Why Fad diets Don’t Work

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

‘Lose up to 10kg in 30 days!’

There’s not many people who want to lose weight that wouldn’t find that statement enticing, and I don’t blame you, you’ve decided to lose weight and you want it off yesterday! But there’s a reason these statements sound too good to be true, which is why I want to discuss the mind field of information being thrown at us on a daily basis and help you find a way to lose weight that not only gets results, but you love and can maintain it.


A fad diet makes promises of weight loss or other health advantages which aren’t backed up by scientific evidence. Fad diets almost always offer quick results and this is their main selling point. They are quite often highly restrictive, cut out major food groups such as grain & dairy, and restrict your body of vital nutrients, you can learn more about why this is dangerous and how to create a balanced diet here. We’ve all heard of them; very low calorie meal replacements, detoxing, fasting, high protein, sugar-free… the list is endless and they all sell a quick fix and most are unsustainable.


Even if you did achieve what a fad diet promised, you will most likely put it all back on in the following 30 days and feel worse off than you previously did. Fad diets offer short term results. You may have the discipline to fast until lunch every day or drink liquid for 30 days, but is that really a lifestyle you’re happy living for the rest of your life?

Make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Although you may need to be more patient for the results, I can guarantee you that making the decision to create a healthier lifestyle long term is a far better decision on your health and sustainability of weight loss. It is also a better decision for your mental health; often when people try unrealistic fad diets and fail, they blame themselves instead of realising that the program they tried was unrealistic. Finding a health professional to work with you on a sustainable healthy lifestyle approach to fat loss is also being kinder to yourself.


Your mindset plays a big part in this, and it’s a battle against instant gratification and patience for long term results.

Really ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to lose weight?’ It’s more than what you see in the mirror. It’s being able to get up and down off the ground with your kids/grand kids, it’s waking up every morning with energy, it’s being able to decide you want to go on an outdoor adventure and feeling like there’s nothing stopping you, it’s not wanting to nap in the afternoon, it’s feeling confident to wear your favourite dress you haven’t fitted in for 10 years, it’s so much more than a number on the scales. Knowing exactly why you want to lose weight is the key to getting long term results.


Make a decision to commit to a 12 month plan.

  1. Write a list of the healthy habits you need to work on.

  2. Choose one habit at a time (start with the easiest one).

  3. Don’t move onto the next habit until you feel that you have mastered the current one.

Your list of healthy habits might include things like: 1 less coffee/day, having breakfast each morning, 1 litre of water/day, having veggies for tea 5 times/week, halving your soft drink/cordial intake… there’s a lot of little changes to make, but only you know what they are.

Don’t expect instant perfection, you will slip up from time to time, but keep working on changing that habit until you feel like it’s become a lifestyle and it’s your ‘normal’, then begin on the next behavior change. It may take 1 month to get each of them down pat, but over a year that’s 12 healthy habits you’ve created and maintained, imagine the results from that!

Some key points to consider when you are planning your healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Include a wide variety of foods,

  • Focus on healthy & nutritious foods,

  • Assess your portion control (more about this in our blog about balancing your diet),

  • Allow yourself some flexibility to include some “happy food” occasionally, and

  • Find a qualified health professional to team up with who can help you reach your goals.

What healthy habit are you going to start today?

For some more tips, take a look at our blog on how to create a balanced diet.

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