The last decade has brought out the creative best in fad diets. From The Cabbage Soup Diet to The Twinkie diet, Americans have always sought after a one-size fits all nutritional plan that affords them quick weight loss.

Diets claiming a miracle don’t normally work when considering the long term effect. In fact, many diets are often dangerous. Fads, such as The Cabbage Soup and The Twinkie diets, usually focus on one particular type of food. Thus, these diets violate the first principle of sound nutrition according to The American Heart Association (AHA).

Diet Disasters

Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods is crucial when considering serious, long-term, weight loss and overall nutritional health. In its heyday, The Cabbage Soup Diet was marketed as a “fat burning soup”. The trick was the soup was eaten mostly with fruits and vegetables. As discovered during the cabbage soup craze, The Cabbage Soup Diet lacked protein, caused gas and discomfort, and most dieters regained the lost weight (plus extra pounds) shortly after quitting the diet.

Fad diets, or quick weight-loss diets, have increased Americans’ awareness of food folklore. Exercise is almost nonexistent when you hear about fad or trend diets. Mostly they set people up for failure, and the statistics show that people have a 5% success rate on fad diets. This is a recipe for failure – failure to lose weight and keep it off and failure to maintain optimal health. This state of being is called “food hell” for many people who gain more weight after starting a diet that wasn’t right for their particular situation.

The Importance of Being Fit

Physical activity helps individuals lose weight and keep it off. People in “food hell” almost always change their eating pattern without sound reason behind the change. The changed pattern usually lasts a few weeks before the dieter gets frustrated and reverts back to their old pattern. Since fad diets have resulted in little to no physical activity, the dangers of these diet regiments far outweigh any short term benefits.

How to Achieve Better Health in 3 Steps

Dieters need to know how to recognize fad or trend diets. Getting out of food hell; the place of suffering where one doesn’t like the food they eat (but eat it anyway), then reverting back to unhealthy habits until the next cool thing comes around is no way to enjoy life. Better health and weight loss can be achieved in three easy steps:

1. Find foods that keep you full, satisfied, and focused throughout the day. Usually these foods are non-processed and include complex carbs, lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats.

2. Find an exercise program you enjoy, and look forward to doing. Examples could be Zumba classes with a friend, jogging, or exercise videos.

3. Get enough sleep already! Do not sacrifice your efforts by getting less than your body needs to refresh and rejuvenate. More and more studies are showing the linkage between a lack of sleep and body fat.

So keep these points in mind and most of all, enjoy your food and respect what different food choices can do to your body!

Vianesa Vargas is a former military officer and Iraq War veteran with over 10 years of personal training and nutrition counselling experience. She offers a free diet planner to help people achieve diet goals in 30 days at diet. Her new book, Food Hell! is available at diet

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