Updated: May 15
At Starmer Nutrition we do not recommend jumping around from diet to diet and hopping on the latest trendy eating plan. We touched on this topic in this blog post, but let's dive a little deeper into why fad diets are actually sabotaging your goals and life.
We get it. New diets typically sound kinda fun (or you're at least the type of person that enjoys suffering and that aspect appeals to you) and they promise so much! Lose 30 pounds in time for summer and summer is only 2 weeks away? Shoot, sign me up, right?
Well... we'll get more into that later...
If you are constantly trying and "failing" at diets and losing weight - hear me out and take heart. There is definitely a bright side at the end of this proverbial endless tunnel.
Reason #1 - Scam after scam
To be blunt and honest .... diets are made to fail. If they were meant to succeed then the weight loss industry would be out of business. If there were truly a one-size-fits-all product that made the fat just melt off your body, the streets would be kinda gross and there would be no market to sell to anymore.
For example, detox teas are just expensive laxatives. The most you're going to get from these is a few days stuck in the bathroom and a lower number on the scale (and bank account) due to losing water weight. You are not losing fat (which is what most people are actually aiming for when they say they want to lose weight).
Reason #2 - They are largely unsustainable
Since these diets are created to fail in order to fatten the pockets of our diet culture overlords, nearly any diet with a name is unsustainable. Depending on which source you look at, 80 - 95% of people "fail their diets." But is it really failing when you weren't set up for success anyway?
Many who lose weight when starting out on a diet are excited at the results they are seeing. Which is great! However, as you continue the decrease does slow down (which is totally normal and natural). On top of that, many diets are incredibly restrictive and have very staunch rules that honestly just suck the fun and life out of nourishing our bodies. So of course you're going to "fail." Your mind and body are not happy, and your social life is probably suffering too. Especially if you live in a culture where food is a major player.
Reason #3 - There are real dangers to fads
So you got off of the diet. Actually, you jumped so hard off of the bandwagon you nose-dived into an entire family-sized carton of Oreos drowned in milk (been there - no judgment).
You're so excited to eat something you've been craving (probably carbs since they seem to be public enemy number one these days) that you have a binge meal. And then another. And another until it turns into a 3-month binge and you've gained all the weight back plus some. So what do you do? You go back on the diet, lose 20 pounds in a month, get off the diet again and gain 50 pounds, and so on and so forth in a vicious cycle.
This is called yo-yo dieting and it actually has some pretty severe effects on your health. Losing weight as quickly as you can on some of these diets and then gaining back the weight plus some, can lead to muscle loss, higher body fat %, fatty liver, increased risk of diabetes, and heart disease just to name a few. Some have reported hair loss and increased digestive distress. Your mental health also takes a toll because of how frustrating it is to not reach your goal when all of these diet methods promised you that you would succeed this time.
Reason #4 - They disrupt your life
A lot of diets almost require you to completely shun any social interactions in order to stick to the plan. Instead of teaching you long-term habits and behaviors that promote mental and physical health overall, they're typically just extreme enough to give you the satisfaction of feeling like you're working hard and having that moment of intensity before crashing into a ball of exhaustion and hanger.
We think it is better to learn how to live moderately and be able to have a social life, like going to restaurants with friends and not skipping out on life events. You just learn what to eat that will keep you feeling fulfilled without the guilt of eating the "wrong" things. And if there is a birthday cake and you eat a slice you are not a "failure." You had a slice to celebrate with your friends. You're not going to completely undo everything just because you weren't 100% perfect (spoiler alert - perfect doesn't exist).
Reason #5 - Internal health is the main goal
Learning what your body thrives on in order to support your lifestyle and fitness goals is so important. Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids? You got cabin fever from sitting too much every day and you just want to increase your health stats? Great! These are all awesome goals.
Figuring out that some foods might make you feel sluggish and some make you more energized is invaluable knowledge. Learning how to eat in a way that helps you increase your quality of life instead of just what helps you fit into a certain size is life-changing. If you have some digestive distress you will be able to point to something you ate and maybe reduce how much you eat that food.
This approach and mindset have helped many in healing their guilt and moralized dieting cycle. Everyone has a different body, so you really can't prescribe one set of guidelines that will help every single person on the planet. It takes some trial, some error, and a lot of patience. BUT! It is so worth it in the long run.
Do you want to take the next step in improving your health?
We love to help people discover their best selves. If you are sick of living in this cycle and want to improve your internal health reach out to us! You can click here to schedule a FREE 30-minute discovery call with Danielle to figure out if you are a good fit for each other.
Click here if you want to read some of our other blog posts or discover new, yummy recipes!
Here's to an improved life and kicking fads to the curve! Go forth and live, friends.