Fad diet and exercise plans

I am a firm believer in losing weight and getting fit the old fashioned way with healthy eating and gradually increasing exercise (especially c25k!). But after seeing lots of friend and colleagues trying and failing to lose weight on fads like 'the chemical diet' and 'the lemon diet' and overdoing HIIT, I wondered if anyone has actually had any success with this kind of thing?

9 Replies

  • Agreed, fad diets are just that, they may work for a short space of time but from what I've seen the weight creeps back on....

  • My understanding is that if any of these fad diets work at all, it is due to calorie restriction in some form. The ones that limit carbs (Paleo, Atkins, No Sugar etc) also limit cake! The fads that say things like you must put 'magic ingredient' on everything don't really do anything, as far as I know.

    However, blitzing stuff up into soup does apparently make you feel fuller for longer, as does protein, and now this research into gut bacteria does seem to suggest that some people feel fuller on smaller amounts of food than others. BUT this research is in very early stages and we're nowhere near a magic gut-bacteria pill.

    I think portion control in one way or another is the best way (I sometimes use a smaller plate and even though I know I've done so, I don't go back for more).

    None of this addresses the other reasons why people eat, including societal pressure, comfort eating etc. Nor does it help with the old 'I did some exercise so I can treat myself to more cake!' :-)

  • I lived and worked in Asia in the mid-Eighties under rather 'disorganised' conditions. you weren't really one of the 'gang' until you had at least Dysentry twice - and still decided to stay on. I had Dysentery several times, food poisoning a number of times, various other little bugs and nuisances and even got Meningitis which damn near killed me All those, along with the substandard food, the drinking and the smoking was a VERY effective 'Diet'

    I had left for Asia weighing a healthy (those were the days :) ) 165lbs. I came home weighing 87. Yes - 87.

    Less than a year later - despite starting to 'watch what I ate' when I got home - I was a VERY unhealthy-looking 200 and at one stage a number of months later was a balloon-like 220. I have since managed to get back to 'Always hovering around 200' - probably lost a bit more than I think since starting running - but it has always been a struggle whereas BEFORE I headed to Asia I had no problem maintaining a healthy weight.

    My point - backed up by hard science is - your body will resist weight loss with everything it has. Starvation is not what it seems, primary cause of death missing food - in the end stages it is because your body is devouring itself.

    The only solution to staying at a certain weight for any appreciable time is a 'perfect combination' of 'proper diet and adequate expenditure of energy'

    You can lose a heck of a lot of weight fast - drink unboiled water during a Typhoid infection. BUT - you will not like how you look and you will be lucky to recover in any kind of shape and your body has learned a lesson - 'This SOB is trying to KILL ME - I'm going to stock up on every calorie I can possibly extract and retain from now on, to prepare for the NEXT famine!!!!'

    I don't care what they say is in those 'fast diets' - it's the equivalent of Typhoid infected water at some level.

    On the other hand - I cannot believe how genuinely 'fit' I am looking lately even though the pounds are still there to a HUGE extent. And I would rather look 'fit' than 'thin' - 'thin' is a novelty to see, but 'fit' is attractive at the end of the day.

    ( Give me Raquel Welch over 'skinny lizzy' ANY day when it comes to what is attractive in the ladies :) )

  • I am on the 5:2 diet and this has really worked for me and I have lost 2.5 stone. I tried the more long term approach of eating healthily but I just wasn't losing weight. However as I started to lose weight on the 5:2 I have also started to eat healthily and do more exercise.

  • Don't personally think fads and rapid weight loss do you any favours. Theory suggests they destroy the fat to muscle ratio in your body and leave you more susceptible to gaining fat in the future. Personal experience has sadly proved this. Lose 1 stone quickly and then gain 2 stone nearly as quickly 😞 C25k is making a big difference to my weight but more significantly to my wellbeing. 😀

  • Hi Hillrunner2201 , I'd echo everyone else, it is essentially about calories in and expended. But I've also found that maintaining steady blood sugar helps control my appetite. That means avoiding sugars and carbohydrates and eating as much protein, veg and salad as I want. It's not a diet it's just how I eat now. That, with running three times a week, has meant I've lost nearly 2 stone in 4/5 months and also changed my shape, dropping 3 dress sizes. I've got a stone and a dress size to go, but I've learnt it's the same as the C25K... Slow and steady is the way to go

    Good luck 😊

  • Carbs make me hungry too so l try to limit them

  • I really think fad diets cause a lot of problems and might even be a cause of obesity. A colleague at work has tried 3 different diets (chemical diet, meal replacement powders and egg and grapefruit diet) this year and hasn't lost more than few pounds which have gone back on just to try and find a way to lose weight quickly with minimum effort. No wonder the diet industry is big business!

  • I've given up with being so worried about what I eat as I have put weight on since running (muscle I assume as my body shape has changed lots!) I read an article about 'eating to recover' basically eating good, nutritional food to help your body recover from your run.

    It really makes me think about what I'm eating and what benefit it will give me.

    Running has certainly changed my thinking about how I look after myself xx

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