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Are Fad Diets a Bad Idea

Are Fad Diets a Bad Idea?

At least once a month, it seems like we’re hearing about a new diet. People claim to be seeing results from these diets. There are many websites that claim significant weight loss within as little as a few days. However, the truth is, these “fad” diets are actually a bad idea.

You’re probably wondering how something can be a bad idea when people are seeing results from it. The truth is that, while you’re likely to see quick results- most of the time, this weight loss is temporary. Typically, about 90% of the weight loss is actually water weight- which you’ll put right back on as soon as you rehydrate. If you’re not hydrated, you’ll end up suffering from severe health complications and possibly death.

Some of the fad diets on the market are not obviously crash diets with shocking claims, but over-hyped plans that are fashionable for a while and make a lot of money in associated product sales for the inventor of the diet.

Best case scenario, these could potentially be good nutrition plans to help you lose/maintain weight- and could have been obtained from your physician for free. On the other hand- worst case scenario, they could be so difficult to follow that you end up frustrated and give up after a week or so.

5 Reasons Fad Diets are a Bad Idea

Below, we’ll discuss five reasons that fad diets are a bad idea.

  1. Typically, diets that guarantee quick, easy weight loss are based on eating more of one food and less of another. However, this means that you don’t get the benefits that come with eating a balanced diet. Often, they suggest that you take supplements to replace the nutrients you’re missing- but the problem is, if you don’t consume the foods that are banned, the nutrients from the supplements are not likely to be absorbed effectively by your body. After a few weeks (if you even make it that long), your body will start showing signs of nutritional deficiencies.
  2. Most of the time, fad diets are overly restrictive and boring. Sure, it might be fun the first few days- but eventually, you will become bored by the meals. You will start craving food all the time and, ultimately, will break the diet. This may end up leading to feelings of guilt, and possibly even a belief that you’re a failure because you can’t seem to lose the weight.
  3. In most cases, fad diets don’t follow the recommendations from the American Heart Association and similar entities regarding appropriate/healthy fat levels in the diet. Some diets recommend that you consume lots of foods that are high in fat and low in carbs- which could potentially result in heart disease. Of course, the promoters of the diet are likely to tell you that the diet is only for short term weight loss- but you’re not likely to reach your goal weight within that time. So, what happens? You end up continuing with a plan that’s not good for you or you give up and go back to eating like you did before- which means you lose your progress and gain back the weight that you did lose (and sometimes more).
  4. Most of the fad diets on the market don’t include servings of fruits and veggies. If they do happen to include fruits and veggies, often the number of suggested servings is nowhere near what your body needs to be healthy.
  5. Sure, fad diets do often result in quick weight loss- but this weight loss is just temporary. If you don’t make some real changes to your eating habits, you will not maintain your results. The only way to maintain your target weight is by making permanent, healthy changes to your eating habits. Fad diets perpetuate the practice of yo-yo dieting, which puts you in a cycle of rapid weight loss and rapid weight gain. This is actually worse for your physical and mental health than if you had never lost the weight to begin with.


Regardless of what you read or hear on TV or the internet, fad diets are not going to help you in the long run. Sure, you may quickly lose 10 pounds- but unless you make some lasting changes to your diet and lifestyle, you will gain it right back. Instead of falling for these fad diets over and over, consider speaking with your physician for some help in losing the weight and keeping it off.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Krista Mounsey

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