why fad diets work
Fad diets, trendy diets, diets with specific names, diets with books written about them...
You've heard of the diets, and certainly the concepts - Adkins, South Beach, Paleo, Primal, No-Carb, Low-Carb, Vegetarian.. You could even throw the systems like Slim-fast, Jenny Craig, etc. into the mix. These diets can all work - for one primary reason, and several secondary reasons. And it doesn't matter what principle they adhere to - high carb, low carb, or anything else - they all have the same underlying reasons.
Why Fad Diets Work - Primary Reason
All these fad diets and diet systems have one thing in common - they ask you to consume fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. Some of them do this indirectly (ie: "eat all the protein you want without counting calories"), the beauty is it's not too often you find yourself in front of a never-ending meal of steak. (Brazillian steakhouses excluded!)
Calorie deficit = weight loss, every time.
They all have a different ideology and road map, but they all get you to the same place. In addition...
Why Fad Diets Work - Secondary Reasons
Fad diets have a few other things working in their favor, too:
- Paying attention - once you're "on" a diet, you're more likely to pay attention to what you're eating. That means fewer calories, and that's a win.
- Food Journals - many of these diets will have you keep a food journal, which is awesome. Studies have shown people who keep a food journal do better than those who don't.
- Road map provided - many of these fad diets give you step by step directions of exactly what you're supposed to eat. This takes the thought out of it, which makes it easier, which makes you more likely to be successful.
- Practice makes better - the longer you do something, the better you get at it, and diets are no different. Things get easier after the first couple of weeks - you get used to what foods you can eat, and how you're body is supposed to feel.
So fad diets are good, right?
This list makes a pretty good argument in favor of fad diets. But there's more to the story than meets the eye. Yes, Fad diets are better than SAD diets. (Standard American Diet). But they may not be your best option.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post titled "Why fad diets don't work."