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The Unjustified Hype Around Diets and What Truly Works in the Long Run

October 05, 2020 3 min read



There has never been a more controversial topic in the world of health and fitness.


For some, the topic brings motivation and excitement; for others, it brings anxiety and can even send shivers down their spines.


Everywhere you look, there is yet another piece of information regarding diets - how beneficial and useful they supposedly are, and what the latest developments appear to be.


But, the question is, what makes diets so exciting, and why do we insist on following them?


Diets - The Unjustified Hype


Let’s examine a scenario for a second:


Say that you’re 30 pounds overweight and are looking for a way to shed the fluff, improve your health, and start feeling better about yourself. You start looking up information on the internet and, within ten minutes, you come across two options for achieving your goal:


Your first option is a particular diet that seems healthy and sustainable, and its creator promises that you’ll lose the 30 pounds in one month. 


In the second option, you come across an in-depth fat loss guide that goes over essential considerations such as resistance training, aerobic exercise, portion control, calorie tracking, protein intake, and such. In that guide, the author also suggests a rate of weight loss of about one to 1.5 pounds per week.


If that were you, which option would you choose? Of course, you’d probably go with the diet. After all, who in their right mind would want to achieve a given outcome, but two or three times more slowly when the ‘solution’ is staring them in the face?


And this, my dear reader, is what makes diets so alluring:


The incredible promise of good health and fantastic fitness results in little time and with moderate effort.


But do you know what?


Sadly, most of it is nothing more than marketing, designed to lure customers and make a quick buck. These diets are often incredibly restrictive and, more importantly, unsustainable


Even if you do somehow manage to stick with it for a month or two and achieve some results, you will find yourself incredibly hungry and deprived by the end of it.


What follows after that is easy to predict - binge eating and gaining all of the weight you had managed to lose. This is the famous ‘yo-yo’ dieting effect in action, and it’s a never-ending cycle of misery, restriction, and short-lived happiness.


What Works In The Long Run


Creating better habits.


I know, I know. This is not what most people want to hear. We all want the quick and easy path. But, the truth is, as far as long-term results are concerned, lasting success comes from lasting efforts.


In other words, if you want to get fit and stay that way, you need to keep putting in the effort month after month and year after year. So, rather than chase the next best diet that will finally help you achieve results, start working on positive behaviors.


  • Exercise three times per week;
  • Eat mostly whole and unprocessed foods;
  • Drink mostly water, coffee, and tea;
  • Get at least seven hours of sleep per night;


Most importantly, start small. Sure, it can be tempting to go from zero to a hundred in a day. But, if you do that before you establish a solid foundation, you will eventually find yourself unmotivated, hungry, and overtrained. Then, it becomes incredibly easy to revert to your old habits. So:


  • Don’t start a super demanding program - begin with three 20-minute workouts;
  • Don’t cut out all of your favorite foods - start with one healthy meal per day;
  • Don’t suddenly cut out sodas, alcohol, and other beverages - just make it a point to drink half a gallon of water per day;


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