As a chubby kid all my life, I felt drawn towards fad diets that I saw on TV. I was highly impressionable and naïve back then, so I revered every person who claimed to be a weight-loss guru. They made me feel like they held the key to my problematic love for foods.
My parents already advised me against following fad diets before. They told me that those programs were created by people who wanted to be famous and get a quick buck. “Instead of going through all that trouble, you need to watch your food intake and exercise more,” they said.
Of course, since I was both naïve and stubborn, I did not listen to mom and dad. I kept buying modern food options like quinoa, black rice, vegan chicken, and whatnot. As with all the trendy stuff taking the limelight, though, such diets did nothing but damage my savings since their effects were not long-term.
Depressed, I decided to open up about my dilemma to a therapist. She explained that I fell into the trap of fad diets due to my desire to lose weight without working out too much. “However,” she said, “We need to work hard for everything we want to achieve in life. There is no such thing as a quick and permanent fix – especially not when it comes to changing your body.”
I understood what the therapist meant. Of course, I had always known that weight loss wouldn’t happen overnight; that’s why I never bought slimming pills or teas like many others. Despite that, I hoped that a new way of dieting would do me good. But it did not. So, I had to ask my therapist, “How do you think I can avoid getting lured by fad diets that do not work?”
The therapist gave me a list of things to look for in a new diet before trying it.
The first thing to check is the credibility of the people who supposedly created the programs. Meaning, are they nutritionists, dieticians, or food scientists? Are they in the medical field at all?
If someone who claims to be a guru has any of those labels, there is a high chance that the fad diet is real. They have profound knowledge about food and what it does to the body, after all. If they talk about a particular diet, extensive research must have been introduced to the public.
However, you should be wary of individuals who thought that being obese or overweight in the past made them experts at dieting. It does not work like that – and it never did. If anything, they could share tips and tricks that could have a detrimental effect on your health in the future.
Fad diets that are only meant to be cash grabs do not get reviewed by professionals. I know because I researched the programs I already tried and realized that the studies they presented were created mainly by them. The fact that no other expert backed up their claim could entail that they were afraid to ask for a peer review or not pass the reviews.
Meanwhile, real diets have multiple distinguished individuals supporting them. Researchers who adopted the idea for their studies can come from nutritional experts who aimed to determine if they genuinely work.
You need to focus on the latter since they can help with your weight-loss goals.
Lack Of False Promises
When I was younger, I got hooked by grand statements that practically promised me the world. One said that I could go from size 16 to size 12 in a month; another stressed that the diet would keep me from gaining weight ever again. But the most common claim was that it was the quick fix I had been waiting for my entire life.
Quick fix, my foot. Those were false promises that desperate people like I used to tend to gobble up. The so-called gurus knew about the desperation, and they chose the most enticing words. So, if you see anyone saying something too good to be true, you better believe it’s baseless.
No Requirement To Avoid A Certain Food Group
Dieticians and nutritionists do not recommend swearing off a specific food group because all groups provide nutrients and minerals that others don’t. You need a little bit of everything on your plate three times a day. Otherwise, you may experience nutritional insufficiency, which can lead to the development of other conditions.
I wish I had known this information in the past. No thanks to fad diets; I tried not eating meat or anything with carbohydrates, making me lethargic and grumpy. I also craved foods I was not supposed to have since I got deprived of them for a long time. It resulted in me gaining weight instead of losing any.
Moral Lesson: Listen to the real experts, not to so-called gurus who want your money.