Fad Diets And Why They DON’T WORK
Health and fitness is a booming industry. So many of us attempt to lose weight for a multitude of occasions–whether it’s getting into a new outfit, going to a reunion, or even a special family event; we look to all kinds of ways to shed pounds in a set amount of time. Often we look to pop culture for the latest methods celebrities and other notables are using to slim down and try to follow suit to get the same or better results for ourselves. But this can be an unwise or even dangerous choice.
What IS A Fad Diet?
For decades, people have tried fad diets to lose weight. A fad diet is a diet that gains fast popularity and fame but often has little often lack standard dietary recommendations and promise unreasonably fast weight loss or absurd health claims. They tend to be built around specific foods and nutrients, exclude certain types of foods, and sometimes require supplements or liquid sustenance such as juices, shakes or detox drinks.
Schemes ranging from the well-known (grapefruit diet) to the extreme (swallowing tapeworm or cotton balls?!?) boast drastic weight loss. They tend to promise quick and easy results with minimal effort and rely on personal testimonials and endorsements to get the masses to try them out. However, these plans can prove impractical at best and unsafe at worst. There are a number of reasons fad diets don’t work for long-term weight management.
Fad Diets Do Not Promote Healthy And Sustainable Diet And Lifestyle Habits
You may enjoy grapefruit or cabbage soup, but eating it as your only meal forever is unrealistic, especially if you live and interact with other people. It takes a strong will to sit at a birthday party staring at half of a grapefruit when everyone else is having cake. Additionally, a diet based on one food will be lacking in other nutrients essential to proper body function, like fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Fad Diets Are Highly Restrictive
Some fad diets are food-specific, relying on the myth that some foods have special properties that can cause weight loss or gain. Even if a certain food has the vitamins and minerals the body needs, there are nutritional claims that are so inflated they can’t be backed by scientific data. An example of this is the hype around superfoods — fruits like blueberries and acai berries, and grains/seeds like brown rice and quinoa that are largely portrayed as “miracle” foods. These foods do offer valuable nutrients but are no “silver bullet” cure-all foods in and of themselves.
Fad Diets May Also Jeopardize Your Physical Health
Fad diets cut out major nutrient components. Diets that are low fat, low carb, no grain and the like can be helpful in moderation but can also be harmful when practiced in extremes. Prolonged adherence to a fad diet may cause dehydration. weakness, fatigue. nausea and headaches.
Fad Diets Can Literally Kill You
Based in extremes that are difficult to maintain, fad diets trap dieters in cycle of weight loss and gain, You can risk regaining all the weight you lost and more, and cause eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and body dysmorphia, They can also put undue stress on a body and weaken the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of heart attacks.
Avoiding The Fad Diet Trap
“Diet” is not a dirty word–there are many positive benefits to controlling your intake of certain amounts of food, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. In some cases, restrictions may be medically necessary. But there are some warning signs that will help you detect an unhealthy diet regimen. Here are some things to look for in a diet plan to spot potentially dangerous fads:
“Guaranteed” Or “Too Good To Be True” Claims Of Fast And/Or Extreme Weight Loss.
The average weight loss for a person on a regular exercise plan and balanced diets is 2-3 pounds a week. If you find a plan that swears you’ll lose 10 pounds in 3 days, RUN.
Restrictive Or Overly Extreme Methods
Diets that cut out all carbs or center around one specific food (or color of food) can deprive the body of essential nutrients that allow you to function normally. Likewise, relying on a liquid-only diet or ingesting non-food items such as cotton balls, tapeworms or even sedatives to “sleep through” your meals is not only detrimental but could be life-threatening.
Requires The Purchase Of Specific Products, Supplements or Resources
The vast majority of vitamins and minerals can be ingested through the foods we eat, particularly those in their closest to natural state. Diets that require multiple pill supplements, special topical creams, or tea and other drinks touted to “detox” the body will likely reduce the inches in your wallet before the inches in your waist.
Provides No Health Warning For Those With Pre-Existing Medical Illnesses
Single-focus diets may well include foods beneficial to our health, but might be triggering to certain medical conditions. A vegetable-heavy plan could be irritating to those with digestive issues like GERD or irritable bowel syndrome, just as a carb-focused diet may aggravate gluten intolerance or psoriasis.
We should always be conscious of what and how much we eat, and how it affects our health and appearance. But we should be sure to diet responsibly and patiently, so we can have effective, long-lasting and maintainable results.