When it comes to weight loss, we often go for quick fixes that promise fast results. That’s the appeal of fad diets. The problem, though, is that the fast fix is not typically a lasting fix. Here’s why the cabbage soup diet and other fads aren’t the way to go.
Fad diets don’t give you the opportunity to change your relationship to food
For many of us, the when, why and how we eat food has to change before we can reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Fad diets do not provide opportunities to interact with food or understand our eating habits. Instead, the fad diet creates an artificial eating environment that is not sustainable. When we understand our current eating habits, we are better able to establish new habits that support our goals for weight and overall health.
Fad diets aren’t nutritionally sound
That old expression, you are what you eat, still holds true. It is important to choose nutritionally balanced meals that provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Fad diets often mean entire food groups are excluded, which can leave you vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies. Moreover, you may find that these deficits, coupled with severe calorie restrictions, rob you of the energy you need to be active. Physical activity is important and necessary for good health.
Fad diets may lead to even greater weight gain
Fad diets can play havoc with your metabolism, and are a prime culprit behind yo-yo dieting. After the diet is done it is not uncommon to gain back the weight you lost, plus a few pounds more. Get off the weight gain and loss cycle with lifestyle changes. Choose nutrient dense foods, manage portions, include lean protein and fiber with each meal, and maintain an active lifestyle.
Fad diets may lead to muscle loss
Instead of the fat you want to lose, you may be losing muscle with fad diets. Your body robs muscle cells of nutrients when it is deprived. You lose muscle and with it, the fat burning power muscle provides. That means you will burn fewer calories at rest and be even more vulnerable to weight gain.
Be patient. Stay focused on the long-term goal, which is a healthier weight AND better overall health. Fad diets are actually harmful to your health and lead to greater weight gain. Resolve instead to be more active and choose foods that help you look and feel your best.