Daniel Wesley - Some of the craziest health and fitness trends of the last few years have been ill-advised, to say the least. As we ease into another spring (if the weather ever cooperates), many people may be tempted to try out new fad diets. But there are several trendy ways of losing weight that you should avoid.
Using coconut oil in everything, for instance, isn’t the best idea. The amount of fat it contains, even in small portions, can add pounds to the most stringent dieters and can clog arteries.
And it’s easy to stay away from a candy bar that contains 28 grams of sugar, so why follow diets that involve drinking ready-made smoothies containing up to 50 grams of the same kind of sugar?
Don’t get me wrong: I love food. My father was born in New Orleans, and my mother is 100 percent Cuban. My wife is of Eastern European descent and has a knack for amazing cooking, regardless of its ethnic origins. Family gatherings mean delicious meals that are difficult to escape from (mainly because I don’t want to escape from them), and I sit for long hours each day at work.
Inspiration to Diet the Right Way
Keeping extra weight from creeping onto my waistline takes effort. But fad diets have always been relatively easy for me to avoid, even if that meant going against the grain of what was considered healthy. The Cabbage Soup Diet and the Grapefruit Diet, for example, were popular with people around me, but I steered clear.
If the allure of fads and trendy diets seems like too much to brush off on your own, find courage in these three quotes so you can take control of your health and well-being:
1. “I’ve said this so many times, but I keep coming back to this: Trends come and go. Own them and make them your own. …” — Nina Garcia
While certain trends may look appealing — like those that promise to help you lose weight if you avoid eating anything gluten-based or eat only what cavemen supposedly dined on — these trends are never a replacement for a good old-fashioned lifestyle change. Incorporate the positive aspects of these types of diet trends, like building your meals on a foundation of fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed meat, and leave the more sensational parts behind.
Make sure any diet you embark on is one you can stick with for the long haul. That way, you can ensure you’re prioritizing your health as a lifestyle choice; you’re not just hopping on the bandwagon for the diet of the month.
2. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss
If you’re starting a diet, make sure you’re doing it for yourself and not to look like the people on TV. If you start on your health journey with the mindset of achieving a “beach body,” you may be able to see some short-term results, but you’re probably going to lose motivation to keep it up when fall comes around.
Choose health goals that are for you — not for other people. Anyone who isn’t supportive of your journey isn’t the kind of person you need in your life.
3. “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” — Jack Kerouac
Trends come and go, but those who stick to the power of their own beliefs are able to accomplish so much more. Fitness shouldn’t be something you do to keep up with the Joneses; it should be something you do to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
Giving in to quick-fix trends may seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s no substitute for committing to a solid plan that will help you in the long term.
This year, make your journey to a healthier you a personalized one. Skip the fads, and focus on being healthy and happy instead.
Daniel Wesley is a Florida-based entrepreneur with a degree in Nuclear Medicine. His work has been featured in Forbes, Mashable, The Huffington Post, Fox Small Business, Entrepreneur and TIME Magazine. He is currently the chief evangelist at Quote.com, inspiring his team one word at a time. You can find him on LinkedIn.