diet fads

New Year, New You:  The start of a new year brings promises of an improved self, with losing weight often at the top of the resolution list. Some say diets are nothing more than a business, a get-rich-quick way of turning the public’s insecurities into profit. But the fact is diets are here to stay. It is projected that in 2015 alone, four to five new dieting trends will be introduced.

The number of dieting options out there can make anyone’s head spin: vegan, gluten-free, juicing, pescetarian, vegetarian, Atkins, paleolithic, just to name a few. I myself have fallen victim to trendy diet fads—you name it, I’ve tried it.

I failed at juicing, twice. The first time I juiced was right before a friend’s engagement party (not suggested) in an effort to slim down. I was miserable the entire time because instead of delighting in the array of delicious Indian food, I was left drinking copious amounts of bland liquids with an ungodly number of bathrooms breaks in between. The second time was in the dead of summer, and my whole body overheated. I caved both times and ended up eating solid food.

Call me crazy but starting a new diet can feel exciting. My experience might sound torturous, but there is a reason why men and women engage in dieting: It invokes hope for change.

Slipping into those skinny jeans does not hurt either, but diets do create discipline, and if done successfully, they can have a domino effect in improving overall habits: sleeping better, snacking less, prioritizing where your time goes and what is most important to you. Life is messy, but diets allow people to have some level of control over their day-to-day.

Given the countless diets out there, which do you choose? How do you know if it works or whether it will be a big waste of time and money? Despite what creators claim, there is no guarantee a diet will magically melt off the pounds. We all have varying body types with unique metabolisms. Introducing your body to a new way of eating— whether it is going meatless or trying a dairy-free diet—will result in a different outcomes for everyone.

It takes time for your body to adjust to the changes and to see real results. When dieting is done in a proper manner with enough targeted time to reach your intended goals, the end results will  last longer than any quick fixes.

The important thing to remember when choosing a diet is to not get too carried away with it. Extreme dieting is dangerous and does more harm than not dieting altogether.

Stick to basic foods in their natural state, eat well-balanced meals, drink lots of water and exercise regularly. Yo-yo dieting and inconsistent exercise leaves dieters feeling frustrated by the lack of weight-loss results.

I may end up trying a new diet at some point in the New Year. Even if I do not lose weight, it might make me healthier by bringing awareness to what I am consuming.

Bottom line: Don’t lose your cool over dieting. Whichever path you choose, make sure it is one that is manageable to your schedule, gives you variety and helps you make better choices.