Is there a one size fits all approach? The fact of the matter is whether you gain weight or lose weight will ALWAYS boil down to your intake energy (calories) versus your output expenditure. It's not cutting carbs, a paleo approach, holistic eating, clean eating or a 'bro diet' it's simply energy intake VS energy expenditure. Why some fad diets may have success - your weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Isogenix etc - is not at all due to the food choice but rather the calorie deficit while practicing the diet in that you're eating less than expenditure.
What's the issue with some of these diets long term? Ask yourself this, how long can your meal replace with a shake? How long can you adhere to 1200 calories a day? What happens when your body adjusts to a low-calorie intake - how much lower can you drop your calories? What happens if you feel like something that isn't on the approval list of your fad diet? How does this band-aid solution manage any underlying eating disorders? How is your relationship with food nurtured?
1. Do you categorise foods? If you're looking at food as good or bad without recognition for its caloric and macronutrient intake your diet has failed to educate you on the fundamentals of the science of nutrition, therefore, failing your understanding and perception of food.
2. Do you miss out on partaking in social events or get anxiety when these come round? If food is making you next level freak out this is a strong indication of a broken relationship with food that needs some tender loving care and a more sustainable method of dieting. If social plans or work events that revolve around food cause instant panic and an instant thought process of thinking up a million and one excuses to not participate your diet is failing to be sustainable.3. Do you use a cheat day or off days to fit in treats? Does your diet not allow for food as you feel like it and instead do you find yourself eating without control and as though you must fit all the things you feel like in one day as you won't be able to for an extended period of time? If so your diet is failing to provide you with balance and moderation and teach you a sustainable means of incorporating food you love without switching off your sense of control.
6. Are you low on energy and experiencing poor health? As per above, if your diet is failing to provide your body with what you need you may experience health implications that negatively impact your day to day functionality.
9. Are you training recklessly? If you're overtraining or feeling the need to overwork your body to compensate for eating, having a mindset of trying to outwork your food consumption, or even if you're diet has committed you to a regime you won't be able to keep up then this will fail you in both the immediate long term.
10. Are you having binges and blowouts? Do you feel as though you can't be around your favourite foods like chocolate, cakes, ice cream, cheeses, chip, and dip, etc without it potentially leading into a full-blown eating fest? If so and you are giving in to these temptations on the regular your diet is failing to provide you with a balanced method that keeps your mindset and relationship with food sound and in the long term promotes sustainable adherence.