Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

The term “diet” has a primarily beneficial overtone, but depending on how it’s managed, it may have a contrary effect. Like fad diets, not all diets are healthy.

In essence, diet is any combination of food providing people with their daily fuel. It’s the source of their nourishment and is generally defined as the meals consumed regardless of what foods you consume or how often you eat during a day.

But as people’s desire to fit what society deems attractive increases, the term diet has developed a rather harmful colloquial definition. Now, it describes the meals that people eat to lose weight. Instead of sustainable and comfortable home cooking geared toward people’s health, the word diet has taken a restrictive lens around what they shouldn’t consume for weight loss.

This definition is what took diet culture to more unfavorable circumstances.

The Downside of Diet Plans

Amid these seemingly innocent pieces of advice, some plans overpromise and compromise people’s health, those that aim for popularity and appreciation from people who desperately need results than long-term health benefits. And with society’s constant pressure for beauty and its closely impossible standards, it’s no surprise that people are ready to implement these despite possible consequences.

However, simply because a meal falls under the umbrella of a diet, it doesn’t automatically make it healthy or effective. Depending on people’s goals and how fast they aim to achieve these, some diets may be more detrimental to our health than beneficial.

Case in point: Fad Diets.

Presented with its turnaround benefits, these diets have recently gained popularity – ironically, given its name. For a better understanding, let’s break the terminology down first.

A fad is used to define intense or shared enthusiasm. In the sense of diets, this is contrary to a sustainable and enduring plan, given fads are typically short-lived and produced without ample support for their craze. Fad diets are a combination of foods that become popular quickly without a dietary recommendation in exchange for their unsubstantiated claims. In short, they are an overpromised “cure” for weight loss geared to hook those who want quick changes. These take advantage of people’s desire for rapid fixes. Aimed at immediate big number weight loss, fad diets take dieting to an extremist limiting process of eliminating food. 

So, Is Fad Bad?

Fad diets highlight the benefits of certain food groups, typically around low-carb, low fat meals. However, regardless of how weight loss advisers phrase these meals, they share a common denominator:

These are temporary solutions for a supposed sustainable goal.

The testimonies about the effectiveness of fad diets focus on how fast one’s body mass decreases and nothing about their sustainability. It highlights the results rather than the damaging process, promoting high rewards through extreme elimination and restricting people to eating small amounts of certain foods. This leads to people developing an unhealthy relationship with food, where more is associated with guilt and weight gain, and less is with satisfaction and health. Generally, once a person goes off the diet the lost weight returns with a few more pounds.

With fad diets, people care less about nourishment and more about numbers – their calorie intake and the calories they’ve skipped. This isn’t only harmful to their physiological health but also mentally and psychologically. There’s no need for me to provide scientific evidence proving how detrimental these dietary plans are.

Their results may feel extraordinary and temporarily a person will feel empowering, but that’s where its toxicity comes in. These diets force people to look at the results. They get addicted to how amazing these results feel and people overlook how unhealthy they’ve become.

What’s a Healthier Alternative for Fad Diets?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a better and fitter body aesthetic. After all, it all boils down to what an individual wants and feels more confident and comfortable with. However, the process by which this is achieved must matter more than the results. The end doesn’t justify the means in terms of losing healthful nutrition.

Nobody frowns at diet cultures. But how they’re executed deserves to have a space for judgment. At one time or another people look in the mirror, become dissatisfied, and develop a mindset to lose weight quickly.

For a healthy and sustainable dietary lifestyle, people should practice addition more than restriction. This means their meals must be built on a more nutritional combination of proteins, dairy, grains and fruits and vegetables rather than taking some of these away. While people prefer quicker results, weight loss will only be genuinely attained through long-term lifestyle changes – nothing fad and everything healthier.  In addition to food, sustainable weight is based on activity or moving.  Healthy eating and exercise are the key to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

Maintaining healthy relationships with food helps people maintain and sustain healthier bodies and choices. Nobody needs to cut any food from their plates. All they need to do is consume in moderation. This is called a balanced diet. It’s nothing new to society but still seemingly extremely unpracticed.

People are too focused on what they must eliminate rather than what they leave in.

As surprising as it sounds, eating cake doesn’t influence people’s weight loss journey much, as long as it’s consumed in moderation. No food requires to be avoided for people to be healthier. Hence, any diet promoting this mindset will likely be a fad and not a proper lifestyle choice.

Eleanor Gaccetta Helps You Achieve Sustainable Healthy Meals

In her book, Generations of Good Food, Eleanor Gaccetta doesn’t only share memorable dishes across different generations. She also provides meal options people can easily prepare that aren’t only healthy but can also help with weight loss. What’s great about her recipes is that they don’t force people to avoid any dishes or ingredients. Instead, she has curated some of the most flavorful dishes that bank around a balanced combination of nutrients instead of restriction.

Her cookbook can be a great source of meal inspiration for everyone struggling to find a safe ground for their weight loss journey. When skipping too many food options lead to unhealthy food relationship, Eleanor Gaccetta provides a better alternative for everyone’s nutritional and weight loss goals.

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