Health: Say no to fad diets

Losing weight should be a marathon not a race. Darren Danks reveals why how fad diets can be bad for our health.

Health: Say no to fad diets

Give fad diets the boot

Fad diets, we’ve tried them, we’ve had successes, but most of us have seen the weight go back on. It seems fad diets are a part of life now in this society of instant gratification and quick results. But are they good for us?

There’s no doubt that these fad diets can product great results in a short space of time, but do they create long-term physical change? No they don’t, not really.

These diets are designed to help you drop body weight fast, sometimes very fast, and for the most part they do this well. 

But it’s usually to the detriment of your overall physical health and your emotional wellbeing. Getting snappy with people, craving bad foods, feeling miserable, sound familiar?

And once you stop following these diets you don’t have the tools to maintain your new body size long-term, meaning you can put all of that weight back on plus another 10 per cent.

See also: 22-day Vegan Challenge 

There have been some shocking fad diets over the years: the cabbage soup diet, the ice cream diet, the peanut butter diet and the multitude of shake-based diets are just some most of us have tried at some point. 

The problem is, everyone wants to lose those unwanted pounds fast. Unfortunately though, the reality is that doing it this way isn’t healthy.

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The same idea should be applied to losing weight the healthy way. 

The biggest goal should be becoming healthy. Once you are, your weight will naturally begin falling towards your body’s natural balance, whereas reaching your ‘ideal’ weight as your primary goal doesn’t always mean you’re going to be healthy. 

I’ve lost lots of weight in the past through fad diets but they’ve usually made me miserable and I didn’t always feel my best. 

But now, since losing 95lbs, eliminating type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, I feel amazing with more energy than ever before and I rarely get a cold now. 

See also: Health: Tried and tested: Vicky's 7 Day Slim 

But, this was achieved over months rather than weeks. 

And the way I did it was by eliminating highly-processed foods and refined sugars, going back to preparing meals using fresh produce with only a few ingredients (rather than 20 ingredients you can’t actually pronounce) and taking care of myself more. There were no quick fixes. 

You can eat the healthiest diet on earth, but if you’re not happy, not taking care of yourself or if you’re always stressed, then you will never be as healthy as you could be. In health coaching we call this Primary Food and it’s as important as the physical food we put into our body.

When it comes to achieving health and weight loss, be the tortoise and not the hare. Leave the fad diets in the bookshop or on the supermarket shelf, eat fresh fruit and vegetables, avoid highly-processed foods as much as possible and try to avoid refined sugars where you can. 

Add some exercise into your lifestyle, even just increasing how much you walk each day, and you can’t go wrong. You’ll have more energy, lose weight naturally, while being happier and healthier. 

See also: Fitness: The Pavlock wristband that gives you a shock if you miss the gym 

Be patient, play the long game and not the overnight one.

  • Darren Danks is a Holistic Health Coach based in Netherton near Dudley. Since childhood he has been overweight but since changing his lifestyle in September 2012, he lost 95lbs, eliminated his type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This started his passion with health and wanting to help others. He specialises in working with type 2 diabetes and overweight people. Visit to contact him.
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