D.I.E.T- The Myths vs The Facts



DIET, the word itself says DIE


How many of you have ever tried implementing a diet in the last 10 years? I will admit, the diet companies and corporations make the diet lifestyle look so promising. They show pictures and videos of all these happy “fit” people talking about how much weight they lost. But have you ever really looked at those before and after photos? I implore you to investigate with your own eyes the person whose testimony is given.

The “BEFORE” photo typically is seen without makeup, gut out and grungy clothes. It may not be a combination of all this, but they do use one of these tactics to get your attention.

The “AFTER” photo typically captures more than just a slimmer person. They include a better dressed, often refreshed and sometimes more toned/ tanned person. They want you wishing you were them.

The reason why dietitians and nutritionists dislike the word DIET, is because it gives false hopes to so many people who expect their results to be given to them. However, nothing in life is given to us, instead the work we put into our health should be felt internally and radiate outwards. Diets can make us feel good about ourselves, even powerful to some. In most cases it means giving up your comfort food for a week, month, year etc. It gives you a sense of pride and self control that you can accomplish this strenuous self motivated task.

But what happens when you reach your goal and the diet is over?

Typically, the person is exasperated of dieting by the end of the given time period and the previous lifestyle & food choices slowly creep back in. The body is starved and wants to recuperate with carbs & sugars AKA the comfort food you were trying NOT to eat. This is when the body begins to store more energy than it uses because you have trained it to expect a diminished amount of calories it was allotted in the past.  Storing energy causes fat cells to expand and causes you more stress to lose the weight the second time around.




The Definition of “D.I.E.T.”


Diets are just that, they are deceptive in everything they claim. Most fad diets on the market are not science based, and have no research and or poorly controlled studies to back up their claims. They use testimonies by paid actors that tug at your hearts emotional side, drawing you closer because you start thinking, “If it worked for them, it will work for me.” This is deception. The next time you see a fad diet on the market, look up it’s statistics and evidence based research for the mechanism of weight loss.


If diets had ONE word to describe them, this would be it. Innovative. Fad diet companies take diet crazes from the past and resurface them with new additions. A new name, a new calorie count, new testimonies and BAM! you got yourself a new fad diet that looks oh so promising. However, what your body knows before your mind does, you have already been there and done that.


Every diet has one. This is the amount of time you are supposed to heed full force into the diet’s rules and regulations. This could be a week, a month, a year etc but as long as you follow the rules and eat what the fad diet tells you for as long as it specifies, you should have a wonderful new bikini body to show off come spring time. But what comes after spring time? As I mentioned before, our bodies have adaptive characteristics that learn our routines. Spending a certain amount of time eating only 1,000 calories a day, the body will adapt to live on that. After the diet however, eating the normal 2,000 calories will convert the extra 1,000 calories to storage in fat cells. This causes you to gain weight rapidly after the dieting session is over.


After trial and error on so many diets alike, we often find ourselves expired and terminating the diet. This is what we should have done in the beginning, terminate the idea that short term diets are for you. In the long run, it doesn’t make you any healthier. True health comes when we adapt a lifestyle change that morphs into our everyday diet. Diet, one word, two meanings. I challenge you to terminate your fad diet and commit to a healthier lifestyle everyday.





What Research Says About DIETING


  • 1. Myth: They will say, “Try this new fad diet for super fast weight loss!
    • Fact: losing weight too rapidly is a sign of lost muscle mass and water weight, both of which are necessary to sustain life. Loosing too much at one time is dangerous.


  • 2. Myth: They will say, “With this new fad diet, there is no need for exercise!
    • Fact: A healthy lifestyle includes eating right and working out. Your body needs to move 30-60 minutes a day to help relieve stress, build muscle and strengthen bones. Without weight bearing exercise, bones can become malluable which can lead to bone twisting and breaking.


  • 3. Myth: They will say, “Eliminate a certain food group to see weight loss!
    • Fact: Eliminating a certain food is not recommended by dietitians because this could mean a deficiency of certain key nutrients and vitamins. We have five food groups for a reason (fruit, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy). Each food group provides something different for the diet of a healthy individual. Eliminating one entirely can create a deficiency in the body that can cause other metabolic problems. Instead, a lifestyle diet that substitutes within a food group is better.


  • 4. Myth: They will say, “Fasting can jump start and boost your weight loss!
    • Fact: Fasting, depletes the body of energy and nutrients it needs on a daily basis to function normally. It can cause dizziness, fatigue and muscle wasting. Fasting can also cause a person to overeat when a meal time presents itself, causing the never ending cycle of eating..not eating..eating, AKA a disordered eating pattern. In the long run, people who fast are actually more likely to gain weight instead of losing it.


  • 5. Myth: They will say, “Medications, pills and other miracle workers work!”
    • Fact: These gimmicks often times do work in the short term by the mechanism of reducing hunger etc. However, no medication comes without side effects. These so-called miracle workers have a time limit and it is not advised to routinely consume medication for years on a regular basis. Some of these medications reduce the absorption of fat in the body, however it can also reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A,D,E & K).


Create a healthy lifestyle that works for you, don’t get caught up in the fad diets happening around us! Choose a healthier alternative and make a small step everyday to becoming the best you can be. Nutrition needs to have an individualized approach. What works for me may not work for you, but this shouldn’t be a reason to give up! Your lifestyle diet should be incorporated everyday, not once a year or even once a week. Make the change for yourself, because nobody else will do it for you. 






All photos used in this article were taken by Stephanie Rackley for and by The Healthy Chew

-all rights reserved



American Dietetic Association: Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. 4th edition, 2012




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2 Comments Add yours

  1. You definitely spoke truth here, way to go! As a nutritional counselor I see hope in the eyes of those who follow diet after diet only to fall short. When I preach common sense physiology and explain they must get to the root of the problem first, many times I can turn them around – but so much of the time, others still chase rainbows and fairytales. Change must start from within. Thanks for this excellent post. Blessings,

    1. Thank you for your comment Ellie, I appreciate the follow! This is very true, poor nutrition is often the root of every problem most people face. It’s all in our diets and how we chose to eat that radiates to many other aspects in life.

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