Before we delve too deep into the subject matter I would first like to start off by saying that in no real way am I going to show you stacks of research and evidence to disprove all diets there has ever been showing that they don’t work. This may sound very discouraging but before you click away I’d also like to explain that this is an opinion piece but it is more than that as its purpose is to be thought provoking.
Quick fix diets are the most attractive of all weight loss strategies, especially with the new year coming thick and fast. It is easy to be drawn in by the promise of the month diets that are the solution to any image problems we may have. However, we must assess the dangers and how realistic they seem once we fully take in what the diet entails.
A popular quick fix diet are the slimming shakes that act as meal replacements in order to help provide you with a calorie deficit. This is my biggest hate amongst the health and fitness industry. Despite the fact that most of these products will state to use them as a part of a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet it is very clear that they know what they’re doing. They pray on the fact that people see the promise of a magical shake that gives you nutrients in a healthy low calorie format that will melt the fat from your body.
This sells. This makes them money. They know that they are effectively selling you a dream that isn’t just achieved through their product. Whilst these shakes replacing meals technically does lower your calorie count and aid weight loss, I believe it promotes a negative relationship with food that can be very dangerous to people desperate for an answer.
Food is a great thing that must not be taken for granted. The modern life can be busy and it often feels as though we don’t have enough time to prepare food that is nutritious and tastes good. But there are so many good recipes and cookbooks dedicated to solely good food in little time that it is now possible to lead the busy life that you do and eat well. A great example of this is Joe Wicks ‘Lean in 15’ cookbook that is stacked full of great recipes. I will begin to post some good recipe ideas in the coming weeks to give you some snippets to help you along your road to a healthy lifestyle.
There are other fads such as: juice cleanses, fasting diets or the recently popular 5:2 diet to name a few that I believe are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. The 5:2 diet is essentially eating normal for five days a week and then cutting your calories by 75% for the other 2. This one seems genius and taking a huge calorie deficit for two days a week gets the pain of restrictive eating out of the way for the rest of the week. I believe this diet is flawed. Here’s why. Whilst you are dropping calories on the ‘cut’ days you are likely to feel run down, aggravated by little things and potentially craving even worse foods than you could be eating. These are all reasons that make this diet worth avoiding. As well as this, on your normal eating days you are likely to eat junk food because you think you 2 off days will make up for it.
From my own experience and personal beliefs, the best way to enjoy losing weight in a healthy manner is to cut back on sugary food and drinks and reduce your carb intake. But not completely. Carbs are an essential energy source. In fact they are the only energy source your brain can use. So they are an absolute must. But making easy switches such as white bread to wholegrain, white pasta to whole-wheat is an effective way to keep your blood sugar level and less likely to crash making you hungry for a energy fix. (Usually from high glycaemic foods). These are foods high in sugar – making you more likely to put on weight.
The moral is, no diet will give you the ‘quick fix’ you are looking for and if they do it is likely they are not good for you. So gradually cut back on the obviously bad foods rather than going ‘cold turkey’ and you are more likely to stick to it and make a real difference to your health, in the long term.
My next post will be a complete run down of easy swaps you can make to your daily diet to help you make a real difference.