Food

The Pitfalls of Short Term Diets

Here at Prep Perfect, we truly believe that health is a lifestyle and that the foods you choose to fuel your body with can make a lot of difference to how you look and feel.

This is one of the reasons we don’t like short term diets all that much. They may result in some initial weight loss but they’re not a sustainable way of eating and some of them can be unhealthy.

In this post, we’re sharing some of the reasons why short term diets are a bad idea and some tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off as part of a healthy lifestyle rather than dieting.

The Downsides of Fad Diets

There are a few problems with following short term “fad” diets:

When you first start a diet, you are automatically setting an end date for it too. The truth is, there is a reason why short term diets don’t last very long and this is because they’re restrictive and unsustainable.

With low carb diets, you’re likely to drop pounds quite quickly but it isn’t necessarily fat that is going by the wayside. Most people will find that they lose water and muscle. The lack of carbs means your body will turn to its fat stores for energy and start to break down muscle protein.

These types of diets aren’t sustainable and sooner or later, you’ll be calling it quits and going back to a normal diet. At this point, the muscle tissue you’ve lost will start to be rebuilt and the pounds will quickly creep back on. This can happen a lot faster than you might think and it can turn into an uphill battle to avoid putting on more weight.

Low fat diets can be an issue too. Your body needs some fat to be healthy. The fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) need fat so they can be stored in the liver and the intestines need fat to absorb them properly.

So as you can see, short term diets are not the best idea for losing weight and this is why we subscribe to the idea of simply eating healthy, nutritious food and making that the basis of your lifestyle instead.

Losing Weight As Part of a Healthier Lifestyle

In theory, losing weight should be simple. It’s all about eating fewer calories, right? Not necessarily! Protein can also play a big part.

In a 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, three groups of participants were asked to add 1000 extra calories to their diet, with each group consuming different amounts of protein as part of this. As you might expect, the group who ate the least protein gained less weight than the other groups but it wasn’t all good news. This group also lost muscle mass and stored a surprising amount of their extra calories as fat.

So it seems that not eating much protein can be one factor that can hinder your weight loss efforts in a big way!

There is another bonus when it comes to protein: if more of your calories come from protein, it’s easier to maintain lean muscle mass compared to a low carb diet.

If you’re not sure how much protein you should be aiming for and you find the prospect daunting, we’ve got you covered. As a meal planning service, we’re here to help you eat healthy even if you don’t have time to prepare nutritionally balanced meals.

Our meals are all designed to help you to meet your goals the healthy way, whether that involves losing weight, building muscle or maintaining your current shape. For weight loss, our choice of meals includes a mix of protein and carbs and the carbs are mostly in the form of fruit and vegetables.

Short term diets can be a tempting way to drop a few pounds quickly but in the long run, they can be really hard to keep up and in a lot of cases, they’re not doing much good for your body. And once you stop dieting, you can expect to gain the weight you’ve lost. It’s much more sustainable (and a lot easier!) to forget about diets and focus your attention on eating protein, carbs and fats in healthy amounts that also work well for losing weight. Think of your eating habits as part of the bigger picture for getting to a healthy weight and staying there and it’s a lot easier to avoid being drawn in by fad diets!