Every couple of years the newest hot diet comes through the market and sweeps up hundreds of millions of dollars as everyone is looking for that next edge in a quick and easy diet. The bottom line of any fad diet is that they are called a fad for a reason. These diets are usually diets that work for quick but ineffective results, generally focusing on short-term losses that cannot be sustained. Many times, these diets are sold to the public as “one size fits all” but the cold hard facts is that these diets can be dangerous to partake in unless properly supervised or at minimum okayed by a physician or nutritionist. Instead of jumping onboard to any fad diet that comes along, take the time to research them thoroughly first. Respect the fact that your personal nutrition needs may not meet the particular requirements and commitments that the fad diet is asking of you, and could cause more harm than good. Certainly, particular fad diets can work for particular people, but this tends to be a minority and not the majority. Knowing what to look for will help you avoid negative affects like weight gain and mild or even serious health risks.
Too Good to Be True
Any time you come across a claim that sounds far too good to be true, it most likely is. For instance, if you see a dieting system that claims to knock off two pounds a day, or promises pounds in hours, then you need to take the time to do serious research on just how the weight is being lost. Remember that water weight can sometimes be the weight that is lost in these “in hours” diets and losing too much hydration over a sustained period of time is very dangerous. It is not meant to be sustained weight loss when you lose hydration weight. Other diets demand that you simply lower your caloric intake far too much, and this can also be severely dangerous for you or anyone else who attempts it. Some fad diets will misrepresent the truth and others may simply outright lie. Make sure to research as best you can before you commit to any fad. Remember that while weight loss may be your goal, it should never come from the sacrifice of health.
Testimonials vs. Science
Almost any diet, be it fad or legitimate will have testimonials and supposed doctors who claim the diet is effective and efficient. Take a close look at testimonials as well, as they often are simply paid-advertising promoted by the company who stands to gain from you buying into the diet. Once again, it is on you to make sure the research is clear for you to see. Look for peer-reviewed studies from universities or reputable health organizations. Remember not to simply take a fad-diet “doctor” on their word. Sometimes a supposed doctor can be an actor, while other times the doctors degree may have nothing to do with M.D. or nutritional work. Peer reviews should be accessible through the internet, or you can write directly to the company and ask for the research data that backs their claims. A reputable company can either direct you to those who have the information, or give you the information outright.
Be skeptical of any diet which asks you to remove a single food or particular type of food altogether. Dieting is about temperance, trying to not each too much food while keeping the body active and healthy. Removing an entire food or food group can often have negative consequences on the body if done too quickly and too drastically. For instance, some diets wish to remove all carbohydrates (carbs) from the person’s diet; however, carbohydrates store and transport energy to the structure of the body. In other words, carbohydrates are a source of fuel for the body. By removing all carbohydrates, one is effectively removing the fuel that keeps the body functioning properly. Instead, what one should look for is a low-carb diet, or a diet that has periods of carbohydrate intake. It is the same for fats. While not all fats are good, certain fats are vital to the body having enough energy to function properly. Therefore, the rule is simple, avoid “the new diet” which tells you one or another food is “bad.” Excess of any food is often bad, but no food in itself is bad for you.
Equally as important as avoiding elimination is avoiding the crash diet. These are diets that claim that by going on a sudden-and-strict diet of low calories and/or high activity, one will lose weight easily. While it is true that burning more calories than you do intake will result in weight loss, it is also dangerous to do suddenly and aggressively. Furthermore, the weight that is lost will likely be easily regained the moment the crash is complete. This is because when the body is shocked into low calories and high activity, it often assumes it is starving and will hold onto any sugar and fat that is put into the system, effectively negating any early weight loss in the long run. Instead of falling for this type of fad for quick results, stick with diets that ease you into the process so your metabolism has a chance to adjust to the new amounts of food it must work with.
No matter how desperate you are to lose weight and make a diet work for you, remember that the goal is healthy and sustained weight loss. Avoid trying to melt weight off too quickly as it tends to backfire. The cold, hard truth of the matter is that losing weight takes some work. Quite often, the best way to succeed is simply by being more active consistently and lowering your caloric intake somewhere between 1,200-1,500 calories per day (depending on your personal attributes). Any other strategy should be consulted with a physician or nutritionist for best results.
Sign up for our e-newsletter to find out more about how to get muscles fast.
Image credited to soulsconverge.wordpress.com