How Fad Diets Promise Quick Weight Loss

February 27, 2011

Diets & Nutrition

So many fad diets, so little time! The words Fad Diets typically refers to eating plans that promote a strict eating pattern, restricts certain food groups and may take form in several ways: low-fat, low-carbs, high-protein, or focusing one on a particular food item such as grapefruit.

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There are literally hundreds of these diets, and in one way or another have all claimed to be the best approach in weight loss. The appeal of these fad diets come from the desire of individuals to slim down with as little effort as possible. Most of these fad diets do just that, but these idiosyncratic eating plans are far from the ideal diet, lacking the important vitamins, nutrients, minerals and essential fatty acids the body needs.

It’s fairly easy to spot a fad diet, and it may have the following characteristics:

  • Promises a quick fix
  • With claims that sound too good to be true.
  • Eliminates one or more of the major food groups.
  • Labeling foods as "good" and "bad."
  • Recommendations are based on so-called studies without review from other researchers                            
  • Usually based on single studies or success stories   
  • Draws simplistic conclusions from a complex study
  • Makes dramatic statements refuted by reputable scientific organizations

A fad diet would usually call for a "banning" of or limiting consumption to one or more food group, may it be fat, carbohydrates or protein. This is a recipe for disaster, as individuals told to stop eating a particular food would only have monster cravings for it. The ideal meal should always contain a combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Some of the more common claims of these diets include blaming particular body hormones for weight gain, suggesting that food can change body chemistry, or banning a particular food group. The bottomline is, they all have one thing in common: These fad diets only offer a temporary solution that in the long run can be the reason for a couple of health problems.

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Once the diet is stopped, the lost weight is gained quickly, and in thiscase, when weight loss happens drastically, chances are, it’s just water weight lost, and when regained, becomes fat. This is due to the fact that these diets don’t actually teach the individual how to eat right.

There is no point in staying on a diet that is so restrictive, as in the case of most fad diets, that you will have a hard time staying on it for a length of time. Fad diets usually call for the individual to replace meals with shakes or meal substitues which often leave the person feeling unsatisfied.

There really is no shortcut to healthy weight loss, and if you do desire to fit into that bikini in time for the beach season, devoting yourself to a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and a properly balanced, portion-controlled diet is still the best way to shed the extra pounds and keep it off.

From top: Master Cleanse Diet, Cookie Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet

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