I’m sure you already know by now, but one of my biggest passions is health and nutrition. Although I work predominantly in the fitness industry, I’m a huge advocate of health always being the number one priority when it comes to any nutritional intervention – especially one that involves dieting and losing weight.
Something that I’ve seen a lot of recently (which unfortunately, has really rubbed me up the wrong way) is how many people are doing fad diets at the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not the people doing the diets that annoy me. Oh no, it’s the huge amount of misinformation portrayed by the media about these diets, and the large amount of celebrities that are being paid to endorse them. These FADS are made up of ridiculous, restrictive and downright awful nutritional programmes forcing individuals to cut out food groups, fast for days at a time, drink laxatives and pretty much all endorse extreme calorie restriction.
Secondly – NO, FAD diets are not sustainable, not even in the slightest. That in itself is probably my biggest gripe, and something that these companies and celebrities don’t educate people on.
They are extreme diets, so yes they will help you initially lose weight (because they are so damn restrictive). However a hell of a lot of research suggests that because it isn’t sustainable, it is highly likely that the weight (and sometimes more) will be regained over time when regular eating begins again.
I always try and recommend thinking of FAD diets this way: can you see yourself eating like this for the rest of your life?! If you can’t imagine drinking juices every single day then don’t fall into the trap of clever, but very unethical marketing.
In addition to the direct health implications of FAD diets, another one of the biggest issues I have is the pressure it puts on so many people who are currently on, or have been on a fitness journey.
This is I guess one of the biggest reason I’m sat here talking to you, because I’m tired of seeing so many beautiful women feel they aren’t good enough due to pressures of a) social media, b) airbrushed to hell photos across magazines and billboards and c) the results of extreme and unhealthy weight loss through the use of FAD diets.
Lets just put all this into context. I have a beautiful friend (lets call her Tilly, just for the sake of things) who has made AM-AAAAAZING progress with her journey so far. She has fallen in love with training, her eating habits have changed, she improved the quality of her nutrition and the weight loss and body composition changes have come as a secondary outcome to all of that. For that, I and so many of us around her are so so so proud of her. Unfortunately Tilly doesn’t quite see her progress that way anymore, after seeing these ‘crazy transformations’ from the use of FAD diets surrounding her on social media at the click of a button. Tilly isn’t alone in this, and I see more and more girls feel the same way. She feels disheartened by her slower, steadier (but also much more sustainable and safe) weight loss and feels like she isn’t working ‘hard enough’ or putting in enough ‘effort’. Ultimately, the pressure of these crazy FAD diets, and there quick and extreme transformations are making her feel down about her own (again, amazing) progress.
Now, what bothers me the most about this is that extreme, restrictive FAD diets aren’t SUSTAINABLE, they aren’t SAFE and they aren’t promoting a healthy, balanced LIFESTYLE.
Despite all of this, the craze of FAD diets seems to be growing, and with it the pressure to lose weight quick through restrictive behaviours (whether it be restrictive in calories, food groups or nutrients). It is putting more and more pressure onto otherwise healthy individuals just looking to become healthier, fitter and stronger, and as a result making people feel disappointed and disheartened that they aren’t achieving the extreme and drastic results in the same short time period.
So I guess the biggest take home message from this is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO EXTREME to see results. I promise that you don’t have to give in to these crazy, restrictive and god damn awful diets plastered across social media. I am so so proud of each and every one of you who has changed your lifestyle, become more active and fallen in love with healthy, nutritious food in order to get to where you are today.
Remember to have patience within the process and just trust that a healthy, sustainable lifestyle will reap a much better, safer and healthier result than that of a juice only diet that makes you poop your pants every 3 hours.
I just hope by writing this, and talking about the problems with FAD diets, I can help even one person realise that they don’t need to give into these pressures, and instead champion the success and progress they have already made. You are all beautiful no matter what. So don’t give into the pressures of crazy weight loss and quick fix diets to look a certain way, and most importantly always remember that no matter what stage of your journey you are on – you’ve got this, you beautiful beautiful bunch!
Love Beth, x