How do you know if you're considering an ineffective diet?
Not all diets are created equal - look out for these 7 clues that a diet will not get you the long-term results you are looking for.
7) It has the word "diet" in the title
As a general rule, anything with the word "diet" in the title is not going to be effective long-term. When you see the word "diet" think "short-term", "drastic" or "buy me". Don't get me wrong, not all "diets" are BAD. Some can be great for short-term jump starts, such as the South Beach Diet or even Keto for a small population of people - But many are simply dangerous, will crash your metabolism, and a money scam, which brings me to my next point...
6) Anything claiming to cleanse
Did you know that your body is a powerhouse?! EVERYTHING needed to digest, extract nutrients, and yes, CLEANSE, is already contained within the walls of your muscles and bones. The body has been a well-oiled machine for much longer that you or I have been on this planet. Yes, a poor diet can make you sluggish, slow your digestive system, cause you to retain water and make you feel like you need a cleanse. But the best cure for this feeling is to simply clean up your diet. Eat more nutrient-dense foods, drink tons of water, exercise, all that healthy stuff, and I promise your body will take care of you.
Oh but your friend did a cleanse and lost 5 lbs in a week? That's all water weight, not fat loss. It is impossible to lose 5 lbs of fat in that short a time. So yes a cleanse might give you an immediate weight drop, but as soon as you start eating normally again, it will come right back.
5) Claims to give you results without knowing anything about you
We are all different, We have different body types, metabolisms, heights, weights, exercise intensities and lifestyles, likes and dislikes, mental and emotional battles...this must all be taken into account when making a dietary lifestyle change. Yep, I said it, dietary lifestyle change.
4) Promises desired results in an unreasonably short amount of time
I often see advertisements for diets use before and after pictures that depict the .01% of people who's bodies responded immediately. Or, they use pictures of people that didn't actually do the diet at all and so its a lie. Or, they promise your dream results in a time period of weeks. Guys, it doesn't happen this way. It just doesn't.
3) Restricts an entire food group
This one is simple - unless you have a medical condition or ethical reason keeping you from eating a certain food group (think: celiac disease, or vegans/vegetarians, in which case you may need to supplement - message me if you need guidance on this) you should steer clear of any diet that restricts an entire food group, such as carbohydrates, which are needed in the body to create energy. Or fats, which the body also uses for energy and hormone regulation. Just...no. You will find yourself vitamin deficient, sluggish and unhappy really fast. If you find yourself feeling like you have to cook separate meals for yourself and your family to accommodate your new diet, something's off.
2) Restricts or demonizes "bad" foods
Do you have a weakness for ice-cream? Chips? Popcorn? Whatever it is, EAT IT! Mental health is just as important as physical health, and I can guarantee you, labeling foods as "bad" and never eating them is a one-way path to obsession, binging, and self-hate. Don't do it. Of course I'm not telling you to eat those things all day every day - in general many of those fun foods we crave are not nutrient dense and are high calorie. So work them into your diet in small amounts. I like to follow the 80/20 rule - 80% of the food I eat in a day is nutrient dense and fuel for my workouts and my life. 20% is simply fun and enjoyable, like an ice cream bar or a giant soft pretzel. It'll keep you sane. And agin, this bring me to my most important habit of an ineffective diet...
1) It effects you mentally
This is the most important one, the most raw one. If you are following a new diet and find yourself depressed, obsessing, binging, or in any way feeling messed up mentally, stop. This diet is definitely not for you and most likely, you need to work on eating intuitively before making any physical-results-based changes to your dietary lifestyle. Like I said, mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health, and I would even say they all tie in and affect each other.
So there you have it. Pretty simple. Does it seem like I just eliminated any diet you've ever heard of? I probably did. That's because my belief is that your diet (your diet, not a diet) should support and enhance your lifestyle. There are ways to manipulate your food intake to get you physical results without prescribing to many of the fad diets that are out there. Start by eating body-appropriate portions and getting in more greens.