Fad Diets vs. Lifestyle Changes

After decades of fad diets, we’ve learned one thing – they aren’t usually the answer. Fad diets have never been proven to make people healthier, in fact they have led to unhealthy obsessions with weight loss and numbers on the scale, rarely bringing light to what it means to make healthy choices. And because of that truth, health professionals are shifting gears to promote healthy lifestyle changes such as balanced eating, portion control, and focus on food quality, over quantity.

Why do fad diets crash and burn? And what are we doing that’s different? Let’s talk about it…

Fad Diets Promise Quick Results (and lack lasting results)

Let’s give fad diets just a moment of recognition – They become popular, because well, they work! They work for a few weeks, or maybe a few months. Dieters lose 10-15 pounds quickly, as promised, but then we often see dieters hit a plateau. Fad diets are, by and large, deprivation diets. There are no quick-fix diets that provide significant weight loss AND a balanced intake of nutrients. Implementing strict food restrictions won’t provide long term health, it will only starve your body of the nutrients and balance needed for long-term health.

There are no quick-fix diets that provide significant weight loss and a balanced intake of nutrients

Fad Diets are Nearly Impossible to Maintain

Fad diets work because they limit the time and the way we eat, requiring a strict routine. This fails because most people don’t have the time or energy to follow for the rest of their lives. So, when the motivation to follow these guidelines runs thin, dieters fall back into old habits. Additionally, these guidelines create opportunity for obsession, and room for guilt if they are not followed correctly.

Fad Diets Lead to Weight Gain

Fad diets are meant to be temporary. Studies show that 83% of dieters regain their weight after they met their goal and stopped dieting. And once you know you can lose 10-15 pounds from a fad diet, it’s easy to gain the weight and circle back to the same diet over, and over again. It’s a vicious cycle! Clearly, the diets aren’t teaching us any long-term solutions!

Lifestyle Changes

IncentaHEALTH is working to change the game. Being healthy shouldn’t feel like a chore. Our goal is to educate members on what healthy eating looks like, and how you can make lifestyle changes that are maintainable (and enjoyable). We do this by putting the focus on eating quality foods, understanding appropriate portion sizes, providing simple, easy to follow exercise routines and reminding you that all good things come with balance. There is no reason to deprive yourself of life’s greatest joys (i.e., birthday cake). If you build a healthy life, treating yourself when appropriate will come without guilt and won’t ruin your health progress.