Every Diet Plan Works – What You Need to Know about Fad Diets

Intermittent Fasting

Another example of a cool 21st century fad, intermittent fasting is another legit approach with its own benefits to health.

As with the others, it also comes with its own hucksters who are trying to cash in on it by preaching it as the one true diet. Ignore those people, but don’t ignore IF as a method.

IF is about restricting your food intake at sometimes of the day – or week – and then eating at other times. Super vague, so here’s an example: you don’t eat for 18 hours a day, then you eat for 6 hours. That’s your “feeding window”.

There’s no magic weight-loss properties here, but you do get some benefits. The research is sketchy on the ground, but calorie restriction is a decent way of boosting some health markers, sometimes, in some people. Great.

How Do You Use It?

If you suck at dieting because you graze all the time (snacking between meals), IF is an awesome process for managing your overall intake. It’ll help break that habit over the course of a few weeks of adherence and, hopefully, result in some improved dietary habits when you switch back.

It’s probably not the most sustainable in the long-term as it’s a pretty extreme approach, but that’s personal preference and if you can stick with it then it’s not particularly unhealthy. You’re just going to be grumpy and hangry 16 hours a day (except for the 8-10 you should be sleeping).

What’s the Common Thread?

The point of these diets is simple: they have different situations where they’re the best solution. They’re also directed not only at the scientific benefits, but at behavior change.

If you’ve read any of my other work, you’ll note that I’m a big fan of this concept. You are at the center of your diet as a human with experiences and feelings and habits. We can’t pretend you don’t exist, or that you’re a black box with inputs and outputs but no autonomy.

The diet you can stick to is the best one to use – and sometimes that means going for a diet that directly tackles bad habits and changes behaviours, rather than a scientifically-optimal one. You’d not do badly to use the 3 mentioned above, as they indirectly provide scientifically-badass results.

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