, make it your goal to become a healthier and happier person. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it. Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect of your healthy living. If you have followed one of those fad diets out there, you are not alone. But ask yourself,” Have you been able to stay on these deprivation diets for a long time?” And if you did lose weight, did the pounds stay off once you went back to your usual way of eating? So what does work? The best diet is not a diet at all, but a way of life that includes food you enjoy, exercise, and healthy habits.
Just as a car needs the proper gasoline to make it run, your body needs a healthy diet to develop properly. That means the right balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (such as fruits and vegetables), good fats, and other micronutrients. When you go on a fad diet and exclude necessary nutrients, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming ill. Getting too little of any nutrient may not cause an immediate problem; however, if it is lacking for a long time, you may find yourself with health problems further down the road. That is why it is best to make your eating arrangements a lifestyle rather than a diet.
Article Written by:
Dustin Gonzales, NASM-CPT
Health & Fitness Professional