The weight loss industry is one that has continued to benefit since it was first established over 40 years ago. We’ve seen so many trends emerge over the last few years including the 5:2 diet, Herbalife, detox teas, the Body Coach and so many more, all with hundreds of thousands of followers. The global value of the diet industry is set to reach £220 billion this year with lead players including Atkins and Weight Watchers. So many of us continue to start these diet trends every year but are they really the best thing for us?
According to a report in the Metro, the average diet is set to last 19 days and us ladies can start up to three diets per year. These diet companies very clearly know how to appeal to our weight insecurities and the allure of quick weight loss is what can make us part with a whole lot of cash. Diet plans like this can have a serious impact on our purses, with branded weight loss products having the potential to add another £60 onto our weekly shop. A 90 day plan for the Body Coach will set you back £147 without factoring in all of the food and vitamins you’ll have to purchase on top of your gym membership.
Yes, buying gym memberships and food is going to cost you money. In fact, it has been claimed for several years that buying healthier food is more costly than junk food alternatives, although that isn’t always necessarily true. However, my question is, do we really need these diet products and plans to lose weight and stay healthy?
Let’s take Weight Watchers for example. I know that people chose to opt for this as it provides a level of support through meetings and allows you to eat whatever you want, as long as it’s in moderation and you are constantly counting calories. This is a good structure and I understand that for some people, this works. But what happens when you stop sticking to your plan and start eating like normal again? Most people that I have spoken to claim that the weight piles back on leading them to sign up once again a few months down the line. It means that people have to stay on it indefinitely if they want to continue to see the benefits which can prove difficult for some.
As for diet shakes like Herbalife, they promise a quick fix which is tempting for dieters who want to lose weight fast. But it’s important to remember that you’re losing this much weight because you are drastically cutting calories with your meal replacement shake. This doesn’t really seem to be a sustainable habit to me, unless you choose to live the rest of your life with diet shakes of course.
Throughout the years, I have been tempted at some points to try diet plans when I’ve been unhappy with my appearance. Working in Boots meant that SlimFast shakes were on display for me to see when I felt awful and the temptation to just use them for a week for a quick fix was unreal. In the media and on social media we are bombarded with images of super skinny girls that we grow to envy and idealise without realising that this is having a detrimental effect on our emotional wellbeing as well as our body issues. It doesn’t help that celebrities and Instagram influencers are now also promoting detox teas to aid with weight loss pushing more girls into using these products. However, I really don’t think that a quick fix is the answer and we need to be realistic.
In my opinion, the only way to lose weight and maintain the lifestyle is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. That’s all it really is. Speaking from personal experience, I try to eat three main meals a day which consist of lots of veggie and good food, drink lots of water and workout three times a week. If you’re looking for a quick fix, I’m afraid there isn’t one that is sustainable or healthy for you. Unfortunately, it can take a lot longer to see changes this way. In fact, I spent most of last year patiently waiting to see how my new regime would impact my body. It did happen, with others noticing the change before I really did. If you want a healthy lifestyle, you have to work for it but in doing this, you can make the whole experience more enjoyable.
“Life is a journey, not a destination” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. To me, this quote emphasises that your quick fix will not last forever but striving for a healthy lifestyle and overall good wellbeing can.