LEP Fitness


Why extreme diets never work out…


Hands up if you’ve ever followed a diet in your life time?

My hands are up, and feet! I’ve done more diets than Davina Mccall! lol!

My bet would be that most of you reading this have followed a specific diet at some point in your life?

Whether that’s a low carb diet like Atkins, a juice diet like Herbal life, a sin diet like Weight Watchers, or something like IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) where you aim to get in a certain amount of protein, carbs and fats within a set calorie target.

The truth is that most diets don’t work LONG TERM and lots of people hop from diet to diet, trying the latest dieting fad in the hope that they will not only work…BUT LAST!

How many of you have lost weight in the past, BUT to then gain it all back (and probably more!)???

I must admit i’ve been on pretty much every diet out there (other than things like Weight Watchers, Slimming World and Herbal Life – please don’t get me started on Herbal Life! lol!). 

I’ve tried things like a keto diet, IIFYM, high protein diet, high carb diet…you name it!

In this post I want to explain why extreme diets never work out, whilst at the same time sharing tips to help you prevent making the same mistakes over and over again…

#1 Unrealistic 

Lots of people will diet for a couple of weeks and then lose heart because they aren’t getting quick enough results!

They’ve spent years over eating, living off rubbish processed foods…but two weeks of dieting and they expect to look like Daniel Craig in Casino Royal! lol! obviously if you’re a woman it’s probably someone like Megan Fox or Angelina Whatshername…Jolie!

Although you will notice instant results on a good diet, it will take time, and the further you are away from your goal…the longer it’s going to take. I know this is ‘pointing out the obvious’!

If you need to lose 2 stone in weight, give yourself 6-12 months to do it…don’t try and rush the process because it will bite you on the butt and you’ll end up back at square one… trying the next crash diet! 

Solution: For every pound that you want to lose I recommend giving yourself 1-2 weeks, say for example you want to lose a stone (14lbs) give yourself 14-28 weeks. Obviously you want to lose as much as you can, but realistically you’ll only be able to lose 1lb of fat per week, and that’s providing you are creating a calorie deficit each week of around 3,500 cals. 

#2 Bland and Boring 

I’ve done diets in the past which meant I only had foods like chicken and broccoli, if I had to call this diet a name…it would be THE MISERABLE DIET lol! It got me great results, but my lord was it boring and bland. 

Although I do believe in some cases it’s best to go bland, especially if there’s a serious health issue, for example an issue with the gut…

BUT most of the time you want to make-sure that you are enjoying the foods you consume on a diet. 

Solution: I’m a big fan of the stuff Joe Wicks does because he makes healthy, tasty meals, and one’s which don’t take long to prepare. I’d recommend checking out his ‘Lean in 15 Book’. One thing to be aware of though is some of his meals are very high in calories (you need to be careful of these if weight loss is the goal!). 

#3 Faulty Concept

There are still lots of people out there that think ‘carbs make them fat’ – they don’t! Too many calories do. Carbs DO NOT MAKE YOU FAT. They will make you heavier because your body holds onto more water when eating carbs (think of how rice swells when you cook it!) but the only way carbs can make you fat is if you over consume calories. 

That said carbs are usually very tasty – think pasta, pizza, chocolate and I don’t know about you but my mouth starts to water? They are tasty and easy to overeat on, so therefore going on a low carb diet can be a good way to remove these highly palatable foods.

Remember though that…

When it comes to weight loss the number one key is CREATING A CALORIE DEFICIT – read more here. If you over consume any type of food, whether that be protein, carbs or fat… you will gain weight! 

Diets like keto and Atkins work because they remove a food group ‘carbs’ which means that you eat less calories and therefore lose weight. If all you ate was 3 Mars Bars per day (approx 800 cals) then you’d likely lose weight, because whilst Mars Bars aren’t very nutritious your overall calories for the day is low and you will therefore lose weight (despite it being tasty I wouldn’t recommend trying a Mars Bar diet! lol!). 

What’s the best diet to follow?

The best diet is the one that you can follow, that get’s you results and is one that you can sustain. For me personally the diet i like the best is where i can eat what I want… but I keep an eye on the overall calories and manage the equation of ‘input vs output’ i.e. if I want to lose weight I need to make-sure i’m in a calorie deficit, and if I want to gain muscle…I need to eat more!

I’ll do this ‘flexible eating’ approach for 70-80% of the year and then for the remainder of the year I’ll follow stricter diets, things like a keto diet – to really help me look my best i.e. for a holiday or something along those lines! 

If you need help choosing the right diet for you drop me a message and I’ll help you find the right fit…

Thanks for reading, 

personal trainer in sheffield area

Nick 🙂