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Fad Diets: Why Are They Bad?

Mar 1, 2008
It is not surprising that many people wonder why fad diets are bad when they seem to get results. You will find many sites on the internet claiming significant weight loss in just a few days. That type of weight loss is always temporary. It is usually 90% water which will be put straight back on as soon as your body rehydrates, which it must do if you are not going to suffer severe health problems or die.

Other fad diets are not so obviously crash diets with outrageous claims but they are over hyped diet plans that tend to be fashionable for a while and usually make a lot of money for the inventor in associated product sales. In the best cases these are good nutrition plans which will help you lose weight, but which you could probably have gotten for free from your doctor. In the worst cases they will prove so difficult to follow that you will give up after a week.

The bad of fad diets

1. Diets that promise quick and easy weight loss are usually based on eating more of one food type and none of another. These do not give the benefits that you would get from a balanced diet. They may suggest you take supplements but many supplements are not absorbed by the body unless they are taken along with the foods that the diet has banned. After a few weeks, if you stick to it that long, you may begin to develop nutritional deficiencies.

2. Fad diets are often boring and over restrictive. After the novelty of the first day or two, you will not enjoy your meals. You will then start to crave food constantly and will break the diet. You may even feel guilty, thinking it is your fault that you did not lose weight.

3. Most fad diets do not follow recommendations of the American Heart Association and similar bodies for fat levels in the diet. Often the diet will recommend high fat foods and low carbs which if taken long term, could result in heart disease. The promoters may tell you that the diet is only intended to be followed for a short time. But you probably will not reach your goal weight in that time, and then what? You either continue with a plan that is not good for your health, or stop and probably gain back what you lost.

4. Many fad diets do not help you to incorporate enough servings of fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program, or give you the variety of foods that your body needs.

5. Quick weight loss diets are just a temporary solution and do not help you to make permanent changes to your eating habits. Permanent changes are the only way to remain at your target weight once you reach it. Fad diets encourage yo-yo diet-binge cycles of fast weight loss and equally fast weight gain. This is worse for your health and your self esteem than if you had stayed overweight all the time.

Whatever the publicity materials may say, these diets will not help you in the long term. The best way to sustain weight loss is to eat a varied and healthy diet, do not overeat, exercise regularly and avoid fad diets.
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