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Fad Diets

When trying to lose weight, a fast and easy fix is tempting. It is easy to fall for the "latest" diet trends, especially when quick weight loss is guaranteed. But, remember, you didn’t put on weight overnight, and you won’t lose the weight overnight.

What are Some Clues That a Diet May Be a Fad?

  • It sounds too good to be true.
  • It promises rapid weight loss of more than two pounds a week.
  • It does not recommend physical activity.
  • It eliminates entire food groups.
  • It has strict menus using a very limited selection of foods.
  • It gives no warnings for people living with diabetes or high blood pressure to see a doctor first.
  • Its recommendations are based on a single study.
  • Certain products are recommended to accompany the diet.

Common Fad Diets

Fad diets may bring positive results initially, but this typically is because calories are restricted. Eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight will produce weight loss; however, a fad diet may lead to poor nutrition and even health problems.

For example, a diet that is extremely high in protein may eventually cause kidney damage. Likewise, eliminating fruits and vegetables would deprive our bodies of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that are essential for good health.

Choosing a Weight-Loss Plan

When choosing a weight-loss plan, make sure:

  • it includes a variety of foods;
  • it emphasizes moderation, not elimination;
  • it promotes weight loss of no more than 1-2 pounds a week for sustained weight loss;
  • it encourages healthy food choices;
  • it teaches healthy cooking methods;
  • it stresses portion control;
  • it encourages physical activity; and
  • it incorporates healthy lifestyle behaviors such as limited television time, eating as a family, etc.

Eating should be enjoyable rather than tedious. Fad diets may produce temporary weight loss, but they are often hard to stick with, which ultimately causes the pounds to return. Consider these things when searching for a weight loss program that is right for you. The following tips will help you in your decision:

An example of a healthy eating plan is the Plate Planner (1 MB) | El Plan del Plato de Comida (1 MB)

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Page last updated: December 12, 2023