Why Fad Diets Don’t Work — And What Does

By on July 15, 2014
If you’re desperate to lose weight, you’ll look at every possible method out there. Crash and fad diets often claim to help you lose tons of weight in a short amount of time — some even claim you can lose weight without ever exercising. Fad diets might have you lose the weight, but they don’t help you keep the weight off when you look at them in the long run.

What is a Fad Diet?

Fad diets are often advertised as a “miracle” or “revolutionary” diet. They often open up with claims about eating what you want, when you want, and the weight will fall off. Others claim you don’t have to work out, and you’ll suddenly have an amazing beach body. One of the reasons most fad diets work short- term is because they are so low calorie. The second you stop the diet and go back to a normal diet, you gain the weight right back.

Signs of a Bad Fad Diet

  • A diet that only focuses on a few food groups. Ever heard of the grapefruit diet? Any type of diet that restricts you from eating full food groups should be avoided. Not only do they significantly reduce what you can eat, but can reduce the nutrients you get — and can lead to malnutrition.
  • Any diets labeled as “detox” diets. These are often extreme and call for body cleanses, injections, etc. According to Pamela Peeke, MD, the chief medical correspondent for Discovery Heath, cleanse diets are nonsense and there is no scientific research to back up their effectiveness for long term weight loss goals.
  • Diets that use a miracle food — such as green tea or apple cider vinegar. Again, no single food group can cause long-term weight loss.
  • Fasting or extremely low-calorie diets. The HCG diet, for example, has people dropping down to 500 calories per day. This is unhealthy, can cause significant health issues, and the only reason people lose weight is because they aren’t eating enough calories for their bodies to function at its best. But, the second they start eating a normal diet, they gain the weight right back.
  • Any diet that sounds like it is too good to be true. Let’s face it; if you have to drink apple cider vinegar and water for 7 days to reset your body or the diet claims to cause significant weight loss in no time, it’s probably not healthy.

What Does Work

Fad diets come and go because they are just fads. If you really want to lose weight, don’t give into the diets that claim to show results. Instead, follow the basics of healthy eating that include:

• Having a variety of whole foods, grains, vegetables, dairy, etc.
• Practicing portion control. Portion sizes these days are a lot larger than they used to be. By monitoring your portion sizes you could drop a few dress sizes alone.
• Avoid bad fats — such as fried foods and fast food products.
• Exercise for a minimum of 150 minutes each week.
• Remove temptation from your home, including high-calorie, high-fat foods.
• Eat smaller meals more frequently to give your metabolism a kick start.
• Fill up on healthy stuff, like raw vegetables and fruit.

Readers: What are your thoughts on fad diets? Got any funny diets you’ve heard of you want to


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