The Evolution of Dieting

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It is definitely true…in the United States we like to diet. In fact, according to Marketdata, approximately 108 million people in the U.S. dieted in 2013 and collectively we spend over a billion dollars on weight loss programs each year. As we think back to all of the diet fads and food trends that made headlines, most of us are quick to throw out the old and welcome the new.However, most diets fail and the main reasons why, according to Calorie Control Council, include: a slowing metabolism, not enough exercise, a lack of self discipline, too much snacking and overeating at mealtimes.  So where have diets been and where are they going?

A Look at Diet Trends of the Past

From cabbage soup to low carb choices, various diet fads (some new and some recycled) enter the diet scene each year and most melt away more quickly then our waistlines.  During the 1930’s and 40’s, cigarette and lemonade cleanses were all the rage.  Years later the Cabbage Soup Diet was introduced, and diet pills were deemed a miracle.  

During the 1980’s, diet experts warned us to stay away from quick fixes and suggested a more controlled and disciplined approach.  The diet meal plan phenomena started to boom, allowing consumers to choose various prepackaged food options and planned menus for healthier eating options.  During this time, we were encouraged to choose better lifestyle choices overall. 

While we started to gravitate toward a healthier mindset in more recent years, obstacles still got in the way.  Marketdata analysts believe that the recession forced many consumers to trade down to lower-priced foods and more fast food, ultimately higher in carbs. This reason, coupled with the consumption of more “comfort food” to cope with stresses of the recession, resulted in Americans gaining more weight than usual.

The Future of Dieting:  Shifting to Healthier Lifestyles

Research shows that dieters as a group are getting older, as the Baby Boomers age; more seniors, aged 55-65+ are dieting today. Most recently, consumers (Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y and Z alike) are changing perception and thinking about the big picture.  Quick fixes are no longer trendy like some of the diets of the past.  Consumers are more eco-conscious and concerned about “green” initiatives.  Sustainability and recyclability are important topics, organic and Non-GMO products are becoming more sought after, and eating more fruit, vegetables and meat (a diet inspired by cavemen) is becoming ever more popular.

The shift to overall healthier lifestyles is becoming more important than ever.  With that in mind, daily meal delivery services are gaining popularity and helping fill the void for those looking to eat healthy all day, every day. In fact, these customized meals are gaining favor across many demographics.  While some consumers are using these plans for weight loss, others are simply looking for healthy meals, conveniently delivered fresh to their homes.  

Rather than embarking on a fad diet, this option is appealing to many as it offers:

  • A healthy selection: portion controlled meals are balanced with lean proteins, favorable fats and complex carbs.  In moderation, consumers have many options.
  • Convenience: chefs prepare delicious restaurant inspired meals delivered straight to consumer’s homes.
  • Cutting edge technology: some daily meal delivery services are using the most state-of-the-art technology to deliver only the freshest tasting food products plated with the most attractive restaurant quality presentation. 
  • Eco-friendly options: One New York based company only uses locally grown produce and sustainable fish.

The Takeaway

While diet trends have evolved over time, it is important to remember that a one size fits all plan is not practical and fads fade out quickly.  Dieting doesn't have to mean starving or sacrificing on taste.  Embracing a healthier lifestyle can be satisfying and enjoyable. Eating more fresh ingredients is imperative and moderation is essential. There are many great meal plans and options on the market that offer convenience and quality. Healthy eating coupled with exercise will get you on the right track for an overall better lifestyle and happier future.

 

Kevin Glodek is the CEO of Chefs Diet National, Chefs Diet was created to revolutionize the word "diet.”  By offering fresh, healthy, delicious and convenient meal options, consumers feel like they have their own personal chef with Chefs Diet.  Each dish is prepared daily, based on Nobel Prize winning science: 40% complex carbohydrates, 30% lean proteins and 30% favorable fats, helping to promote increased energy levels, weight loss, lean body mass and optimal blood sugar levels. With thousands of satisfied clients today, Chefs Diet has become the leading meal delivery service offering users a healthier, easier and more enjoyable way to look and feel their best. The company was rated #1 in the country for fresh food home delivery by Epicurious (a division of Condé Nast) and Cruise Control Diet “The Best Diet For Weight Loss” selected Chefs Diet as one of the best Meal/Diet Programs today. 

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 12/17/14

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