Waist trainers and diet tea. Why Are People So Obsessed with Fad Diets?

fad diets

Image Source: Katie Corvino

There is no shortage of diet fads and gimmicks within mainstream media. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are flooded with celebrity endorsed teas and supplements – so what’s the deal? Is there really a magical product that makes you slim, sleek and toned?

There are tons of tips and tricks to lose weight and obtain the perfect body, but these complicated diet plans and pills may not be the best solution. Although dieting fads and scams may seem promising, the best route to losing weight and keeping it off is by going back to the basics: start eating clean and moving your body.

Facebook and Instagram have become platforms for fitness fanatics everywhere. The rise of the tags #thinspo and #fitspo serve as a hotspot for diet and fitness inspiration, but these hashtags may contribute to excessive diet restrictions and even eating disorders. As stated by Claire Mysko, head of youth outreach for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), “we live in a culture where eating disorders thrive because of the messages we are exposed to” – especially when the message comes from someone we aspire to be.

Celebrity endorsements for quick-fix dieting products have grown more popular. The Kardashians are constantly endorsing Bootea – which boasts of a 14-day tea detox that is said to boost your energy and – as their website says – get you “motivated to reach your goals.” Although Kim’s selfies with her “teatox” products may look promising, even Bootea’s website states “we have and will never portray any of our products to be a ‘magic formula’ to meet your weight loss goals.”

Another popular health and fitness solution seen across social media is the waist-trainer, which has been endorsed through selfies of stars such as JWoww and Snooki from The Jersey Shore. This easy solution to slimming down doesn’t seem feasible, and according to Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at Boston Medical Center, “if you wear a waist trainer during exercise, it would probably compromise your ability to exercise at a high intensity.”

Social media is filled with ads and celebrity endorsements for all different kinds of weight loss solutions, but these are short-term fixes. The key to getting fit is making long-term lifestyle changes. Make each plate colorful with fruits and vegetables.

Choose healthier alternatives to your favorite snacks – such as strawberries toasted in the oven instead of red licorice candy. Get moving – find an exercise or activity that soothes your mind, body, and soul – such as yoga or swimming. Getting back to basics with simple lifestyle changes is the way to lose weight and keep it off, and that is something that no magical pill or potion can guarantee.

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One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

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