If you’ve ever tried to lose weight by following a fad diet, answer the following questions:
- Have you been able to follow this restrictive diet for a long period?
- Did you lose weight quickly?
- If yes, did the fat stay off once you start eating normally like you do before?
Here’s the thing: fad diets don’t work. Losing weight never requires starving or depriving yourself of important nutrients and calories, or eliminating entire food groups. Thin models and influencers are the biggest promoters of these diets, but what they don’t tell is that these diets are potentially harmful to health.
First thing first: how to know if it is a fad diet?
There are many typical signs of fad diets. For instance, these diets claim to reduce a decent amount of weight easily and quickly. While you’re on the fad diet, you apparently don’t even have to work out. To gain results, you have to eliminate ‘bad food,’ which may mean certain food groups.
These are the major reasons you should avoid the trap of fad diets:
1. They’re just a quick fix.
As discussed earlier, a diet that promises fast and easy weight loss is a fad diet and this is what makes these diets suspicious. You’ll see health experts telling you all the time that the only way to lose weight effectively and sustainably is by making long-term changes to your lifestyle. Ditching the sedentary routine, engaging in physical activities regularly, and adapting a healthier diet are the key to success. Making these changes part of your life is time-consuming, and may take many months, maybe years.
You will certainly lose weight quickly with a fad diet as you are eating less. But when you achieve your desired figure and stop the diet, chances are you’ll gain it all back, this time with some bonus pounds.
2. They are unrealistic.
Because fad diets are restrictive, it’s very unrealistic for a normal person to maintain it for a long period. Plus, when slip-ups occur, you may end up binge-eating on hamburgers and junk food items as a response to restriction.
Imagine surviving on carrot juice for a week. What would you do the moment your restriction will be ended? Of course, you’ll eat a lot. That is why fad diets promote the ‘all or nothing’ approach, which leads to unbalanced diet and weight.
3. They’re a lie.
The fact that fad diets are not scientifically proven is the biggest reason why they’re called ‘fads.’ If they were evidence-based, they would be suggested by nutritionists and health experts. For instance, there have been many promising health claims made about coconut oil, such as that it provides enhanced metabolism and balanced cholesterol levels, addresses kidney issues, diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, HIV, and Alzheimer’s disease. But this is just misinformation that is not backed by researchers. In fact, these diets can have bad effects on health.
4. It can slow down your metabolism.
When you follow a fad diet, you have to eat a structured amount of food on a set schedule. This results in disrupting your natural metabolism. When we cut back on our meals, our metabolism slows down as our body automatically starts conserving fuel. This also means that although you lose weight fast, it becomes much difficult to lose weight again later in life. Plus, you’re more likely to gain more weight than you lost.
5. They’re not personalized.
All fad diets use a cookie-cutter approach, meaning that you must follow a certain food structure no matter what. It doesn’t consider your medical condition, food allergies, psychological state, and financial position. If a diabetic person starts following a fad diet without any medical supervision, he may end up having extremely low blood sugar levels, which is extremely dangerous and can send you into diabetic coma.
6. You feel socially isolated.
Eating and drinking are an important part of our social life. So, if you’re following a very strict diet or foods in a very specific quantity, this can make it difficult for you to plan a dinner with office colleagues or friends. Seeing people enjoying their favorite meals will make you feel alienated.
You are the best person to make an informed decision about your health. So do it.