When it comes to dieting and diet culture it seems Aussies are getting bored — at least that’s according to results from a recent Nine survey.
Given the pandemic has put mental and physical wellbeing at the forefront for many, we thought it would be a good time to see what strategies are being used to combat one of the most popular ‘post-COVID-19’ goals around weight loss and healthy eating.
While intermittent fasting, Atkins and the CSIRO diet remain popular, over 60 per cent of Nine readers said they hadn’t tried any of the plethora of diet options out there.
“It’s a little bit reassuring because there are so many diets and as a dietitian, you just know they’re all the same thing,” Dietitian and author Susie Burrell tells 9Honey.
“There’s only so many things you can do with food, calories and macro nutrients. So these just play on different things and very rarely do you have something like fasting, which does have some strong science behind it, to validate the method.
“Most of them are people wanting to make a quick buck and put a new spin on something that’s an old — same stuff with a different name. And that’s boring after a while.
“And that’s good because they won’t buy the into the fad diets and books or products that drive that industry. Basically waste their money because let’s be honest, they don’t work.”
The diets Aussies have tried
Intermittent fasting remains one of the most popular forms of dieting among Nine readers with 14 per cent saying they had tried the method.
“It doesn’t surprise me because it fits into life better than most diets and is purely based on calorie restriction,” Burrell says.
“You can eat normal food, you can eat away from home, you can adjust it based on your personal life and that’s very different to most diets we see, which are calorie and macro nutrient based and require a lot of planning and food focused changes.”
Burrell also says fasting is a good example of a science and evidence based approach.
“Fasting is a good example of a scientific revolution of around the way we look at food and diet. We want people to be looking for evidence based approaches, not just people trying to make a quick buck off calorie restriction.”
Atkins and CSIRO also remain popular programs, while the 5:2 diet scored six per cent.
Aussies don’t want complicated
When it comes to some of the more niche and restrictive diets, only four per cent of people had tried a juice cleanse.
Paleo was also only chosen as an option by three per cent of people, while only two per cent said they had tried the grapefruit diet or the ‘blood type’ diet.
Burrell says a lot of it comes down to the availability of resources and time.
“The primary target for many fad diets, or diets in general, are women aged between 20 to 40. And I think that those women are just too time poor to have the capacity to not only take new information on board but implement it,” she says.
“It is often beyond what they have capacity for in their already filled lives. So the average client I see is so they don’t have time to cook and meal plan their food, let alone learning about a new diet, prepare for it and commit to it.”
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