Fad diet, bad diet: Same thing?

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For some reason we have become all too familiar with the idea of restriction being a “healthy diet”. Fruit is avoided because it’s considered “too high in carbs”, regardless of how good it is for our health. The things we seem to enjoy, we deny ourselves until it comes to cheat day. Then, we almost overdose because who knows when the next “fix” will be. Juices have replaced meals and therefore not eating a single piece of solid food for the whole day is the “norm” for many. It seems the concept of what a healthy nutrition actually is has somehow got lost in amongst all the fad diets on the market.

The most important thing to remember is: food is not the enemy. Food is our friend. It gives us life and enjoyment. When you reach a training goal, get a PB or run your fastest 10k, it’s down to what you put into your body and the energy you gain from your food. So why would you deny your body of something so important? You shouldn’t feel guilty when you’re hungry. We eat to survive: it’s normal.

It’s important to remember that restriction isn’t the answer to losing weight. When you restrict yourself of something, you’re putting your body through unnecessary stress. It no longer becomes fun. And if it’s not fun, chances are you won’t stick to it. Our body needs the right amount of calories to function. Without these, it will cling on to anything for energy.

“More is less”: that’s the key to a good relationship with food. What does this mean?

  • Don’t try to eat less food. Eat more healthy food.
  • Instead of focusing on less weight, focus on more progress.
  • Fitness shouldn’t be seen as something that helps you lose inches. Think of it as something that increases self-confidence, gains a better body image, builds stamina and enhances quality of life.
  • It’s not about what your physical appearance is lacking. It’s about finding out what your body is capable of. Then, doing more of it.

Take the time and get to know what your body needs in the long run. This is how you achieve a lean, strong physique that lasts. Listen to your body when it’s hungry. This doesn’t mean eating a chocolate bar as soon as you get a craving for it. Discover and learn about how a healthy nutrition should be. There are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard and then feeling the need to run for an extra hour on the treadmill the following day. It might not seem possible, but there is a balance. You just need to find it. And when you do, you’ll stick to it. A healthy lifestyle is an enjoyable one.

Stay tuned for more on how a healthy diet shouldn’t look.

We want to know about your experience with fad diets. Already tried one? Tempted to? Join the discussion, leave a comment below.