Fad Diets

Fad Diets

It’s interesting how people now refer to themselves by what they eat. For example, I’m ‘paleo’, ‘vegan before 6pm’ or a ‘rawie’ (only eat raw food), giving them a nutritional identity.

The obesity epidemic has created a search for the right food groups, which may help maintain weight loss and has ended up with an abundance of ‘fad diets’.

What is a diet?…I’m sure many of us have tried a diet before and agree they’re not much fun – while we may loose a bit of weight, did we really learn how to eat well for life? That’s what I advocate…and really a diet is what we eat every day, so let’s move into what we’re eating permanently not temporary. Isn’t it time to bring the word ‘diet’ back to its original meaning?

As a practical nutritionist, I treat everyone as a unique individual – because no two DNAs are the same – that’s why I’ll never follow celebrity trends or fad diets. Interestingly, the most effective diets – so to speak – don’t have a name or come with a celebrity ambassador and recipes.

I see many clients who suffer with anxiety and creating more complexities around what to eat and what not to eat could further contribute to a person’s already existing anxiety – not to mention unhealthy attitudes towards food.

Connecting with friends and family is so important for our emotional wellbeing and following a fad diet may create avoidance of social occasions due to not being able to eat certain foods – or even worse ‘guilt’ when you break the restrictions. We’re so much more than our digestive system, our souls need nourishment too.

Life’s too busy to be perfect…that’s why I follow the 80/20 rule. If you’re eating healthy 80 per cent of the time, that 20 per cent where a cupcake creeps in, can be enjoyed, guilt-free.

Diets’ which cut out whole food groups, e.g. carbohydrates need consideration, as you may reduce your fibre intake below the recommended daily intake, putting you at risk of disease or simply becoming ‘carb phobic’.

What can we learn…whilst fad diets come and go, the trick is to take something good from each, for example; becoming aware of your portion sizes, reducing the amount of processed foods you consume, or simply creating a habit of eating more greens – even if it is fashionable ‘kale’ and then continue to enjoy a variety of good wholesome food on a daily basis.

Remember, the body is a finely tuned machine that requires the right nutritional balance, together with adequate exercise and quality rest – nothing ‘fad’ about that!