Diet Trends: should you be trying them?

Over the past few years, obesity has become a consistently increasing public health issue. In response to this, there is now an influx of diet trends that all give you ‘the fastest weight loss results’; and everyone on the internet is suddenly more qualified to advise you than a professional nutritionist.

Now, in no way am I saying I am an expert in nutrition, but I’d like to think my experience and knowledge in the line of work I am in makes me slightly more educated in this field than Sarah on that yummy mummy Facebook group. However, if you genuinely need detailed advice into your own personal nutrition, please seek advice from a professional (I cannot stress this enough).

Whilst fad diets have been around for several years (Atkins, Weight Watchers etc), there is now a much greater pressure to try them due to the constant celebrity endorsement we see everywhere. In my personal opinion, I believe social media can be an extremely dangerous place for someone vulnerable to this pressure. You sit on your phone, scrolling through Instagram and catching up on George’s recent holiday photos and up pops an advertisement of that amazing looking celebrity rambling on about how their fat loss coffee has given them great results within a week. Why wouldn’t you want to give it a go? Fat loss in a week, just from drinking coffee, great right? Wrong. News flash people, most of these celebrities are paid a pretty penny to be pushing these products on their followers. Now, I don’t deny that they fully deserve their brilliant figures, but that is through a lot of strength training in the gym and a calorie deficit for fat loss. Most of these before and after photos with the product are taken on exactly the same day, they just put make up on, wear more flattering clothes and find better lighting for their after picture.

In all honesty, all of these diets rely on creating a calories deficit, whether that’s through restricting carbohydrate intake, replacing meals with shakes, only eating between certain times of the day, creating ‘sins’ on certain foods; it doesn’t matter how they dress it up, they aim to make you eat less calories than you use and therefore weight loss will follow.

I’m sure you’ve probably thought which diet is best for me to lose weight at some point. We all have, you’re not alone. Well, in my opinion, the balanced diet that creates a sustainable calorie deficit for you is best. Now, remember a calorie deficit is purely burning more calories than you consume, therefore you can also create this through exercise if you are already happy with your diet, and that is perfectly okay too. Just remember, don’t beat yourself if you have a bad day and eat too many calories, life is too short for scorning yourself for that doughnut; enjoy the doughnut, just take the dog for a slightly longer walk on that day.

Here’s a few quick tips on how to avoid fad diets and poor diet advice:

Promises of quick fixes.
Recommendations of detoxes where you are to avoid certain foods.
Pushing supplements and a number of other ‘fat loss’ products onto you.
Single study or no academic research available (relying on celebrity personal success stories).
Claims of magical benefits of certain foods (e.g coffee or grapefruit).
Promises of weight loss through tablets, without changing any other aspect of your lifestyle.
Recommendations to consume non-food items (cotton wool diet).
Promotion of eating one type of food (e.g cabbage soup diet, raw food diet).

If you are interested in discussing nutrition and a healthy considered approach to losing weight then please get in touch with one of our team.