If you have come to my seminars, or been coached by me or glance at any of my social feeds, the chances are you have seen me rant and rant over FAD diets. You may have even seen or heard the odd expletive or too… why?
Well, the fact is i get so damn passionate about peoples health and wellbeing, that sometimes the odd swear word pops out – although i do try my best to keep them to a minimum. Yet, time and time again, i see and hear people trying every single FAD diet under the sun before they realise that, although they work, they just don’t work! What do i mean by this?
First of all, What is a FAD diet?
A FAD diet can easily be summed up with a simple rule – “Any diet that has a label, or a name/brand, is a FAD diet.”
That simple! There are no exceptions! Anything that has a catchy name is a FAD diet…
“FAD” stands for – F’ing Atrocious Diet
- Weight Watchers
- Herbalife (Herbashite as i call it)
- Juice Plus
- Slimming World
- The Raw Food Diet
- The Zone Diet
- Rosemary Colony
- 5:2 Fast Diet
- … the list goes on and on.
Yes, every single one of those is a FAD diet! FACT! They are all branded diet plans/systems that promote ‘the answer to you weight loss misery’. The empty promises that cover an evil secret they daren’t tell you!
How do FAD diets work and if they work, why am i telling you to stay clear?
FAD diets all advertise one thing and one thing only. YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT! They dont specify what kind of weight! They just state you will lose weight and with the clever marketing and images they use, you come to the conclusion that its all body fat and the beach bikini body, or 6 pack ripped abs, are just a few supplement shakes around the corner!
When it comes to losing ‘body weight’, then yes, FAD diets DO WORK! They’re fantastic at losing BODY WEIGHT! BODY WEIGHT….!!!!!!! They are not so good at losing BODY FAT! See the difference? I hope so…
Speak to anyone on Weight Watchers, or Herbalife, and the chances are they also have something else in common. They have tried the diets more than once or even tried both! Which means what?
The diet didn’t work the first time around, did it?
Also, the amazing thing about these cults (lets face it, thats what they end up being) is that people who have done Weight Watchers, Herbalife, Atkins etc all become defensive and passionate about their diet scheme. Even though they are still overweight!
The instant argument and reply i hear all the time, and it happened to me last weekend at my seminar when i was explaining just how bad Herbalife was for you. A woman put up her hand and said “its not that bad, i lost 5 stone on Herbalife”. I replied with “Congratulations 5 stone is amazing! But if its so good, why are you sat here listening to me, wanting to know more about nutrition?”. We shared a small smile and i continued.
Yes, weight loss is guaranteed on these FAD diets, however, we have to understand and really appreciate the significance of the health issues that are presented with the WEIGHT LOSS, whilst not focusing on the real goal we are all looking for; which is to be HEALTHY and thus fat loss is a by product. Weight loss should never be the goal…. let me emphasise that… weight loss should never be the goal.
So why are FAD diets so unhealthy?
The Weight Loss FAD diets work on one core principle of dieting – Calories in Vs Calories out.
When we want to lose body fat, our body has to be in a caloric deficit. This means that we need to consume less calories than we burn off. This is not open for debate, or in question, this is scientific fact. HOWEVER, with that being said, there are multiple levels to a HEALTHY FAT LOSS DIET before we should focus on Calories in Vs Calories out.
- Hormonal health
- Metabolic Health
- Medical history or current condition
- Macro Nutrients
- Micro Nutrients
- Sleep quality & quantity
- Activity Levels – cardio & weight training
Only then, and then only, should we look at Calories in Vs Calories out. If we focus on the above list, and the relevant consequences first, then the body will become healthy! Once the body is healthy, then body fat will drop off. Again, this is fact!
However, FAD diets skip all of that list and exploit the core fundamentals of the diet – calories in Vs calories out. So they get you to eat far far far less than you require and this, for the majority of people, will work in seeing the scales go lower and lower and thus allow the user to feel confident the diet is working. However, weeks go by, maybe even months, and the user has indeed lost weight, but they are left with a shell of a body with internal hormonal and metabolic issues that, by the time they become present, take years to fix. Don’t let me play this point down…. In severe cases, people have even died from such diets as Herbalife due to the health issues that have arisen from this “diet”. Yes, death! I personally know people who have developed thyroid issues, insomnia, low blood pressure and even IBS from weight watchers alone!
If you thought being unhappy from being overweight was horrible, weight until you develop and under-active thyroid, severe IBS or months and months living on a few hours a night sleep… then we can talk about life long discomfort!
What is the solution then? How do i drop this body fat and stay healthy?
Amuse me for a second if you will…
Towards the end of my seminar last week, the same lady that i mentioned above put her hand up again. She asked this same question. By this point in the seminar i had clearly opened a new door for her and showed her that the road she was currently on wasn’t working and a new lifestyle approach was needed. However, as soon as i started to explain what was needed she instantly shook her head and said “oh no, i can’t do that… i dont have enough time”.
The fact is, we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves a serious question.
“IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW WORKING?”
If the answer is no, and the chances are it is (otherwise you wouldn’t be asking the question), then you have to change something! The chances are, you are going to have to change A LOT OF THINGS, because the lifestyle you have developed and grown to love and get comfortable with, just isn’t working for your health and fat loss goals.
This means you are going to have to make time to plan and prepare your daily and weekly meals.
- You are going to have to get a little more active in the gym/outside
- You are going to have to TAKE THE TIME to be selfish with YOUR GOALS.
- You are going to have to learn a little more about food and the effects it has on YOUR BODY.
- You are going to have to shop and new places, possible.
- You are going to have to rethink weekly social events, in the short term anyway.
- You are going to have to rethink drinking alcohol on a weekly basis.
- You are going to have to rethink eating out every weekend, takeaways and sweets… in there short term anyway.
- You are going to have to go bed earlier than you usually do
- You are probably going to have to wake up a little earlier than you are used to.
- YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT A BIT OF EFFORT IN TO THIS CHANGE.
Its a ball ache i know. The thought of having to do all that to lose some body fat and get healthy. But let me say this… its not hard once you get the ball moving. In fact, once you change your lifestyle, it becomes EASY! Too easy in fact. You become addicted to the new lifestyle as you can FEEL just how good it feels and the changes you see on a daily basis. You see the positive effect it has on your work, your salary, your family, your friends and your relationships.
- You have more energy
- You have and want more sex
- You have better sleep
- You enjoy training, as it makes you physically feel amazing – many people compare it to a drug-like sensation of euphoria.
- You get to EAT MORE! Yes… EAT MORE FOOD! We all love food, don’t we! Why shouldn’t we be able to eat more and still lose body fat.
- You become happier
- You become healthier
- Your skin complexion improves
- Your hair condition improves
- You become more confident
- You walk better
- You get less aches and pains
- Those headaches disappear.
- …the list goes on and on.
All of these amazing health benefits and not a diet name mentioned. No a supplement promoted. Nothing additional to buy, other than good food. Many people assume this new lifestyle costs more money…?
It doesn’t. Its a myth. By the time you remove all the crap food and drink, and compare it to the cost of proper food and a gym membership, you will indeed end up SAVING money.
THE SOLUTION IS….
The desire to understand food and exercise.
The passion to eat good, healthy food.
The thirst to become more active.