Is there anything wrong with fad diets?

On Sunday morning, I was a guest on Mollie green’s radio show on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire where I was asked to be the expert on fad diets and to give my opinion on them.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous before going on as I’ve never been on the radio before and was worried I wouldn’t be able to think of anything to say or would just keep saying ‘errrrm’.  However, once I got started I soon relaxed and found it was really easy to talk about this subject as I am passionate about educating people to make good food choices.  If you’d like to have a listen to the interview – it’s about 8 minutes long – the link to the clip is below, you will need to forward through to 1:42.40.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yd61c

The presenter started by asking me what I think of fad diets such as the cabbage soup, Atkins, Dukan etc. The main problem I have with all of these diets and the hundreds of others like them is that they are generally short-term based and when people go back to what they would consider ‘eating normally’ they usually end up piling the weight back on and sometimes even more as they re-bound from following a very restrictive diet.  There is no consideration given to building new habits around people’s relationship with food – it’s all about WHAT you eat and never about WHY you’ve made those choices in the first place.

The other problem with fad diets is that they do not focus on building health – they’re generally all about restricting something, usually either calories or one particular food group, in order to lose weight.  At Achieve Bootcamp and on The Real Food Plan the emphasis is not on what you CAN’T eat, rather it is on what you CAN have.  As I said in the interview it is important to cut out processed and junk food and eat only real food such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds but we do not focus on how much of it you eat – the idea is to make good food choices most of the time in order to achieve optimum health.  When optimum health is achieved, fat loss is a lovely side effect for most people.

Fad diets are basically just that – a fad.  They are designed to be a quick fix and whilst great results can be achieved in a very short space of time these results don’t last.  With the Real Food Plan our clients have achieved rapid results in terms of fat loss BUT the big difference is that their results LAST.  This is because we address people’s relationship with food and teach them new habits to help them make sensible choices.  We focus on lifestyle change that means they maintain their results as well as all the other benefits of eating real food such as increased energy, better hair, skin and nails and improved sleep.

Occasionally fad diets will contain some grains of truth but how is anyone supposed to know what is useful and what is complete rubbish with all the conflicting information available these days?  It’s not surprising that most people are completely confused about what is ‘healthy’ and what is not.

I will be expanding more in future posts about some of the things we discussed on the radio but if you’d like more information on The Real Food Plan head over to therealfoodplan.com. Thanks for reading :)

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