You may be tempted to try the latest diet trend that promises you will lose weight quickly, but don’t fall for it. Instead, learn how to eat healthy and stick to a diet that will be easy to maintain in the long run. Knowing the difference between these two types of diets can help you make better decisions about your own dieting habits.
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between a healthy diet and a FAD diet, with tips on how to avoid unhealthy short-term diets.
The difference between fad diets and a healthy diet
FAD diets, also known as fad diets, are often implemented in order to lose weight quickly. They rely on dietary restrictions or changes for their results but can leave you feeling unsatisfied or even more unhealthy once you have completed them. They usually don’t promote healthy eating habits over time because they are mostly focused on short-term results.
Healthy diets aren’t just about losing weight; they promote a lifestyle change that lasts throughout your life. When your diet consists of real foods from nature it promotes sustained energy levels and lasting feelings of satiety.
The healthiest way to lose weight is by making lifestyle changes, like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and keeping stress in check. You’ll build healthy habits that can help keep you slim for life—and help prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer down the road. The occasional diet—like Weight Watchers or Paleo—can be helpful if it’s not your primary way of eating.
The structure of FAD diets and their effects on your body compared to healthy diets
A fad diet usually entails consuming either too much or too little of certain foods. While you may lose weight by following one of these diets, you’re doing it at an extremely unhealthy level that will leave you malnourished.
For instance, one of the biggest FAD diets in the world is the keto diet. With this diet, you are reducing your carbohydrate intake to 50g per day whilst increasing your intake of fats. It’s important to note that each macronutrient (protein, fats and carbs) provide a different set of vitamins and minerals and they support your body’s functioning in a variety of ways. This is why it’s important to eat a balance of all macros. So, if you are doing the keto diet, you are also reducing your body’s ability to function properly as it isn’t getting enough of all the vitamins and minerals.
This is just one example of a FAD diet, but others follow a similar concept – eliminate certain foods or severely restricting your calorie intake. Some other popular ones are OMAD, sirtfoods, paleo, and intermittent fasting.
On the other hand, a healthy diet consists of consuming a balance of all the macronutrients and snacks in moderation. By eating a variety of foods, you are also giving your body the fuel and nutrients for it to work properly. This can support weight loss, immune system, metabolism and much more.
How to follow a healthy diet
A healthy diet is one that contains all of your dietary needs. This means it’s full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fibre, good fats and proteins as well as fewer amounts of saturated fats, sugars and processed foods.
A healthy diet follows the principles of the Eatwell guide which presents 5 food groups. The Eatwell guide recommends specific number of portions for each food group.
- These groups are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Starchy carbohydrates
- Dairy and alternatives
- Oils and spreads (fats)
By consuming a mixture of all these foods, you’ll achieve optimum nutrition. You can learn more about healthy eating and how to build a proper meal plan using our online course.
The best way to lose weight
Eat healthy, exercise consistently. If you’re looking to lose weight, it might seem like there are an endless number of diets that can help you reach your goal: Paleo, Atkins, keto diet…where do you even begin? It’s easy to get lost in all of these fad diets.
Remember: A diet is simply a word used to describe what we eat over a period of time. Diets include everything from typical eating habits (for example, I try to eat right every day!) to more rigid plans for health (for example, I always avoid anything that contains gluten). Regardless of which type of diet you follow, good health comes down to one thing: moderation.
Balance your diet with a good mix of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and whole grains. If you can’t eat something in its natural state—for example, it’s been processed or refined in some way—you might want to reconsider eating it at all. And focus on variety: Eating many different foods gives you energy to keep moving during your day without crashing or feeling overly full. The same holds true for exercise: Mix up activities so that your body never gets too used to any one type of movement.
If you’d like to learn how to lose weight sustainably and keep it off, check out our weight management and nutrition online course.
Many people want to lose weight but they don’t want to spend too much time researching what they should eat. While there are many diets out there, it’s important to remember that each of them has their own benefits and drawbacks.
Not all diets are created equal; if you simply switch between one trendy diet and another, you won’t see results. It’s always best to find what works for your body type, health goals, and lifestyle – all with professional advice.
Check out our list of online health and fitness courses that have been designed by professionals to help you get started.