Here is everything you need to know about fad dieting and the Alkaline Diet


Dan Donohue, of Fitness Formation, writes about fad diets.

Over the first few months of the year, TV was awash with a whole abundance of diet related programmes.

We have written recently in columns about the decline of the fad diets and the failings surrounding them.

These types of diets, such as the Alkaline Diet, were proven to be flawed in many areas, most importantly by the absolute lack of fact-based scientific studies and the lack of peer reviews.

As we have written in the past, some were followed by some of the world’s most high-profile celebrities, but again, they were flawed by the lack of science behind the claims of their benefits, namely the aforementioned Alkaline Diet. While it may have been sustainable for the less than 1% of the world’s population that earn millions of dollars each year, it was still hugely flawed in its essence.

The switching to single-ingredient, unprocessed, natural foods would be difficult for most of the planet’s population to sustain. A complete blanket ban on chocolate, ice cream, sweets, cake, fast food or any other type of processed food is incredibly demanding and incredibly difficult to follow. This is where sustainability of ones diet comes right to the fore and this is the topic of this week’s column.

The rigidity of a diet that completely excludes food or foods that many people would use sparingly on special occasions is the sticking point to most, if not all, who follow a plan that does such a thing as denying people room for indulgence from time to time.

The individual is likely setting themselves up for failure. There are rules to follow - don’t eat pizza from Dominoes and those rules, ultimately, will eventually be broken.

When our routine is broken by weekends, occasions, events and the like, there is plenty of room for failure to occur that may well lead to a slippery slope some may never climb back up for some time. Sustainability has to be paramount when advising someone in relation to nutrition. It has to be said that foods that are ‘hyper-palatable’ to some people may have to be closely watched and closely monitored.

These are the foods that people just love the smell of, the texture of and the taste of. Once the person in question begins to eat these ‘hyper-palatable’ foods, they struggle to stop and before long they have consumed the full amount of whatever is in question. The foods that cause alarm bells to ring need to be taken into account.

As humans we tend to be logical in the things we do. We are creatures of habit and we always go with our natural instinct. We weigh things up into the pros and cons. We often go for short term pleasure over long term benefits. Whatever you do in terms of your diet, think of sustainability first and foremost, as without this element we are fighting a fight that may have long term detrimental effects.