Saying No to Diet Trends

Two friends, a man and a woman, sitting on a couch eating pizza, talking and smiling
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While diet trends may give you the feeling that you’re losing weight quickly and effectively, 95 percent of all dieters regain their weight lost within one to five years. Sure, you may shed off a few pounds before a vacation, but that comes at a cost. Many diets are marketed in such a way as to feed off of your insecurities related to body image, health and lifestyle. Ultimately, these trendy diets are marketed to make you feel unsatisfied about your body image. This insecurity plants seeds of guilt and you end up taking drastic action to fit into society’s beauty standards. Completely disregarding your natural body cues and losing trust developed with your body causes total reliance on external rules in the form of fad diets. Cue weight cycling and endless frustration.

Diets are a controversial subject and people associate their way of eating with their morality and health, which is why I would like to put this out there — everyone’s eating patterns and styles differ and there’s no right or wrong way to nourish your body. Do what works best for you without compromising your mental or physical wellbeing. But remember, your health and worth are not determined by a silly number on a scale. 

Another reason why I don’t favor trendy restrictive diets is because the moment you follow them your autonomy gets thrown out the window. You’re bound to what diet culture tells you to do rather than taking your health into your own hands. What do you do if the specific foods on your new diet are not available when you’re out at dinner with your friends or are traveling for work? You likely feel anxious and stressed in social situations and your only choice is to feel guilty for not being “strong” enough to maintain your diet. Fad diets cheat you out of learning how to nourish your body in a balanced way that fits your unique needs.

For something that is marketed as a way for you to get “healthy,” trendy diets usually leave you feeling low-energy, stressed and HANGRY. Not only do you lose all control, restrictive diets actually slow down your metabolism, result in poorer health outcomes, and lead to a disordered relationship with food. Whatever happened to making informed food decisions for yourself based on your preferences, metabolic needs and mood?

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Samina Qureshi
Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD, IFNCP, is the owner of Wholesome Start, a virtual nutrition therapy practice, in Houston. She helps clients discover the root cause of their health concerns and empowers them to nourish their bodies without stress or guilt. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes, practicing mindful movement and spending time with family and friends. Connect with her on Wholesome Start, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.