Sometimes, Boring Is Better
In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to hear the quiet group of doctors who have been touting the same health practices for years over the roar of the media. On top of that, according to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, creating a new healthy habit takes about 66 days before it becomes natural and automatic.
Progress takes time, and on-the-go consumers are often too impatient to stick it out.
The good news is that eating balanced food groups and regulating your calories is as effective as ever, and it has academically viable science behind it. So how can we avoid being duped? Some fads are trickier than others, but by vetting sources carefully, we can weed out the majority of bad diet science:
1. Ask questions. Who recommends this program? Why? What do they have to gain? Are they being paid to appear on a show supporting the fad? Do they have added pressure to get TV ratings or clicks on a website to generate revenue? Is this diet based on a real, peer-reviewed study? By asking these questions, we can quickly identify whether this regimen is really meant to slim us down or just fatten someone else’s pocketbook.
2. Look at the research. It’s easy to put up a front of legitimacy without having much behind it, so do some research, then do some more. The majority of fad diets won’t hold up to scrutiny under pressure. Look to Harvard University and Northwestern University, which have prestigious programs that produce reputable, trustworthy research every year. If you’ve never heard of the research institute, proceed with extreme caution.
3. Speak with a professional. If you’re considering making a significant dietary or nutritional change, consider speaking to a doctor or a nutritionist. If a professional in the field hasn’t heard of the diet you’re considering, it’s a strong indicator that you probably shouldn’t try it.
4. Don’t believe the hearsay. Use your best judgment when considering a new diet. If there really were a diet that would let you eat whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted and still help you lose weight or get healthier, research on the subject would be booming. As it stands, no such diet exists.
Don’t rush into a new diet because you want to see results quickly. We all want to feel healthy today, but the fastest way to do that is to find a proven diet plan that works best for you and stick with it for 12 weeks. You might not change as quickly as you want to, but you’ll change much more quickly than someone who wastes time bouncing between ineffective quick-fix diets.