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 â€“ 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 donâ€™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-1990â€™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?