Kirk’s Top 3 Reasons Why Fad Diets Fail


This time of year, New Years’ Resolutions are weighing heavily on people’s minds, and some may already be given up. At Mountain Trek, we’re used to hearing all about fad diets that people have experimented with — and we don’t recommend any of them. The very definition of the verb “to diet” tells you exactly why this approach to achieve vitality fails: “to restrict oneself to small amounts of special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” Dieting is temporary, usually unsustainable, and focused solely on weight.

  1. Fad diets focus on one measure of health — weight. Weight is an excellent indicator of health but is not the only one! This laser-focus on weight is a product of a culture that largely results in an unhelpful pattern of guilt and shame and isn’t focused on real wellness. Our take? Weight loss is a byproduct of a return to natural health — a lifestyle change featuring whole fruits, vegetables, and nutritious protein sources.
  2. Fad diets erroneously focus on “miracle ingredients.” These are simply marketing gimmicks. Humans were perfectly capable of whole health before diets that heavily feature reishi mushrooms, matcha, ashwagandha and other trendy ingredients and supplements came on the scene!
  3. They’re often too restrictive, and unrealistic for long-term adoption. Anything you can’t keep doing isn’t really worth doing. That’s why we recommend a 5:2 system: Five days of a commitment to eating well, and two days to let yourself enjoy in moderation — whether it’s a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a drink (or two) of a delicious, indulgent wine.
  4. Diets often mimic famine. Go too long without food, or with too little food, and the body stores calories because it doesn’t know when next meal is. Smart snacking is important for the body’s metabolism! Small, nutrient-packed snacks keep your body burning energy.

Don’t be tempted by the gimmicks. Long-term health and wellness is achievable when you take a life-long, sustainable approach. The first step? Immerse yourself, and experience a fully optimal lifestyle, where we take a natural approach, treating food as fuel. Come to Mountain Trek for a week, where you’ll rediscover what it means to be whole: deep sleep, delicious, nurturing meals, restorative massages, and hours every day spent outside in deep nature.

Check out Mountain Trek’s nutritionist Jenn for a deeper dive into our food ethos: