The Mediterranean diet. The Paleo diet. Adkins. Keto. There are dozens of diets out there, all claiming to be the magic bullet that will deliver huge, impressive weight loss results if you just stick with it.
Some of these diets have been around for decades, and you know something? We still have an obesity epidemic in this country. The fad diets aren’t delivering as promised. In fact, there’s no evidence that they’re delivering at all. So, what’s the story? Are they all just scams?
The answer is more complex and interesting than you might think, and the simple answer is no. They’re not scams. They all can work, but there are a couple of catches that few people bother to talk about.
Many of the fad diets work by starving your body in various ways. Unfortunately, that makes it super difficult to stick with any of them in the longer term,. In fact, after you’ve put your body in starvation mode for a few weeks, when you drop out of the diet you’re pursuing, you tend to overcompensate. The net result is that you gain more weight back than you lost while you were on the fad diet. Rinse and repeat 3-6 times over the course of the year and you begin to see the problem.
At the root though, weight loss is very simple. If you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you lose weight. You don’t want to burn many more calories than you’re consuming, or your body will think it’s in starvation mode and respond accordingly by storing and saving fat. So you’ve got to keep the two in balance with a slight nudge toward calories burned, so that you gradually shed those pounds.
Thus, the secret to weight loss is that there is no secret. Those extra pounds didn’t appear overnight, and they won’t go away overnight either. Eat a well-balanced healthy diet and stay active. Make it a new lifestyle and make it a habit. Be mindful of your caloric intake but don’t obsess, and don’t be in a hurry. The weight will come off. You’ve got this!