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    Posted January 14, 2014 by
    Lewisville, Texas
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    Survey signals the death of the fad diet

    Fad diets that promise “fast weight loss” have fallen out of fashion, according to a poll of more than 3,500 people who started a diet this January.

    While 44 percent of those polled say they previously saw fast weight loss as a priority when choosing a diet, only 7 percent still feel that way in 2014. Furthermore, while only 51 percent say they used to see long-term weight loss as their priority, 90 percent are now focused on sustainable results, according to the survey by Slimming World (www.slimmingworldusa.com).

    The top reasons given explaining why fad diets don’t help people to succeed in the long term are that they get boring (63 percent), they’re unhealthy (61 percent) and they don’t fit in with the family (56 percent).

    The cabbage soup diet is regarded as the worst way to lose weight, with 25 percent of the 762 slimmers who said they’d tried a strange diet declaring it the worst they’ve tried. Other strange diets named by respondents as the worst they’ve followed include the chewing-gum diet, the eggs-only diet, the baby-food diet, the Mars-bar diet and the peanut-butter diet.

    “The unpleasantness of fad diets that encourage severe calorie restriction and/or eating only one food type appears to be having the secondary effect of persuading people to look for something more sustainable,” says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World Head of Nutrition and Research.

    “This is good news as not only can fad diets be very unhealthy, they’re also incredibly damaging to self-esteem and can cause people to lose confidence in their own ability to make long term changes,” she adds. “Fad diets lead to feelings of hunger, deprivation and boredom, making them impossible to keep up in the long term. The result is that dieters are almost destined to be left beating themselves up and feeling like a failure for not being able to ‘stick at it’ when really it’s the diet that’s failed for being too strict in the first place.

    “Fad diets often lead to yo-yo dieting, as they’re unsustainable,” Dr. Lavin says. “Once people give up and go back to eating normally they regain all the weight they lost and more, before turning to another quick fix fad further down the line. It’s a vicious cycle.

    “However, our survey shows a significant shift in people’s priorities, with fitting in with the family becoming more of a priority and people less open to the idea of following a diet on their own, so it seems that in 2014 people are turning their backs on fad diets and looking for something more practical and long-term.”

    The unique Slimming Snapshot 2014 survey, which polled 3,508 people, was undertaken by Slimming World, a weight-loss program that originated in the U.K. 44 years ago and is now available online across America. It revealed that 42 percent of new members want to lose a minimum of 56 pounds and 91 percent plan to stick with their new healthy lifestyle for at least a year.

    Nearly half of the members (43 percent) who started their diet in January first thought about losing weight several months ago, and nearly 80 percent made their final decision before the New Year.

    Members hope losing weight will improve their appearance (93 percent), their health (89 percent), their social life (63 percent) and their sex life (50 percent). Eighty percent feel that the New Year gives “a new chance to start afresh.”

    “Pledging to lose weight is well known as the most popular New Year’s resolution, but as this survey shows, more and more people are recognizing the importance of following a realistic healthy plan,” says Dr Lavin.

    “A healthy flexible eating plan based around normal every day foods is more likely to fit in with the family and will have the added benefit of improving their health as well as yours.

    “If you’re unsure whether a diet is a fad or not, a good rule of thumb is to see whether you could enjoy a healthier version of a traditional roast beef, spaghetti with meat sauce or homemade tacos. If you can’t, then it’s unlikely to be a practical, healthy diet and if you also have to cut out your favorite treats then it’s going to be very miserable as well!

    “As well as thinking about what you can eat, it’s also a good idea to think about what kind of support is available,” she adds. “There is growing evidence that getting support from others who are on their weight loss journey too can lead to even greater success, as it can be hugely motivating and inspiring.”
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