Fad diets: Why does a recipe for disaster sound like recipe for success?

Dr. Angela Seabright
Allison Hella

| 2 min read

Fad diets… The “quick, easy, practically effortless way to lose weight fast!”
Yeah, that sounds healthy.
Most fad diets prohibit you from consuming certain food groups, normal quantities of food and any food that isn’t a part of the diet plan. So why does this recipe for disaster sound like a recipe for success to so many people? Simple: society pushes that “thin is in” and people panic. They want to lose weight, and they want to do it now.
So instead of changing to a healthier lifestyle, eating right and exercising (putting in real effort) people opt for a simple, fast, “fool proof” option. This not to say people who have tried fad diets are off the mark. They just wanted to lose weight; and at the end of the day, don’t we all?
The bottom line is if you want real, lasting results, you’re going to have to put in real, lasting effort -which includes a balanced diet.
A publication by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture stated that most of the weight lost on these fad diets is simply water weight. And because of this, the participant usually gains more weight than they lost once they stop the diet.
Fad diets are also limiting when it comes to exercise. Many prohibit exercise because its “dangerous” for your heart rate. If your plan to get in shape prohibits exercise, because exerting energy would be dangerous paired with the amount of nutrients you’re taking, then you need a new plan.
Not enough nutrients comes with many risks which, over a long period of time, may include: your body entering starvation mode, anemia, weight gain and the development of an eating disorder.
Instead of these risks, pains and drastically changing your eating pattern, you’re better off changing your lifestyle to an overall healthier one of nutritious food choices paired with exercise. Sure, it might seem like a drag to find the motivation to exercise and eat healthier, but think about it; once the pounds start coming off, you’ll feel more satisfied and proud of yourself for working hard ,instead of hardly working to lose weight.
  • Click here for no-fad diet tips from the American Heart Association.
  • Click here for SparkPeople’s 12 ways to spot a fad diet.
Photo Credit: Laura Lewis

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