20 July 2008 ~ Comments Off on 10 Reasons Why Fad Diets Never Work

10 Reasons Why Fad Diets Never Work

Our society is always searching for quick fixes to every problem. Why would we rather smoke a cigarette than take the time to research stress relief techniques and find out where the source of stress is coming from so that you can prevent it from coming back in the long run? Most people are lazy and this is why fad diets are so popular. Everyone is searching for the quickest solution with little to no effort. If there is something that I have learned in my ephemeral existence on this earth, it is that anything worth having is worth working for. Do you want to lose fat or do you just want to patch it up for a few weeks and then watch as the patch comes off?

Everyone wants the fastest, most effortless method for achieving results in life. However, it is this pursuit that causes many people to waste their resources, time and energy. The people that create these fad diets and “get rich quick overnight” schemes know that people want this and this is why they will psychologically market their product to match your overly utopian desire. Then they take your resources and let you figure out that it takes work and knowledge to get results that will stay. So here is a list of 10 reasons why fad diets never work:

  1. Your body burns less overall calories. A lot of these “fad diets” insist that you take in an extremely low amount of calories. This is very bad. Even when I was training for my bodybuilding show, I never went below my basal metabolic rate. I just consumed right at it and burned my calories through exercise and got down from ~14% body fat to 7% in a matter of a few weeks. When you decrease calories, especially overnight, your body will drop its basal metabolic rate. This will cause your body to burn less overall calories.
  2. They all say “lose weight” but not “Lose Fat.” As I have noted in my fat loss article, losing weight is not the same as losing fat. Do you want to lose 8lb of muscle for 7 lb of fat just to say you lost 15lb? The reason that this occurs is because your body will survive longer on fat, and when you sharply decrease your caloric intake quickly, your body goes into starvation mode, hides your fat and burns muscle.
  3. Your body becomes less efficient at burning fat. When you go low calorie so suddenly and then resume regular eating habits, your body not only puts on the weight that it lost, but it also puts on a surplus of that weight. Over time, this causes your body to start storing fat to prepare itself for another sudden drop. 
  4. They don’t tell you to exercise. In their attempt to satisfy your craving for effortless weight loss, they do not mention the fact that you should exercise. Exercise will increase your metabolism, burn calories, build your muscles, strengthen your respiratory system, build your immune system…blah I could go on for days about the benefits of exercise. Just get off your lazy bum and exercise dammit!
  5. They taste like $#*!. Really, have you tried the crap that they tell you to eat? Meal replacement bars, protein shakes, tasteless food and crappy recipes. You don’t have to torture yourself to get results. You can do it with great tasting food and enjoy your meal. Consider trying a low carb diet for weight loss.
  6. Most of the weight that you lose is water. A lot of these programs will tell you to limit your liquid intake to a certain amount, like only 8 glasses of water. Try this without their products or diet; see how much weight you lost? Then drink regularly, see how much weight you put back? This is not permanent weight loss. When I wrestled, I have lost 10 pounds in a matter of a few days. Sweat, spit, no fluids and trash bags all contributed to pounds falling off. Do you know how long it took for me to put it back after weigh in? Let’s just say that after the match I would have gained at least half of it back. Anyone can look good for a picture standing on a scale like they lost weight, but not everyone can stay looking that way.
  7. They try to tell you to give up eating all fats. Either directly or through their products, they try to take fat out of your diet. This does not work. In fact, fats have an emporium of benefits for your body. Don’t take out fats, but make sure that the ones you are taking in are healthy fats. In fact, you have more reason to go on a low carb diet before a low fat one.
  8. You feel like crap. After starving yourself for a few weeks, you start to feel weak because your body is performing inefficiently due to energy depletion. Look, losing weight is fun. Go to the gym, take a kickboxing class, eat healthy meals and get enough rest. You will feel great, energetic, healthy and be slimmer. You are only making things hard when you do this the “quick and easy” way.
  9. In the end you will gain it all back. Period.
  10. You learn nothing after you quit the diet and/or products. Take the initiative and do it the right way. Develop lifelong exercise and diet habits that will make you feel better all of the time. Learn what you should do to get in better shape, to feel better and look better. Don’t just put your hand out and say i’ll do whatever you say to lose weight. Learn for yourself, know why you are doing something and know how to do it in the absence of these fad diets. You wouldn’t just purchase a used car just because they buyer says that it will run would you?

Whenever you are in doubt, simply ask yourself: “Is this how nature intended for me to lose weight?” I promise you that once you start exercising and dieting correctly, you will never want to let that go. The benefits far exceed some “quick fix.” Don’t bandage your problems, solve them.

Comments are closed.