Why Does Insert Fad Diet Work?

We’ve seen it before.

Your see your friend you haven’t talked to in almost a year and they have made a total body transformation. You congratulate and celebrate them for their hard work as a great friend does. Then you ask what they did to shed all that weight and answer “I started intermittent fasting!” 

You can exchange that diet with any other diet you’ve heard since being born on this Earth and the thought of “that’s an amazing diet,” enters your head!

But, is it that a specific diet is amazing or is there something else at work?

Fad Diets

Losing weight is a simple formula (barring Thyroid issues). Eat less calories than you burn in a day and you will start to lose weight. Exercise more? You’ll add more to the burn side of that equation. Make smaller meals? You’ll take away from the amount of calories you eat in a day.

Fad diets come across as novel ways to accelerate this process by focusing on specific foods that cause a new chemical reaction in your body to reduce weight. Some of these present actual science (Keto), while others present unfounded science (intermittent fasting), and all of them present themselves as the right diet for you!

Regardless of scientific backing, they all do the exact same thing 

Pulling Focus

When looking at the marketplace of fad diets to choose from, you’ve got quite the wide array to choose from!

You can eat exclusively meat, no carbs, all carbs, fish as your only meat, eat like a caveman, etc….This list is truly endless, but they really are all the same. They get you to focus on your food and reduce your caloric intake!

Nutrition professionals as well as marketing professionals know that you have to want to do something to stick with it! Since the formula for losing weight is so simple (complexity not difficulty), a cornucopia of options can create the weight loss effect people are going for! So, creating a program that will get you to lose weight based off the foods you are more likely to eat are gonna result in a beneficial outcome for both you and the industry that tacks on to the fad diet you choose (ever seen a huge “Whole 30” label on your chicken sausage at the grocery store? Someone is gonna make money off that).

The mistake we make and the fad diet industry exploits is that we will believe that we lost weight because we are on the “Keto” diet. When in reality it may be the first time we followed through with a diet we were actually intrigued by!

The Problem With Trusting A Fad Diet Too Much

Now, finding a diet you like and sticking to it is not an issue. If you are eating in a way that promotes your health and allows you to live the life you want, have at it. Just keep in mind, fad diets are not tailor-made. They are made to be sold to the widest net of consumers possible!

This lack of personal touch can result in problems with plateauing or affect your day to day routine.

For instance, if you are on a Keto diet and you are a competitive athlete or regularly train at high intensity, you are going to not be able to produce enough energy to perform at a high level. 

Going on a juice cleanse when you need a 2000 calorie basal intake could result in too much of a deficit and leave you light headed.

We are all different and have unique daily routines that require trial and error to establish a sustainable diet.

The Low Down On Your Diet

“Diet” comes from the Greek word for “way of life.” 

Going on a diet is great and finding one you like is even better. You just need to make sure that it is a stepping stone that you’ll use to continue your path to finding a sustainable new diet!

From that point on, you may need to start to get scientific in your approach. Since you’ve already become accustomed to tracking your food with a fad diet, the changes from here should be a little bit easier to track! If you need help staying accountable, then talking with a  nutrition coach could be the best way for you to get this diet sorted out faster than you would alone!

(If you are someone with a thyroid issue or have other medical issues that can affect your diet, talking to a registered dietitian is going to be the best route to go in finding your best diet). 

We’ll talk a little bit more about being scientific in our next post!

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