Do Fad Diets Work?

food pyramidGet thin quick schemes are like get rich quick schemes. If they worked then everybody would be thin and rich.

Fad diets are like get thin quick schemes. They mostly don’t work. They might work for a little while, but eventually you have to go back to eating normally, and then you’ll gain all of the weight back that you lost, and usually a little more.

The problem is that you can’t stick with the extreme changes to your eating habits that a fad diet requires. You can’t avoid carbohydrates for the rest of your life. You can’t eat cabbage soup for the rest of your life. You have to learn how to eat a healthy, sustainable diet. Plan on doing it in a way that you can stick with for the long term.

Make small subtle changes that are easy to stick with. Such as eating some fruit or vegetable with every meal. Or cut back on fast food from 4 times a week to 2 times a week.

You can’t cut out all of the foods that you love.  If you do you will feel deprived and set yourself up for failure. Eventually you will fall off the wagon and binge on the foods you love but have been avoiding.

Now there are certainly some people who are allergic to wheat or dairy or other types of foods. These people should avoid those foods as much as they can. Even if you are allergic to diary or wheat, you will still want to eat it some of the time. But, eating wheat or dairy once a week will cause a lot less irritation than eating wheat or dairy 5 times a week, if you are allergic to it.

This is part of the reason why I am a big believer in taking 1 day a week to eat whatever you want. Now you don’t want to go overboard and eat 4 whole cakes along with packages of fried twinkies and fried oreos. But, one day a week where you don’t watch what you eat will do wonders for your psyche. It will prevent you from feeling deprived. It will prevent you from feeling resentful when your friends are eating something that you cannot. It will make it easier to eat healthy the rest of the week.

I feel that as long as you eat healthy 80% of the time, then when you eat unhealthy the other 20% of the time, it will not affect you as much. Exercise will also prevent eating unhealthy from affecting you as much. Exercising will give you more lee-way for unhealthy eating.

Use common sense when eating right and being healthy. None of us are perfect, so don’t expect to be perfect with your diet. If you do have these expectations, you will feel like a failure when you eventually do eat unhealthy. Because all of us will at some point.

And what fun would it be to avoid the foods that you love? Food should be enjoyable. Not something to dread and cause stress. We all have enough stress in our lives. Don’t make being healthy stressful.

I set up the Pain Free Lifestyle eating program to be easy to follow. It takes you step by step from eating unhealthy to being able to follow a sensible and healthy eating program. It does this by slowly introducing small, subtle changes that are easy to incorporate. It allows you to follow a healthy eating program that you can easily stick with, ideally for the rest of your life.

Eating healthy through sensible, small changes that are easy to incorporate and stick with, while avoiding fad diets and extreme diets, is the Pain Free Way.

Here is an article that talks about some of the current fad diets and some of their benefits:

But remember, if get thin quick schemes worked, then everyone would be thin.



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