Hive Health Media

Why Fad Diets Deserve to Die?

If you want to kill the bad guys in a James Bond movie, it helps to have an underwater car or ball point pen grenade. Professional exterminators and little traps nicknamed motels can decimate a bug problem in your home. But there is one thing that refuses to die, no matter how much expert opinion and media scrutiny debunks it – the fad diet.

Diet Fads -Why They Deserve to Die?

As this Associated Press story notes, fad diets have been in vogue for at least 150 years and counting. Early precursors advised eating nothing but meat at every meal, washing away fat with special bath salts or bingeing on laxatives. More recent variations are just as strange.

The Japanese Morning Banana Diet involves eating the raw fruit with room temperature water all day. Proponents of an all-egg diet claim the round wonder completes them. But the weirdest one in my opinion is the Cabbage Soup Diet, which involves eating – you guessed it – the smelly soup as the cornerstone of your existence. You might lose a few pounds and certainly all of your friends in the process.

The problem is that fad diets don’t work. If you manage to lose a few pounds, they often boomerang back once you return to eating normally. Some fad diets can even endanger your life. Just ask Rachel Hadley, who tried Fen-phen in the mid-1990’s. It caused insomnia for her and heart valve problems for a number of other people.

Here are a few recommendations for breaking the fad diet addiction, for yourself or someone you care about.

1) Track sustaining power. Remember how long it took to regain lost pounds after each fad diet. A couple of weeks or months? The lack of long-term results is a great reality check.

2) Consider the boredom factor. Are you limited to just a few foods that need to be eaten time and time again? Feel like pulling your hair out if you have to eat another liquid meal? People need variety in their diets as well as their lives.

3) Dig deeper. What is the real goal of your fad diet? To fit in those size four jeans or date more frequently? If low self-esteem is a key driver, consider journaling or joining a support group to work through the real issues behind your attachment to fad diets.

What do you think about fad diets? Do you have any advice to share for breaking their hold?

Shira Miller is healthy lifestyle blogger, writer, speaker, public relations expert and pop culture addict. Her interest in wellness started in 1992, after she lost 50 pounds through exercise, eating better and eliminating Oreo cookies as a primary food group. Currently working on a funny book about life after weight loss, Shira coaches individuals and promotes companies who make the world better, healthier or more livable. Visit www.thelighterperspective.com to learn more.

11 Comments

  1. [email protected] Diets

    March 2, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Banana Morning Diet yes but all egg diet im not so sure of it, I was thinking that the egg will be eaten raw right? like crack the whole shell and put those eggs in a glass and freshly drink it bottoms up… and with the cabbage thing I cant deal with it.. its not that I can’t take to eat it raw or drink it as smoothie but I have this Toxic Goiter under medications so Im no good at it at all,..

    I love the fact that you are writing great contents Shira and I been through Noel’s Blog as well and I found them great too… So was thinking to drop by and check each and everyones post any time soon and have a good talk about health and fitness..

    Keep it up guys and good luck..

  2. Shira

    February 11, 2011 at 7:16 am

    As a personal trainer, I bet you’ve seen it all! What the media has reported sometimes is downright crazy. Appreciate your kind comment on this post. :)

  3. Personal Trainer in LA

    February 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    About time somebody said something! The majority of my clients all have preconceived notions about what works and what doesn’t, when in reality the majority of whats in magazines and the media simply DOESNT! Thanks for the awesome post.

  4. Erica

    February 4, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Sustainability is key to diets as well as the environment. Eating a whole foods diet and getting rid of processed foods, including white flour and white sugar will help people get healthy. Once healthy, it’s easier to lose weight, because you have more energy and want to move more.

    • Shira

      February 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Erica – well said! Thanks for commenting on this post. :)

  5. Health Votes

    January 30, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I can’t imagine eating cabbage or drinking the same, throughout the day. There are other ways to lose weight, and they are more sustainable too. Even if a diet gets you in your best jeans, once you move back to normal life, your clothes will be tight again. Our body needs a variety of foods, and that can only be achieved if we eat all the healthy foods that surrounds us.

    Also, the fact that life is about living, and spending a life time on cabbage is the last thing i want to do. ohh and yes, a thyroid patient is not allowed to eat cabbage, what about them? Carrot soup i guess…

    • Shira

      January 31, 2011 at 7:04 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Great point that life is actually for living – people can have blinders to that fact when it comes to weight loss. :)

  6. Noel Blanco

    January 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Really great article, Shira!

    I completely agree with it, and even had a few laughs since this is the first time I’ve heard of those all-banana and all-egg diets. Unfortunately, I’ve been hearing about that cabbage soup diet for quite some time so it’s kind of sad that it’s still around and that some people still take it seriously.

    • Shira

      January 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

      Thanks Noel! The cabbage soup one seems to have pretty awful side effects, so I’m always astonished when someone takes it seriously. Can’t wait to check out your blog!

  7. Douglas Robb

    January 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I hear that the latest diet fad is the Le Whaf Diet – http://www.lelaboratoire.org/en/archives-7.php – where you literally inhale rather than eat your food

    • shiramiller

      January 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Just read the link and while it sounds fascinating, nothing is ever going to replace the sensation of tasting and experiencing the meal before me. I even feel gypped whenever I have a protein shake instead of a solid meal So guess I’ll just let those clouds of flavor drift on past me. Thanks for your comment and have a great weekend! :)

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