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Fad Diets - The Facts!

Have you tried every single fad diet out there but still not achieving your goals? The average individual will go on at least two fad diets annually and, in a lifetime, try 126 of them! That’s a lot of dieting. Fad diets include but are not limited to shakes, keto diet, paleo diet and fasting.

Whilst many of these diets may feel effective in the short term, from a long-term point of view only a tiny fraction of fad dieters can maintain the weight lost. In fact, 95% of fad diets are only temporarily effective because most people who go on them can't sustain the restrictions and end up gaining back the weight they lost. This usually happens within one to five years.

Why do people gain back the weight? In a nut shell- because fad diets are ineffective, not sustainable and potentially dangerous to your physical and emotional health.

Here is why:

  • Following a period of weight loss, the body makes subtle metabolic changes that promote weight re-gain, without you even being aware of it.

  • Restrictive nature - they restrict whole food groups putting you at risk of nutritional and energy deficiencies.

  • They encourage low calorie intake which leads to low energy, risk of binging, nutritional deficiencies and other health complications.

  • They increase the risk of symptoms such as confusion, changes in mood, dizziness, muscle cramps, fainting, diarrhea, constipation, and dehydration.

  • They can lead to muscle loss, hypoglycemia, eating disorders and general poor health.

For these reasons, we do not recommend any fad diets in our consults.

Here are our top tips for you moving forward:

  • Let go of fad diets - don’t try another one – stop today!

  • Let go of the number on the scale - start by throwing away your scale

  • Invest in self-development - that includes personal development, health, nutrition and movement of some sort

  • Invest in personal development that will help you to accept and love your body for what it is and all that it can do for you. In my teens I experienced an eating disorder. I was not happy with my body shape and image due to the scaring words of a young peer in my final year of primary school. Over the years I’ve learnt to love my body and accept it for what it is. It is not perfect but nothing is. It has lumps, bumps, marks and curves but it's me and I am grateful for all that it does for me. Once you accept your body shape and image then your worth becomes more than a number on the scale. You can put that to the back of your mind and you can focus on fuelling your body with the right foods.

  • Invest in help with looking into your past- where do your beliefs and thoughts about yourself and your weight stem from? Get help delving into those thoughts and beliefs and start unpacking this with a mindset coach or professional.

  • Focus on the positive things you can do for yourself such as moving your body in a way that fits with your lifestyle, fuelling your body properly so that every single cell in your body can function properly.

  • EAT!!- most of my clients are under-eating. Restriction leads to binge, so let's work on giving your body what it actually needs. None of my clients go hungry and they still achieve their goals.

  • Learn to find balance – 80/20 is the best approach for a lot of things in life.

  • Find joy, happiness and love of food again - I can help you with that 😊 Food is my life!! And I live and breathe it daily 😊 food should not be feared, it should be embraced.

  • Learn how to make long-term lifestyle and dietary changes that optimise your health and that you can maintain.

We get it - the lure of rapid weight loss can be appealing for numerous reasons. However, if you're looking for help with moving away from Fad diets and finding balance in your eating then reach out to Sarah or myself for some further input. We would love to help!

Until next time,

Mattea Palombo Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Accredited Nutritionist (AN) Adelaide Nutrition


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