Fad diets offer a tempting promise: that you’ll lose weight quickly with little to no effort. While it is true that the foods you eat play a significant role in your weight and overall health, fad diets can set you back in your overall quest for healthy weight loss.
Why fad diets don’t work
Most fad diets encourage cutting out entire swaths of a healthy diet and either fasting or eating a very narrow range of foods. The problem with this approach is that you miss out on vital nutrients that keep your systems functioning smoothly. Dramatic cutbacks also lead to a feeling of deprivation which sets the stage for binging later. The most important first step to achieve healthy weight loss is to shift your mindset about the length of time it will take to achieve your goal weight. Relax and focus on enjoying the journey.
Change your attitude about food
If you’re accustomed to eating an unhealthy diet, you might feel an initial rush of excitement as you take control over what you eat. However, that initial boost will soon be replaced with a feeling of deprivation as the reality of your diet’s narrow scope sets in. Instead, get excited about healthier eating in general. Learn about the benefits of healthier eating online, from books or at a weight loss resort. These resources help you create new habits to fill the void.
Acknowledge your cravings
Cravings are real and you will feel them as your body reacts to a change in diet. This is your chance to replace your current cravings with healthier alternatives. Over time, your body will begin to crave your nutritious favorites. Your new diet will become part of a healthy lifestyle.
Start accepting yourself as you are
Fad diets are usually a kneejerk response to an overall dissatisfaction with the way you look or feel. Though taking action toward a healthier lifestyle is always a positive thing, you’ll have the best chance of making lasting change if you feel good about yourself as you undertake change. Give yourself frequent positive reinforcement as you go. Slow and steady weight loss through healthy means is something to be more proud of than weight loss that is fast but dangerous.
Replace fads with friends
People often start fad diets in secret. They’re too ashamed to share their desire to lose weight or embarrassed about their new diet restrictions. Stop playing the shame game and connect with like-minded people in a community group or at a healthy weight loss resort. Having friends along for the ride who understand exactly what you’re going through will help keep you accountable and on track.
It’s time to shift your perception about losing weight. There is simply no such thing as fast, dramatic change when it comes to healthy weight loss. If you are currently overweight, unless it’s a result of a medication or physical ailment, it was probably a gradual increase. Five pounds a year can turn into a dramatic weight gain over the course of 10 years. The good news is that it won’t take a matching length of time to undo your weight gain. But the realistic (not “bad”) news is that it will take time to shed those extra pounds in a way that will produce lasting change. Use the tips above to get started.