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Lifestyle change vs fad diet

We are living in a world of instant gratification where we want results that are perfect, immediate and don't take too much effort. There have been many diets/trends over the years that have offered this with sure successes- known as fad diets.

In order to avoid fad diets, you need to be able to recognise them. Watch out for the following:

  • diets that recommend an energy intake of less than 1200kcal/day

  • the promise of fast, easy and huge weight losses in a short period of time

  • when success is guaranteed without any effort

  • when emphasis is placed on increasing, decreasing or leaving out specific food groups

  • when emphasis is placed on not combining certain foods at the same meal

  • claims that certain foods components or pills melt away fat in some way

  • injections for weight loss

Remember: Any weight-reduction programme must set the tone for permanent lifestyle changes in order to maintain weight in the long term. Fad diets can work initially for sure if you are reducing your total energy intake in some manner, however, it is impossible to maintain weight loss if the underlying causes of a weight problem are not addressed (i.e. poor dietary intake and a lack of physical activity). A fad diet may work for now but may send you backwards in the long run and lead to yo-yo dieting and weight cycling.

Try some of these changes:

  • follow a balanced diet with controlled portions (See healthy plate model in my previous blog)

  • increase your physical activity

  • decrease alcohol and increase fibre-rich foods

  • eat regular meals and small snacks in between

  • change your behaviour/habits around eating and use positive self talk

  • aim for realistic weight loss goals

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