how to overcome a fad diet

My fad diet: A tale of tears, troubles & grapefruits

Do you want to lose weight quickly?

So did I.

In my first year at Uni I was surrounded by beautiful girls from the UK and beyond. I was never large, but I did have a little puppy fat that I had never been able to shred.

I had never really cared about my figure before. But suddenly I became really conscious about my size.

Clothes were too tight and my confidence was plummeting.

Queue the diets –

Diet 1: Slim Fast

My friend suggested I tried the “slim fast” diet. This consists of

➔ 2 slim fast meal replacements (basically two lumpy shakes)
➔ One 500 calorie meal
➔ 3 slim fast snacks

Now, maybe this works for some… but it’s safe to say it did not work for me.

By the end of day three I was ready to tear my hair out. I was hungry, miserable and on the brink of tears after every strawberry shake.

I did not want to be thin if this is how bad it tasted.

Diet 2: The Grapefruit Diet

Please no. Even to this day I shudder at the sight of grapefruit.

A typical Grapefruit diet day looks like this:

➔ Breakfast: 2 eggs, ½ a grapefruit with grapefruit juice
➔ Lunch: Chicken Salad, ½ a grapefruit with grapefruit juice
➔ Dinner: Meat, Veg, ½ a grapefruit with (you’ve guessed it) grapefruit juice.

I should add that I was allowed to drink coffee and tea. During this time I acquired a caffeine addiction after drinking so much coffee. An attempt to burn away the grapefruit taste that never left my mouth.

BUT, I did lose weight! I stuck to it and I lost nearly ½ a stone.

Unfortunately three weeks later I had piled it all back on again.

Diets 3, 4 & 5

I’m skipping through these. They wasted around 5 months of my life, so I won’t waste your time asking you to read about them.

The Whole 30 Plan
The Lemon Detox Diet
The Soup Diet

Never again.

Diet 6: Healthy Eating

This diet consisted of

➔ 3 balanced meals a day
➔ One snack
➔ A Sunday treat
➔ 4 workouts a week

By far my favourite.

And one I still try to stick to.

I lost my puppy fat, gained tons of energy and started to enjoy cooking. Admittedly I didn’t shred half my body weight in 10 days. It was a slow process, but one I feel a whole lot better for.

I’m sure some ‘diets’ are healthy and do work.

My Personal Training friend is a huge advocate of the 5:2 diet, (and she’s very fit, so I trust her opinion).

But, most diets definitely do not! I’d suggest staying CLEAR.

How to spot a fad diet

➔ They eliminate certain food groups

Unless you have a specific allergy, there is no need to cut out any food group. A balanced diet is important. There are some foods you should perhaps eat less of, but eliminating them altogether? No thank you.

➔ They claim there is “no need for exercise”

Let’s be honest, this is absurd. Everyone needs to exercise. Some may like it more than others, but everyone needs a little exercise daily, for both mental and physical health. If you’re losing weight by hardly eating and lounging on a sofa, you know it’s not healthy.

➔ They claim fast and easy weight loss

This may be true. By cutting out loads of calories you will probably lose quite a bit of weight initially. However, you will adopt a “yoyo” diet pattern. As soon as you touch food again the weight will pile back on. Thus beginning a cycle of heavy weight gain and heavy weight loss, which is pretty dangerous.

➔ Requires dietary supplements

Nature has everything you need. Don’t waste money on bad tasting shakes like me! Eat fruit, eat veg and cut down your portions. It is cheaper, more effective and tastes a hell of a lot better.

➔ Promotes one specific food group

The dreaded grapefruit.

Apparently grapefruits burn fat. Yet on this diet all I ate was salad and a bit of meat which amounted to under 900 calories a day. Basically, you lose weight because you’re not eating enough. You then pile it all back on again – another dreaded case of the yoyo cycle.

Eat Healthy

I’m over my fad diet trials. They left me hungry and feeling worse than before.

If you do find one that works let me know! But for now I’ll stick to eating actual food.

Lauren Emma

About Me:

I am a London based freelance copywriter and content marketer. Also a performer, I am passionate about health, lifestyle, theatre and the arts.

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