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Sunday 21 September 2014

Faddy diets 'out of fashion'

Published 13/01/2014 | 01:07

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Slimmers want diets that are sustainable, says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World's Head of Nutrition and Research

Fad diets that promise 'fast weight loss' have fallen out of fashion, according to a survey published today.

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While 44% of slimmers say they previously saw fast weight loss as a priority when choosing a diet, only 7% still feel that way in 2014, according to the survey by Slimming World.

While only 51% of slimmers say they used to see long term weight loss as their priority, 90% are now focused on sustainable results, the survey of more than 3,500 slimmers who started a diet this January found.

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

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

Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World head of nutrition and research, said: "The unpleasantness of faddy diets that encourage severe calorie restriction and/or eating only one food type appears to be having the knock-on effect of persuading people to look for something more sustainable.

"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. Fad diets lead to feelings of hunger, deprivation and boredom, making them impossible to keep up in the long term. The result is that slimmers 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.

"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 recognising the importance of following a realistic healthy plan.

"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."

:: The survey was of 3,508 people who joined a Slimming World group from January 1. They were asked what their priorities are with their weight loss in 2014 and what their priorities had been in previous years.

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