What to look for and avoid when dieting?

Fad Dieting...

This is something many people do when they want to lose weight. They find the latest fad diet out there and they get on board.

Some of these diets are about restricting or increasing carbohydrates, fats or protein.

Others are about including specific foods such as lemonade, orange juice, cabbage soup or baby food (yes, 14 jars a day).

Then there are others that get a little more extreme.

Some involve eating tape worms eggs. When the eggs hatch, you will be eating for more than 1. In fact, you will be eating for quite a few.

Others involve dipping orange juice into cotton wool and swallowing it...the cotton wool that is.

There are diets that involve injections. You have to give yourself the injections unless you have a willing volunteer.

You can even avoid eating altogether and use feeding tubes.

And ones that involve sleep... you get sleep medication and sleep. Because when you sleeping you cant eat, right?

There is even a painful device that is stitched on the tongue which makes eating painful. This must work wonders.

There really are many interesting diets out there.

A word about these diets.

Some of these diets are not safe. Eating cotton wool is harmful to the body. It can get stuck in the body, cause obstructions and many health consequences. And having tape worms in the body is harmful too.

Having a device on the tongue causing pain would probably work but at what cost. 

Some of them are unrealistic. Besides forcing sleep when you do not need it, it means you are not being productive with your day. Administering feeding tubes or even injections when you are at work is going to be a little inconvenience and weird. 

Then there are the diets that ask to eat certain foods a day or limit calories. These are very restrictive to the point where you probably missing out on many nutrients in your diet. These nutrients are needed for health and therefore help in weight loss.

Diets that limit, restrict or increase food specific groups are not always the healthiest for the body long-term. It interferes with the bodies natural cycles. 

So what happens?

So what happens is that we follow the plan and some of them really are ingenious. You lose the weight, sometimes really quickly. 

But give it a few months off the diet and you not only back to where you started. But you have probably gained weight too. 

The dangers of fad dieting...

Danger 1 is that fad dieting is hard on the body. We most likely are going from an unhealthy diet where there most likely are nutritional deficiencies. Or even if it is a healthy diet, we shifting the body to a new change. The body takes it hard. The result is the body needs to adjust and it has no nutrients to do so.

Danger 2 is that your metabolism gets affected. When you restrict calories, you slow your metabolism down and store more energy in the body. Because the body needs energy for later, right? It does not know when the next meal is coming. So by the end of the diet, your body has lost the weight as it had minimal calories.

But... your metabolism is also slower than it was. So instead of being able to maintain on the same amount of food you used to eat, your body cannot burn the food as fast. So you land up putting on more weight that you started off with. This happens with each fad diet. The metabolism getting slower. These effects are disastrous on the body.

Danger 3 is when you lose weight, you want to lose fat not muscle. We need muscle to keep our bodies strong. Besides, muscle helps us lose weight in a resting state. So we need it for the weight loss process and maintenance.

Danger 5 is the process itself. Going through these diets, restricting the food you eating, starving yourself... it is punishment. I believe we need to approach health and wellness from a state of positivity.  

Where does that leave us...

That leaves us at a point where we should avoid fad dieting and the yo-yo effect where we jump from one diet to the next.

There is nothing wrong if the diet is healthy, such as juice cleanse, but it should be short term.

How do know if a diet is not good for me...

Fad diets will offer the following:

  • Quick Fixes
  • Magic Pills
  • Instant Results
  • Restriction
  • Rigid Rules

What should I rather be looking for...

A healthy diet will offer you:

  • Variety: Make sure you are getting all your nutrients
  • Focus on health: Include a range of healthy foods
  • Unhealthy restrictions: sugar, unhealthy fat and processed foods are fine to restrict
  • Long term results and Maintenance
  • Adaptable to your lifestyle. Easy to follow
  • One diet should not fit all: It should be adapted to your needs. 


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