Fad diets vs Lasting fitness

Fitness Expert
Are you frustrated with the countless weight loss diets that don't work? Do you shed those pounds only to regain them with a vengeance? Stop blaming yourself for yo-yoing back to misery -- the diet fad you are following may be at fault.
The phrase ‘fad diets' refers to diets that promote a restricted eating plan which is unhealthy and lacking in sufficient calories. Common examples of fad diets include the Cabbage Soup Diet and the Grapefruit Diet.

Appeal of fad diets

Fad diets are easy to fall for. It is very tempting to take drastic steps to shed flab fast and get quick results. It sure would be awesome if you could guzzle soup for a week to shed those extra pounds or survive on grapefruits to fit into that skimpy dress. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to losing excess weight as well as maintaining the weight loss.

Do fad diets work?/ Fad diets bring results...temporary ones/ Short-term gain, back to square one

Most fad diets are short-term diet plans. With monotonous menus and inadequate nutrition, these diets are hard to stick to in the long run. Since any very-low-calorie diet causes weight loss in most people and fad diets are extremely low in calories, you may initially experience rapid weight loss. However, this quick weight loss is temporary. You may simply regain the weight or pile on even more than before, as soon as you resume normal eating, leading to depression and frustration.

Signs of a fad diet

Here are some pointers to identify and avoid a fad diet. A fad diet:

1. Promises quick and huge weight loss. Fad diets make unrealistic promises, such as, ‘Lose 30 pounds in 20 days!' A diet that causes weight loss of more than two pounds a week is not nutritionally sound.
2. Provides far less calories than needed for a healthy lifestyle. If a diet requires you to eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, if you are a woman or fewer than 1,400 calories a day if you are a man, it is unhealthy and possibly dangerous.
3. Encourages you to eliminate food groups or eat from a limited selection of foods. Depending on the type of diet plan, fad diets may be deficient in protein, carbohydrates, fiber or important vitamins and minerals, causing malnutrition.
4. Neglects to recommend an exercise routine and lifestyle changes. Fad diets ignore the fact that being physically active is crucial to maintaining weight loss. Any good weight loss plan will encourage you to do moderate exercise several times a week.
5. Is short-term. Beware of a diet that warns you to stop following its recommendations after a certain, usually short, period of time. This implies it is harmful to follow the diet after the specified number of days. A balanced diet, on the contrary, can be adapted to your routine lifestyle and helps in long-term weight maintenance.

Forget fads, eat low-fat

The bottom line is: Eat food low in total fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats, be physically active and take in fewer calories than you burn to shed those excess pounds. No fad diet can beat this simple rule!