Why Fad Diets and Food Restricition Don't Work for Weight Loss

Culture is obsessed with weight and appearance. Some dieters want to lose over-sized midsections, while others just seek to shed a quick five pounds. Diets are the go-to weight loss aid, but ironically, most of them fail. Why? There are several reasons people fail in dieting and weight loss goals.

Diet Restrictions

No one likes restrictions. Telling a dieter that an entire section of foods such as carbohydrates or red meats is off limits is a failure waiting to happen. Just as when a child is told not to touch a toy, the temptation eventually becomes overwhelming. Instead, dieters should seek to manage their portions and make healthy decisions rather than cut out entire food groups and deny themselves essential nutrients.

Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Weight

A healthy weight is the result of a healthy lifestyle. Crash or fad dieting may cause dramatic weight loss, but as soon as the dieter begins to eat taboo foods again, much of the pounds come creeping back. Often, dieters report gaining back even more weight than they lost. Instead, one should pursue a daily lifestyle of portion control and nutritious meals, being careful to avoid dangerous diet supplements and pills.

The saturation of the diet supplement market is overwhelming for many. Companies target overweight dieters with claims that their pill causes weight loss. Aside from Alli, none of the pills are approved by the FDA. There is no magic pill that will melt or dissolve fat from the body, though some diet pills may increase metabolism or provide other benefits that aid with water retention or other problems. The true way to get healthy and stay healthy is through a nutritious diet and exercise.

Fasting for Weight Loss

Some weight loss gurus promote fasting for weight loss. This means consuming an all-liquid diet for several days at a time. Diets like the Master Cleanse recommend fasting for at least 10 days, and suggest a maximum of 40. While it is almost certain that one will lose weight on this diet, it can be dangerous. Additionally, most of the weight lost during a fast comes back quickly once eating resumes, as the body responds to its starvation mode by storing additional fats.

Success with a Low Calorie Diet

Low calories lead to low energy and low metabolism. The body reacts to a heavy calorie restriction by slowing its metabolic rate, reducing the amount of calories naturally burned and resulting in lethargic energy levels. Most adults need at least 1800 calories each day. To have success in dieting, the majority of these calories should come from healthy sources rather than large amounts of fat and sugar.

Fad diets are not the way to achieve a healthy weight. Instead, opt for moderate exercise, nutritious foods and moderation.


Fox News: Cleansing Diets May be Worthless and Dangerous

The University of Iowa: Why Fad Diets Don’t Work

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