10 Characteristics of Fad Diets!

As a personal trainer with 22 years in the fitness industry, some would say I have some unique insights into what works & what doesn’t.

Especially when it comes to diet.

From Atkins, Dukan & the South Beach diet to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig & Hollywood Celebrity Diets.

The truth is, I’ve seen them ALL.

But the real questions are…

Do these diets actually work?

Are they healthy?

And are they sustainable?

Fortunately I’m in a position where I can critique and observe these diets in action, which ones are likely to have longevity (there aren’t many) and which ones are the ‘fly by nighters.’

I’ve also been able to observe which nutrition methods are more suited to certain personality types.

Because the reality is this…

Many of my clients come to see me after they’ve been on a diet.

They come to me after they’ve lost the weight and gained it back again.

They come to me seeking ways to rebuild the precious muscle tissue they lost.

They come to me for ways to restore their fat burning metabolism.

They come to me to restore their thyroid function.

They come to me looking for a better way to lose weight.

But most of all…

They come to me seeking a sustainable way to maintain a healthy body weight year round.

Weight loss versus FAT LOSS 

The problem with most diets is that they don’t differentiate between weight loss and fat loss.

Drastically reducing your calories for more than a few weeks at a time will send your body into fat preservation mode and break down muscle tissue. (Calorie restriction should not to be confused with intermittent fasting which, when done properly, can have the opposite effect)

Sure, I could put a client on a diet that would result in a loss of 4 or 5kgs in a single week. Problem is, most of that weight loss would be water and muscle weight.

But as soon as this person returns to normal eating (which is usually preceded by overwhelming feelings of deprivation, cravings & binge eating) they can expect to regain the fat they lost, but with one significant difference…

They’ll have less muscle tissue, and a slower metabolism.

This means they’ll need to do even more exercise than before just to maintain their body weight.

And they’ll have to watch their food intake like a hawk since they’re burning fewer calories than before…

It’s a dangerous game to play, and yet it happens all the time.

Nb: Muscle tissue is recognised as the organ of longevity. Declining muscle mass (also known as sarcopenia) can put you on a slippery slope toward osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity – therefore we need to do everything we can to preserve muscle tissue as we age. 

Muscle is a furnace that burns energy 24/7, so if your diet is deficient in essential nutrients and/ or you do excessive amounts of exercise (the combination of the two is a double whammy) expect your weight to yo yo, to have a compromised metabolism and immune system.

(Depending on the individual, restoring a damaged metabolism due to extreme diets and/or exercise, can take months, sometimes years…)

The WORST Fad Diets

Rather than turning this into an exercise of “naming and shaming”, I’m simply going to list the distinguishing characteristics of certain diets that make them unhealthy, unsustainable, & that can set you up for sarcopenia and a damaged metabolism.

1: Any diet that requires you to count calories. 1500 calories from a high carbohydrate diet and processed foods might result in weight gain, whereas 2000 calories from a balanced diet might result in weight loss. In other words, not all calories are created equal! It’s where those calories come from that really matter. It’s time the calorie myth was put to rest once and for all…(And besides, wants to count calories all day, every day?)

2: Any diet that consists of pre packaged food (and which may be microwavable), contains artificial flavours, sweeteners and genetically modified ingredients. (Sure, these “foods” might be low in calories, but they’re also toxic, devoid of nutrients and your body is left starving for real food. That and the fact that packaged food creates a reliance on convenience type foods)

3: Any diet that discriminates against entire food groups or doesn’t allow these to be introduced from time to time. (This includes the occasional indulgence). Eliminating entire food groups can result in nutritional deficiencies. And besides, can you imagine going without your favourite food forever and a day? Of course if you have allergies to certain foods or types of foods, that’s a different story…

4: Any diet that doesn’t distinguish good fats from bad fats. For example, good fats include virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, eggs, avocados, nuts and seeds. Whereas bad fats include all vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, soybean etc) & margarine – all of which promote inflammation & are linked to a myriad of health problems.

5: Any low fat diet. Healthy fats are essential for hormone production, optimal brain function, and can result in faster fat loss. Avoid low fat diets like the plague!

6: Any diet or diet guru that warns about the dangers of saturated fat while claiming it increases triglycerides, reduces HDL cholesterol and will lead to heart disease. (This is an outdated belief, however all that has changed. Look to processed carbohydrates & sugar as the culprits instead)

7: Any diet that doesn’t distinguish good carbs from bad carbs. Sorry, classing an apple and a bagel in the same category does not compute as they have very different physiological effects)

8: Any diet that requires you to take copious amounts of supplements, vitamins and/or minerals (to make up for nutritional deficiencies and holes in that particular diet)

9: Any diet that tells you that alcohol doesn’t matter. (Trust me, it matters in a BIG way, even if you do everything else right. It’s not just the extra calories (although this is a factor), it’s the way alcohol is metabolised and the effect on your hormones, all of which can shut down fat loss and promote weight gain. When and how you drink is key…

10: Any diet that says their way is the only way to eat, and every other diet is WRONG. I call this “diet discrimination” which is basically an intolerance to another way of eating (just check the online forms and you’ll see how rampant this is). Every day new discoveries in nutritional science are made, however vested interests can, and do, change public perception. Therefore we need to be vigilant.

A classic example is the vilification of coconut oil and the popular belief that canola oil is healthy. Besides, did you know that the sugar industry led an intentional campaign to demonise fat and deliberately deceive the public?

The RIGHT Way to Lose Weight

How much fat (not weight) can you realistically lose per week? Consensus is that it’s possible to lose around 2 pounds (1kg) of fat per week. What’s more, this rate of fat loss is something I’ve been able to consistently measure with my body transformation clients.

But it won’t happen by chance…

For starters, weight bearing exercise is essential to preserve muscle tissue. (Never do cardio alone)

Secondly, we need small amounts of the right types of exercise to produce the desired hormonal response for fat burning.

And finally, we need a well balanced nutrition plan (not a diet) that is easy to implement, uncomplicated, has plenty of variety and can be sustained year round.

That’s why I created my all NEW 5 Week LEAN Programme. (L.E.A.N. stands for Lifestyle, Exercise, And Nutrition)

It’s designed to lose 5kgs in 5 weeks, but it’s also designed to be something you can continue for months, even years.

And it’s this sustainability aspect that separates itself from every other diet and exercise programme on the market today.

What’s more, it’s simple, balanced, you’ll spend hardly any time in the kitchen, and the recipes are delicious.

So if you’re ready to take away ALL the confusion, to get off the diet bandwagon, and discover the truth about what really works for long term fat loss, be sure to check out my 5 Week LEAN Programme. It’s on sale NOW.

Nb: This is an introductory one time offer. Offer expires Wed 31st Jan at midnight. Don’t miss out.

Transform Yourself with the 5 Week LEAN Programme – Starting NOW!

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