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It’s the fad diet time of year

Following the Christmas over-eating, it’s tempting to hit the celebrity fad diet. You may have heard of the low carb, the 5:2 diet, the cabbage soup diet, but there are many more. Yes, these diets often lead to fast weight loss, but only for the pounds to creep back on again. Have you ever tried a fad diet?

fad diet

You’re not alone

In 2019, a survey found that 45% of women stated that “most of the time I’m trying to lose weight.” Also, a UK Health Survey from 2018, found that 60% of men and 53% of women were overweight or obese (BMI>25).

Why avoid fad diets?

The best way to lose weight is to make small, realistic changes to your diet and take physical activity. Fad diets are negative, as they:

  • Can make you ill, especially crash diets, since they’re nutritionally unbalanced and may lead to poor health.
  • Exclude certain foods groups which may prevent the in-take of key nutrients and vitamins.
  • Can be high in fat leading to health side effects.
  • Don't work in terms of being a de-tox, as there's no evidence that toxins build up in the body.
  • Have little empirical evidence to back the fad diet claims.

Lose weight the right way

The best way to lose weight is to eat healthily. Starting a diet in January may seem futile, as the winter is damp, cool and dark, which creates a feeling of apathy and gloom. The fruit and vegetables don’t taste of the summer. A salad on a cold day doesn’t seem right. Here are 5-tips to kick-off January eating:

  1. Reduce the amount of fat, by trimming the fat off meat, drink semi-skimmed milk, choose a low-fat spread and low-fat yoghurt. There many other food swaps.
  2. Eat wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta. They're digested more slowly than the white varieties, so feeling full-up for longer.
  3. Don't skip breakfast, as it gives the energy needed to start the day.
  4. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of any variety of fruit and vegetables per day.
  5. Avoid a snack attack by having a drink first, as many people believe they’re hungry when really, they’re thirsty.

In the end you need to lower calories in a sensible way, reduce your intake of fat, sugars and cut back on alcohol. That’s no fad diet, just common-sense eating.

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Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/how-to-diet/

https://uk.kantar.com/business/health/2019/38-of-uk-adults-say-they-are-trying-to-lose-weight/

 

Date: 06 January 2020 by Max Robinson