Fad diets undoubtedly get results. As a result they are very popular in the media with multiple adverts claiming that you can lose lots of weight in a matter of day with their special plan. However, in many cases the majority of the weight lost (up to 90%) on fad diets is water weight and this remains a short term solution. Why? Because when you rehydrate you will gain most of the weight back. If you do not rehydrate you will be putting your health in serious jeopardy.
Certain fad diets are not crash diets but instead are over hyped ‘media diets’ which often exaggerate the effectiveness of their product. These diets are usually popular for a short period and the inventor will profit from their ideas and the associated products. Although they are over hyped, these types of fad diets often contain good nutrition plans that can assist you in losing weight. So what is the catch? In most cases you can get these ‘media diets’ from your doctor without shelling out all your hard earned cash.
As you can gather I do not believe fad diets are an effective way to lose weight. In this article I outline five reasons why fad diets are bad for you:
1) MOST FAD DIETS REQUIRE YOU TO EAT ONE FOOD TYPE ONLY:- Most of these diets will claim that you can lose weight quickly and easily if you just eat fruit, just eat meat, just drink soup etc. In doing this you are missing out on all the nutritional benefits of a well balanced diet. You may even have to take certain supplements to compensate e.g. fiber or protein supplements. Sticking to these diets in the long term is not good for your body and nutritional deficiencies will develop.
2) YOU WILL NOT ENJOY YOUR MEALS WITH FAD DIETS:- When you begin you might be thinking “Great. I can eat my favourite food all day long.” This feeling will not last and the same food will get boring very quickly. Even with fad diets that do not involve just one type of food, the meal plans are often very restrictive and bland. As you become more and more disappointed with your meals you will start to crave other foods continuously. If you have the willpower to resist these cravings you will become increasingly bored with what you are eating. If you do not have the willpower to resist you will feel guilty for breaking the diet plan. Either way you will not feel good about yourself by participating in these types of diet.
3) MOST FAD DIETS DO NOT MEET THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION’S RECOMMENDATIONS:- The American Heart association has outlined recommended levels of fat in specific diets. However, many fad diets do not follow these recommendations. For example, certain plans are high fat, low carbohydrate diets. They are meant to be followed for a short period of time. But what if you do not achieve your goals in that period? You can stick with the diet and risk heart disease or drop the diet and most likely gain the weight that you lost. Either way you will not achieve a positive outcome.
4) MOST FAD DIETS IGNORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:- Most fad diets do not incorporate the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables into your weight loss plans. By missing out on your fruit and vegetables you are removing a lot of essential vitamins and minerals from your diet.
5) PERMANENT CHANGES ARE NEEDED FOR LONG-TERM WEIGHT LOSS:- Fad diets are only temporary solutions. Once you reach the target weight you are likely to revert to your normal eating habits and then regain the weight you lost. Then you will go back on the fad diet to lose the weight again and the cycle continues. This yo yo dieting can be more damaging to your self esteem than if you had stayed overweight because you see yourself gaining the weight time after time. Plus, your weight going up and down rapidly is not good for your body or your health.
Fad diets will help you lose weight but they are not the best solution. They are often temporary, unhealthy fixes. In the long term they do not help you lose weight but can damage your overall health and self esteem. The tried and tested solution of regular exercise combined with a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to achieve and maintain long term weight loss. Don’t believe me? Go and see your dietitian or doctor and see what they tell you. Ignore the media hype and stick with what really works.