Almost 70% of adults are overweight. It’s a known fact the majority of women in this percentage also attempt diet plans. And when the diet fails, they are left feeling a tremendous amount of guilt and shame.
I have been overweight just about my whole life. And it’s affected me profoundly.
Each time I tried a diet plan and failed, I was left feeling worthless. I understand the desperation of the overweight woman.
So do some very clever entrepreneurs. And pharmaceuticals.
In 2013, weight loss companies made $2.4 billion in sales. Weight loss supplements raked in sales of $14 billion. Thousands of bariatric surgeries are performed each year. The desperation of the majority of the population to lose weight makes for a very profitable industry. According to the National Health Service, four of the most popular diet plans are:
- 5:2 diet
- Cambridge diet
- Dukan diet
- Paleo diet
From a health and psychological point of view, I’m going to shoot them all down with why they will fail you.
Based on intermittent fasting, you eat normally for 5 days a week, and fast 2 days a week.
This is one diet that excited me when I first heard about it because it’s such a unique and radical concept.
And it works from a health point of view.
I still think the concept is pretty awesome. In an ideal world, I would encourage everyone to try it.
But don’t think you can eat whatever you want in the 5 days of freedom; you still need to watch how much you eat, and the types of foods you consume.
For most of us with food issues, it may aggravate the way you relate to food. In other words, if you have suffered with food addiction or overeating, the 5:2 diet may just make things worse from a psychological point of view.
I didn’t have to do much research before concluding that the Cambridge diet is a money spinner.
When any diet involves the purchasing of meal replacements, it’s about the money.
I can guarantee that the majority of dieters who try this diet will fail in the long-term.
I also didn’t have to look far to find that one of the ingredients in the shakes (there are a lot of products you can buy on this diet) contains aspartame. Aspartame wreaks havoc with your endocrine system, and can cause all sorts of health problems, including weight gain. And I haven’t even delved into any of the other ingredients…
You need a vitamin supplement when you go on the Dukan diet, which says a whole lot about the overall nutritional value of the foods you’re allowed to eat.
In the initial phases, the diet lacks variety so you may get bored easily and stop. In the beginning, it’s also a low carb, fat restrictive, high protein diet.
Your body needs carbohydrates and it depends on good fats which it can’t make on it’s own.
Whether meat is lean or full fat, it’s been found to be addictive, and is carcinogenic when heated above a certain temperature. Encouraging people to choose it over carbohydrates is just plain wrong. If you need to lose weight fast and you’re prepared to follow this diet for a week or two, all good and well.
But in the long-term it is a bad diet and devastating to the continued health of your body.
Ah, the Paleo diet. Otherwise known as banting.
A low carb, high protein diet which eliminates processed and refined foods. It’s impossible to follow the diet without eating meat.
The Paleo diet is based on an educated guess as to what our forefathers ate. That is a great concept and one we should all attempt to follow. But…I doubt our ancestors ate quite as much meat as this diet advocates. Even in Biblical times, people would generally reserve meat for the special occasion and certainly didn’t eat it daily.
When you first start the Paleo diet, you may see great results, including weight loss and increased energy. This is due to restricting processed and refined foods, which is naturally going to give your body a great boost.
But after limiting carbs and eating so much meat, some of your organs are going to start taking strain. Even Tim Noakes got Diabetes after he started the diet…and that should tell us something. You can get more information on banting from South African natural health guru Mary-Ann Shearer.
Weight gain is merely a symptom of something gone wrong in the body – whether that be physically, emotionally or spiritually. If you want to lose weight, stop having a diet mentality and start putting your body’s health first. Natural – and permanent – weight loss will follow. Unlike so many of these diet plans, it’s that simple.