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Why Fad Diets Don't Work


Fad diets have been around for more than 50 years and no matter how many come and go, we are always intrigued and excited by the next one feeling almost sure this will be the one to work. And they do work...for a while and then we bounce around like yo-yo's going up and down in weight over the years.

Fad diets generally ask us to remove certain foods and often whole food groups from our diet. This most often results in a decrease in calories and ultimately weight loss. Although people lose weight on most fad diets, they tend to be too restrictive to follow over a long period of time. They aren't realistic in the real world and once we go on that trip out of town or life gets too busy we drop the fad diet and go right back to our old eating habits. Once we go back to their old eating habits, we regain the weight and often gain even more than where we started. This is followed by feelings of guilt, and shame that we couldn't stay on "the diet", which can and does greatly affect peoples' self-esteem and the way they view themselves and their relationship with food.

The secret to lifelong weight loss is looking at the old eating habits. After all, this is where we keep gaining weight in the first place! By making small, practical changes in our old eating habits we can achieve weight loss and have the knowledge and tools to keep that weight off for a lifetime. How can you be on an effective weight loss program if they don't tell you how you were gaining weight in the first place? Everyone has different eating habits. Some people eat foods that aren't the right balance, some get caught into the high calorie land of frequent restaurant eating, while others are emotional or stress eaters.

Learn about yourself and where your eating habits are out of balance. People who have achieved long-term weight loss did just that along with making small changes to their lifestyle. Don't let another fad diet lure you in to the constant yo-yo effect. Empower yourself with knowledge and make small changes that will last a lifetime.

Meri Raffetto, 2005

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She is the owner of Real Living Nutrition Services providing interactive online weight management programs. Sign up for her free monthly nutrition newsletter at http://www.reallivingnutrition.com.


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