Fad Diets: Ineffective and Dangerous

Obesity, and incidences of overweight, are reaching pandemic levels across the globe. Diet programs, weight loss supplements, and exercise plans draw billions of dollars each year. Overweight people, and those who believe they are overweight, are constantly seeking that “magic pill” or miracle formula to lose weight fast and effortlessly. Many turn to fad diets, and are quickly disappointed.

The true formula for weight loss is simple; expend more calories than you take in. Of course, the body is a remarkable machine, also. As the caloric intake is lowered, the body lowers its basal metabolic rate, to avoid starvation. So, this adds a new layer to the weight loss formula. Long term weight loss requires manipulating the calories and nutrient intake over the long haul.

Fad Diets Do Not Work

Many people see advertisements for the latest fad diets and, due to a strong need for any hope in the weight loss world, they jump on the bandwagon. However, this usually meets with less than desired results, and in some cases, serious health concerns. Many fad diets are simply ineffective and based on flawed, or no, scientific basis. The diets are often based on one small portion of the scientific research of nutrition, instead of putting it all together for the total package.

When new research is published, some people use that to develop the next new diet or fitness plan. They often do not dig deep enough to see the multiple levels of the research. The fad diet may be based on a nutrient, particular food, or even a caloric intake schedule. When lacking scientific backing these diets are often flawed and can lead to problems.

Problems with Fad Diets

Most fad diets focus on certain foods, or the elimination of certain foods, which can cause an imbalance of some nutrients in the body. These imbalances can cause conditions as mild as muscle cramping to as severe as cardiac arrhythmias and death. There are certain fads to avoid at all costs. Any diet that limits fluid intake, requires the dieter to eat just one type of food for an extended period of time, requires eating unhealthy or dangerous foods, or asks the dieter to starve, fast, or reduce the calories below 1000 per day is not recommended and could be unsafe.

The reason fad diets don’t work has a lot to do with the unhealthy nature of the diets. A diet that is unhealthy cannot be sustained for a long period of time. Fad diets are not designed to be sustainable nutritional plans. They are usually based on rapid weight loss, often fluid loss. The weight loss is not sustainable because the diets are based on meal plans that cannot be continued for a lifetime. So, when the dieter returns to their normal habits again, the weight is regained. True, sustainable weight loss requires the development of new habits to reduce the chances of regaining the weight.

Fad Diets are a Temporary Fix

Fad diets are just as the name implies, a fad. They come and go like the wind. The reason why there are so many fad diets on the market is because there is not one that works for the long haul. If there was one that worked it would take the place of all the others. Most diets work for some people for a short time, but fad diets don’t work for anyone for the long term.

Quality, healthy weight loss requires a change in lifestyle and habits. It cannot be achieved by eating one type of food all the time, drinking soup, eating cookies, or any other fad on the market. Skip the fads, change your habits, and lose weight the healthy way.

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