Today’s guest post from Kathleen Edwards spotlights why fad diets don’t work for weight loss over the long term. Find out why they’re not healthy and why positive claims about them keep surfacing, in spite of the evidence.
The internet is full of fad diets, a quick fix for weight loss. These kinds of diets often come with unrealistic promises, such as “lose 15 pounds in a week” or “banish 3 inches of body fat overnight.” A whopping 62% of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. This statistic is likely caused by two things: not enough physical activity and too many high-fat, high-calorie foods. But fad diets don’t work for weight loss – and here’s why you ought to just say no to them.
Fad Diets vs. the Weight Management Equation
If you want to lose weight, there is a simple calculation – you need to be burning more calories than you consume. Generally, you should do so with a combination of exercise and eating less. It is also about eating the right kinds of foods.
Try to avoid junk food and highly processed foods. Stick to fresh produce, without additives. By doing this, you should be able to lose weight gradually and find it easier to keep it off. Weight loss is about an overall lifestyle change. Educate yourself on how to keep healthy so you won’t have problems in the future.
Fad Diets Don’t Work: Watch out for Companies Peddling a Product
One way to help you identify fad diets is when a food company tries to sell a weight loss or diet product. It could be that special coffee that promises “you only need one cup a day and your body fat will instantly disappear!” Or perhaps it’s those bars and shakes meant to act as a meal substitute but actually have zero nutritional value.
Juice diets and liquid diets are very common – and often have one big issue. While weight loss may occur at first, as soon as you start eating properly then the pounds go straight back on.
Often these kinds of diets are deficient in the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly too. That can leave you with health problems, such as anemia.
Fad Diets for Weight Loss: Too Good to Be True?
Fad diets don’t work; they generally make claims that are too good to be true. After all, if their claims were genuinely true, we would all be on this diet. Fad diets are not balanced diets.
Although you may find you have weight loss at first, it is not body fat – often it is just water weight that you have lost – this can lead to dizziness and lightheadedness. Take the cabbage diet – your body simply cannot sustain itself on cabbage.
Lack of Scientific Evidence?
Good healthy diets will be backed up by plenty of scientific evidence showing that it supports the body’s needs. It will be a diet that you can stick to, without feeling starved. It will promote healthy living, not just a quick fix.
If you are considering changing your eating plan, always consult your doctor or a good dietitian first. They will be able to help you lose weight at a sustainable pace.
Fad diets don’t work, so steer clear of them. They do not promote healthy living.
About Kathleen Edwards
Kathleen Edwards is a freelance writer and editor. She specializes in health and finance topics and loves the research process involved in her job. When not working she loves to travel with her son, music, and hiking.
Top image by Unsplash