• Fad Diets and Nutritional Myths

    Many people will attempt to 'diet' at some stage in their lives. The principles of weight loss are simple, however many myths surround the area of diets and weight loss, as we are continually bombarded with mixed information in the media. Dieting and cookery books remain the best sellers every year - as long as people are trying to lose weight, people will be willing to spend their time and money on a new 'diet' or pill in the belief it will be the answer to weight loss.

    Most 'fad diets' become difficult to realistically continue over a long period of time and do not encourage a lifestyle change. Many are based on consumption and / or avoidance of certain food groups which in itself can potentially be damaging to the body.

    As an extreme example, it is possible to lose weight on a 1200 calorie a day pure chocolate cake diet with no exercise. However, how long could you sustain this for? You would probably struggle to stay on this diet for long. It doesn't encourage healthy eating choices and would become boring. Being restricted to just chocolate cake would also mean your body would lack essential nutrients and lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The high sugar content could also lead to headaches, lack of energy and effects on blood glucose.

    Many people see the basic advice of regular exercise and eating a nutritionally balanced diet too boring or too much effort. However, successful long term and sustainable weight loss is achieved by following a controlled and balanced diet alongside increased physical activity - resulting in a higher energy expenditure than intake.