3 Ways Fad Diets Can Ruin Your Health and Happiness
I’ve worked through a lot of gut issues caused by fad diets, poor eating habits and a lack of education when it came to my diet.
I’ve had tummy issues as long as I can remember – constipation when I was a kid, eye twitches and bloating and discomfort as a teen and through my 30’s.
I tried all sorts of fad diets and almost all of them will wreak havoc on your body.
The old adage is true: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!
Know and believe that every time you put something in your mouth, it will either help you or harm you.
There are so many fad diets out there to help you lose weight. Sometimes they actually work…for a short time.
Most of the time they don’t.
Why not? Let’s look at one of the most popular diets of all time…
The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet limits carbohydrates (grains and vegetables), and recommends high levels of fats and protein.
The thought process is good, as the diet slowly adds back in carbohydrates to find a balance of what works for you.
What it doesn’t address is that everyone is biodynamically different, meaning that if you need a lot of carbs in your diet based on your metabolic type (how your body processes food), then this diet would fail you.
If you are someone who needs a lot of protein, then this diet would work wonders.
Here’s how this diet and other fad diets could ruin your health and happiness is:
Fad Diets Do Not Promote Healthy Sources For Food (Except Maybe The Paleo Diet).
So let’s say you are on the Atkins diet and you up your protein intake quite a bit and eat lots of “healthy” non-organic white chicken meat or the Atkins shake (read “The Hidden Dangers of Whey Protein” to understand why this is a bad idea).
You then eat loads of avocados and Atkins bars to meet the fat requirement and reduce grains and fruits quite a bit.
This huge shift will most likely help you lose weight, but at what cost to your digestive system?
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet actually gives you food choices from fast food restaurants such as Wendy’s, McDonalds and Taco Bell, to name a few.
Trust me, there is nothing, NOTHING, healthy to be had at any of these places. And I wouldn’t trust their sources for food EVER.
Vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, meats can often be mixed with gluten fillers and come from several different animals and use numerous animal parts.
The fryers use unhealthy oils and cross contaminate French fries with gluten coated chicken nuggets. Yuck!
The Keto Diet
This diet is probably one of the most dangerous fad diets. It promoted eating high levels of fat which can really screw up the systems of the body. Having too much fat and protein in your daily caloric intake puts a lot of stress on the pancreas and liver. This can cause you to feel sluggish, constipated and it bogs down the whole system. Further, research has shown it increases cholesterol, can cause gall stones and done unsupervised by a physician, can lead to long term health problems and even death.
Like most fad diets, this diet is not sustainable and once you go off it and start eating more carbs, your body has a hard time processing the sugars. This can lead to weight gain and uncontrolled sugar levels.
Fad Diets Don’t Always Track How You Feel After Eating. They Are Solely Focused On Weight Loss.
Using the South Beach diet as an example, after 2 weeks into the diet you start to feel tired and bloated.
Maybe something else is going on in your life so you do not attribute how you feel to your diet. You are eating their toxic cookies and artificially flavored meals trying to get healthy and feel better.
You start losing weight, and this makes you happy. So you continue down the rabbit hole of poisoning your gut, loading your body with additives and foods that are hard to digest.
You bog down your liver, so you start to wake up with night sweats and now you can’t sleep.
This is what happens more often than not after being on these fad diets long-term.
It is a short-term gain with long term consequences.
Nothing can replace eating whole foods from organic sources and paying attention to how you feel after each meal.
With Fad Diets You Will Eventually Start To Gain Weight Again
As your whole system is thrown out of whack by processing foods that are not easily digestible and unusable by your body, you start to gain weight.
If your body cannot process the macronutrients coming in, they get stored as fat.
I for example need 60% protein in my diets 20% carbs and 20% fat.
I struggle eating enough fat, and when I don’t…. I feel it.
Without the extra fat, my skin is dry, I feel more sluggish, and I don’t sleep as well.
My brother on the other hand needs 60% carbs, 25% protein and 15% fat.
When you look at us, we are very different. I’m short and stocky, he’s tall and lean.
I excel at high intensity sports like Olympic lifting and sprinting. He excels at cycling and surfing.
He’s built for distance. I’m built for speed. So our diet will reflect that at a metabolic level.
So How Do You Figure Out What To Eat And How Much Of Each Macronutrient?
Hands down, the best way is to use the Metabolic Typing Test by Dr. Wolcott.
I have used this test with hundreds of people and I often retest myself to make sure I am on the right track.
The questionnaire takes into account how you react to foods and gives you a plan designed to help you make the best food choices for your body to thrive both physically and mentally.
You will discover that eating dark chicken meat might be better for you and easier to metabolize (the process in which you break down and use food).
You will discover foods that may not resonate with you and why you should avoid them.
And…if your goal is to lose weight, you will because you are now eating in a way that supports your body so it uses the fuel that goes in instead of storing the foods as fats.
Two ways to test:
2. Take the online test for $50, and you will get in-depth guidance from me on how to eat. If you are interested in taking the online test, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My favorite analogy from Paul Chek is,
“You can’t fill your car with diesel when it was designed for gasoline and expect it to run at peak performance. If you wish to avoid living through the expression of your potential genetic flaws, you must do your very best to determine which fuel sources meet your genetic requirements so that you can accentuate your genetic strength instead”.
Paul Chek wrote an amazing book called “How to Eat Move and Be Healthy”, which will also take you through an in-depth ride through testing yourself and identifying what foods and exercise will help you thrive.
Not ready to take the metabolic Typing Test or read the book?
Simply make these three changes to improve how you feel:
1. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces per day.
2. Eliminate at least one meal that includes processed foods a day and replace it with a meal consisting of only whole foods. A salad with vegetables you don’t normally eat, grilled protein of some sort, and make your own dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, oregano, salt and pepper. Make note and see if you feel refreshed and have energy after you eat, or are you tired and sluggish?
There Is No Magic Pill Or Quick Fix, And Anyone Trying To Sell You A Quick Fix Is Lying To You.
3. Move your body at least 20 minutes a day, walking, weight training, swimming, cycling,,,,whatever is available to you.
A Diet must be sustainable and is a lifestyle change, not just a fad diet done for weeks or months.
Feeling better and losing weight is a journey not a fad. It takes years to become unhealthy and sick, so give your body time to unwind all the ailments and get back on track.
Take it one day at a time and as you feel better, you will make healthier choices and as you move more you will crave movement. If you have a bad eating day, put it behind you and start fresh with the next meal.
You are what you eat. When you eat healthy, you become healthy.
In Health and Happiness,