The Common Avoidance Diet and Why It’s Not Sustainable

By: Rachel Nannola

There are so many common fad diets that revolve around eliminating one or more food groups from your diet. Some examples are the Paleo Diet, gluten-free diet, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and many more. These types of diets can result in weight loss, but 95% of dieters regain the weight lost within 1-5 years after concluding the diet.

Usually, elimination diets involve food groups that we enjoy eating (e.g., carbohydrates, fats). The problem with this is that those are important food groups to include in a healthy diet- just in the right amount. Depriving your body of these essential food groups can result in nutrient deficiencies. An additional issue with these types of diets is that it leaves the dieter feeling deprived and can lead to overeating or binging.

Research done by Baylor University found that participants who had a harder time reaching their goals described dieting as restricting their intake of certain foods, whereas participants who were more successful in reaching their goals described it as involving foods they should be consuming. They also found differences between low self-control individuals and high self-control individuals regarding attitudes about dieting. Low self-control individuals think of dieting as eliminating their favorite foods and adding foods they don’t enjoy. High self-control individuals think of dieting as leaving out foods they enjoy but could easily give up and include other foods they enjoy eating, such as strawberries.

No matter your level of self-control, a successful approach to dieting is focusing on eating healthy foods you enjoy, and also including foods you think of as treats in moderation.

For some tips on a healthy balanced diet check out:

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