Soon after World War II there was a new diet fad coming out every few months or so. Each one swore to be the one miraculous finding of the decade. People would try these for a few days or months but eventually the weight would come back.
The TLC Diet, The South Beach Diet, “You: on a Diet” by Dr. Oz, Ornish, The Skinny Bitch Diet, The Zone Diet, The Atkin’s Diet, NutriSystems, Jenni Craig Diet, The Vegan and Vegetarian Diets, Slim Fast, The Liquid Diet, Detox Dieting, The Ayds Diet, Weight Watchers Diet The Raw Food Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, and The Grapefruit Diet. Surely one of these is familiar to you. You tried it, believing it was the one that would do the trick. And maybe one of them did the trick. For awhile. But then you went back to the old habits and the weight came back. Most dieters gain back 2/3 of weight lost in their first year and also gain back 100 percent of their lost weight in five years.
Fad diets are very popular in America. These are used for a certain period time, eating only certain foods in specific quantities and the dieter loses weight for the duration of the diet. About 50 million Americans go on a diet annually and only about 5 percent manage to keep the weight off for any long period of time. Some weight loss programs even advertise quick weight loss without exercise or being on any certain diet.
Many of you know the workings of the body- metabolism, the hormones and how deadly stress is just to name a few. You know that physical exercise encourages chemicals in the brain and produce an uplift in mood. You know that if you burn 500 more calories than you eat every day for a week, you should be able to lose about 1-2 pounds. If you want to lose more you will need to eat less and exercise more. Limiting starches and salt can help also but this is typically only water weight. This can help you to lose 5 pounds or so due to fluid retention. It is believed that losing slowly will mean the weight will stay off longer.
But why are we spending our time adhering to the rules of these diets when in the long run the weight is coming back anyway? Because we want the quick fix, a sort of band-aid. Some have eating disorders that make it even harder to stay on any fad diet for long. Emotional eating and binging are practiced all the time. It helps to be accountable to yourself by writing down in journal fashion everything you have eaten. Note why you ate this and what the emotion was that spurred it. Eat no starches, sugars or fats. skinless chicken breast, fish, fruit and vegetables, soy products, fruit and egg whites. Sound familiar? They may even advise you to seek counseling. And they tell you that a plant based diet can minimize or completely eliminate your genetic tendency to develop chronic diseases.
It all comes down to the fact that as long as we play around with our diets, only eat a few good things and not stay constant we are less apt to lose the weight we need to and maintain it for any prolonged amount of time. The trick is to make a conscious decision to make a complete lifestyle change. That means eating healthy, exercising regularly and eating craved foods only in moderation.
A healthy diet should consist of vegetables, fruit, low fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean meats. Sodium, sugar, cholesterol and saturated fat should not be consumed often. Thirty minutes of exercise about five days a week can reduce the risk of many health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers, osteoporosis and type-2 diabetes. Continued fad diets can actually lead to many of these problems. If you are over weight a healthy diet and physical activity will help you to lose weight in a safe manner and help keep it off. And keeping active and eating well can help you maintain your weight and keep you from gaining weight as you age.
So a normal diet will lead to increased energy, body health, happier mood, and a longer life.