Health

How to Spot a Fad Diet (and their Worrying Consequences)

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If you are looking for a fast way to lose weight, it’s very easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the latest diet craze. Many of us want a quick, easy and ‘new’ option to deal with those unwanted pounds. Fad diets are quickly embraced by men, women, the young and the old. Why? One thing almost all fad diets have in common is they are marketed in ways that make them attractive. The most attractive thing about fad diets is they promise rapid weight loss. Some makers of fad diets even claim the pounds will melt away without exercise – if you just follow the diet’s plan of eating.

How to recognize a fad diet

It’s not difficult to recognize a fad diet when you hear about one. Most fad diets restrict certain types of food, while encouraging dieters to eat more of another type of food. Some fad diets even steer consumers into purchasing particular products and claim that weight loss cannot occur without their use. While the thought of losing 20 pounds in a couple of weeks sounds tempting, most fad diets are considered unhealthy by physicians and deemed a gimmick. In addition, most fad diets do not have credible medical or scientific research to back up their claims.

Examples of fad diets

Liquid Diets: Anyone who is on a liquid diet will probably lose weight. Who wouldn’t lose weight living on juice, broth and/or water? The problem with liquid diets is once the dieters resume eating like grown humans, the pounds generally come back fast. People who are considering going on a liquid diet should be very careful. Most health care professionals discourage people from being on a liquid diet for more than a day or two unless they are under medical supervision. Liquid diets do not provide the body with the multiple minerals and vitamins it needs to stay healthy. You might lose weight, but you may end up sick, too.

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High Protein Diets: Most high protein diets claim that if you eat large quantities of protein you will build up your muscle while losing your fat. Physicians tell us that the only healthy way to build up muscle is through weight training. Granted, high protein dieters will generally lose a good deal of weight, but it may be at the expense of their major organs such as their kidneys and livers.

Grapefruit Diet, Apple Diet & Cabbage Diet: Any diet that requires people to eat only one type of food is a fad diet. Restricting the body to one type of food is very unhealthy and the dieters who start these types of restrictive diets do not last very long on them. Physical weakness can set-in fast due to low calorie consumption and the body not receiving the vitamins and minerals it needs to operate.

Consequences of fad dieting

The problem with fad diets is while they may allow a person to lose weight fast, they do not offer the dieter a healthy, long-term weight control formula. Most fad diets are restrictive and boring. They are not something that a dieter can incorporate into their lifestyle long term.

Many fad diets contribute to yo-yo dieting which means the dieter will most probably add the lost weight back, and more, once the diet is over. This type of dieting can make weight loss slow to a crawl when it is finally approached from a healthy perspective.

Individuals who go on fad diets could be putting their bodies at risk for disease and illness. Most fad diets restrict the foods that are packed with the nutrients the human body needs to protect itself from sickness. For example, a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates can cause the body to become low in electrolytes. This can bring about low blood pressure, decreased energy and fatigue. This type of diet may also increase the chances of developing kidney stones and gout.

How to lose weight effectively and healthily

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it requires a lifestyle change. This change has to be something you can do long term and it must involve eating the proper foods and exercising. Seek out the help of a physician, dietician, nutritionist or fitness instructor. Together you can find a healthy weight loss plan that works for your specific needs and lifestyle.

Recommended reading for healthy dieting

For more information and advice on dieting, take a look at the following books:

Forget the Fads, Get the Facts and Feel Fabulous
American Heart Association No-Fad Diet: A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss
A No Fad, Non-Nonsense Approach to Eating Well and Reaching Your Healthy Weight
Fad Free Dieting: Chuck Fad Diets for Good

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