Friday, February 24, 2012


I have to do this.
There is a 4-letter word that starts with an F and it has been driving me absolutely nuts. Yep it's FADS, more specifically fad diets.
Most of us have heard that fad diets don't work, and that they're a waste of money, a ripoff. So why in the world are half of my friends and family on one?!!

Disclaimer- I do not mean to offend anyone by this blog post. It's just time for a heart-to-heart because I care =)

Let's start with my absolute favorite- the HCG diet. What in the world makes someone think it's okay to inject themselves with hormones, and then eat 500 calories a day? You're better off staying overweight, I'm sorry... that is such a risky thing, and the second you stop your "diet," that weight is coming right back on.
That is the same with any "diet." You go ON a diet, lose the weight, you go OFF the diet, you gain it back.
Someone I know is on a diet, where you don't eat carbs. You don't eat much at all, and you are not allowed to exercise on the diet. And the big, wonderful thing that this diet claims, is that you lose only FAT and retain all your MUSCLE. (Imagine my complete shock as she's telling me this!) Well, girls I hate to tell you this, but muscle is the first thing to go when you're cutting calories. Any plan that instructs you to sit all day to lose weight is bogus. Awesome you just dropped ten pounds, but sorry that your body fat just went up 5%.

I've also heard of diets where you sprinkle their magic stuff on your food, and it cuts the calories in half. Wow wouldn't that be awesome!

There's all sorts of diets popping up- the South Beach, the Mediterranean, the Paleo, the gluten-free, and before I go bashing on any of those, let me say that there may be some good there. The basis of some of these can be very beneficial, especially if you're sensitive to some foods (wheat/gluten). If that's the lifestyle you want to commit to, then go ahead, just don't give into expensive, temporary fixes that will be but just a fad a few years from now. Beware of diets that require you cutting out entire food groups, unless it's for a valid reason. (Carbs are not evil!)

I also find some value in programs such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. They teach portion control and healthy choices and can be the ideal start for a lot of people. But beware of the packaged, processed foods, because they're full of crap really, and sodium, and they're expensive.

As far as fitness and nutrition goes, the science is all the same. But health gurus need to make more money. So someone comes out with a new diet that will "solve all your problems!"Or a new exercise breakthrough. CrossFit is super popular and I feel like I can talk about it since I tried it out last week. It is AWESOME. But keep in mind it is super trendy and it is expensive. You can do the same workouts at a normal gym that CrossFit offers, but basically you're paying for them to have the workouts already made up for you, kinda like a personal trainer everyday. If that works for you and gets you exercising, then GREAT. A few years from now, there will be a new hype, and CrossFit won't be as cool.

Bottom line: There is no easy way to lose weight and be healthy. There is no magic pill, miracle workout, or diet. It's old-fashioned eating healthy, whole, unprocessed foods and getting your body moving. Eating the right portion sizes, of good calories, and burning excess calories through exercise. Everything in moderation. Sure, have pizza once in a while, or treat yourself to a dessert, but keep your diet mostly clean, and get your heart pumping a couple days a week. Track your calories for a while if you're struggling, and see where you need to make the changes.

I love the new food pyramid! It makes sense, and hey, it's free!
Oh be wise, what can I say more?

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more on most of this. My pseudo-mother-in-law is fairly crunchy and nature-y in most aspects - except diet! She's tried every fad diet I've ever heard of and recently did the hcg deal - for someone who's so health conscious and nature-based in most aspects of life it blows my mind that she and so many others would even consider this.

    I've got to say, generally I find adapting diet much easier than committing to gym time, but for the past few weeks as I've been visiting the gym or doing some form of cardio or weights daily I feel so much better in terms of my energy levels, appearance, mental health, and overall well being - especially compared to times when I've just restricted calories or given up certain foods.

    The USDA has actually changed the food pyramid again since that photo you posted - the MyPlate program replaced the pyramid last year -

    I feel like My Plate would be a great supplement to the food pyramid you pictured - I especially like how the pyramid above displays exercise as part of the balance, but I feel most people don't have the education to make nutritionally sound choices if the only guidelines given are proportions of food groups - syrupy canned fruit cocktails and french fries should hardly be considered fruits and vegetables. It really bothers me that money and lobbying is so tied into the development of these programs as well.

    Interesting stuff - especially when the basics [burn more or as much as you consume] are so simple, but unfortunately, it seems people will always be out for a quick fix!


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