We are officially obsessed with dieting. From the before-and-after pictures clogging up your Twitter feed, and the meal plans littering your Instagram, we are pretty sure we know how to drop a stone by just three easy steps! Or so we would like to think.
So, here we are, bathing in the light of ‘diet culture’. From the Keto to the Atkins, we’ve been bogged down by restrictive and controlling diets since the late Eighties. And now the success stories are plaguing the internet, we cannot escape the love for cutting out carbs. Or some other important food group.
But that isn’t to say we are just searching for the easiest route to squeezing into that new pair of jeans. Aside from the healthy aims we should always be pursuing, taking measures to be physically healthy will always reflect itself in our mental health. And if we do want to start feeling good – inside and out – is taking on a new fad diet the way forward?
Here’s all the reasons you should be fending off the fads.
A diet doesn’t always drop pounds
What really makes a diet fad a diet fad is one simple trick that the industry uses to manipulate their beloved customers: you’ll lose weight quick, and gain back quicker. And when this failure happens, it doesn’t take too long for the emotional impact to hit, leaving us worse for wear.
The fact is, behind all the big words crammed on the packaging, and the diagrams that belong in an A Level textbook, are biological factors which ensure that the science they vouch for doesn’t work. We might lose weight in the short term – namely water weight – but when we try to return to a normal diet, it all falls apart.
Studies show that 95% of us will ultimately fail at the fads; are you apart of the ranks?
You won’t be doing any good for your physical health
The concept might sound simple enough, but eating less and moving more takes a lot more effort than it sounds. So, when we turn to these fad diets, we expect quick results and healthy habits.
Unfortunately, we have to draw the line at healthy habits. Most fad diets are ‘restrictive’ – that being they cut out the food groups that we actually need. We all need some fat, and we all need carbs to, you know, survive.
And although you might drop a kilo or two, as mentioned above, you might be losing a lot more. Like vitamins and minerals, and last time we checked they were pretty damn important.
And you will be doing squat for your mental health
Of course, the cost of cutting out carbs don’t just stop with leaving you where you started. Weight loss is portrayed as a freeing, life changing experience. And sure, that can be said for significant weight losses that saves lives. But if you’re just seeking a toned stomach, then you might be turning to the wrong solution.When we tie our happiness to something, chances are we will be left feeling more disappointed in ourselves than we did before.
And if you’re searching for happiness in something we so often have insecurities about, you can leave your mental health on a pretty rocky path. This is where some of the most detrimental and downright dangerous effects come out to play. Orthorexia Nervosa has in recent years found a pretty firm footing amongst the population. Why? Orthorexia Nervosa is an obsession with foods which are pure and healthy. Diets that focus on ‘eating clean’, or obsess over certain food types could be likely to lead you to its door.
Yet, aside from serious problems, the simple deflation of your self-esteem can keep you coming back to fad diets every now and then, in a perpetual search for the happiness you think you crave. But you won’t be finding it in the ‘simple steps to a summer body’ and other alliterative titles that grace our Facebook feeds.
Amongst all the pretty people, and the photoshopped skin, and the cellulite free thighs, is a whole lot of lies. We can’t all have a personal trainer session for hours on end, or eat the diet that the current on-trend Instagram model swears by.That might be their life, but this is ours. And your health – both mental, and physical – might be at risk.
A bikini body might seem worth some weeks of pain, a few drops of sweat, and a couple extra tears, but you are worth so much more.