Fad Diets Don’t Work

Dieting is a worldwide multi-billion-pound industry, however there is no evidence to suggest people are getting slimmer as a result, in fact it is quite the opposite. Obesity rates in the United Kingdom have quadrupled over the last few decades.

You may be shocked to learn that 62% of adults in UK are classed as overweight, 25% are obese leaving only 13% slim and classed as normal weight. Check out these frightening NHS and UK Government statistics:

  • 62% of the UK population is overweight
  • 58% are women and 68% are men
  • 25% of adults are obese
  • More than 500,000 yearly NHS admissions were obesity related
  • the cost to the tax payer each year is astronomical
  • Obese men are 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
  • Obese women are 13 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity is responsible for 30,000 deaths a year
  • There are 7 million cases of diabetes, 6.5 million cases of heart disease and stroke and 500,000 cancer cases are linked to obesity
  • People with a BMI of over 30 can expect reduced life span

As the obesity epidemic continues to grow year on year, people becoming increasing fearful of illness and with body image at rock bottom, many people turn to calorie restricted diets in their attempt to lose weight.   This is made worse by constant media exposure of slim beautiful models, handsome athletic men modelling the “dos and don’ts” to populations for profit with no real interest in people’s health and wellbeing or what psychological effect its having on people.

It is estimated the weight loss industry will be worth $246 billion by 2022, the weight loss industry is big business worldwide and its expected to continue to grow year on year.  There are many different types of diet programmes and many start off cheaply to draw people on to the programme only to become expensive over time without much long-term success.

In fact, research indicates a 95% failure rate, meaning only 5% of people lose weight and keep the weight off long term. So not only is fad dieting expensive, it has a 95% failure rate. It's no wonder people, including my old self, feel like complete failures (famished failures) being no leaner or lighter than at the start and in most cases heavier.

In one study, after 3 years it was concluded that only 12% of participants kept off 75% of the weight they had lost whilst 40% had gained more weight than they lost originally.  Another study found that 5 years after a group of women lost weight during a 6-month weight loss program, they weighed 7.9 pounds (3.6 kg) more than their starting weight and it appears that weight regain occurs regardless of the type of diet used for weight loss, although some diets are linked to less regain than others short term.

Here are 3 scientifically proven reasons why fad diets do not work

  1. Fad Diets Offer the Wrong Kind of Weight Loss

Let us start by getting the myth out of the way first, many fad diets are popular because they work - for the first few weeks or months. People if they stick to the advertised programme lose 10-15 pounds or more quickly but that is it. The fad diet may be dropping weight off your body however it may not be fat, the weight loss can be water retention or lean muscle (which weighs more than fat).  The reason is because most fad diet are based around food deprivation.  Many fad diets also induce too fast weight loss rather than a slow controlled weight loss.  The problem with fad diets is they offer you significant weight loss but rarely with a balanced and complete intake of all the correct fats, minerals, nutrients, and fibre.

Restricting ourselves of the right food intake will not provide long term good health, it will starve the body of what it needs to function optimally creating potential long-term health problems and so, setting the dieter up for failure because it cannot be maintained.

  1. Fad Diet Set You Up for Failure

Fad diets are typically characterised with the words “no” or “none” or “can’t” or “no cheating” or “avoid”.  This is all part of the psychology, such words are negative words associated with failure and they are based around strict diet and/or shake regimes that typically leave us feeling depleted with low energy and having to miss out of fun things where food is concerned which is difficult given we need food daily to survive and food play an integral part of our culture and family life.

Picture this, you are invited to a friend’s birthday, you start to salivate over a table filled with delicious food, you think great but, no here it comes, the dreaded word, “I can’t”.  I cannot have any because I am on a diet, a little time passes and the urges get stronger, the temptation gets stronger but of course in front of your friends you have to save face, the guilt sets in and later when you get home shame occurs by giving into temptation and your back to square one.

Many fad diets are set around failure to keep you hooked in and of course to take your money off you and the cycle continues or you switch to a different fad diet.

  1. Fad Diet are Impractical

Most fad diets limit the times and way that you can eat, and they keep you in a strict routine.  If the only way you can lose weight is by body manipulative and military precision eating habits, then it is very unlikely it can be kept up medium to long term.  In fact, they can become highly dangerous to health because key nutrients, minerals, and vitamins together with fibre and healthy fats are left out of daily eating and drinking leading to dehydration, weakness, tiredness, headaches, sleep problems and disease.

What is the Best Way to Lose Weight?

Start by removing the word diet from your vocabulary.  It is a lifestyle change that is required not a “quick fix” diet.  Look at a nutrition plan, or reward meal or days off or 80/20 rule. Write down written goals of achievement over a specified achievable period, then get into action.

Eat nutrient-dense foods from every food that are right for your body. You do not need to eliminate everything from day one, give yourself room to achieve, have an occasional treat, however, make sure the nutritious high-quality foods take priority  

Eating should be pleasurable—not controlled and boring, you can indulge with the right food types, be conscientious and on your game, for you and you only.

Do not get discouraged. It takes time to develop habits, slow down and give yourself enough time to develop a routine that will really change you for the long-term. Set the goals, focus on the quality of your food, not the quantity and in no time, healthy foods will become a way of life!

Get some help from a qualified Nutritionist who will help you with all the above, who may help you with ailments or assist you getting started.  Getting proper help for long term personal health benefits should be considered an investment into your personal health and wellbeing for the future. Helping you set personal goals, create meal plans, over come mind set issues and get you on the road.

We at Good Living Nutrition have a unique programme called the ASPIRE Program in which we assist people not with dieting but with real lifestyle change through education around food and drink and assisting people get onto a real lifestyle change for long term, for life, so you can help not only yourself, others too like family friends, partners etc.  It is an investment for health wealth.

Your Health is Your Wealth


Anthony Jackson


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